Jackass for the Hour: Chapter 15 – The terror on the face of the little boy froze in his mind

palestinian donkey

Chapter 15 – The terror on the face of the little boy froze in his mind

Father Lia-Fáil soon arrived with the gray car don Hash had seen. Padre Emet took the front seat so that don Hash and Father Alexámenos would benefit from the tinted windows of the rear seat.

“Times are certainly changing,” said Father Alexámenos as they started to drive away.

“The car looks terrible on the outside, but the engine works well,” replied Father Lia-Fáil. “Diocesan bankruptcies due to fear of extortion have reduced the amount the Holy See receives in contributions,” he added as he sped down the hill of the Vatican gardens toward Santa Marta. “One of the first things Pope Tsur-Ēzer insisted upon is a draconian cutback in the extravagance of all that is connected with the Apostolic Palace. It was always Spartan, but it looks more like a monk’s cell than anything. I once thought that it would be a financial crisis which would change the minds of some of the more outrageous bishops, but that is not the case. That was my mindlessly secular version of ultramontanism. I’m now depending on de Colines to present some decent episcopal candidates to His Holiness, bishops who will transform their seminaries to be what they should be.” Having said that, he sighed. The comment was a test of the others in the car, whom he did not know except for his having briefly met Cardinal Emet a half-dozen times since the election of Pope Tsur-Ēzer.

“Of course,” said padre Emet, “seminaries don’t carry all the blame. The problem is almost exclusively with those who were ordained during or soon after the Second Vatican Council. Much of the younger generation of seminarians and priests have seen through the rubbishing of doctrine and morality by the bishops, administrators and teaching staff of the seminaries in many countries. But you don’t have to go outside of the Pontifical Universities in Rome to find a cesspool of heresy. The Congregation for Education simply washes its hands to the effect that…”

“To the effect that so many of the faculty and administration think that everyone is infallible, except for the Pope,” interrupted Father Lia-Fáil. “And with heresy following on heresy, corrupting into immorality, they then think that they are immaculately conceived, sinless, everyone, of course, except for the Blessed Virgin. I was saved from all that since my bishop – God rest his soul – taught me himself. He despised seminaries no matter what kind of apostolic visitations were carried out. To him, it was all damage control having little to do with encouraging the students to know Christ, to adore Him, to have a union of charity with Him in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass in such a way that they knew that, in their priesthood, they would be married to the Church in that Holy Sacrifice. He was a great bishop.” For a change, Father Lia-Fáil drove out the gate near the Holy Office, doing so, as always, without braking. The Swiss Guards jumped back, now getting used to the driving habits of the new papal secretary. Continue reading

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My “Shadow” sent my entire texting history with him to the *destination*

safe-house

This is just one of those boring, kryptic, for-the-record posts.

Pictured above is the safe-house of my “Shadow.” He’s the guy who stole my identity, becoming me back in the mid-late 1970s, looking like me and the same age as me, but with maybe just a tiny little bit more grey in the mustache. He wants to gain weight so as to be an identical copy of me. I have trouble losing weight because of a medicine I take. He even wanted me to sign off on all his properties (many) not for me to own them but so that he could disappear. This has been going on for decades.

Pictured below is my “Shadow”. He looks like a tramp for my visit. He’s really good at what he does. He doesn’t live at his safe house. He has a much nicer place. And a super-decked out conversion van, you know, for work. He seems to live far beyond his means. Hint, hint, hint.

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A little while back my “Shadow” copied and forwarded all my text messages with him to an unknown destination upon that destination’s request. That was very soon after I put in a case with the FBI that would involve the FBI, CT at McLean and Main State (because of what Main State had said to me, confirming that two days later, both being extensive conversations). Interesting. I am reminded of texting conversations these days what with all the flurry about the not analogous but perhaps not too separate case of Stzrok and his girl friend.

Back in 1992 Main State wrote me a two page single space letter saying that they couldn’t care less about my Shadow, but were instead going to track me, and this in perpetuity. In 1996 the FBI at the U.S. Consulate in Rome tried to force me, a citizen in good standing in these USA, to forego my identity and disappear altogether, letting the guy who took my identity years before go on with his life as me. To their disgruntlement, I didn’t do it. It has been chaos all these years, stretching back into the 1980s. I could write volumes about this. It isn’t about to end soon:

I have to say that my “Shadow” has a human side to him, you know, a little bit of guilt, a weak spot. I like that. It works for me. He seems to have “mistakenly” let me in on the texting he had with the destination of my texting history with him. Heh heh heh. For the record. It’s surely not that they didn’t have that texting history already available to them; it’s that they wanted to see if he would be so loyal to them as to do their bidding, no matter what. Whatever about him, it was written for them.

For the record, let’s say that that request of mine at the top of that texting (the destination will know what that is) is actually serious. That would solve particular endangerment that I’m put in because of this, right? Along with that goes something else that goes along with that and is one of the primary reasons for that, and that would solve a lot as well, right? Be nice.

