The Ugly American: January 2006 Locations of visitors to this page
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The Ugly American
Friday, January 27, 2006
  HA! HA!
I'm going to Hawaii...I'm going to Hawaii tomorrow!!!!!!! I just looked at the weather forecast....80 all week! I'm going to Hawaii!!!

Tuesday, January 24, 2006
  Just like mom used too....
He didn't like the casserole

And he didn't like my cake.

My biscuits were too hard...

Not like his mother used to make.

I didn't perk the coffee right

He didn't like the stew,

I didn't mend his socks

The way his mother used to do

I pondered for an answer

I was looking for a clue.

Then I turned around and smacked him...

Like his Mother used to do.
Friday, January 20, 2006
  Watch out!
Last week I received an automated phone call from the Red Cross. They were letting me know that I was going to receive a flyer in the mail telling me the location of blood drives in the area for the next few weeks. It seems there's a serious shortage of blood here in Hampton Roads.

I'm all good with this, I donate blood all the a matter of fact...the last time, they took TWO pints! See, I have O- blood. They call me a universal donor. Apparently anyone can use O-, but O- folks like me can ONLY use O-. I also had a Red Cross person tell me years ago that they use O- for premature babies...I guess that's safest as most newborns don't get immediately "typed" at birth and it made me feel pretty special knowing that I might save the life of a newborn. Plus, when I first joined the navy you would get what they called vampire liberty. Meaning, that if you donated blood, you got the rest of the day off! You know...what's in it for me???

Anyway, I got the list on Wednesday and decided I would donate yesterday. I found a place on the list that was about 5 miles from my house. It was a local Church of Christ. I got there, drove around the building and didn't see anything that resembled a Red Cross vehicle and the parking lot looked pretty empty considering what was supposed to be going on there.

I spotted a lady outside the church and asked her if she new anything about the blood drive. She told me she didn't, but she also told me that a door that she pointed to was usually open. I parked my truck and walked inside the church.

When I got inside the church the only person there was a little old lady and she was deeply involved in something at the other side of the church. I stood there for a moment until she looked up and saw me. "Oh my! What are you doing here!?!", she said to me. I tried to explain from the other side of the room. "What?" She yelled at me. I started to explain again when, from about 30 yards away, she raised her cane in the air! Like she was gonna hit me!

I put my hands up in the air...relax, I tried to tell her. I explained again and that's when she lowered the cane. For the next minute or two she continued to apologize, explaining how she was there all alone and unable to get in touch with her husband and how the doors weren't supposed to be unlocked...

I didn't get to donate yesterday...I'm gonna try again today. If that doesn't work..I'll try again on Monday...they're gonna take my blood, I need some cookies and juice!

I guess it's not just little kids that I scare at times...I'll tell that story another time...apparently I scare old people too!
Wednesday, January 18, 2006
I saw one of those ribbons today. You know the ones...everyone has them on their cars and trucks. It said...Land of the free...because of the brave. It made me want to do this.

I got this in an e-mail today. It took me a little time to put it back together on here. Cutting and pasting all the pictures. Like they say...there are no atheists in foxholes! If you want, I'll gladly forward the entire e-mail to you, just let me know.

What's wrong with this picture?

If you look closely at the picture above, you will note that all the Marines pictured are bowing their heads. That's because they're praying.

This incident took place at a recent ceremony honoring the birthday of the corps, and it has the ACLU up in arms. "These are federal employees," says Lucius Traveler, a spokesman for the ACLU, "on federal property and on federal time. For them to pray is clearly an establishment of religion, and we must nip this in the bud immediately."

When asked about the ACLU's charges, Colonel Jack Fessender, speaking for the Commandant of the Corps said (cleaned up a bit), "Screw the ACLU." GOD Bless Our Warriors, Send the ACLU to France.

Please send this to people you know so everyone will know how stupid the ACLU is Getting in trying to remove GOD from everything and every place in America. May God Bless America, One Nation Under GOD!

