Category Archives: Uncategorized

Erasing my mom?

Today I discovered that a recent article about my mom had been deleted. WordPress makes it difficult to trash posts. In the main editor, you have to scroll the sidebar, click the tiny trashcan, and then wait for another screen to come up with a dialog box that is waiting for a confirmation click indicating that you really want to delete the post.

When I noted that it wasn’t there, I went in search of it in the drafts, among those marked “personal” and finally found it in the trash. It’s restored now:

Verbalize your evaluation of your mother, Father George

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Thanks dearest Charlene

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Some treats for a happy Laudie-dog and a happy Shadow-dog.

Jesus said, “Amen, I say to you, there is no one who has given up house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands for my sake and for the sake of the gospel who will not receive a hundred times more now in this present age: houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and eternal life in the age to come. (Mark 10:29-30nab)

Meanwhile I look upon dearest Charlene, retired from the State Department  and long time helper of Father Gordon and godmother of Max… as my elder sister.

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Blocked! I’m suspicious! It is to laugh. So: *Whateevveerr…*

suspicious web page blocked

Not the first time. I can’t count the times with various blogs through the years. The note speaks of phishing and generically of “internet security” and it is not said if the blocking was by way of algorithm or by human intervention, meaning that it can be flagged because of ideological perspectives whether directly or by a thusly tweaked algorithm. Whateevveerr…

I do know that there has been quite a precise interest in a recent post on toxic clouds the other day, you know, by certain agencies. Whateevveerr…

I do know that firstly youtube and immediately after google (linex) [always in that order and in that way] have shown quite a precise interest in a certain recent post on the Congressional grilling of their CEO the other day. Whateevveerr…

At the same time, weirdly, I got a “scam call” with an odd menu, which I just ignored until, in like three more seconds, it hung up. What makes that one particular call among zillions of such calls is that my phone was set to total silence for the sake of not being disturbed at Holy Mass. No notifications. No ringing for calls. Nothing. But it rang for that call. Looking for an oral comment? Whateevveerr… Just a bug inside the phone, I’m sure. “He’s cute!” ;-)

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This guy was climbing the church walls. He must be the bug in the system of my phone.

Also, weirdly, at the same time, I got a note on privacy setting changes for just one account I haven’t used or even accessed for like seven years (and that I totally forgot about) that I created specifically to comment on a friend’s blog called jihadwatch something like ten years ago. It has an email address that I also used to bait terrorists and terrorist funding organizations at that time, but not since. That was good recreation. I learned a lot about the Qur’an from the perspective of terrorists as well. I used that for my ecclesiastical thriller novel Jackass for the Hour. I know, I have to get back to that. Anyway, with that account, I learned just how it is that I could easily work up relationships with the worst of the worst. And while people might know the exterior details of that, it’s quite another thing to know the why of it all. That takes something else than mere analysis. Anywhere, whenever you get privacy setting changes for just one of many, it seems that it’s a CYA move on a provider’s part for liberality of actions to the contrary which they’ve already taken. Whateevveerr… I’m sure whoever reads all of that will be inspired.

As I say, my life is an open book. Whateevveerr…

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Another dragon as drama continues

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Our parish campus has been shut down from right after I got back from the diocesan retreat for all the priests of the diocese at the beginning of October 2018. There’s about no chance that we’ll get in this weekend, so it looks like were aiming at being at the Community Center once again for the Masses in Andrews. The whole schedule for this weekend is as follows:

  • 4:00 PM Saturday for the Spanish Mass with a baptism at Andrews City Community Center.
  • 8:30 AM Sunday English Mass at Prince of Peace in Robbinsville with Adoration and Confessions previous to that.
  • 11:15 AM Sunday English Mass at Andrews City Community Center.

The state of the plumbing is such that we have dragons appearing…

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Lol

A reader sent in the above screen shot adding: “There is something weirdly appropriate about this visual“. Note the URL in the address bar.

Lol. I took down that post because the guy looked up the wrong squadron of the wrong group of the wrong wing originating from the wrong base flying for the wrong people.

No wonder my father didn’t exist where the archivist was looking.

The search continues.

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Dragon in the basement

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Dried up dragon in dried up doodoo. Kind of like hell. That’s in the only basement of the church campus, and part of why we closed everything down, the sewerage being everywhere. So…

Vigil Mass in Spanish will be in Andrews Community Center on Saturday 4:00 PM October 27, 2018. There will also be a baptism.

The first Sunday Mass will be 8:30 AM at Prince of Peace Mission in Robbinsville.