[Could I possibly be more kryptic than that? Lol. ;-) ]

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Laudie-dog happily in the Shadow

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Lots of people have been inquiring about Laudie-dog. It’s not that Laudie-dog is retired, though now she’s getting on in years, but she is happy to be in the shadows on the dog-pillow behind my chair where she yawns whenever she likes to express her contentment, I mean, you know, now that Shadow-dog has taken pride of place in serving and protecting.

But no one have one up on Laudie-dog’s history of going up against wolves and coyotes and bears and lynx and panthers. She still battles with that panther that dark and stormy night (really!) in her nightmares. I try to ever so gently wake her up when that happens. She’s happy to be reassured.

People make fun of me when I say that, but it’s true. You can almost pick out which incident it is that’s being replayed in her mind, whether the bear (yappity yap yap yap!) or the panther (scream-cry-howl-bark-scream). People say that dogs don’t dream and have no emotions or memory, but they just don’t know dogs. I think that by assessing a dog I could draw up a fairly accurate profile of its owner.

Trouble is, sometimes, that dogs can sometimes have multiple owners, as is the case with both Laudie-dog and Shadow-dog. I think those who had Shadow were fairly friendly with him and let him be the alpha-iest alpha GSD ever. But who knows. Poor Laudie-dog adopted me after having starved, with mange, and been shot between the shoulders, and was ultra-timid, and it was obvious she had suffered some abuse. Best dog ever.

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Shadow-Dog pooped a Timber Rattler

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Ho-hum. Looking out the kitchen window this morning I see that Shadow-dog just pooped out a full size Timber Rattlesnake. Markings. Fat body. Relatively short tail. Ultra-fat head with fangs. Wikipedia says that “Potentially, this is one of North America’s most dangerous snakes, due to its long fangs, impressive size, and high venom yield.” They warn with lots of antics, but I think that only makes Shadow-dog’s adrenaline pump all the more. Sorry that this next photo didn’t focus, but this is the decapitated head:

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Out of focus or not, that’s good enough for me. All very poopy.

Not to worry. I looked it up. Dogs eating venomous snakes for breakfast doesn’t hurt them in the least. :-) Shadow-dog was simply content with a good snack.

It’s been raining and raining and raining after snowing and snowing and snowing. The back yard is a bit of a mess. I’m planning on extending the fence and planting lots of grass seed. Meanwhile, don’t feel sorry for wet and muddy Shadow-dog. He has a warm dry shelter out of the weather tucked far back under the non-mud-cement-patio corrugated roof. Also, he comes in for most of the night. You just have to know that a GSD loves water and mud. He’s been expanding his mud holes with water in them just for fun. I don’t mind. I did that as a kid. Why not?

Anyway, a thought came to mind. You can see how there is zero shelter, zero hiding places for a snake, particular a Timber Rattler which stays in, well, you know, the timber, the forest. We’re in the middle of a city. How is it that that Rattler would insist on being inside that fence line slithering immediately right into the jaws of Shadow-dog, who, by the way, wouldn’t be hidden. It just doesn’t make sense. Ain’t gonna happen if you ask me. The snake, on its own, would zip away. Poor snake. Maybe he was thrown in while I was on my day off. If that’s the case, the result is the following:

  • One proud and brave Shadow-dog.
  • One now impressed but scared snake-handler.

Analogy:

  • Just when people think they “have you”, you come out stronger for it, more character, a broader foundation of experience from which to proceed, with Jesus, of course. Hah.
  • Just when the devil thinks he “has you”, you come out stronger for it, more character, a broader foundation of experience from which to proceed, with Jesus, of course. Hah.
  • Just when your fallen human nature thinks it has won, you come out stronger for it, more character, a broader foundation of experience from which to proceed, with Jesus, of course. Hah.

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When getting wings can invite danger (Jesus & day-off target practicing)

dove pope francis 2

Being a concealed carrier requires one to be frosty and well-practiced on so very very many levels. Longtime readers know that for me, part of this involves using the pre-2001 Federal Air Marshal tactical pistol course. For quite a while I would, once a week, on my “day off,” race through this course a couple of times and then chase off to do other things. I was encouraged by our new Very Rev. Vicar Forane of the Smoky Mountain Vicariate to take this a bit more seriously. Where else in the world would this be the case? I love it. He’s an extremely good shot according to his father, who’s an extremely good shot. So, yesterday, I took a chunk of time to do some drills and then go through the FAM course a bunch of times. My scores, after some drills mind you, are as follows:

  • 79.3% – fail
  • 86.6% – fail
  • 88% – fail
  • 94% – pass
  • 94% – pass (but really fail because I was a bit over-time on one stage)
  • 94% -pass

That 94% is a bit stubborn. But hey! A challenge to get 95 and even 100. I like it.

A Federal Air Marshal (pre-2001) needed to pass the course every time, at any time, cold. That’s the difference, which is important. I’m sure the original FAMs could hit their own bullet holes well within the time limits for each stage every time, cold, thus gaining their wings, that is, permission to get aboard a flight that day. It’s like they could pass the course by shooting it out while walking by without breaking their pace. With me, really trying hard, practicing, doing drills, I barely pass as many times as I fail. And… and… I’m definitely not shooting all bullets through the first bullet hole. No.