What's wrong with the picture? ABSOLUTELY NOTHING


"Lord, hold our troops in your loving hands. Protect them as they
protect us. Bless them and their families for the selfless acts they
perform for us in our time of need. I ask this in the name of Jesus, our
Lord and Savior. Amen."

Prayer Request: When you receive this, please stop for a moment and say a
prayer for our troops around the world.

Of all the gifts you could give a US Soldier, Sailor, Airman, Marine &others
deployed in harm's way,

Prayer is the very best one
Tuesday, January 17, 2006
  Why I don't wanna move to Alaska!
Tom had been in the liquor business for 25 years. Finally, sick of the stress, he quit his job and bought 50 acres of land in Alaska as far from humanity as possible.

He saw the postman once a week and got groceries once a month. Otherwise, it was total peace and quiet.

After about six months of almost total isolation, someone knocked on his door. He opened it and a huge, bearded man was standing there. "Name's Lars, your neighbor from forty miles up the road. Having a Christmas party Friday night...thought you might like to come. About 5:00."

"Great," says Tom. "After six months out here I'm ready to meet some local folks. Thank you."

As Lars leaves, he stops. "Gotta warn some drinkin'."

"Not a problem," says Tom. "After 25 years in the business, I can drink with the best of 'em."

Again, the big man starts to leave and stops. "More 'n' likely gonna be some fightin', too."

"Well, I get along with people; I'll be all right. I'll be there. Thanks again."

"More'n likely be some wild sex, too!"

"Now that's really not a problem," says Tom, warming to the idea. "I've been all alone for six months! I'll definitely be there.
By the way, what should I wear?"

"Don't much matter. Just gonna be the two of us.
Saturday, January 14, 2006
  I'm so confused!!!
My mind is toast these past few days. I’ve been shown things that have really messed up things I was taught as a young man. Since I’m already a blasphemer and a heretic I’ll just continue on my present course.

Like I said before, I was born and raised a Catholic. I went to Catholic school and Catholic Church. I’ve always been curious about other religions and mainly other “versions” of Christianity. I’ve visited other churches. I attended a Methodist Church for a while when I was younger. It was close to my house and my grandmother went to that church, so, it was convenient. The closest Catholic Church was about 5 or 6 miles away and I wasn’t walking that far for anyone. You know…up hill…both ways…bare feet…snow…in July! It was different…and I think in the eyes of the Catholic Church back then, what I did, by going to a non-Catholic Church was pretty much blasphemy. I’ve been to a Church of Christ. I didn’t think it was a whole lot different from the Methodist Church I had gone to as a younger man. That’s about it for other churches. But hey, I was/am a Roman Catholic…according to what I was taught, it was the ONLY church, so I only needed to check out a couple of others to see what the deal was.

They built a Catholic Church right next to my parents’ house a few years later. My name is on a plate in that church that lists the first confirmation group from that church. I was around 15 at the time and I guess, St. Anselms’ being a new church, they needed money. I had a job back then, I think I was making about $75 a week and the pastor said he wanted $50 a week from every working person in the family. Figure the odds on that happening!

Between that and the priests taking down those screens in the confessional…so they could see my face when I confessed my sins…I was done. I had learned at the Methodist Church that I didn’t need a middle man to confess my sins, that I could talk straight to God if I so desired and that’s what I decided. I could do just as good a job of communicating with God as the priests could and it would be a whole lot cheaper.

I started going to a Church of Christ around the time my younger brothers’ first son was born. He asked me to be godfather to my nephew and of course, I accepted. After that day in the church, listening to the promises I made, to help my brother and his wife raise their son in the Catholic faith, something inside me told me I couldn’t go to that Church of Christ anymore…it was very strange…feeling those memories of Catholics who had chastised me for attending the “wrong” church when I was younger. The Catholic religion is good for that…making people feel dirty…bad…reminding us how sinful we are. No offense.

