Tag Archives: Military

Going to Guadalupe? Pay the Mexican Military Cartel cash or die. It’s that bad.

ak 47 ammo

We had a wedding last Saturday in the parish. The couple went to Mexico for their honeymoon. They reported back that there are now military checkpoints everywhere in Mexico. They don’t ask for documents or other useless rubbish. They want money, only. If you refuse, they let you go, but they call ahead to inform the drug cartel in whatever area that you refuse to donate to their cause. The cartel stops you, and simply kills you as an example for others. This makes me upset inasmuch as my identity was used for arms transfers to the Sinaloa Cartel just when Joaquín “El Chapo” Archivaldo Guzmán Loera (now imprisoned along with his “godson”) started to terrorize innocent civilians, the government, the politicians, law enforcement and, finally, the Church.

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Filed under Drugs, Guns, Intelligence Community, Mafia, Military, Politics, Road danger

CS Lewis & Jesus: hero worship idiocy

cs lewis abolition of man

Just say people think they are all sincere when they say “Thank you for your service.” But of those sincere people, some will turn out to be traitorous and other true patriots:

  • The ones who strive to follow the example of service given by those whom they are thanking get it and are true patriots.
  • The ones who treat those whom they thank as Martians whose example is not to be taken because there is no analogy of service that can be made [not true] are the ones who don’t yet know that they already have an entitlement spirit (entitled not to serve but be served), a traitorous spirit; thinking they are entitled not to be incriminated by the service of others over against their own lack of service, they will mock the very ones whom they thought they were sincerely thanking not long before: “We castrate and bid the geldings be fruitful” (-C.S. Lewis: Abolition of Man).

So, make the analogy with Jesus:

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You build the tombs of the prophets and adorn the memorials of the righteous, and you say, ‘If we had lived in the days of our ancestors, we would not have joined them in shedding the prophets’ blood.’ Thus you bear witness against yourselves that you are the children of those who murdered the prophets; now fill up what your ancestors measured out! You serpents, you brood of vipers, how can you flee from the judgment of Gehenna? Therefore, behold, I send to you prophets and wise men and scribes; some of them you will kill and crucify, some of them you will scourge in your synagogues and pursue from town to town, so that there may come upon you all the righteous blood shed upon earth” (Mat 23:29-35 NAB)

If we build the tombs of the prophets it has to be done with the attitude of thanking the prophets for convicting us of our sin. If we thank service members for their service it must be done with the spirit of striving to follow the example of service that is given.

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Thoughts during July 4 fireworks for a military brat of ten-year USMC fighter-attack pilot: Checkerboarders

fireworks

The local volunteer firefighters again invited me to do the blessing for their safety just before heading off into the field to light up the darkness. We thank the Lord, Saint Michael and Angel Guardians that it all went well.

Meanwhile the families of the firefighters and firefighters in training and EMTs and police and police in training were at the minimum distance away. There was gunpowder bits and firework rubbish falling on us, and the occasional bit of still fiery firework would fall in the grass right in front of us (but not on or behind us).

Meanwhile my dad, George Byers, Jr., getting shot down in North Korea while Squadron leader for the Corsair Checkerboarders, came to mind. Having anti-aircraft fire (DShKM) take out your engine, covering your windows with engine oil isn’t a great experience. He did survive, of course (I’m here!). He crashed it on a beach in between the cliffs jutting out into the ocean. I once did the google earth thing and I think I found just where it happened. He said a ground force of his own USMCs came and picked him up. But I’m sure that that kind of thing stays with you, a bit of PTSD. It happens. Nothing you can do about it. PTSD doesn’t say you’re weak. It says that you’ve been willing to lay your life down in service of your fellow man, which also includes the North Koreans. I mean, he wrote poetry about the peasants in their rice fields, flying just over their heads on the way to take out a munitions train or rail bridge used for military purposes. He had the utmost respect for these people, and his being of service for them would make him write diary entries of his own dreams for political life in these USA. The USMC at Andrews in Washington would put him through Georgetown law school to start him on his way while he continued training the guys how to fly.

corsair

Not my dad’s plane, but this is what he said it looked like, what with the prop becoming like a food-mixer beater. Lt. Joe Bibby, the pilot of this plane, also survived.