If I were to think I’m a good shot, that would be dangerous, as I would be overconfident in a critical incident and that would never be good for anyone. A little humility goes a long way. It’s what really keeps you frosty. Humility, humility, humility.

Let’s do an analogy with the spiritual life. There are two ways:

  • The way of humility, as a child, in humble thanksgiving for our salvation in Christ Jesus, depending on His strength, walking in His friendship, His goodness and kindness.
  • The way of thinking one has come into one’s own, you know, staying away from any serious sin for a long time, being virtuous, even “balanced”, courteous, nice, and that therefore one doesn’t need Jesus, because now one is self-referential, self-congratulatory, self-absorbed, neo-Pelagian, even Promethean. And then, with all that overconfidence, there is the fall as it is already a fall in and of itself. One may as well just have one’s liver eaten out every day:

PROMETHEUS

Humility keeps one frosty. Humility is not one’s gift to oneself. Humility comes from Jesus, whether in regard to the spiritual life or that which is as mundane as target practice. Being without humility in either case can be deadly. In both cases, in the spiritual life and being a concealed carrier, one needs to walk in friendship with Jesus.

If you ask your guardian angel for assistance, he will arrange for the necessary. But just be warned, he will take your request seriously. Trust in Jesus.

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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (Winter’s explosion of tiny edition)

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It looks like a field of poppies, but instead, these marching nano-creature moss flowers are to be found in the dead of Winter blooming happily on the high mountain ridges, indeed, at the hermitage. The picture is flipped to the side. This is on the “moss side,” the “North side,” of a vertical tree. This is already magnified a zillion times, but let’s get a detail of that, magnified a gazillion times:

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They have marched themselves right into a posting of flowers for the Immaculate Conception. I love it.

Update: I was alerted by an alert reader that there’s a difference between moss and lichens. So, here, on the same tree, is some Spanish Moss:

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Jackass for the Hour: Chapter 14 – I am pleased that all my sinfulness is displayed

palestinian donkey

Jackass for the Hour: Chapter 14 – I am pleased that all my sinfulness is displayed

The downpour don Hash expected had not come yet, though large, well-spaced drops were still falling and the clouds were exploding upwards threateningly. The three of them stepped out of the car and went the few paces to the convent, while Father Lia-Fáil returned to the Apostolic Palace. They waited in front of the decidedly modern looking convent for the Mother Superior to attend to them. Although some religious orders and congregations which took their turns at Mater Ecclesiæ convent observed strict enclosure, the Paraclete Adoration Sisters did not. Yet, the Superior, Mother Bernadette, always answered the door so that the contemplative life of the others would not be disturbed. Padre Emet was the Confessor of the nuns at the new Pope’s recommendation, and the Prelate and Mother Bernadette had already had long discussions on the spiritual life, and seemed like lifelong friends. She had a wonderful sense of humour, and so said, with her gravest possible voice – it being the first time that she saw Cardinal Emet in his religious habit – “You are many years late, padre. The Carmelites were in the convent here years and years ago. We’re the Paraclete Adoration Sisters. Didn’t you know? The Carmelites are not due to return for another forty years. Perhaps, if you would like to return at that time…”

Just then it became windy, and lightning, accompanied by a deafening clap of thunder, struck the cupola of Saint Peter’s Basilica. The temperature had wildly fluctuated from the previous day, when it had been so cold. The two younger priests cowered closer to the door of the convent when the lightning had struck. Only padre Emet remained motionless. “I only thought,” said padre Emet, “that a few miserable priests could obtain shelter here, of all places, during the diabolical storm to which Holy Mother Church has been subjected.”

Mother Bernadette, beaming, said, “Of course, your Eminence… padre… I see that you have a good understanding of the charism of our community.”

With that, they entered the convent just as sheets of rain started pouring down. Mother Bernadette said, “The Holy Father will be here at 7:00 P.M. Continue reading

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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (Far reaching edition)

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I remember Scott Hahn once describing the description of a fellow Scripture scholar colleague of that other guy’s own work. That other guy had insisted that his own work was ever so far-reaching. Scott, not devoid of irony, exclaimed that, yeah, he really had to go far to reach for that conclusion. Ha ha.

In the above picture I see a rather unique flower for the Immaculate Conception. It’s a one year old white pine tree encased in ice. It’s the only thing the sun is hitting. Very cool.[!] Looks like a flower to me. And yes, I did have to go far to reach to get this one. It’s up about 3,600 feet on a cliff edge. All for the Immaculate Conception. I’m guessing she’s smiling at this, saying to Jesus, “Yes, he really had to reach far to get that one!”

But still, I claim it’s far reaching to do such simple things. That’s how our souls are made, to be like children so as to enter the Kingdom of the Heavens. And that’s really far reaching way up in heaven like that. Or is the beginning of heaven as close as sanctifying grace and the indwelling of the Most Holy Trinity? As close as the reception of Jesus in Holy Communion? Yes, I believe it is. Jesus, Emmanuel, God with us, the Divine Son of the Immaculate Conception.

