Category Archives: Law enforcement

Going to Jail

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In one of the many counties of the parish we have a new jail, partially pictured above.

I was able to arrange a face to face with a prisoner. There are a number of Catholics on the inside. If not face to face, a huge exception to the rule – conversations are all recorded by way of video conferencing from the entrance way. But it’s all recorded anyway  even when brought inside for face to face in an interrogation room! If Pope Francis only knew that his Missionary of Mercy is talking to people in actual interrogation rooms! Anyway, face to face is a real help.

My foray into face to face took yet another full law enforcement check on yours truly by the Sheriff, as the DOC is under him and they have to defer to him for such an exception. I think I’m the most checked priest ever.

I must say, everyone at the DOC and the adjunct Sheriff’s Office was entirely and totally kind and helpful to yours truly and I thank them for that.

Perhaps that check was easier and faster than normal since my last massive and entirely absolutely thorough check was spearheaded by the FBI quite recently. I had brought something to the Agency – which preliminaries took some months with various top-level agents – until they then decided to bring the case forward. What that means is that after such preliminaries, and then before they start in on whatever case which looks to have some merit, they do a massive, thorough check on the one bringing the case, you know, because, after all, he could be the guilty party trying to frame someone else, right? So that itself took a number of months. I was told that centers all over the country were involved with the investigation, each specializing in different areas of the law using different methods of investigation. Finally, I was told that I sailed through. So, after even more preliminary questions, they started the case. All I can say is that they are following the case rather closely. :-)

Anyway, the diocese then faxed the DOC a letter of good standing for me to be a volunteer.

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Filed under Law enforcement, Missionaries of Mercy

Creepy guy pulling a gun at the parish

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As I’ve mentioned the other day, there was a car in the upper back parking lot rather aggressively parked up against my car and which was sporting all sorts of logistical red flags. I moved my car just a bit so that I was fully in back of him, just to the side a bit, as it creeped me out that he was just a few inches away.  The only picture take-away I thought I had was the strange licence plate. The window reflections obscured the inside of the car from the back (see above), or so I thought, until just now, a few days later, when I ran the picture through some brightness and contrast tweaking. Unfortunately, the picture is still super grainy and splotchy with reflections of light from the street lights and my headlights (see below).

Fleet Car upper parking lot possible brandishing

The driver has flipped himself around in the driver seat and is looking back. It looks like there may be a possibility that he is brandishing a pistol. Of course, I’m NOT, NOT, NOT accusing anyone of anything. It just looks like his brandishing and aiming a pistol might be a good possibility in conjunction with multiple and serious red flags that were presenting at the same time. Again, I realize that the picture is grainy and is of poor quality. Did I say I wasn’t accusing anyone of anything? The red edits on the same picture below might help you you to see what’s going on. I already knew he was wearing a hat when I walked up to my car from another angle, from which angle, by the way, I could clearly see into the car and he appeared to be the only person in the car.

Fleet Car upper parking lot possible brandishing indications

When someone holds a pistol in your direction, the only thing to be seen is the tiny end of the barrel and perhaps a bit of the slide. The rest is covered by, in this case, two hands. Even though he’s aiming directly at me, I doubt he would hit me. The angles of the windows would throw any bullets off by some inches. Or one hopes so. Even though I couldn’t consciously see the gun, I’m guessing my brain could pick this up. It’s part of situational awareness to pay attention to heightened attention, keeping one “left of bang” as they say.

I’m guessing that his brandishing is what was making him so overconfident. I’m guessing he was thinking that I could see his gun. I did not see his gun until now. He saw that I wasn’t responding in kind. He was waiting for something to happen, baiting, threatening. By this point, even without seeing the gun, I was convinced that he was up to no good because of all the red flags:

  • In an entirely empty campus with fully three different parking lots, he had parked next to my car within seconds of my arrival (but after I had quickly gone to check on the doors on campus), and he parked so close to my car (in the opposite direction) that he was purposely blocking the use of both passenger doors. Also, that’s a difficult parking lot to drive into, being so steep that one’s tires will spin. The other parking lots are paved and wide open. He didn’t scrape the paint off my car for being so close, but, just to say, it was really close, entirely creepy.
  • He was wearing a hat, at night, in his car, partially blocking sight of his face.
  • There was no one else that I could see in the car when I walked up to mine, except that a couple of minutes into this incident I did see a mop of hair appear for a fraction of a second at the bottom of the passenger window, and then violently go down again. This would explain why the use of the passenger door was blocked. Maybe that person is shy. Maybe that’s his kid who was playing hide and seek. Maybe that’s a partner in crime. Maybe that’s just a wig he wears when committing crimes and he was getting ready to put it on. Maybe that’s a victim of human trafficking.

Had I seen the gun, I would have had to hypothesize that this was about human trafficking and this was effectively a kidnapped hostage. I’m guessing he thought I was the buyer as I had obviously come up coincidentally at a prearranged time before whoever the real buyer is could do so. But I wasn’t producing any cash. Perhaps he just thought I was having second thoughts, or wasn’t convinced he wasn’t law enforcement. Greed is what would keep him around for so long. This was a stand-off that went on for a good eight minutes. I don’t know the price of what I’m guessing is a child, but I’m still guessing that he was expecting many tens of thousands of dollars. For that kind of money, people risk going to prison for a long time, even for life, and even for death in this capital punishment state. People also risk going to hell for eternity.