The second Sunday Mass will be at 11:15 at the Andrews Community Center.

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Today, I’m a meth head

dung snow

My symptoms are a bit of a headache, a bit of nausea, dizziness, drowsiness…

For the past six hours I’ve been breathing in methane, not that I wanted to.

We had yet another plumbing catastrophe in the church of Holy Redeemer in Andrews.

  • A plumber came over.
  • The town water / sewerage guy came over.
  • The diocesan property specialists were contacted.
  • Advice from diocesan lawyers was had.
  • Suggestions were made.

But it’s the weekend. Nothing can be done until Monday. So…

The Vigil Mass is cancelled as the Community Center is busy on Saturday.

Sunday Mass in Andrews is moved to 11:15 AM in the Community Center about a mile away on the far side of Main Street in town.

We’ll see what happens on Monday. I’m hoping insurance can pay for documenting what’s wrong, for doing the fix, the cleanup, the disinfection. There may just be some routing work, but maybe some backhoe work, maybe some tearing up the concrete floor of the basement.

The good part is we can offer this for the release of the souls in purgatory. :-)

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UFO, Google maps, terror negligence

google ufo drone

There are lots of reports about UFOs these days. Whatever with that, count the floors of the buildings so you know what you’re looking at. Now look at how close the camera has to be to the plane to get this aspect ratio. If it was a satellite, the plane would appear to be a tenth the size in the picture. Perhaps the camera is just a couple of hundred feet up from the plane, an excellent weatherproof camera with lots of storage and battery power and decent engines for its rounds even in turbulent weather. A plane? I doubt that. We’re equidistant between London City Airport and Heathrow in direct line with the runways of both, close to both. Either this guy is just taking off or just ready to land. This camera would have had to have been in a drone, right above this plane. Or, let’s just call it a UFO and then it’s all O.K. once again. You can’t indict a UFO or make an insurance settlement with a UFO. This is really sloppy national security over in England. Does this happen in the USA?

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Dad died June 11 1993

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I was threatened with a possible law suit a while back should I put up pictures of my dad, threatened by someone who, it seems, wants to erase his memory, his very existence. I wonder if other WWII / Korean War veterans families are getting this kind of smack-down. Anyway, should I get the actual descriptive citations for his two Distinguished Flying Crosses, I may be posting even more pictures. One of our “full-bird” Colonels in the parish is making some good progress on this for me. I have a lot of respect for my dad. I don’t think that that’s a bad thing in a time when dads are dissed by all and sundry.

What’s my best memory of dad? you ask. It has to do with the Most Blessed Sacrament and Altar Rails and the Cathedral of my home town. R.I.P. Dad: Best memory…

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“Fr Byers, we think you should read…”

amazon account

https://www.amazon.com/hz/wishlist/ls/O5RNK584SFAF/ref=cm_go_nav_hz

In a recent post I mentioned that Father Gordon MacRae said I would do well to read Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six, something about the exploits of a counterterrorism unit surely named after the famed Rainbow Division of World War I which would itself inspire the founding of that which was the inspiration for the founding of the CIA.

The polite yet incisive response to that, without exactly dissing that reading recommendation, offered this:

“If you have an amazon account, we can send you whatever we think you should read” (adding a smiley face).

Not being much of a techy, I respond with the link above to a public wish list which for many years has been entirely empty. I’m not sure if people can just put things on that list or not…

Mind you, I’m the most un-well-read priest in the world, in world history. People of all stripes and backgrounds and cultures have been trying to get me to read this and that all my life. Father Gordon is only the most recent. There have been so many priests and bishops, Cardinals, laity… Seminarians at the last place I taught created an extensive “must read” list of pages, categorized into ancient works, poetry of the ages, classics of all kinds, modern, from a century to a handful of centuries ago, all must reads without which I should just curl up and die a most miserable death, utterly useless to all and sundry. This almost broke up a friendship with the most-well-read priest in Australia, who would start every conversation with me with: “Hey! Have you read….?” Grrr.

I am stubborn. But I can try. I can have good intentions. But you’re dealing with a donkey here, with ears laid back, wary, not understanding, eyes glazing over… (add smiley face).