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Very Rev. Vicar Forâne & my day-off

GEORGE DAVID BYERS CHAINSAW PICTURE

My new Very Rev. Vicar Forâne (not sure of the spelling of that title: forane? or is it perhaps for âne?), always rightly concerned about the welfare of the priests in the vicariate under his ever watchful eye, insists that “days-off” be just that, days-off. For instance, I mentioned that I might get in an hour of shooting on a day off and he immediately complained, reprimanding me that that is hardly enough time for any kind of serious distraction and that I should put in many hours of target practice with the courses that I use. I love that. Lol. So, O.K. I have a bundle of “inside bottle” targets to bring with me to practice up on the pre-2001 FAM course:

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However, I’m going to do lots of drills first. I always lose points on the first stage, drawing from a concealed holster and firing just one shot in a zillionth of a nanosecond, often getting one in but the second required repeat ending up on the line or just outside. No good, that. But I now know why that’s happening and I’m eager to fix it.

The other drill I really need to work on involves drawing from a concealed holster turned away 180 degrees and firing at three targets 7 yards away and three yards apart in a zillionth of a nanosecond. Two of those will usually be dead on, but the third will be just outside the “nervous system bottle”. I don’t have the arm movements down yet…

The six-in-a-row in a zillionth of a nanosecond also isn’t great compared to the double taps, the latter usually dead on.  I figured that out as well and want to fix that.

At any rate, the only excuse to do supererogatory work on a day-off, our new Vicar Forâne said, was if someone asks for some good Samaritan help. Well, that’s already happened. The neighbor of the hermitage is running out of wood, so I promised I would get my chainsaw in good order and bring my ultrasupercool gizmo sharpener with me. We’ll see how much destruction of the dead wood of the forest we can bring about.

Oh, and about the spelling of that title. I guess it’s reminiscent of the Vicar being the guy with the Blessed Sacrament, and the donkey being one of the subjects under his ever watchful eye:

donkey blessed sacrament

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Road danger: I never saw it

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This was an accidental picture, as it were. Descending from the top of the Nantahala Gorge, negotiating sharp curves at top speed, I come screaming down to the T-Bone with Highway 74 / 19 (Truck 64) at Topton, taking a right toward Andrews. There’s a Stop sign at car level at the end of the bridge to the right of the driver, as one might expect. I’ve always seen that Stop sign. The one I’ve always also seen but never noticed hangs in front of the driver high up on the high voltage power cables. That’s almost 4 1/2 years worth of seeing but not noticing this Stop sign.

Maybe it’s just a dumb place for a sign as you come down perpendicular-wise into a 90-degree curve over the train-bridge and have to look for oncoming traffic from a blind hill-top to the left while stopping. Leaning over the steering wheel so as to look up from under the car roof is a bit of a strain when you’re busy doing other things.

Seeing but not noticing. It’s like seeing a criminal coming out of an office building but not noticing the criminal because he’s disguised as a UPS driver. UPS drivers are invisible in that situation, right? You could describe the UPS driver in detail never thinking that he’s the one for whom all the police are searching.

So much for the strength of my situational awareness. I’ll have to work on that. Meanwhile:

“To those outside everything comes in parables, so that ‘looking they see but do not perceive, and hearing they hear but do not understand, lest they turn and be forgiven” (Mark 4:11-12).

You might almost think that Jesus is locking people out on purpose. And He is! Here’s the deal, if we aren’t drawn by the truth of His love, the love of His truth, we are only looking at ourselves and so we don’t want to be turned to Him to be forgiven by Him. He’s the one who draws us to Himself, who turns us about, who forgives us. We’re not our own saviors. We can’t see His salvation of us without Him revealing that salvation to us. He’s the One. He’s the only One. He can be grabbing us by both shoulders and shaking us so that we might actually take notice of Him whom we’ve otherwise always seen. But we can choose to just keep going through life on our own, thinking that’s enough, but remaining in darkness.

Back to situational awareness. It’s a service one renders not only to self but to others. Part of situational awareness is noticing what is otherwise usually un-noticeable. It involves always taking it down a notch, stepping back so as to be more immersed in the situation.

 

 

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Countering cafeteria: countersabotage counterintelligence counterterrorism

manure spreader

NSA’s program is a massive FISA warrant. Robert Mueller was in on it. James Comey was in on it. Peter Stzrok was in on it. Snowden reported a part of it.

Comey thinks everyone who thinks Nunes’ FISA Memo is important is a weasel and a liar, not because spying on the POTUS or anyone else is at all wrong, it seems for him, but that doing so as a favor to political opposition is just fine and dandy in a democracy with a Constitution such as we have it. ?!?!?

So, anything goes, and anyone who doesn’t get with the program is held to be countering countersabotage, counterintelligence, counterterrorism, and is therefore as un-American as any saboteur, spy or terrorist. When I was a little kid, it was a saying among all the kids that you shouldn’t point your finger at anyone since the rest of your fingers were pointing back at yourself if you do so.

But, hey! Now we’re moving on to Nunes’ “phase 2” with Main State. Ha ha.