Meanwhile I am reminded of John Adams’ words about illuminations (=fireworks, which were invented, by the way, in the 7th Century AD):

[This day] of July, 1776, will be the most memorable epoch in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more.

Meanwhile we thank our military for protecting the Constitution of these USA and the free exercise of religion which we enjoy. The solemn acts of devotion include public acts of prayer, including, of course, Holy Mass, when the Word of the Father became incarnate and we saw the glory of God, the light shining in the darkness. The “illuminations” recall not only the violence of the battle on the ground or in the sky, but also the illumination, if you will, of the glory of God who, Incarnate, dies on the Cross for us in the most ferocious battle of the most ferocious war. All that went into the prayer just before the “illuminations” began. A wonderful, memorable evening. I just love being a priest.

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Stalking a Vietnam Vet with repeated complex desecration of his USA Flag

american flag upside down

One of our elderly Vietnam Vets in my parish territory (up in otherwise ultra-conservative Graham County) has been subjected to multiple nightly attacks on his American Flag. In the morning he finds that it’s been damaged, turned upside down, rehoisted, but with the ropes tightly knotted so that he has to cut it down. He now stays up at night, waiting to catch the perp, who, apparently, watches the watch, and so hasn’t yet been caught.

This isn’t just a prank. This is well thought out in advance and is insisted upon; it’s ideological. There’s a difference between once-off insulting of the flag by way of emotion on the one hand, and stalking people on the other hand. And it seems to me that this is stalking. This is meant to de-spirit this particular Veteran. Stalking is a crime. This perp needs to be put in prison.

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I thank you today, President Reagan, Sir

Make the analogy with this ecclesia militans, with each united to the One Warrior, Mary’s Divine Son, the Prince of the Most Profound Peace. Go to Confession. Go to Communion. The Church must win this war. Fight as if the issue of the whole struggle depended on you alone because you are one with the One Warrior. Act in His goodness, His kindness, His Truth. And be close, very close, to your guardian angel, who sees the face of the Most High, the Living God.

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When’s the last time you peed-in-your-pants-laughed, a great time in life?

Some guy put a few clips together with Navy Seal guy David Rutherford giving a bit of instruction. I like it. I like it a lot. Draw the analogies with your own life, whatever your circumstances happen to be.

For instance, he mentions being mentored and mentoring, a huge part of the daily life of any priest who takes his priesthood seriously with not only spiritual direction and confession, but also just guys of like mind getting together, which is important. This past week I had a lot of days like this entire speech, which I so much enjoyed I just about had a pee in my pants laugh with a bunch of great guys who likewise erupted into pretty intense spontaneous laughter as we, of course, went on solving all the problems in the Church and world. Not levity, this. No. Just really good times. I love being a priest. One of the guys is on a very fast track to getting the nod by the Combat Applications Group (Delta Force). Really great guys. We’ll be keeping in contact.

Again, there’s much here that is applicable to everyone’s life, even if… even if… we are no longer in good health as the years have slipped by, even if circumstances in life have had our friends not only abandon us but betray us, even if God Himself seems distant and that we are being smacked down so that it seems our very bones are being crushed, as the psalmist says. This is what all the saints go through, and at such times it is our guardian angels who come to the fore, Jesus Himself, our Blessed Mother, heaven itself. Quite the team, that. And the fire of the Holy Spirit inflames.

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Filed under Military, Priesthood, Spiritual life, Vocations

Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (Halliburton, Redstone Arsenal edition)

flores avalanche

This avalanche of flowers on one tree are just outside the one room apartment of a 92 year old lady I visit regularly on the most remote ridge on the Appalachian Trail. She knows what the real battle is while we are in this world, the battle for souls, to help them know Jesus, to help them get to heaven. She’s most dedicated to our Lady.