Someone mocked me later for not being “welcoming.” Sigh. Bad things do happen. Just down the way from the parish, in the next parish over, there was a beheading just the other day. I know the EMT who attended that incident.

Since I didn’t know about the gun yet, but because of all the red flags, I thought it best to just try to move this person along by playing loud music and having the bright headlights shining on him, drawing attention of whatever of the rest of the town that cared to look to see what the mayhem was all about. He endured eight minutes of this. I guess he really wanted money or whatever the deal was supposed to be. He finally left.

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Filed under Guns, Law enforcement

Danger near the rectory and at church? Scottish Bagpipes to the rescue!

A week ago I published this about some incidents: Banging on the window at 1:38 AM like a thief in the night.

Within a week, there have been more incidents:

  • There was again banging on the window of the rectory after midnight. Same place, too, next to the sticker that says 24/7 video surveillance. It’s like, knock and then read. I mean…
  • I mentioned this to a neighbor, who said that another neighbor, a super-generous minister of one of the faith communities here in Andrews – a friend – had a breaking and entering incident in which the bicycles of their little kids were stolen. Wow. When an incident involves little kids, the antennae go up…
  • The same neighbor said that he found two drug syringes and the above pictured knife next to the windows on the side of his house.

Then, another event, this time up at the church. Having gone to the supermarket and filling up the car with gas for the weekend travels to the churches and rehabs, just at nightfall, I had one of those “feelings” that I should then go up to the church and check the doors and such. There had been a number of events: re-construction of the confessional in the church, a conference by a great visiting priest in the social hall, and a continuance of the rosary novena for persecuted Christians. Surely one of the doors had been left open, thought I. Because of another “feeling”, I parked in the upper gravel parking lot out back, I made my way along the doors, spotting this huge mama wolf spider with a trillion babies on her back:

Nature is fascinating. But that’s a distraction. Back to checking the doors. Fine. All the doors were locked and all was tranquil. Everything was over and no one was on campus. Great! Soooo quiet…. Crickets…

Just then a phone call came in about logistics for celebrations of Mass the next week as renovations will involve the church itself. Having gotten through that phone call in front of the shrine pictured above, I went back to my car in the upper back parking lot, making my way between the buildings. That back parking lot has a history of being a druggy drop site, day or night, as it is all kind of hidden. I once called in an escaped felon in a stolen vehicle. The driveway is gravelly and tires spin turning up into that back upper parking lot as the driveway is so very steep. No one would park there just to do it, especially at night, all hidden away like that. After all, with all the thieves and druggies round about the past week, with all the pretty much continuous mass shootings at churches and schools and businesses, it would look suspicious to park up there all hidden away…

But, sure enough, there was another car parked within inches of mine, side to side. That’s what tipped me off that this was way too weird to just discount as a nothing burger. Inches away in an empty parking lot signals trouble, even if it’s a good person with good motivation, because in that case there surely has to be drinking or drugs involved. So, being bad and evil myself, I immediately thought that whoever it is may well have malicious intentions.

The driver did not get out when I walked into the parking lot. I just went straight to my car without hesitation. I got into my car, turned it on, waited for a minute. Nothing. I moved the car around to park behind the guy and shine the bright lights on his car. This usually moves the druggies right along. They hate that. Nothing. I took a few pictures of the car. They hate that even more. Nothing:

Out of state plate. Interesting. Probably a local who is back in town for a moment. No “year” sticker on the plate. Probably too new, right? Also, it’s a “fleet car” with a “fleet” number and code number. That’s like an advertisement for people to know who you are. So, surely it’s all innocent. Nothing to hide. If it’s a rental car to escape notice, the person probably hasn’t thought it through. You can’t rent a car except with a credit card. Anyway, it’s probably just someone praying for a loved one who passed recently. We’re always to think good things of others. And that’s what I was thinking.

After all, there was only one guy in the car. I should just go and introduce myself. Be welcoming. Despite the red flags.

But then I saw something that just ripped all those good thoughts out of my head. I had only seen a driver when I had walked up to my car and could clearly see into that car. Just the driver. But now I saw a second person who had been hiding in the passenger seat as there was movement of a head of hair for just a split second up against the lower edge of the passenger window. There’s no chance they were up to hanky panky, as they wouldn’t park inches away lengthwise with my car, the only other car on the entire campus. As far as I’m concerned, that most likely makes them fit the modus operandi of aggressors of whatever kind.

So, that momentary red flag made me want to move this crowd along quickly, that is, to have them remove themselves from this private property. Something’s just not right…

What’s my usual method? It makes my laugh. It always works. It worked when I was being shot at out at the hermitage with me having no escape. I played Handel’s Messiah on my phone and the shooting stopped, just like that. Now what I did was to lower the windows and turn on some music, loudly, and with the bright lights shining on his car from behind, off to the side a bit. Here’s what I played for all of Andrews to hear:

He lasted right through the pro-Police “I’m Bleeding Out” but only made it about 3/4 of the way through “Amazing Grace” on the bagpipes. Too religious, I guess. Too patriotic, I guess. Too much to do with cemeteries, I guess. Too unapologetically loud, I guess. I gotta admit, there is nothing louder than Amazing Grace on Scottish bagpipes at night in an an otherwise sleepy neighborhood with the sound multiplied by the high-beam headlights shining on the back of your car from the side, you know, for all to see and hear. I’m really bad and evil. He drove away, ever so very slowly. That was the end of it. Today I’m sure I’ll find out that this was an American hero of some kind, a ex-parishioner of some kind, come back home. Right?