On the other hand, I do have a good example from bygone days. My mom. She was a voracious reader. Read. Read. Read. As a little kid I was dragged along to the library with her, which I dreaded, as I would be tasked by carrying the book bag, in and out, I’m guessing thirty pounds worth each way (that’s a lot for a pipsqueak kid), every week. Of course, if I didn’t tumble down the granite staircase in front of the magnificent library of old, I was also pretty proud of myself. So, I can at least say I’ve been around libraries a lot. Oh, and then there’s this, with me still wearing my crippley boots:

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I can handle whatever in English, Italian, Spanish, French. German (unpracticed since highschool) would slow me down quite a bit. I liked it then, but in Rome it was a pain to brush up on. Germans make up words on the fly. I like that, but, still. At this time I would struggle with anything in modern Hebrew, though I’ve been listening to some videos in Israeli Hebrew with its particularly unique pronunciation. Memories! There are other languages, but, be easy on me. If this is about trying to get me to read, make it super easy. Make it English. U.K. English is fine…

Meanwhile I go back to editing Father Gordon’s article for These Stone Walls this Wednesday…

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This Catholic Priest baiting Andrew Jackson Democrats: how Kryptesque

It might be argued that a priest shouldn’t talk about unpleasant topics because that somehow besmirches him, but a priest would be besmirched in my opinion if he didn’t talk about the darkest of humanity’s existential peripheries so as to see about addressing the problem. You can’t solve the problem unless you can name it and address it, right? Saying that priests should just be wusses and stand on the sidelines is NOT the way to go about things.

It might be argued that a priest shouldn’t talk about politics, as he is likely to alienate people from much more important religious matters, and therefore he is risking their eternal salvation for the sake of few banal comments on a few banal matters. This Catholic priest thinks that he has the right to talk about purely banal matters, being a tax-paying citizen, about whether or not, for instance, a road needs repaving before hiring more police, what with arguments about car-size potholes ending lives or lack of police who could have been there to slow people down coming to the fore depending on one’s point of view.

But some matters are both political and moral and therefore belonging both to the natural law and also to religion, God having created nature, after all. Thus, the morality of genocide, for instance, while being supported by politicians on one side of the political spectrum (Democrats, as demonstrated in the video above), is also a topic that a minister can validly address. God will be the judge if one is for or against, campaigns for or against, facilitates or places obstacles over against, for instance, genocide.

Sometimes certain matters are so important that methods of teaching that are out of the ordinary are called for. For instance, read a classic teaching-by-way-of-baiting event in Mark 3:1ff or Luke 6:6ff, when Jesus purposely called into the midst the man with the withered hand, curing him and making the others absolutely livid, furious, inciting their willful murderous intent so that they could see just how bad and evil they already were. Hah! “Oh, but, Father George! Baiting like that is mean! Jesus is a meanie!” No. Jesus was teaching truly horrifically cruel people a lesson. Period.

FBI CITIZENS ACADEMY

Recently I wrote a post about the genocide of the Cherokee promoted by Democrat Andrew Jackson. I compared the praise he lavished on those who took the land compared to some of those who took the land, the Scots-Irish. I’m also Scots-Irish, as I’ve redundantly pointed out on this blog (redundant because the name and family clan of Byers is, like, the definition of what a Scots-Irish person is). The baiting was to get a reaction to whatever the reader thought might be important, because, truth be told, I’m quite afraid that the same Democrat Andrew Jackson kill-em-all attitude is still to be found in abundance in this region. But sometimes it needs a bit of baiting to bring it out for all to see, including the people who, even unbeknownst to themselves, are genocidal without knowing it. It’s important to know who’s who. Law enforcement agencies do this kind of thing all the time, say, detectives, say, the FBI, say, the DEA, et alii. All the time. But, hey! You can even bait the baiters…

I would have hoped that it would be agreed that Andrew Jackson’s call for genocide was a terrible mar upon American history. But I thought, rightly, that some might take the bait and, revealing who they are in a comment, demonstrate that the only important thing for them is not that genocide began here, but that some among the Scots-Irish might have been criticized, I mean, like, you know, even the point of name calling, and in their opinion, entirely wrongly. Oooo! Name calling! “You, you, you, human being you!” I need to put up a post I wrote long ago about the name calling wrought by Jesus and His cousin John the Baptist. They’re the biggest name callers of all time because, truth be told, they were right both logically and morally and with integrity and honesty and goodness and kindness of actually taking people seriously enough to tell the truth. I’m not as proficient at name calling as they were, but – hey! – one can try!

Anyway, I won’t approve that one particular comment or reveal who that person is, you know, unless it appears they are going to continue some violence on the Cherokee or anyone not themselves, like the Latinos.

