Happy Independence Day!

Happy 232nd Birthday, America!

Independence Day

Be SAFE out there, everybody! I don’t wanna hear any horror stories involving whiskey and and fireworks!

Hey – I know him!

Forward in Faith, North America has just released a letter about their experience at GAFCON. One of the signatories of the letter? Father Warren Tanghe, my old rector from Church of Our Saviour in Atlanta! Here’s an excerpt:

GAFCON’s final statement endorsed FiF NA’s vision for a new province in North America, and identified the CCP as the vehicle for carrying it out.  The GAFCON movement recognizes the ordination of women as one of the issues which divides it, as it does the CCP, and is committed to seek the mind of Christ together on these issues.

It took many years’ prayer and hard work – and not least your prayers and FiF NA’s efforts on your behalf, even at a time when others dismissed our vision – to get to this point.  It will take a great deal of effort, both in the international GAFCON movement and in North America’s emerging province, to carry out what has been begun over this last week in Jerusalem.

We members of the FiF NA deputation wish to express our thanks to each of you whose generosity has made it possible for each of us to be here, and to play what we believe to be a significant role in this turning-point of the Anglican realignment.

Keep kicking ass for the Lord, Father Tanghe! 🙂

“I’m a conservative, but…”

Around a week ago, a user named “DanBlather” started an interesting thread on the Straight Dope Message Board. The title of his thread was “I’m A Liberal, But…”, and in his post Dan talked about how, despite his “liberalism”, he was in favor of school vouchers and nuclear power, hated Al Sharpton and Jessie Jackson, and wholeheartedly supports a “national ID card” for boarding airplanes and proving eligibility to work in the US, etc.

Others jumped in the thread, and soon there were dozens of “I’m a Conservative, But…” or “I’m a Liberal, But…” posts. It made for fascinating reading. While I’ve known for years that most people are not “100% conservative” or “100% liberal”, it’s amazing to see how people deviate from their “core beliefs”, as well as why they do so.

For example, despite overall “liberal” opposition to the death penalty, it seems that most self-proclaimed liberals in that thread are in favor of the death penalty in instances where guilt is beyond doubt and the crime is especially heinous. In fact, I was surprised by the “screw ’em – hang ’em in the public square” attitude that most “liberals” in that thread displayed. And it was also surprising to see that many of the liberals in the thread were opposed to illegal immigration outright, while “conservatives” were in generally in favor of immigration through an amnesty or “guest worker” program.

In any case, I thought I’d add my own thoughts to the hive mind… so here goes:

“I’m a conservative, but…”

– I’m actually more of a libertarian. I was an active member of the Libertarian Party of Georgia in the 1990s, but I eventually came to the realization that the Libertarian Party is a bunch of “thinkers”, not “doers”. Libertarian Party meetings started to feel like a bunch of teenagers sitting around, smoking dope and talking about the “awesome band” they were going to form one day. Remember how the “awesome band” never saw the light of day, but the guys would still get together and talk about it once a week? Welcome to the Libertarian Party! So I decided that it would be better for me to hang out with the “libertarian wing” of the Republican Party than be a member of the LP itself.

– It makes me physically ill to see CEOs get nine-digit salaries while entry-level workers at their companies get “starvation wages”. Look, I’m all for a country where people can get rich. And I have no problem with CEOs making 5, 10, or even 20 million dollars a year. But when a CEO gets paid $90 million a year while entry-level tech support people make $8/hour, something’s just wrong. And don’t even get me started on “golden parachutes”; it’s obscene that a CEO could run Home Depot or Countrywide Financial into the ground and get $150 million to leave! Interestingly, I don’t want to increase taxes on “the rich”, nor do I want a special “CEO tax”. I just wish that society would demand a stop to this… immediately.

– I think the federal tax on gasoline (but not diesel) should be tripled, quadrupled, or even quintupled. While “tax breaks” and subsidies are all well and good, automakers simply won’t invest real money in major fuel efficiency or alternate fuels until American consumers demand it, and the easiest way to get that demand is for gas to be $8/gallon. Diesel gets an exception in my book because most of the 18-wheelers that move goods across the country run on diesel, as do most buses and municipal fleets.

Continue reading ““I’m a conservative, but…””

Celebrity Breasts!

InTouch Weekly has just released their list of the “10 Best Celebrity Breasts”. Here’s the list:

1. Jessica Simpson
2. Tyra Banks
3. Scarlett Johansson
4. Carmen Electra
5. Lindsay Lohan
6. Katherine Heigl
7. Audrina Patridge
8. Jennifer Aniston
9. Megan Fox
10. Beyoncé Knowles

What do you think of this list? If I were going to rank the same girls, I’d do it this way:

1. Scarlett Johansson
2. Katherine Heigl
3. Jessica Simpson
4. Lindsay Lohan
5. Megan Fox
6. Beyoncé Knowles
7. Audrina Patridge
8. Tyra Banks
9. Jennifer Aniston
10. Carmen Electra

But that’s just me.