I’m all for being embarrassed, because safety comes first, regardless of being embarrassed about being over-careful. No apologies for that. Too many red flags with this incident. But still, there’s probably some very good and boring and entirely embarrassing (to me) explanation, making it look like I shouldn’t have been such a knucklehead. It is what it is.

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Filed under Law enforcement, Situational awareness

Mueller’s peachy social engineering

interstate 85 peach

Mueller: “After that investigation, if we had confidence that the president did NOT commit a crime, then we would have said so.”

How peachy is that? A hardly veiled referral to Congress for impeachment. Mueller turns on its head the principle that one is innocent until proven guilty and assumes that insufficient evidence screams guilt. Since pretty much anyone who is alive is able to commit any crime, that evidence, that one was alive, however insufficient, means that pretty much everyone is guilty of whatever crime. Everyone is dead.

If the victim is accused of being a witch in such a witch hunt, he is thrown into a river. If he drowns, he’s innocent. If he survives, he is guilty and then killed another way. Dead both ways.

That’s the American way! Peachy! Impeachy! But no. That’s not the American way.

Social engineering that clockwork-encourages Congress to undo the Constitution without the Constitution undergoing duly legislated amendment is…

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Filed under Intelligence Community, Law enforcement

Patriots Day Boston Marathon Bombing: three brief reflections on terrorism

Firstly, in general, the terrorism thing isn’t anomalous. The fallen human spirit is given to such things if not brought into humble thanksgiving for merciful redemption wrought in justice. “Never again!” is a cri de cœur which must be placed in the context that all of us can do the same thing, given the circumstances in life, given whatever state of one’s soul.

Secondly, the Commissioner was right to ask with great cynicism: “What’s a typical terrorist look like?” The elder brother shaved his beard for the event while the younger brother had no beard to speak of, right? Beards are typical of terrorists, right? Sigh.

Thirdly, the Commissioner got it right again in a self-correction, saying that they all passed over considering the elder terrorist who was already on a watch list because they all knew that he was a coward. Here’s the deal: all terrorists are cowards, they always and only go after soft targets, babies, children, unsuspecting and unprepared adults.

On this last point… if you want to profile a terrorist, look for the coward, for the one who goes along with peer pressure, political correctness, never standing up for what is right even when under no pressure at all, always taking the path of the lowest common denominator of niceness in his own eyes. The raging bull underneath is always there in all the niceness that can be mustered.

From Psalm 22, cited by Jesus on the cross, when all hell of cowardice broke out on Calvary:

My God, my God, why have you abandoned me? Why so far from my call for help, from my cries of anguish? My God, I call by day, but you do not answer; by night, but I have no relief. Yet you are enthroned as the Holy One; you are the glory of Israel. In you our ancestors trusted; they trusted and you rescued them. To you they cried out and they escaped; in you they trusted and were not disappointed. But I am a worm, hardly human, scorned by everyone, despised by the people. All who see me mock me; they curl their lips and jeer; they shake their heads at me: “You relied on the LORD — let him deliver you; if he loves you, let him rescue you.” Yet you drew me forth from the womb, made me safe at my mother’s breast. Upon you I was thrust from the womb; since birth you are my God. Do not stay far from me, for trouble is near, and there is no one to help. Many bulls surround me; fierce bulls of Bashan encircle me….

It’s most worthwhile – unto eternity – to look up and read the rest of that psalm in a quiet moment, noting the filial devotion of the one being put to death before God the Father.

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Filed under Law enforcement, Terrorism

Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (PSO Medal of Valor, edition)

public safety officer medal of valor

Among those receiving the Medal of Valor two were already no longer living in this world. It’s about doing what you should do. You do it, and it’s almost never recognized. No thanks. In fact, just the opposite. Many condemn you to hell for laying your life on the line… for them. Guaranteed: the contentedness in the face of the young man above isn’t about himself. Instead, this is about seeing things the way they should be, whereby the whole country is recognizing what is right, what is of all honesty and integrity. And that’s good. That’s very good.

I recall some priests from Columbia speaking of all the normal pastoral things that any priest gets into for the sake of his flock, and I stupidly said that they were doing so much. The immediate response of one just ordained priest was one of anger: “No! We’ve done NOTHING! None of us has been killed like so many of our priest-friends in Columbia. We’ve done NOTHING!

public safety officer medal of valor-

Another guarantee: those who have been killed in the line of duty and are standing before the Lord to be judged on what they did in laying down their lives as the greatest act of love will instead stand aside and point to Jesus’ wounds, and then to Jesus’ good mom.

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It’s when we realize that even those of us who have laid down their lives as the greatest act of love have done NOTHING. The love, the generosity, the honesty and integrity and humility by which that is done is not our ours, but rather our Lord’s that we’re drawn into. Mary was always in solidarity with Him as He laid down His life for everyone, from Adam until the last man is conceived. Jesus, in doing this, laid down the life of His mother for us as well. He died, and you gotta know, she was totally crushed for us. A flower for you, created by your Son, dearest mother Mary.

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Filed under Flores, Law enforcement, Officer Down!