Now, after reading some of the history of the church, I’m really confused. I find out now, that there were plenty of people in the beginnings of Christianity who questioned what they were being taught, how they were being taught and even the role of leadership in the church. I questioned all those things and usually ended up in the principals’ office for it. They questioned them and were labeled heretics.

There have always been people trying to work out all the conflicting things in the bible. Be it conflicts between the old and new testaments or conflicts between different books in the bible. And I’m not exactly sure I like the way the outcome of these conflicts ended up. It seems that because one or two people didn’t like some things, they were left out and in one case a gospel appears to be placed in the bible specifically to argue for the exclusion of another!

It’s very difficult to trace the history of the Catholic Church…that’s right, the first organized Christian church was the Catholic Church…in case you didn’t know, catholic means universal…like they say, history is written by the winners. These “winners” actually tried to have the collective works of the losers destroyed. Luckily, there were a few who were smart enough and brave enough to hide some of these works and now we get the chance to see some of what the fathers of the church decided were unfit for our eyes.

Some questions I’ve always had and apparently shared with the Gnostics of the time…Why would a loving God not want man to eat from the Tree of Knowledge? Why was I taught that the serpent in the garden that told Eve to eat from the Tree of Knowledge was the devil? The God of Genesis said if they ate from the Tree of Knowledge they would surely die. These kinds of things never made sense to me. Did you know that in ancient times serpents often represented wisdom. So maybe, just maybe, somebody screwed up this interpretation early on…I don’t know…

In the Gospel of Thomas verse 2 it says: Jesus said,” Let one who seeks not stop seeking until he finds. When he finds, he will be troubled. When he is troubled, he will be astonished and will rule over all.”

I’m workin’ on it!
Wednesday, January 11, 2006
  The Gnostic Gospels
I was born and raised a Roman Catholic. I went to catholic school for 11 years, from kindergarten through 10th grade. I spent a lot of time in religion classes and church and even more time in confession. In 7th grade I was smacked in the face by a nun for asking “How can a virgin have a kid?” Little did I know, I was a blossoming heretic!

I just finished reading ‘The Gnostic Gospel’ by Elaine Pagels. First published in 1979, this is an outstanding look at the Nag Hammadi manuscripts found in the Egyptian valley of the same name in 1945. These texts, deemed heretical by leaders of the early Christian church, were buried away for more than 1500 years and have only recently become available to everyone.

Let’s step back for a minute. I read this book for a reason. I was on BlogCritics reading a story about Christianity being on trial in Italy. In the comments section of that article a discussion sprang up about the primacy of the gospels of the New Testament. Well, even with 11 years of Catholic School I was a bit confused, so, I did what any confused individual should do. I started asking questions. Not questions like the one in the first paragraph, but still some good questions. I was confused why, when speaking of the gospels in the New Testament, these folks were only talking about Matthew, Mark and Luke. So I asked, “Where’s John?” The next thing I know, they’re talking about the Gospel of Thomas! What the…

I was sent (Shark) to the Nag Hammadi Library. This is a website that has translated the manuscripts into English. I started reading some of these newly discovered gospels and found myself getting a little more confused. At the recommendation of one of BC’s contributors (Shark again) I went out and picked up Elaine Pagel’s book and started reading.

Now I have to ask, “Where’s Thomas and Phillip or ‘The Truth’?” All new gospels I’ve discovered thanks to a farmer in Egypt 60 years ago and this book not only explores the gospels I just mentioned and many more, but also tries to explain why these gospels may have been kept out of the “Good Book” and why they were deemed as heretical by these early Christian leaders and what might have happened to the church if they hadn’t.

If you’ve read the bible you know that in the Book of Genesis it says this: 001:026 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

Why is it plural?

Later on God says, “003:009 And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou?” I thought he’s omnipotent, omniscient and all that stuff. And he couldn’t find the only person on the planet? According to these writings there is another, over “the Creator” and her name is Wisdom.

These were the kinds of questions Gnostics asked.