I’ll have to write a post about someone here – super intelligent – who was seriously rationalizing with the most refined moral argumentation the gunning down of Latinos in Graham County just to do it. Think about that. It’s reminiscent of 1920s Germany, you know, the lead-up. But I digress. Though not really. Oh! What’s this:

fbi fairmont wv criminal justice information systems

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Fr Byers is… Scots-Irish?!

DNA scots-irish

Here’s a partial detail of a screen shot of my Ancestry DNA results. Ulster! Scots Irish! Who knew? I did. Actually, decades ago before any DNA whatever. You see, Byers is an Ulsterish name. My dad looks soooo Scots Irish. Byers is a terribly common name in Western North Carolina. Anyone who knows anything about Scots Irish knows I’m that. So, why…

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Ooo! EU’s Privacy Policy & this blog: Cookies and cookies! Mmm mmm!

cookies

So, it looks the EU is paranoid. If you’re concerned about your privacy and visiting, like, you know, WordPress blogs, take a look at what the WordPress cookies are and do, that is, take a look at what seems to be, like, you know, some 25 or 50 pages or so of detailed technical presentation about what kind of computer gobbledygook goes into making such cookies: https://automattic.com/cookies/ They could call it a recipe.

A bunch of people have signed up for email notifications. Those go out automatically and each one, I guess, has a link by which you can unsubscribe at any time. If you subscribe through WordPress reader or whatever, you can unsubscribe to that pretty much in the same way you subscribed. :-)

There should be a banner which appears at the top of the blog asking you to accept or to instead stop using the site. On that banner you’ll see I’ve added a note that we also use StatCounter, which is almost useless since WordPress.COM blogs don’t use javascript, so only basic stuff comes back that can simply repeat what WordPress provides but in an easier to use format, like nicely colored world maps of where visitors come from across the globe. To do this, it does collect, like WordPress, the public IP, which, anyway, is no longer tied to any particular source as there are no longer enough numbers: IPs are reused now for any number of people at any given time right around the world, so, whatever.

WordPress seems a bit miffed about all this hassle, but provides this way to comply with new EU law. If you click Accept, the banner will disappear for 180 days but then reappear, just to annoy you. Sorry. Offer it up for the Poor Souls.

Sometimes computer users are a bit unknowing about all this. For instance, one dear reader left a nice comment only to be horrified that it appeared publicly and quickly asked me to take it down and that no message should ever go up. I took it down right away, of course. But now, there’s a mixed message wondering why messages never get put up! The reader is really wonderful, but just new to the whole computer thing. And that’s fine. We can work with each other.

If anyone wants to take a comment down or whatever, let me know. I’m happy to oblige.

In looking over all this kind of thing and imagining all the law suits and bickering that can go on, it comes to mind that I would rather just be heaven. That’s one of the reasons I have comment moderation turned on. I don’t want fights going on in the comments box. It all turns very ugly very quickly, so, no. I like civility.

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tradition of Tradition wins out

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Good news! We PIB alumni have just received a communication which sported the image above. Thus, we have returned to the Coat of Arms of the Pontifical Biblical Institute, the Sacred Eucharistic Heart of the Cherubic Fiery Sword Lion of the Tribe of Judah, the Alpha and Omega, the Eternally Enduring Incarnate Word of the Inspired Words of God. The Keys binding and loosing according to the truth of the revelation of the heavens, the authority of the Supreme Magisterium with aspects of all that which is prophetic, priestly and of fatherly governance. I love it. After all, Jesus is the One. He’s the only One.

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Math equation priorities: rules for life UPDATE: Pornchai Max to the rescue

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  • I would say 60. I would say, in this case, to do things linearly.
  • Others would say 15, citing a “rule” that multiplications are operated before all else.

Just to say, that latter “rule” seems stupid to me, as there are a thousand and more analogous situations. Is “addition” to be trumped just because it is a simpler operation? I bring this up on behalf of a friend.

UPDATE:  I asked Father Gordon to ask Pornchai Maximilian Moontri about this, seeing that Max is a noted world class mathematician:

Dear Fr. George

Considering your equation quandary, I have consulted with a noted mathematician, Pornchai Maximilian Moontri. He says that the answer to 5+1×10= could be either 60 or 15 depending on where you are in the West, we read equations from left to right. And in many Asian cultures they are read from right to left, so in China 1×10=10 and plus 5 would equal 15.

There is also a view from quantum mechanics which would be my cup of tea. Of course you probably think that quantum mechanics may refer to guys who can work on more than one car at a time.