Spirit of Blue Police Tribute – Paul Harvey – Good Day

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It’s the boy at 3’50” Stay in the Fight – Hallelujah LEO Tribute by Chase Curl

We pray to come home to our families when we leave at night.
We pray for comfort, pray for safety, and for peace of mind.
We face the demons in the streets while you all sleep tight.
People meet us with their anger from the 6 O’clock news.
People hurt and people maimed by the boys in blue.
No one looks into the story like they all should do.
No one airs all the officers who save our lives.
They’d rather cover all the issues to increase their dime.
It’s not a story and to them it’s just a waste of time.
Another officer is down.
Do they hear us now?
Another day of being blamed.
While we bear the pain.
We’ll continue to stay in the fight.
In spite of all of this we’ll do what’s right.

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Filed under Law enforcement, Officer Down!

Analyzing Strzok’s capacity to lie. The deadpan declaration: “I am America.”

Analysts love declarations. There are certain declarations that are stand-alone, and which simply cannot be voiced unless you mean them in any and all contexts or regardless of any particular context whatsoever. They reveal a helluvalot about a person.

Here’s Peter Strzok declaring away to Tray Gowdy at 5’38″…

“The American electorate I respect in their decisions and their right to vote is absolutely a cornerstone of our democracy so at no time did I insult or call into question the judgment or the power of the American electorate.”

And he later repeats a version of that. It’s ingrained into him.

It’s all in the “so.” The “so” inescapably indicates that Peter Strzok believes that he, personally, is America. But this is not the Patriotism of which he thinks he is the definition. Instead, this is, for him, about his inability to do wrong. This, my friends, is as cynical as it gets. It’s a licence to kill. It’s a licence to betray one’s country as doing so could not possibly be considered betrayal by him: he IS America.

There are plenty of false patriots who say: “I love America and I’m the most patriotic person ever and I embody all that America is.” No. That doesn’t work.

It needs to be added instantaneously that there is an ever present possibility that we can fall short, we are able to betray. It is this honesty and humility which keeps one sharp, frosty, and, indeed, able to see ever so easily how it is that this or that person is at the verge of or has already betrayed America and is a danger.

Anyone who embodies the “so” principle of Peter Strzok cannot be trusted.

Do the analogy. The person who, in the spiritual life says to himself that he is doing just fine and is strong because he hasn’t killed anyone in a long time or ever and that makes him all good is a fraud. The person who by the grace of God is in humble thanksgiving before the Lord gets it, knowing that he could fall at any time into whatever lack. Holiness is about the Lord creating us as His friends: “I call you friends.” The trust is not in ourselves but in Jesus. Jesus I trust in you.

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Filed under Intelligence Community, Law enforcement, Patriotism, Politics

It’s Police Week: I’m bleeding out

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Update: Removed? Anti-terrorism worship center security training: Get off YOUR OWN back end

Update: After merely eight people clicked on this post, it was trashed. I didn’t do it. Who did? Why? I’ll put it back up every time. Original post follows:

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What with church / synagogue attacks coming along fast and furious, I thought it might be a good idea to instigate a push for more security by all believers. After Mass Thursday I dropped by to have a chat firstly with the Sheriff of Graham County, requesting ongoing involvement not only with presentations to security teams of the various churches (itself an encouragement for all churches to rustle up security teams if they don’t already have them), but also to have someone be a training and range officer say once a month or every six weeks for those on security teams who are voluntarily armed. Our insurance, for instance, does not permit mandated armed security, only volunteers. All that got an enthusiastic response from the Sheriff, who told me that, in fact, just some hours before, a Powerpoint presentation was sent out at State level (North Carolina) to all county Sheriffs that they might use as a template to tweak for local presentations to the ministers and their security teams. He’s enthusiastic to do something with this, and, beyond that, to take up the suggestion for ongoing guided range time. He agreed that without continuous practice, no one is going to be frosty and edgy enough to be able to do the necessary in stopping the threat of an active shooter.

It’s true that a bunch of ministers went down to Georgia from WNC for a presentation quite a while back, but as one significant LEO commented afterward, that presentation was worth no more than being preparation for a clean up operation after all the slaughtering was done. In other words, the security learned was just enough to get everyone killed so that the crime scene wouldn’t be disturbed. A bit cynical, perhaps, but honest. And if we want to save lives, we have to be honest. Kudos to him for that honesty.

After heading to a nursing home / rehab in another county, I went to another Sheriffs Office to push for the same program. Believe me, no one in law enforcement is saying to just leave it to the professionals. They know that every split second of inaction in a house of worship means another person dead or wounded, you know, when help is minutes or longer away.

  • Are YOU part of a security team in your parish, your synagogue, and yes, your mosque (think of New Zealand)?
  • Do you even have a security team?
  • Not everyone has to be armed to be on a security team. Remember Hacksaw Ridge? Do you have people who are trained up in first aid, familiar with defibrillators, tourniquets and such? There can be those who simply help others (1) to get out (flight), or (2) get down under the pews (hide, giving clear access to those with stop-the-threat capabilities), or… (3) resist (fight) in whatever way.