Not that she doesn’t know about everything to do with the war efforts of this world. She was born some six or seven years after the First World War, growing up as a military brat, so to speak. By the Second World War, she was assistant to the top brass in what has a long history of familiar names, going from  Chemtronics Superfund to Oerlikon Tool and Arms Corporation to Celanese Corporation to Northrop Carolina Incorporated back to Chemtronics but as a subsidiary of Halliburton. To this day she still has the top brass associated with Redstone Arsenal visiting her. Redstone is historically over the Halliburton chemical waste nightmare mentioned above.

Completing the triangle over the back ridges of the mountains here is a military installation around Knoxville, just over the dragon’s tail, as they call it. But surely the existence of liquid plutonium in the midst of all this is controversial, you know, just like it is controverted as to whether Pluto, after which it is named, is even a planet. This would be a total destruction objection in any war, the number 3 target, only some miles away…

Meanwhile…. meanwhile… real life goes on, life which will last forever, and for which we must prepare, as it will be our time much, much sooner than later before we come to know the results of the battle for souls that we are in now. Saint Paul speaks of this battle:

Ephesians 6:11-18 — Put on the armor of God so that you may be able to stand firm against the tactics of the devil. For our struggle is not with flesh and blood but with the principalities, with the powers, with the world rulers of this present darkness, with the evil spirits in the heavens. Therefore, put on the armor of God, that you may be able to resist on the evil day and, having done everything, to hold your ground. So stand fast with your loins girded in truth, clothed with righteousness as a breastplate, and your feet shod in readiness for the gospel of peace. In all circumstances, hold faith as a shield, to quench all (the) flaming arrows of the evil one. And take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. With all prayer and supplication, pray at every opportunity in the Spirit. To that end, be watchful with all perseverance and supplication for all the holy ones.

The Immaculate Conception stood in the midst of the battle on Calvary next to the one Soldier who lays down His life for us, but then rises from the dead. It’s enough to make you want to give our Lady a veritable avalanche of flowers.

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Depoliticizing FBI: Field Agents relieved

twa flight 800

Depoliticizing TWA Flight 800 by the FBI would also be a good idea. I tried to make that clear to a handful of FBI agents who took special interest in me very close to the time of the event. That interrogation lasted, if I remember correctly, about twenty minutes. I guess they thought that I was somehow the guy who somehow, in some way was responsible for the missile. 

Anyway, I’ve always held that proof of depoliticization comes about when admission of past failures is made with corrections to procedures made with effective congressional oversight.

Regarding Hillary Clinton’s emails, Trey Gowdy tried his best, but Mr. Comey was, in my opinion, entrenched in “reasoning” lacking any syllogism known to man. Mr. Comey, inaccurate as the day is long, got fired. There was no love lost between him and any of the rank and file in the Bureau. They didn’t know what to do any more, what with Hillary seeming to escape justice not according to the Department of Justice or any judge, but in the opinion (who cares?) of Mr. Jimmy Comey himself.  Trey Gowdy would be a good fit to replace him, as he wouldn’t pull any punches in doing investigations. That’s an FBI I would tend to trust.

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Buffalo Springfield For What It’s Worth. Surprise Intent of Stills’ Lyrics against tender snowflake paranoid violence.

buffalo springfield

Stephen Arthur Stills of 1960s Buffalo Springfield fame penned “For What Its Worth”. Recall that he’s Canadian and that, in pre-1982 Canada, “justices of the Peace had the authority to impose a six-month jail term on anyone carrying a handgun.” [[I’ve been corrected for that in the comments. Seems he’s American. Which only reinforces my commentary here.]] The song “For What Its Worth” has always been taken as a protest, anti-gun jingo. But it’s not. One might think from a glance of the Wikipedia article that Stills might be on the protest side of things:

“In November 1966, Stills composed his landmark song, “For What It’s Worth”, after police actions against the crowds of young people who had gathered on the Sunset Strip to protest the closing of a nightclub called Pandora’s Box (contrary to later retellings by Stills, he was not present for the riot; rather, Buffalo Springfield was playing an engagement in San Francisco at the time).”