Ms. Pagels also discusses the role of women in the early church. In the very beginning women were allowed to act in the capacity of priest or deacon. Many Gnostics believed that Mary Magdelene was very close to Christ. Some said really really close. And because of that women should be allowed to perform these rites and ceremonies. Early Christian leaders like Tertullian were outraged by this, writing, “These heretical women – how audacious they are! They have no modesty; they are bold enough to teach, to engage in argument, to enact exorcisms, to undertake cures, and, it may be, even to baptize!” Tertullian directed that “it is not permitted for a woman to speak in the church.”

In a line from Ms. Pagels book…The bishops drew the line against those who challenged any of the three elements of this system; doctrine, ritual, and clerical hierarchy – and the Gnostics challenged them all. …The Gnostics thought that the purpose of excepting authority was to learn to outgrow it.

These were the ways of Gnostic Christians back in the day and they were declared heretics for it. Before these manuscripts were discovered it seemed there were very few places to find information about these heretics other than history books and you know what they say about history and the winners getting to write it.

If you’re at all curious about the beginnings of Christianity or even where Dan Brown got some of the ideas for ‘The DaVinci Code’ this is the place to start.

If you’ve ever asked yourself some of the questions I’ve asked here then, like me, you’re a novice heretic. Congratulations!

The funny thing is though, I picked this book up looking for answers and all I got for it is a bunch more questions.

Do you suppose I'm going to hell with the rest of the heretics?
  You just wait...
I occasionally post some of the stuff I write on a website called BlogCritics.

I comment on the site all the time. There's a thread I've been commenting on about christianity being on trial in Italy. It's a very interesting me anyway, being the good catholic school kid I was...presently, what they call a "recovering catholic".

Anyway, because of that discussion I picked this book up yesterday called 'The Gnostic Gospels' by Elaine Pagels. It's a look at some ancient manuscripts that were found in an Egyptian valley in 1945. Apparently, they'd been buried there for around 1500 years or so...

These manuscripts and the stories they tell were deemed heretical by the early leaders of the catholic church. I'm only halfway through the book so you'll have to wait for more...but what I've read so far tells me that the religion we call christianity could have been a wee bit different as far as church heirarchy and things like that.

I'll have a full book report for you in a few days. I think I like the idea of the heretic. has this...n 1: a person who holds religious beliefs in conflict with the dogma of the Roman Catholic Church [syn: misbeliever, religious outcast] 2: a person who holds unorthodox opinions in any field (not merely religion). I think that's what I wanna be when I grow up...
Saturday, January 07, 2006
  Got this in an e-mail and I just had to share...
Gotta love 'em

Subject: This will warm your heart

This will warm your heart. Just when you have lost faith in human
kindness. Someone who teaches at a middle school in Safety Harbor,
Florida, forwarded the following letter. The letter was sent to the
principal's office after the school had sponsored a luncheon for the
elderly. An old lady received a new radio at the lunch as a door
prize and was writing to say thank you. This story is a credit to all
humankind. Forward to anyone you know who might need a lift today.
Dear Safety Harbor Middle School:
God bless you for the beautiful radio I won at your recent senior
citizen's luncheon. I am 84 years old and live at the Safety Harbor
Assisted Home for the Aged. All of my family has passed away. I am
all alone now and it's nice to know that someone is thinking of me.
God bless you for your kindness to an old forgotten lady. My
roommate is 95 and has always had her own radio, but before I
received one, she would never let me listen to hers, even when she
was napping. The other day her radio fell off the night stand and
broke into a lot of pieces. It was awful and she was in tears. She
asked if she could listen to mine, and I told her to kiss my ass.
Thank you for that opportunity.
Wednesday, January 04, 2006
  Some people!
We have this group here in Virginia Beach that call themselves CCAJN Citizens Concerned About Jet Noise.

As far as I can tell, it's a group of people here in Virginia Beach that bought homes in the wrong areas and now they're screaming, they have to over the jet noise, over our Master Jet Base here at the beach. They say they want to enhance the quality of life in our community. I'm still trying to figure out how getting rid of somewhere in the neighborhood of a billion dollars a year in revenue to the area is going to enhance my quality of life.