Fraternal blessings,
Father Gordon

Back to the original post:

Mind you, I have a total mental block with math after my experience as a junior in high school when the teacher prepared a kind of public cage-fight to the death between he and I without letting me know it would be me in the cage. I think I mentioned this previously. For a month or two he told the class, every class (I think three or four times a week) that on a specific date no one is to miss class, even in the event of a family death. Everyone came. “All books, notes, everything on the floor,” he said.

Then he presented a super-complicated math problem, you know, with all sorts of numbers and letters and parentheses and square roots and symbols on both sides of the equation. He didn’t write this on the board, but in the air. We just had to remember it as he “wrote” it out while he described the invisible formulae. Then he called on me for a solution.

I was as sick as a dead dog, but, since I was somehow alive, and death was no excuse, I was present. Other students objected, telling him to leave me alone, that I was obviously sick to death. He insisted on me and only me answering. “54” said I. It was correct.

This was repeated twice more, with the second time seeing more of my classmates object, with the third time the class being an uproar against the teacher. But I said, “27”, and was correct, and “9” and was correct again. Something like that.

It was a bit of a Will Hunting janitor doing math at MIT experience. But, confused teenager that I was, I didn’t know if this was meant to encourage me or meant to have definitively smashed me into the ground. That’s when the mental block for math was dropped on my head. It might as well have been made out of cement:

crane cement block.png

I guess I’m altogether too sensitive and entitled or whatever. But that blindsided me. Never again, thought I. The usual being naive vs a general mistrust kind of dynamic turned into a much more helpful situational awareness, which looks for the best and is always prepared for the worst. I’m still learning about that.

Doing up addition of facts before escalating a situation by multiples of whatever is, I think, important. But, back to that equation:

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Terra Firma!

My parishioner who’s a 25 year retired cop came to pick me up – three hours plus one for traffic, and that’s just one way. So, of course, we stopped for pizza, which has a first course.

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Miracle Mary Pilgrimage for Father Gordon MacRae and Pornchai Maximilian Moontri

This is the famous little church where Mary Immaculate brought about a certain miraculous conversion. This is also where Saint Maximilian Maria Kolbe offered his first Holy Mass, in fact, at this altar..

O.K., not exactly that altar. Let’s peek into that side chapel:

I felt compelled to pray for Fr Gordon MacRae and Pornchai here. Saint Maximilian Kolbe was imprisoned, as you will remember, and he is a patron saint of Father Gordon and also Pornchai, who took the name Maximilian upon his conversion. Will you join me with some prayers?

Angel of God…

Hail Mary…

Saint Michael the Archangel…

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Update: For Fr Gordon MacRae et al

I made a pilgrimage to the Mamertine Prison where both Sts Peter and Paul were imprisoned. I felt compelled to pray for Fr Gordon MacRae and Pornchai here. Will you join me?

Angel of God…

Hail Mary…

Saint Michael the Archangel…

Update: just got this email:

“Dear Father George, this news was just read to me via telephone by Charlene Duline and I am more grateful than you could know for this remembrance. And it came on the day after my birthday. I turned 65 yesterday. I wonder if they let prisoners retire!! With fraternal blessings,
Father G.

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Nota bene: Sala Regia

Two years ago Pope Francis addressed the Missionaries of Mercy in the Sala Regia. The ultra-Tradition-al-ism-ists condemned him, me, everyone else there, and then said that the Sala Regia is not the Sala Regia but some other place.

Here we are again, in the same place. They’ve had two years to do research. Will they entrench, apologize, just not talk about it anymore?

If anyone was willing to listen, would they hear what was said this time about mercy being founded on justice? about Confessors going to Confession themselves? about those who are bitter going to Confession? about joy in seeing our wounded but risen Saviour, our God, before us? about priests being a good example of repentance and joy?

byers dance paul vi audience hall

Can’t we just help each other to get to know Jesus? Didn’t King David dance?

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“Simony!”

This is a “lame” begger in front of the Holy Office next to St Peter’s. Maybe he is. He approached me asking for money. Pretty much 100% of beggers in Italy are harmless. Then he said “Simony!” really loud.

Perhaps I’m underestimating street beggers but this struck me as being mighty theological if this was an accusation. If so I wish he would have expounded so I could go to Confession.

Or maybe he was repeating an accusation from a priest about himself. In that case he would be baiting people to purchase an indulgenced occasion of almsgiving from him.

Or maybe this is echolalia and I’m way overthinking it. Good to think the best, right. Nothing is as it seems. Maybe this is another St. Joseph Benedict Labre. He looks exactly like him. Hmmm….

So, now I call him Simon and we are friends.

…. Make that Jacky. Good to know someone named after donkey-kind.

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