I was born in 1960 and so I was only a little kid when this came out. What did I know about anything? But I met a USMC guy the other day, perhaps 10 years older than me, who was a teenager at the time. He thinks it’s one of the best songs ever. No peacenik, he. Perhaps a fisking of the words is in order, as this will help tender snowflakes see that the ones they hold to be their gurus, such as Stills, weren’t the tender snowflakes people thought they were. Perhaps Stills was a bit adrift at the time, but he still carried some values of reason and civility from earlier baby boomer times.

In brief, it seems this song praises police action against out of control paranoid hippie rioters who cross over the line with violence and gunfire and need rightly to be “taken away” as the song says. Perhaps Stills, still going strong, might even say that he disagrees with my assessment, but he’s the one who wrote the lyrics. Whatever he intended then or now doesn’t matter so much as what the words actually say. I like what he wrote. I like it a lot.

BUFFALO SPRINGFIELD: “For What Its Worth”

There’s something happening here. [A violent riot in reaction to the closing of a night club.]

What it is ain’t exactly clear. [Stills is not automatically on the side of the rioters, is he? No. He’s calling for reason, for analysis. Good for him.]

There’s a man with a gun over there, [We don’t know who this is yet, whether a law enforcement officer or someone in the crowd. But for him, the presence of a gun from any source is not something he wants to see, though it may be necessary. The examination of the circumstances for the gun is the point of the song.]

Telling me I got to beware. [This sounds like an encouragement of paranoia from the guy with the gun, who is being annoyed with a reasonable assessment of the situation by Stills. The encouragement of paranoia is ideological manipulation which Stills disagrees with, and says so:]

I think it’s time we stop, children, what’s that sound? [He’s reprimanding the protesters (“the hippie flower tender snowflake children”), telling them to stop, as, apparently, they are O.K. not only with the brandishing of a gun but with the firing of a gun (the “sound”), thus calling them out as actually being violent bullies.]

Everybody look what’s going down. [He can’t believe that what he was expecting to be a peaceful protest almost seems —  could it be? — to be pre-planned violence? He says it frankly:]

There’s battle lines being drawn. [This is a soliloquy falling on deaf ears, but he keeps going, perhaps thinking he will do some good for someone.]
Nobody’s right if everybody’s wrong. [He goes for the jugular, attacking Marxist dialectical ideology, whereby everyone is wrong, some less than others, but with violence for all being the only way to force any disparity into a leveled out utopia.]

Young people speaking their minds, [The Marxist Antithesis]

Getting so much resistance from behind. [The Marxist Thesis]

It’s time we stop, “Hey, what’s that sound?
Everybody look what’s going down.” [Stills is frantic. But no one cares. The violence is intended to grow.]

What a field-day for the heat:
A thousand people in the street,
Singing songs and carrying signs,
Mostly saying, “Hooray for our side!” [He’s not saying that the police action is wrong. He is pointing out that the self-congratulatory signs are shallow ideology promoting might makes right on the part of the protesters. Mindless tender snowflakes are with all of their violence from hell.]

It’s s time we stop, “Hey, what’s that sound?
Everybody look what’s going down.” [Then, after trying to get the attention of the protesters once again, he offers this overview of what’s happening:]

Paranoia strikes deep.
Into your life it will creep.
It starts when you’re always afraid. [Stills analysis is that Marxist dialectic violence comes from the frustration of cowardice, fear, with its lockstep reaction.]

You step out of line, they come and take you away. [O.K. This clinches this interpretation. The shooting of the gun is stepping out of line, and that makes for the justified reaction of law enforcement.]

We better stop, “Hey, what’s that sound?
Everybody look what’s going down.
Stop, hey, what’s that sound?
Everybody look what’s going down.
Stop, now, what’s that sound?
Everybody look what’s going down.
Stop, children, what’s that sound?
Everybody look what’s going down. [Stills is stomping his feet now in a tantrum, though well justified. Basically, he’s frustrated with the tender snowflake bullies and continues to attempt to have them use a bit of reason. But, no, they won’t do it as this violence is what they always wanted from the beginning. I agree with the USMC guy I met the other day: great song! Good for Stephen Arthur Stills.]