This has been another important and life-altering post from the folks at jimcofer.com!

Hibernating Via Batch File

When you reboot or shut down your computer, you normally have to save all your open documents and close all running programs, because when the computer restarts, your system will restart in “default mode” (no programs or documents open).

Microsoft added support for “hibernation” in Windows 2000 (and refined it further in XP and Vista). Hibernation mode writes the contents of the system RAM to the hard disk, which means that when you “hibernate” a computer, everything you had open – such as a web browser and email program – remain open when you restart your computer. In other words, if you were to type something in a Notepad window and restart your computer without saving the document, the data will be lost forever if you reboot\shutdown, but will remain on your computer if you hibernate.

The only downside to hibernation is that Windows creates a “hibernation file” (HIBERFILE.SYS) on your system that’s equal in size to the amount of RAM that you have. So if you have 2GB of RAM, Windows needs a 2GB HIBERFILE.SYS file on your system.

It can be annoying having that 2GB HIBERFILE.SYS file hanging out all the time if you’ve installed Windows on a smaller hard drive or partition, especially if you’re like me and only hibernate your system when the electricity goes out and you want to shut down your PC before your UPS runs out of juice.

Thankfully, there’s an easy way to create a batch file that will 1) enable hibernation mode and 2) set the computer to hibernate. You’ll need to download PSSHUTDOWN, a tiny (free) utility from the Windows Sysinternals website for this.

1) Download the PsTools collection from the web site above.

2) Unzip the PsTools.zip file and move the PSSHUTDOWN.EXE file to your Windows directory (you can delete the rest of the files from the PSTools kit, but there are some great utilities included with it that you should check out!)

3) Open Notepad, paste the following text into the window, and save the file as a .CMD file:

powercfg /hibernate on
psshutdown -h

The first line enables hibernation, while the second tells the computer to go into shutdown mode. If you wish, you could create a second batch file that has only “powercfg /hibernate off” in it, to disable hibernation with a single click.

Also, if you don’t want to download the PSSHUTDOWN tool, you can force hibernation by changing the second line of the batch file to:

%windir%\System32\rundll32.exe powrprof.dll,SetSuspendState Hibernate

Note that the above should all be on one line; also, although this “alternate method” is built-in to Windows, I personally find the first option (psshutdown -h) easier to use.

Lastly, remember that you’ll actually need the space HIBERFILE.SYS will take up when you enable hibernation, so don’t go filling up your system partition! You’d need to quickly delete a bunch of stuff if the power goes out, which kind of defeats the hwole point of using a batch file to quickly enable hibernation!

Drive-By Pharming

Just when you thought Internet security couldn’t get any worse, a new hacking technique has come along that’s about as scary as it gets: Drive-By Pharming (DBP). DBP occurs “when attackers create a Web page or e-mail that, when simply viewed, results in substantive configuration changes to a home broadband router or wireless access point”. In simple English, this means that there are hackers out that that have written code that can change the settings on your home router simply by viewing an “infected” web page or HTML email.

This is scary for two reasons:

1) All you need to do is view a web page or HTML email. You don’t have to click on anything or download any type of file from an infected site – just viewing the page is enough to cause an attack.

2) The hack changes the DNS server configuration on your router. DNS servers are computers that your ISP uses to convert human-readable web addresses (such as bankofamerica.com) into a numerical IP addresses that computers on the Internet use to communicate with each other (such as 64.192.54.198). A hacker could set up a web server with a bunch of fake (but authentic looking) sites for banks and other financial institutions, then set up a DNS server that points to these fake sites. He could then set up a website or send out an email with malicious code inserted which changes your DNS settings to use his DNS server instead of your ISPs server. What makes this so scary is that the change would be invisible to you. Once infected, you could open a web browser and type “bankofamerica.com” into the address bar, and since your computer relies on DNS to connect to any website, it accepts whatever the DNS server tells it… so there wouldn’t be any way for you to know that you’re going to a fake website!

Thankfully, most DBP exploits are easy to guard against simply by changing the password on your router. As many as 50% of home users (and a smaller, but still substantial number, of business users) never change the default password of their routers. Hackers know this, and they also know what those default passwords are… so hacking in to millions of routers is a piece of cake. By changing the default password to something else – anything else – you can stop these attacks from happening to you!

Read more about it here.

On the Jerusalem Declaration

These are wonderful times to be alive, friends. For years, conservative Anglicans in the United States have either been ignored, been told to “be patient”, or (in some extreme cases) to “shut up and join the Roman Church”. How offensive is that, honestly?