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Jackass for the Hour: Chapter 13 – You are out for his blood

palestinian donkey

Jackass for the Hour: Chapter 13 – You are out for his blood

Don Hash repeated himself: “I would not like to see Father Alexámenos burned.”

“Nor would I,” answered Cardinal Fidèle, smiling. “Nor would any of us here.”

“But…” said don Hash, trying to get the Cardinal to give some hint of where he was going.

“But there will be a trial with a death penalty,” said Cardinal Fidèle.

“I am overwhelmed,” replied don Hash.

“Don’t worry, Hash,” said Cardinal Fidèle in a lighthearted manner. “It is not as if he will not repent. He will not be harmed, just put on trial. We want what is best for him.”

“What is best? It’s just too dangerous, Fidèle,” said Cardinal Francisco.

“Apparently, our wanting what is best for someone is not the same as what you want, Fidèle,” Cardinal Froben said, continuing to defend Father Alexámenos despite himself.

“Besides,” said Cardinal Francisco, “the doctrinal oversight of any trial would belong to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, not you.”

“Everyone knows you are the Grand Inquisitor,” replied Cardinal Fidèle, “a Torquemada redivivus.” This comment lightened the atmosphere as a round of laughter went around the room. No one could imagine the meek, Cardinal Francisco – a perfect gentleman given over to the more extreme refinements of diplomatic etiquette – as the head of any Inquisition, a term which, in itself, to him, begged for copious apologies. He was convinced that his job was to keep his more zealous inquisitors in check, not letting them work, keeping everyone else happy.

“Enough of all this fooling around, Fidèle,” interjected the Cardinal Secretary of State, finally saying something. “Tell us about your conveniently off the record conversation with the Pope.”

“I thought you would never ask, Elzevir,” replied Cardinal Fidèle.

“Don’t tell me you have spoken to the Holy Father about Alexámenos,” said don Hash, becoming ashen as the reality of the situation started to hit home. As an historian, don Hash had seen this quick turn of events time and again throughout history, in any country, and in any culture, and had already concluded in prayer that he himself would always be the one lighting the fire unless Continue reading

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Should I feel guilty? Nah.

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Sundays can be busy days for priests. Yesterday was about 16 hours non-stop. Rush, rush, rush. Besides Adoration at both campuses and Masses at both campuses and then the social, there were Communion calls to be done, just nine, but spread throughout the counties of the parish as far away from each other as possible, throwing Jesus and myself up into the heavens, as usual, on the tops  of the mountains. Above is the usual panorama I capture for the blog, this time changed in appearance with the various levels of cloud cover. I’m happy that the biggest parish in North America (in Charlotte) is helping this smallest parish in North America with the mileage reimbursement.

Just because this is the smallest doesn’t mean not busy. But let me give you an idea of small. To say that our 8:30 AM Mass had a half dozen people present would be an exaggeration. Not that many. The 11:00 AM Mass had perhaps 25 individuals. Our Spanish Mass the night before did better, but I fear that was due to a delayed party for the festivities of the end of the Christmas season (40 days). That feast is a really big deal with our Latino community. As it should be.

Anyway, when I chase about on Communion calls and see the beauty of the Lord’s creation with the Lord, I also think of the suffering that we also have on this side of heaven. I should feel guilty being in the good place where I am, but I don’t. Our Lord is our Spiritual Director. He knows what’s good for us, how to have us trust in Him. He knows that right now being in this parish doing these things is good for me. Hey! I’ll take the good when I can in preparation for growth (and that’s also especially good), whatever that might entail. My internet stalker guy thinks my being in this parish is a colossal waste of time. But, last time I checked, Jesus doesn’t have to ask my internet stalker guy for permission to throw me about anywhere He wants. Jesus is the One. The only One. It is Jesus who will come to judge the living and the dead and world by fire. Amen.

P.S. I’ve been redacting the next chapter in Jackass for the Hour, which touched on some rather sensitive security issues at the Vatican and its extraterritorial jurisdictions. I’ve removed a paragraph altogether, not because it was wrong, but because it was all too right. And I’ve come to learn much more about all that, from the inside-out, as it were. As I was doing this editing, other incidents came to mind, not only about the Holy Office, but with various of the Gendarmes and posts. Sigh. Things are never as they seem. I’ve come to the conclusion that, well, I’ll keep my mouth shut, for now. Anyway, that editing is the reason for the delay in putting up another chapter. Later today, I hope, the next installment will be up.

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Homily 2018 02 04 – Doing Exorcisms

rome

O.K. This is a long homily, I admit it. I’m passionate about the topic because, well, you’ll find out. I edited out one example, heh heh heh. My prerogative. Sorry. The picture is where some of this took place. Yikes!

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FBI gumshoes FISA warrant memo fearing *phase two* at Main State DoS

gum on shoe

*Russia! Russia! Russia!* That’s what Nunes’ investigation is parroting from the FBI/DOJ as the abuse of the judiciary investigation moves on to phase two over at Main State of DoS. But nothing is at it seems, right? I should remember that myself. Maybe that’s not parroting, but rather surprisingly accurate, but from a different yet complementary angle.