If your Sheriffs Office isn’t pushing programs for all the ministers and their security teams, then you do something. And you absolutely can do something. Need some materials and direction? Behold:

DHS Active Shooter Preparedness Program for Churches

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Filed under Law enforcement, Terrorism

SRI LANKA, an Easter Octave later

sri lanka easter terror 2

Looks like just a bit of confusion, like “someone did something” above. So, let’s move in media res and get a better idea. You can’t fix something unless you know what it is.

sri lanka easter terror 3

Not good enough. Let’s make this more personal. Jesus, just now risen from the dead, having been ripped to shreds Himself, blood everywhere, walks in the midst, the blood of His followers all over Him, witnessing to their belief in life eternal. As the Master, so the disciple.

sri lanka easter terror

  • “Today, you will be with me in paradise,” He says.
  • “The death of His faithful ones is precious in the eyes of the Lord.” (Psalm 116:15)

As of 4/27/2019 there are at least 310 killed and 469 wounded. More die and are injured as raids take place and “collateral incidents” occur. Always increasing numbers of terrorists are arrested or killed, depending on circumstances. Innocents can unfortunately be in the way as terrorist cowards hide behind women and children.

ISIS has claimed responsibility, having sucked in the local Islamicist terrorist group, National Thowheed Jamath.

  • But almost no one will say that they are Islamicist terrorists or ISIS. They are just “some people who did something.”
  • But almost no one will say the word “Catholic” about so very many of the victims, innocent, including women and children, and yes, also men.

All the spooky groups were telling the crowd in Sri Lanka 17 days before it happened. But just as Sri Lanka has traitors in it’s government, so do we. No decision maker knew.

It’s personal to me because these are other members of the Body of Christ. That’s as personal as it gets.

But, just to say, I also have priest friends in Sri Lanka with whom I lived in Rome at various colleges for years of studies.

I’ve even had an interview about the liturgy with the Cardinal Archbishop, his Eminence Albert Malcolm Ranjith Patabendige Don. He says he’s been told by the local Muslims that this wasn’t about anything Islamicist. “He says he’s been told…” Clever way of saying that. He says he has zero concern for the rebuilding of churches. He’s concerned about rebuilding lives. Good for him. Blessings upon them all.

I hope the perps convert and are forgiven. I hope the victims, if alive, can forgive. It will do them an eternity of good. We must pray for that: Hail Mary

Having said all that, even on this Divine Mercy Sunday, my sentiment is also summed up by the Chinese University student at the time of the Boston Marathon Bombing Dun “Danny” Meng when he escaped and was interviewed by Police Officer Tommy Saunders. It was the last thing Dun said to Tommy: “Get those *************!” This isn’t a vengeance thing over against someone who has repented. No. The bombers were on their way to New York City to do up some more bombing, more killing, more terrorism. They weren’t going to stop until the were stopped. So, yeah: “Get those *************!”

Having said all that, none of that is inconsistent with this being Divine Mercy Sunday.

  • Jesus still calls us to be witnesses to His forgiveness should anyone want it.
  • Jesus still calls us to be witnesses unto death, giving all in Him.
  • Jesus still calls us to to pray that He have mercy on us and on the whole world. 

And to those cynics who condemn religion because God permitted such a thing to happen, look again. He took our place, the innocent for the guilty, so that He might have the right in His own justice to have mercy on us.

pieta

And… and… He’s risen from the dead. And He intends to have us rise from the dead for life eternal. Thank you, Jesus.

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Filed under Intelligence Community, Law enforcement, Military, Terrorism

Face of a coward wife killer

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Brutal eyes… After killing his wife with a gun — What a coward! — he ran across the state of North Carolina to within a few miles of the hermitage and crashed his car and took off into the forest. A massive manhunt was conducted. Needlessly. You see, cowards end up doing not-smart things. They kind of go together, not smart and coward. This guy ran into what is effectively the back yard woods of the Sheriff of Transylvania County, not a deputy, the actual Sheriff. The Sheriff just walked up to him and arrested him.

To women: If your man is beating you up, just leave. Just do it: run. It only gets worse. Take the kids and run. Cowards who are violent will kill. You will die. Your kids will die. Just leave.

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Patriots Day مترجم Islamicists bomb Marathon. Inspirational: Boston Strong

I put this up again. Lest we forget.

I note that this is one of those obvious copyright violations that YouTube has not taken down. There are reasons for this. This version has Arabic subtitles throughout. And while this might be seen as a “microaggression” by the powers that be, some sort of accusation against Islam, this presentation is clearly meant as an encouragement to peace. I rarely watch movies and have only seen a few minutes of this. If you’ve seen it, can you give us a review or comment one way or the other?

There’s a depiction of a woman getting interrogated until the interrogator realizes that any appeal to mercy or truth or goodness or kindness will never have any effect on someone who madly actually believes in sadistic bloodthirsty “Allah”.

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St Patrick’s Cathedral NYC: gas and lighters (and starter fluid just in case)

There were people inside. The gas guy, 37 years old with a Spanish name (that means nothing, btw), even spilled gas even while speaking with the security guard, who alerts counterterrorism in a manner that tells a stunning story about preparedness. Really, really impressive.

The guy’s story about just wanting to cut through the cathedral as a short cut to his car that was out of gas was immediately fact checked and found to be untruthful. Actually, he took full gas containers from inside his vehicle and then tried to enter the Cathedral.