Imagine that you’re a lifelong Republican, and suddenly a small group of people took control over the Republican Party leadership and changed all of the party’s beliefs. They held a secret meeting somewhere, and suddenly proclaimed that all Republicans must believe in gay rights, abortion rights, universal health care, full support for labor unions and a dismantled military. Regardless of your personal opinion on those issues, you wouldn’t consider yourself a “non-Republican” if you continued to hold the “old party’s” beliefs would you? Wouldn’t it be more like Ronald Reagan’s famous quote: “I didn’t leave the Democratic party – the Democratic Party left me”?

That’s exactly what’s happened in the Episcopal Church. Orthodox Anglicanism has had the same beliefs since (at least) 1662, and that’s not counting the 1500+ years of belief that Anglicanism is based on. Yet, in the past 30 years or so, liberal Western attitudes have come to take control over the leadership of the Episcopal Church in the United States. For centuries, priests were only male. In the 1970s, the Episcopal Church said that women could now be priests, and that there was nothing that conservatives who opposed such a move could do about it.

The Episcopal Church’s liberal bent continued. In 2003, the openly homosexual Gene Robinson was elected Bishop of New Hampshire, over the strenuous objection of conservatives throughout the Anglican communion. In fact, many conservative bishops and primates (bishops that are “leaders” of national churches) in the United States, Africa and other parts of the world begged the Episcopal Church not to go through with the ordination. But, in all its hubris, the Episcopal Church did anyway. The crisis was so bad, in fact, that the Archbishop of Canterbury commissioned a group called the Lambeth Commission on Communion to investigate the matter. The result was the Windsor Report of 2004, which “recommended a moratorium on further consecrations of actively homosexual bishops and blessings of same-sex unions, and called for all involved in Robinson’s consecration ‘to consider in all conscience whether they should withdraw themselves from representative functions in the Anglican Communion’.

On June 2006, the Episcopal Church voted Katharine Jefferts Schori as the presiding bishop of the United States. Since then. Ms. Schori has used the power of her office to “exorcise” the American church of any conservatives that disagree with her liberal interpretation of Anglicanism. She has used canon laws intended for use in dire emergencies to remove conservative bishops from office. She has misused those same laws by approving the votes of a “majority of bishops present”, instead of a “majority of all bishops”, as is plainly required by canon law. She has unleashed armies of lawyers to sue bishops, priests and even lay members of parishes that wish to leave the Episcopal Church in favor of alternative oversight. Such lawsuits take away emphasis on the Church’s true mission, cost money that the Episcopal Church can ill afford, and alienate members both here and overseas.

Because of the actions of Ms. Schori, her henchmen here in the US, and the like-minded individuals in the Anglican Church of Canada, conservative Anglicans from all “Anglican nations” got together to form the Global Anglican Future Conference, or GAFCON for short. Their first meeting, in Jerusalem, just ended. 1148 orthodox lay and clergy delegates, including 291 Anglican bishops, attended. They discussed several issues and, in the end, released their statement, The Jerusalem Declaration (read it in full here).

The Declaration isn’t as forceful as I’d hoped. However, read it carefully and you’ll see that it actually says this:

“Dear Episcopal Church, Anglican Church of Canada, and Archbishop of Canterbury:

For years you have marginalized those Anglicans which have desired to remain faithful to the tenets of orthodox Anglicanism. You have treated the bishops and priests of the Global South with condescension and contempt. You have ignored the protests of orthodox Anglicans in the United States and Canada.

We have waited patiently while you continually promised some form of relief for orthodox believers. However, under Katharine Jefferts Schori and Rowan Williams the situation has gotten much worse, not better. The Presiding Bishop of the United States has started a ‘slash and burn’ campaign against faithful members of her own church, while His Grace has sat idly by and ignored the Instruments of Communion to force the discipline of the majority of the communion on her.

This bullshit will stop, and it will stop soon. If not, orthodox Anglicans are willing to go it alone. His Grace may come with us, or he may not. Communion with the See of Canterbury is important to Anglicans, but not so important that we will turn a blind eye to heresy and apostasy to have it. We will create our own provinces and administer them as we see fit, and will bear no interference from Ms. Schori or His Grace when we do so. And when we come, we will come bearing not the 1979 Prayer Book, but the 1662 Book of Common Prayer, the ‘true and authoritative standard of worship and prayer’, and we will translate and adapt it for every province we take back.

The time for discussion is past. We, the undersigned, throw down the gauntlet to Ms. Schori and His Grace. After all, we are not the ones changing “Anglicanism”, they are.

Yours Truly,

48 Million Anglicans”

Whew! OK, maybe I embellished a little… But it’s all there. And soon, in the next couple of days, I’ll have calmed down and will offer a more nuanced look at the situation in the Anglican communion.

Until then, though… I’ll be joyful of the Orthodox Revolution that’s finally happening!