Russia did come to mind when Main State leaked and unmasked information to me (and how many others with what is surely circular subversive activity?) and then, incredibly, reconfirmed that leaking and that unmasking two days later (last 28 and 30 June 2017, Wednesday and Friday respectively). This involves counterterrorism and counterintelligence.

But Peter Strzok had nothing to do with all that. Oh, wait a minute! That’s what he was in charge of before he was “demoted” to personnel, you know, so that he could continue to get like-minded individuals sabotaging America into place. And that’s what that leaking and unmasking was all about it seems to me, at least from Secretary Tillerson’s reactions.

James Comey spoke about weasels and liars to describe those who think that Devin Nunes’ FISA memo is in anyway important. Actually, relatively speaking, he’s right, that is, if they know better. There’s much worse than a FISC judge allowing the FBI to spy on a presidential candidate on behalf of another presidential candidate. That’s bad, but!

What would be much, much worse, would for the FBI to set up an insurance program, so to speak, if one’s FISC mandated spying didn’t pan out, an insurance program that would set up a situation which, when it was made discoverable at an expedient time (and that time might be coming up) so as to have the sitting POTUS that was passionately not desired to be quickly impeached and imprisoned.

Oh! Wait a minute! That FISA memo, in it’s last sentence, mentioned just such an “insurance policy.” I don’t know Strzok or his mistress or the insurance policy to which he refers. What I do know is what was related to me by Main State can do exactly what Strzok wants his “insurance policy” to do. And it was in his competence.

Just something for the record. The FBI tells me repetitively in extended conversations over the past number of months about other topics I’ve been delving into that, instead of those topics, what they are really interested in is counterterrorism. When this is said, everything else slows down and is narrowed down so that focus is sharpened (in the adrenaline pumped agent’s world) and the word counterterrorism is spoken in an exaggerated manner, you know, to get a reaction: “The FBI is especially interested in C.O.U.N.T.E.R.T.E.R.R.O.R.I.S.M. Good interrogation technique. Used again and again and again. Hint. Hint. Hint. Doesn’t work with me though. I’ll tell my experience with Main State to whomsoever from the FBI, but only at CT-McLean, with whatever lackey from Main State present. Otherwise. I just can’t trust the FBI, not now. But maybe I’m just a weasel and a liar. But why would I be?

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US-FISC FISA Warrants. Questions: 1st Amendment free exercise of religion

prettyman court house

The green light for Foreign Intelligence Surveillance involving foreign actors or even U.S. citizens comes in the form of a F.I.S.Act warrant at the U.S. F.I.S.Court. When this involves U.S. citizens about U.S. citizens by way of the Holy See, the Vatican, then what we are also talking about involves infringements on the first amendment of the Constitution of these United States regarding the free exercise of religion. After all, this isn’t about criminals or terrorists or bad-actors. These are citizens in good standing.

Some years ago, when Cardinal Ratzinger was Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the Holy Office of the Holy See, the Vatican – and then when he was immediately followed in that prefecture by the American citizen Cardinal William Levada – yours truly threw a wrench in the F.I.S.A. works, spooking out a U.S. State Department arranged and CIA/USArmy trained and CIA appointed foreign intelligence surveillance officer. The trainer-guy, who I got to know only years later, is a good friend. My spooking out the surveillance guy was confirmed by the head of security for the Vatican just recently, himself a one-time top-level intelligence agent for his country of origin. The spy had worked his way into the most sensitive because most naively trusted low-level position which, however, gave him access for 40 minutes a day to every office, every archive, every shredder, every trash can, every computer, every phone in the massive building. The Holy Office was always subject to spying and thievery and prestidigitations. A computer of my own was the target of one break-in which instigated Tom Monaghan – yes, that one – to beef up the security of the Holy Office. The reason for nefarious activities is because the Holy Office follows every case of every episcopal candidate in the world, having veto powers over against the Congregation for Bishops. The single hard-copy files of candidates can, of course, be manipulated so as to arrange either weak episcopal candidates for countries for whom the spy works, or strong candidates for, say, communist countries. No government wants a Karol Józef Wojtyła to become a Saint John Paul II who brings down regimes at will. These things also happen at the Congregations for Bishops, for Clergy, for Religious. Just sayin’

My questions regard the legality of reach of a FISA warrant:

  • If a U.S. citizen works for a foreign government, the Holy See, does he give up his rights not to be surveilled when there is no cause?
  • When a priest is a candidate to become a bishop and has a file in the archives of foreign government, the Holy See, does he give up his rights not to be surveilled when there is no cause?
  • In these circumstances does a religion have the right not to suffer the interference of a secular government, that is, within the parameters of the law of these United States, that is, when there is no cause?

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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (And so it starts edition)

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Lots of groupings of these guys around the church facing the still under construction Guadalupe shrine. We’ve had a few warmer days and in their prompt eagerness they jumped up, asking “How high?” I love that. But, there are still cold days to come. Anyway, when’s the last time you asked – in midair – “How high?” when faced with the providential or permissive will of the Lord in your life?