NAS Oceana has been here quite a while, the navy started building it in the 40's. When I first came to Hampton Roads in the 70's, Virginia Beach was a pretty small town. Oceana was out here in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by farm land and woods, it didn't bother anyone and nobody bothered it either.

Slowly but surely, Virginia Beach got a little more crowded and some of those farmers sold some of that farm land and little communities sprang up all around Oceana. How stupid do you really have to be to buy a house right near a Master Jet Base? And make no mistake; Oceana has been a Master Jet Base since way before ANY of these houses were built near the base. It’s been a Master Jet Base since the 50’s and most of these homes were built in the 80’s and 90’s.

There was plenty of land in other parts of Virginia Beach and Chesapeake, but folks wanted convenience. I’d bet that most of the people that first bought these homes worked at the base. So, buying a house near the base made sense. I’d bet they knew what they were getting into at the time.

Move to 2005 and the arrival of the navy’s new Super Hornet FA-18. One bad ass loud plane! Last year NAS Oceana made the BRAC list. Why you ask? Encroachment of course! It didn’t make the initial list. It was added on later. I guess after these A-holes that call themselves concerned citizens complained to the right people. BRAC demanded that the city do something to stop the encroachment. The city said…yeah…ok.

I’ll blame some of this on our city council. They should never have let developers build as close to the base as they have but, like most city councils, they’re in the back pocket of EVERY developer, if they’re not developers themselves. I watched the same thing playing out in Surprise, AZ a few years ago when I lived there. Luke AFB is going through the same thing right now.

The thing about this that has me riled up is that these groups of people think that the city should do something along the lines of buy their homes or close the base. SORRY! You were warned assholes. Real Estate law says you must be informed if you’re buying a house in a high noise zone and I know you were, so, you need to STFU and move if you don’t like the noise. You won’t get the same for your house that I might get for mine…but that’s because you bought a home in a shitty area and that’s no ones fault but your own. You also paid a lot less for your home than I did and that’s for the same reason. You think your house was cheaper because it’s closer to the beach? As Red on ‘That 70’s Show’ would say, “DUMBASS!”

I don’t work at Oceana. I work near it and we hear the jets all the time. If I’m standing outside smoking when they come by I actually have to stop talking for a minute and let them fly away. That’s how loud they are. I live about 12 miles from the base and I rarely if ever hear them at my house, but there are people dumb enough to live within a mile of the runway! How stupid can you be?

Yeah yeah, I know they wanted to OWN their own homes…well, you know what? I waited until I could afford a house in a reasonably quiet neighborhood before I bought one. Maybe they should have done the same. Like they say, you get what you pay for and you paid for a house next to a Master Jet Base, so get used to it! Dumbass!
Monday, January 02, 2006
  My Giants made the playoffs!
And they didn't back in either. They defeated the Oakland Raiders to claim the title...Beasts of the East!!!

I was watching NFL total access...this deal called "sounds of the game". They showed Tiki Barber's 95 yard touchdown run...the announcer saying...Tiki Barber's gonna go all the way...what a silencer!!! That 95 yard touchdown run was a Giants record and that says something...A record that's stood for 75 years!

Next weekend, they play the Carolina Panthers. I like the Panthers. I like their head coach, John Fox, he was the defensive coordinator for the Giants a few years back...when they made it to the Superbowl.

It won't kill me if the Giants lose next weekend. I would have been happy with a 9-7 record this year. As it stands, my Giants are 11-5 and in the playoffs for the first time in about 4 years. I think they can win's a home game.

Hey, life is good! Go Giants!
Not sure if I am THE ugly American, but I must be AN ugly American, because some Canadian told me so!!!

My Photo
Location: Virginia Beach, United States

20 year Navy vet, originally from NJ now living in Virginia Beach and yeah, Life Is Good!

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