Here’s a picture of what a see something say something situation looks like, this guy’s four gallons of gas and two bottles of lighter fluid and two lighters, you know, just in case:

gas lighter fluid lighters st patrick cathedral new york

You can’t accidentally spill gas out of those kinds of containers. I have exactly the same kind. You would have had to have had the caps so loose that they would just barely be on. No one does that.

It reminds me of a suspicious crowd coming to the rectory looking for gas money. I asked to see their car. They obliged. I asked that the car be turned on. They obliged, thinking that doing all this would get them money. They said they only needed to go forty miles, so, say, three gallons round trip for that vehicle. The needle on the gas tank level indicator went right up to full to the brim. I pointed that out and only then did their faces fall, knowing that they had been had.

The guy with the gas spoken about in the video above is detained and is assisting law enforcement with an investigation. I’m sure he’s just as successful as the crowd who came to the rectory. ;-)

Meanwhile:

notre dame france fire cross pieta

We DO NOT know much about either Notre Dame or the guy at Saint Pat’s. It’s early days.

I’m not drawing any analogy. I’m not drawing any conclusions. I’m not saying anything about purposes, motivations, accidents, whatever. I’m just saying that I’m reminded of another cross at ground zero not far from Saint Pat’s:

9 11 september 11 2001 cross

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Day Off and the Chrism Mass: Show of Force Prevention

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It’s Holy Week. Busiest days ever for a priest. Apologies to those sending questions etc.

Tuesday saw well over 400 miles clocked on Sassy the Subaru Forester, going from Andrews to the Chrism Mass at the Cathedral in Charlotte. The priests renewed their promises at Mass, the Sacred Chrism and the Oils of Catechumens and of the Infirm were blessed. There was a meal for the priests afterward. Artwork and best wishes by the children of the Cathedral were at all the places for the priests. This one was at my place:

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Of course, vocations are from Jesus!

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Everything about the day was enjoyable, well, except for something rather unexpected, rather out of the ordinary show of force with armed security, which is always done with the motivation of prevention. The security guy, in full uniform and a heavily decked out duty belt followed the bishop and his two deacons for the procession in and then out. So, I guess, this was more of a bodyguard thing.

What I say here is NOT a criticism, not in the least. I don’t know the circumstances. I’m guessing that if there was a credible and imminent threat, either the Mass would have been cancelled or there would have been support from “normal” law enforcement, with a couple of squad cars out front, etc. Perhaps there were some other undercover guys as at, for instance, Saint Patrick’s Cathedral in New York.

The Bishop’s homily was rather abbreviated. And then, also out of character, he only appeared for perhaps one minute at the meal afterward to do the blessing. Again, I don’t know the circumstances.

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

The policy of the diocese, surely to appease insurance companies, is that there can be no officially mandated armed presence for church services on any campus of the diocese. Let’s stare at that:

“No officially mandated armed presence…”

In other words, volunteers can volunteer, and it’s up to the priest to assess a volunteer’s viability on any number of levels and in all sorts of ways, but nothing that the priest says can make anything with weapons that which is expected of anyone for any reason ever. Fine. In the end, the policy is a non-policy. It just facilitates attorneys protecting whoever.

I’m guessing that this security guy at the Chrism Mass was told where he was to be and even that he was to be uniformed, but that any weapons were totally his option.

I had a good chat with him ranging from his provenance (that was interesting), a particular “group” to which he belongs (that was interesting).

During the hundreds of miles long trip there was plenty of time to mull things, that is, about this and a number of other issues, always enjoyable speeding by the mountain scenery.

But I wanted more time to mull things over. The Day Off suggested the option of gun-slinging. A detour was made to the neighbors to the hermitage. As usual, some FBI and FAM tactical pistol courses were accomplished.

I should volunteer to be a kind of security secretary to the Bishop, you know, with some optional security options optionally being put into play, optionally, of course, but surely in a more low-key manner. But for now, just to say, in support:

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

After the tactical pistol courses – which afford time for prayer for the bishops and priests during target set-up and replacement – it was then time for discussion with the neighbors to the hermitage. The topic above went on for hours. It is quite a bit to take in.

We discussed undercover as opposed to open show of force. Even at Saint Peter’s in Rome, the top operator guys are dressed in tuxedos so as to be more low key.

We ended by praying for the security of the Bishop, and that the Lord continues to give him the grace and strength he needs each day (to quote the card pictured above). Our Father… Hail Mary… Glory be…

To repeat: we don’t know the circumstances of the preventative show of force, and this is no criticism. Far from it. The whole “ounce” “pound” thing is very wise. Perhaps this is a paradigm for the diocese in hopes of saving lives amidst so many attacks on churches.

Yes, there is a picture of a glorious cross pictured at the top of this post in that card made by a child. “Out of the mouths of babes” and all that… And, yes, Our Lord did say, “As the Master, so the disciple.” Yes.

But defense of the innocent is a good thing. I’m sure there will be debate…

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I’M BLEEDING OUT lyrics analysis

You know the Law Enforcement Tribute above dedicated to our finest who place themselves in danger and lay down their lives for our safety. I put it up top of the blog with some frequency. It happens all the time. The song has become a bit of a meme, with the subjects being from the Military or Law Enforcement or the Fire Department…

But what if we were to apply the lyrics to Jesus?

I’m guessing this is not at all in any way whatsoever what the authors intended.