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ASCII Text of FISA Memo

January 18, 2018

To: HPSCI Majority Members

From: HPSCI Majority Staff

Subject: Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act Abuses at the Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation

Purpose

This memorandum provides Members an update on significant facts relating to the Committee’s ongoing investigation into the Department of Justice (DOJ) and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and their use of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) during the 2016 presidential election cycle. Our findings, which are detailed below, 1) raise concerns with the legitimacy and legality of certain DOJ and FBI interactions with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC), and 2) represent a troubling breakdown of legal processes established to protect the American people from abuses related to the FISA process.

Investigation Update

On October 21, 2016, DOJ and FBI sought and received a FISA probable cause order (not under Title VII) authorizing electronic surveillance on Continue reading

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Jackass for the Hour: Chapter 12 – Two girls in class cried for him

palestinian donkey

Jackass for the Hour: Chapter 12 – Two girls in class cried for him

“I’m sorry that I’m early,” padre Absj apologised to Signora Gagno. As he did so, he stared at the floor, which was covered with pages ripped out of an edition of America magazine. Ripping apart journals and newspapers was another obsession of Carpe Diem.

“Please, follow me,” she said, turning to lead him to the adjoining dining room, but Carpe Diem suddenly appeared, standing in front of them, naked, cold as it was. He had heard the bell and wanted to know what was happening, since it was his job to ring the doorbell. It didn’t matter that he was soaking wet, having just stepped in and out of the shower.

“I’m sorry,” said Signora Gagno to padre Absj. “I forgot to lock the bathroom. He spilled molasses all over himself.”

Padre Absj had no experience of autistic people, or even those who were mentally retarded. He was so busy being offended at the unexpected sight that he could not reason out what Signora Gagno had said to him. He unconsciously clasped the papers he was carrying closer to his chest, which was the worst thing he could do.

“What’s that for?” asked Carpe Diem, pointing to the papers carried by padre Absj.

Padre Absj did not answer. He had been expecting an intensely academic discussion as soon as he walked in the door, but was met with what he considered to be surreal, not knowing that it was reality which was monstrous to him, living in his own little world as he did. He clasped the papers more closely to his chest, as if to protect himself. There was a lesson being provided.

“What’s that for?” repeated Carpe Diem, now reaching out to the papers, obsessed, as he often was, with getting an answer, regardless of whether or not he would understand it. Signora Gagno was doing her best to reprimand Carpe Diem and drag him away to the bathroom, but she knew it was useless. She went to fetch a towel to wrap around her son. With this, Carpe Diem became braver, and took hold of the papers even as padre Absj held on to them more tightly, stupidly becoming angry with Carpe Diem. The ideological social justice interests of padre Absj were of no help to him in this real-life situation. It was difficult to tell who was trying to take the papers from whom. All those who were in the dining room came out into the entrance to see what the commotion was, unnoticed by padre Absj and Carpe Diem. With a surge of determination, Carpe Diem succeeded in taking the papers, but slipped on the loose papers of America magazine on the wood floor. Padre Absj, just as determined to keep hold of the papers, wound up falling to the floor with Carpe Diem. The others laughed at the ineptitude of padre Absj, who, thinking he had been compromised, gave up trying to obtain the papers. It took Carpe Diem less than two seconds to lose interest, leaving the papers on the floor. Signora Gagno, who had just returned, took the opportunity to wrap the towel around her son and lead him to the bathroom to get dressed.

“If I hadn’t seen it myself, Absj,” said Cardinal Fidèle, “I would have had you arrested.”

“I… I… I…” was all that padre Absj could manage to say.

“Polycarp is autistic,” said Cardinal Fidèle.

“Isn’t the definition of autism selfishness?” asked padre Absj, trying to blame Carpe Diem.

“You are not only a man ahead of your time, Absj,” said Cardinal Fidèle, “You are stupid.”

“I accepted an early ride with someone going up to the Accademia Americana, and…”

Padre Absj cut himself off, noticing don Hash. “I didn’t know you would be here, Hash,” he said.

“Of course he would be here,” retorted Cardinal Fidèle. “He’s my personal secretary.”

“But he is a friend of…” padre Absj began to protest.

“Of course he is. So am I,” asserted Cardinal Fidèle. “Just how naive are you, Absj?”

Padre Absj collected the papers from the floor, which included Father Alexámenos’ study.

“Just put them on the side table, Absj,” said Cardinal Fidèle. “Get a hold of yourself.”

Soon Continue reading

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FAM-TPC pre-2001. Wings! Gun ranges vs courses. LEOs vs FAMs. Grouping is “Before picture” for Proactive

Ha ha ha. That video with this comedian about shooting at a range with white dudes was sent in by a reader. What I was shocked about is the dollar cost for time in a lane at an indoor gun range anywhere but here (he mentions 15 bucks an hour). More than that, you cannot shoot any actual courses at an indoor range (spinning about from holstered cover and shooting at multiple targets, nano-second mag changes, etc. Even timers can be disallowed as they mess up other shooters. In the year I’ve had a carry I’ve been to an actual gun range only four times:

  1. To qualify before signing up for my first “purchase permit” with the Sheriff at Bear Arms indoor range in Brevard. I didn’t pay for that qualifier. Nice place. Friendly people. Helpful. 40/40
  2. With a bunch of priests getting some tips on zeroing in long guns from an Army Ranger sniper. That cost us $3.00 for an all day pass at Dirty John’s, a National Forest outdoor range only about 35 minutes from the rectory. One priest continued wearing his cassock. Don’t ask me how he didn’t get it full of mud. I’m Mud Incorporated. Poor Sassy the Subaru. Anyway, that was a lot of fun.
  3. During the retreat for the priests of the diocese at I think it was a State Game range. That one was for free. Two or three employees. Pretty heavily trafficked. Nice.
  4. With my neighbor across from the rectory at Dirty John’s once again. He’s an EMT, firefighter, heavy machine operator, ex-82 Airborne. Really fun. Good conversation back and forth. We saw five bears, a mama and four cubs.

The guy in the video above comicsplained to me that white guys like me gotta have nick names for their guns. I have a Glock 19 only, but with no name. So, let’s see, how about Splainer? ;-) Anyway…

One score for the pre-2001 Federal Air Marshal Tactical Pistol Course came in at 92.4%, just squeaking by the 90% mark which permits a FAM to get on a plane, well, back in the day anyway. Now it’s heaps easier. Anyway, of course, 92.4% is bragging about a fluke. I ran through it a few times. One other score was 70%. The rest were throughout the 80s range. The FAMs of the day had to nail it every time. That’s why they could only get 50 in the world to qualify. My groupings for stages for the course in extreme short time frames look like – to cite Colion Noir – “my groupings look like the before picture of a Proactive commercial.” ;-) So, this total neophyte has a lot of work to do. But the work is good times.

The scores received for each stage of the course in the few times I did the course are pretty consistent, with instant double-taps each time being more accurate than six quick shots, or a shot, slide-lock-back, reload, shoot combination being more accurate than a quick single shot from cover. Go figure! But I can. It’s all psychological. That’s a real learning experience. It makes sense that these discrepancies would be what they are. There are reasons, now understood, which can be corrected.

It’s interesting that the received understanding of the terminology is different for LEOs and FAMs IF I understand what is said correctly. Correct me if I’m wrong.

  • For qualification courses for LEOs, “cover” refers to being mostly behind something that will likely stop a bullet such as a brick wall, as opposed to “concealment”, which refers to being mostly behind something that will not at all stop a bullet, such as drywall, a door, etc.
  • For qualification courses for Federal Air Marshals, vulnerability is simply not part of the equation, so that “concealment” and “cover” are the same, and refer instead to a pistol which is holstered, which holster is itself hidden by, say, a suit coat. Nothing in a plane will stop a bullet except a “target.”

The difference, mind you, is not one of bravado, but of situation.

  • For instance, LEOs have a much more varying and unpredictable set of circumstances, often with much greater distances and often little consequence for misses and a much, much greater likelihood of being shot at.
  • For FAMs, you will likely have only one shot, which, if you don’t neutralize your target the first time you will most probably kill others or blow out the side of the plane, depressurizing the cabin, all of this happening literally within fractions of second or two. There’s simply no time or sense in being concealed or being behind cover. Nothing in a plane is going to stop a bullet and the passengers eyes will always betray your exact location no matter how concealed or covered you think you are.

FAMs train up for an extremely narrow set of circumstances. Because of the extremely quick timings and the much tinier size of the targets for all stages of the course, it helps me for more generalized courses such as the FBI qualification. Anyway, it’s all fun. And just to say, a LEO friend uses a tinier target than the FAMs, just a Post-It note. He’s a really good shot, perhaps better than most FAMs today.

I’m sure I have the profile of a terrorist:

  • I have a gun and I do carry, because this is what a responsible citizen can do in a spirit of service in defense of self and others.
  • I practice, because this is what a responsible concealed carrier does.
  • I have plenty of ammo, because, um, I practice.

If that sounds too normal, well then, here are the really scary parts:

  • I’ve researched guns on the internet, because, um, this is my hobby.
  • I’ve researched ammo on the internet, because, um, this is my hobby.
  • I’ve researched long guns and shot guns on the internet to decide, in the end, that I’m not just going there. Just a pistol is, I think, good enough for me, if I’m really quick and accurate with it. But, just to say, I have researched those other guns.
  • I’ve researched other pistols on the internet, because, um, like the Geico Gecko might say, it’s just what you do when you start to get more into the hobby you’ve taken up.
  • I’ve researched – ooooh! – graphene on the internet. Not available yet.

That last one was done because a very long time LEO, upon hearing that I’ve been purposely* shot at on a few occasions when I go out to practice at the hermitage (hey… it’s a rough area), suggested, on a number of occasions actually, that I get a ballistic vest. I’m gonna wait for the graphene. The usual is just too heavy, too bulky, too restrictive, and I’m thinking that most vests are throw-away out of date repackaged rubbish from China.

* Each occasion involved maybe a half-dozen or dozen bullets above or to the side of me, maybe 3 seconds between shots with me being irremediably out in the open: not a mistake, just to scare me, though redirected bullets, ripping through numerous trees and branches, could have done some serious harm.

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