But let’s see what happens… Amazing…

Jesus crucified passion of the christ

I’m bleeding out
If the last thing that I do
Is to bring you down [from our pride]
I’ll bleed out for you [standing in our place, the Innocent for the guilty]
So I bear my skin [and get it ripped off with the scourging]
And I count my sins [His sins… are our sins, the punishment for which, death, He takes on so as to have the right in His own justice to forgive us. “Father, forgive them!”]
And I close my eyes
And I take it in
And I’m bleeding out
I’m bleeding out for you, for you
When the day has come [The “Day of the Lord”]
But I’ve lost my way around [The “Way” has lost His way: the irony points to redemption. Just how many times did our Lord fall while carrying His Cross, that is, our cross, on the way to Calvary. Have you done the Stations of the Cross during this Lent?]
And the seasons stop and hide beneath the ground [Indeed. All of time is drawn into that one “Hour” when our Lord draws all to Himself, so that we might be buried with Him, so as then, in His Triumph over death, over our sin, to rise from the dead to live forever.]
When the sky turns gray [There was, in fact, an eclipse at this time]
And everything is screaming [With all hell broken out on Calvary, literally, the chaos would be, is indescribable.] 
I will reach inside
Just to find my heart is beating [Wow. And Jesus will put Thomas’ hand into His own side so that Thomas might touch the very Heart of God, still beating, risen from the dead, all out of Love for us. “My Lord and my God” said Thomas, no longer doubting, but believing.]
You tell me to hold on
Oh you tell me to hold on [People will surely condemn me for “re-writing” the Lord’s prayer, but what it actually says about the battle on Calvary not with some generic evil but over against The Evil One, is that we are to ask to be delivered, saved from the clutches of Satan (who would have been “our father” instead of our Heavenly Father if we are without the grace of Our Heavenly Father). We are asking quite literally in the Lord’s prayer that Jesus not throw us into the battle (the trial, the “temptation”) alone, but rather that He carry us into the battle, He being our Warrior, our Soldier, only Jesus. And that’s why, dear friends, the Mass was always said, also by the priest, in some places still today, facing Jesus, not “facing the people”. It is Jesus who carries us all into the Sacrifice of the Mass with Himself.]
But innocence is gone
And what was right is wrong [And then we blame Jesus for the hell, blaspheming, saying that it’s all His fault that all hell has broken out, all His fault that we get sick and die and seem to face Satan alone. But, no, it’s not that way. He continues to carry us, trying to open our eyes to see not just the battle, not just Satan, but rather Him, Jesus, rescuing us from Satan. We’re so self-centered. “Woe is me!” we cry. We should instead be in humble thanksgiving as Jesus carries us into the battle. Be not afraid! Jesus is the Victor.]
‘Cause I’m bleeding out
If the last thing that I do
Is to bring you down [from our pride]
I’ll bleed out for you
So I bear my skin
And I count my sins
And I close my eyes
And I take it in
And I’m bleeding out
I’m bleeding out for you, for you
When the hour is nigh [“The Hour” – the hour of Mary’s intercession as Jesus explained at the Wedding of Cana, drawing an analogy with His own marriage with the Church, giving Himself totally to the Church at the Last Supper with wedding vows fulfilled on Calvary with His bleeding out for us: This is my body given for you in sacrifice, my blood poured out for you in sacrifice…]
And hopelessness is sinking in [Yes, hopeless that His own Mother would be spared witnessing His being tortured to death. This would have hit Him hard in the agony of the garden. This is what He would try to avoid if possible, the hurt He knew His Mother would go through. “Father, Thy will, not mine be done.”]
And the wolves all cry
To feel they’re not worth hollering [Wow. Those words required lots of previous suffering of all kinds to come out like that. Wow. Good for the author of these particular words. Wow. In our sense of worthlessness, we cry about it, and then we strike out.]

When your eyes are red [The Shroud of Turin seems to indicated that the massive thorns from the Crown of Thorns went through His forehead and into His eyes…]
And emptiness is all you know [“My God! My God! Why have you abandoned me?!” Now, go read the rest of Psalm 22 to know what that’s all about. Totally awesome giving love for us in filial trust of His ever listening Heavenly Father.]
With the darkness fed [Satan had full rights over us since we obeyed Satan in our original sin, Adam’s sin, rather than God. Jesus didn’t owe Satan anything as Jesus usurped Satan’s rights over us when He Himself took on the punishment we deserve for sin, which is death. Jesus was fulfilling His own righteousness, with mercy founded on justice, His own justice, He standing in our place, the Innocent for the guilty. However, with this, Satan is “fed,” that is, muted, as now Satan can’t complain. Jesus did it for us.]
I will be your scarecrow [Saint Paul speaks of being a fool for Christ’s sake. Jesus makes it seem like He is the criminal for our sake, the One from whom we turn our eyes. But He brings us around. He’s very patient with us.]
You tell me to hold on
Oh you tell me to hold on
But innocence is gone
And what was right is wrong
‘Cause I’m bleeding out
If the last thing that I do
Is to bring you down
I’ll bleed out for you
So I bear my skin
And I count my sins
And I close my eyes
And I take it in
And I’m bleeding out
I’m bleeding out for you, for you
I’m bleeding out for you, for you
I’m bleeding out for you, for you
I’m bleeding out for you, for you
I’m bleeding out for you
‘Cause I’m bleeding out
If the last thing that I do
Is to bring you down
I’ll bleed out for you
So I bear my skin
And I count my sins
And I close my eyes
And I take it in
And I’m bleeding out
I’m bleeding out for you, for you


By Joshua Francis Mosser, Alexander Junior Grant, Benjamin Arthur McKee, Daniel Coulter Reynolds, Daniel Wayne Sermon. Bleeding Out lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group [N.B. I edited out “said” since I couldn’t hear it actually sung, at all, in any of the verses.]

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Officer Down Bleeding Out again, because this happens *every day*

I put this up because it’s inspiring to me, especially the first seconds especially second 0.31 bringing the guy back to life. Note that the LEO at 2.35 lives.

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Last Call Police: This is integrity. This is what touches my heart and soul

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FBI Pistol Instructor re-qualification course: first time for this priest

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You can’t practice what I’m guessing is the FBI Firearms Instructor Pistol re-qualification course at an indoor range what with all the running and jumping around, so it’s away to the great outdoors where one appreciates the beauty of God’s creation. And that’s all part of it, btw, and all the more for those who are in deadly situations every day. The integrity of knowing how to be safe with some tools of self-defense is consistent with the integrity of walking in God’s presence.

The hermitage gun range is stretched up a super-steep pathway – at about 3,000 ft up, close to heaven, if you will – with the only kind-of-flat place being the starting firing line (used in this case for the first stage only), the rest of the path/course being as steep as 38º. But I won’t allow myself extra time for the parts where one is supposed to run, in this case climb, even with my middle-aged-ness kicking in. Real situations don’t allow for extra time. I’m told that shooting up-hill is more difficult. Good.

Here’s a downloadable graphic presenting in my own shorthand what I’m guessing is the briefest of re-qualification courses for FBI Firearms Instructors. This is only part of what they do, excluding the drive-by shooting scenarios, the “kill-house” scenarios, the pop-up discern bad-guy from good-guy exercises, etc. You can copy the graphic of this most basic part of the course below and fit two of them on one 8 1/2 by 11 sheet of paper. The timings are very generous.

FBI Tactical Pistol Instructor Course

If there are any mistakes with that, let me know. It’s a point per bullet. But I don’t know if a “hit” refers only to entirely inside the line of the QIT inside bottle or the whole “body.”

I only briefly researched this once like a year ago. I tried to verify it just now. There’s a lot of BS on-line. For instance, the entire first stage above is, from my research, to be done continuously in a total of 75 seconds or less. One guy put up four minutes for the first stage. That can’t be right. My times – which I thought were really slow, even for a first attempt, and not having practiced for a good while – came in at about 60 seconds. I mean, the entire course shouldn’t take but two minutes shooting time max, which, as I say, is already very generous. Of course, if you’re not changing out the target, you’ll still have to stop to count hits and mark out already fired shots after each stage.

Btw, I use not-foreseen-for-this-course Glock 19 Gen 4 that was refurbished by Glock down in Smyna, GA. With that, I use the absolutely forbidden ultra-evil never-to-be-used Blackhawk Serpa (it has a dangerous trigger-finger unlock for the holster). It’s just that it’s safe for everyday carry as it’s almost impossible for a bad-guy to take the gun. Any suggestions are welcome for an alternative OWB holster that’s similarly close to the body (which excludes pretty much all LEO holsters).

Previously, I’ve tried my own makeshift running courses – like running by a small target [paper plate] some seven yards away while shooting with whatever hand – but this is the first time I’ve done an “official” tactical pistol course involving running, or going from prone to a knee to standing, back to a knee, amid combat reloads and after that more running. The extra activity is done for the sake of getting the adrenaline going, and to make for a more realistic exercise. Great.

But perhaps I should combine the courses I’ve been doing, like the pre-2001 Federal Air Marshal TPC (the timings for which are hilarious for me, as they are two and three times quicker than the FBI instructor course), and what I know of the SEALs TPC (even quicker), as well as a few exercises of my own, like shooting a suspended wobbly stake in half. Even direct hits with target ammo won’t snap it. It’s gotta be hit many times in the same place:

It’s not a sin to have some innocent fun that is also useful in real life. As I say, I’ve already had to draw up on a carjacker who had just robbed everyone at a rest stop and wanted a get away car. I had a police officer in desperate straits as a passenger. I was bringing him to the hospital for major surgery for an almost fully ripped-off arm at the shoulder. He was already helpless besides that as he was still suffering from a broken back because of one of the traffic stops he had made in the past. This cop in my passenger seat desperately said that this was a car-jacking. What was I supposed to do, let him be kidnapped, become a hostage (because he’s a cop) and perhaps be murdered? I support our LEOs! Surely saving the life of a cop and otherwise protecting a cop from grave injury isn’t an unseemly activity for a priest, is it?

Thankfully, at that very nanosecond, another LEO screeched to a stop in front of the robber, now would-be carjacker, kidnapper, hostage-taker guy. Then eight more cruisers joined that cop within seconds, and how many more from the other direction I don’t know as the first cop let us go as other cops joined in the apprehension.

If I write such things, it’s to demonstrate that priests are people too. It’s good for priests to know that they are human beings. And good for other people to know that priests are human beings. Just because of my background, this is my way of having fun. But it comes with a price – enjoyable – of keeping sharp, a bit edgy, well-practiced. I was happy for a day off. And, yes, lots of prayers were said too.

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