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Flores for the Immaculate Conception (Militant Mother Mary edition)

This trillium appears to be a hawk just a nanosecond before snatching some prey on the forest floor at the hermitage. But how could something so delicate, for our Lady, in honor of the Most Holy Trinity by name, be militant? Just ask these lady slippers at the hermitage, now about a thousand strong and on the march (this being just one view of a massive patch on top of the ridge, the flowers not yet in bloom at this elevation):

flores lady slippers

The Song of Songs puts the question this way: “Who is she that cometh forth as the morning rising, fair as the moon, bright as the sun, terrible as an army set in array?”

In Genesis 3:15 we read that the Mother of the Redeemer is in a battle all set off from all others against the ancient dragon, Satan.

But that’s all just a spiritual battle you say? Put your sword back in your scabbard, Peter! Yes, Mary stood under the cross and Jesus stayed there until he died. Yes. I know. There was a reason for that.

And defense of the innocent is still a positive contribution to the virtue of justice. And the military and law enforcement are still necessary. John the Baptist offered advice to the military and Jesus worked miracles for those in the military, even speaking about no greater faith in Israel.

Could a soldier offer a flower to the Immaculate Conception? Could a police officer? Could a Federal agent, say, in the FBI? No? Really?

I’m still thinking of doing the FBI course for chaplains who assist law enforcement and who would make themselves available in emergency situations which are becoming more common. As I’ve mentioned before, training up in firearms of all sorts is part of that training, a sine qua non. That’s why I’ve been training up in firearms on my own, well, one of the many reasons. So far, I’ve been killing off some adhesive dots (with 15 rounds from the Glock 19 for each dot):

target01

target03

target02

Of course, I know that standing and aiming doesn’t count. No adverse conditions. Being able to aim. When does that ever happen? But I was pulling the trigger about as fast as I could go, standing, both hands. Still to the left just a bit. I had tried shooting over the car, resting my wrists on the vehicle. Total failure, that. That’s only for rifles. The same for sitting down on the ground and resting my wrists on my knees. Total failure, that. That’s only for rifles. What that resting bit does is to change everything in the muscle groups in the arms. Not good. What doesn’t do this at all is lying prone. That works best for pistols. Glad to know. So, it’s either standing or lying down for me.

I wonder how many enemies John the Baptist and Jesus made in doing good for the military of the occupation. Lots of people thought they were from hell, I bet, possessed by Satan, the ancient dragon. I wonder if Mary can still be my mother…

I think so.

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Orthodox Easter: Guns and Emmaus (scaring myself)

IMG_20170417_055953

Easter evening (for both East and West this year) was spent with some parishioners and a young Greek Orthodox couple. The Orthodox fellow (from Wisconsin but now in Georgia) is to be deployed any day now for a tour on the mountainous Iraqi-Syrian border. The father-in-law parishioner just retired out of law enforcement. They set up a half-dozen green post-it note targets some 23 meters out (the Mountain U.S. Army guy already speaking U.N.-speak).

We were practicing standing, using two hands, either hand singly, and then prone, with different pistols and an AR-15.

I did real well with the AR-15. That’s a totally new experience for me, moving from target to target quickly, with double hits on all but one with a single hit. They wanted me to then pepper the larger target as fast as I could go and I got most of them right on but that needs a bit of practice. No, I don’t own an AR-15!

I didn’t do so well with the single-handed pistol shooting. It’s good to get caught out in this way, so that you realize what you need to practice. The LEO also arranged a mag with a mix of spent cartridges so that I could see hidden problems, such as trying too hard. This works well. And I was trying too hard, as the gun popped an inch or so without a live bullet. It also forces you to work quickly to clear jams. The Army guy had a lot of good advice for the both of us. No matter how many years you’ve got in, more advice is always welcome.

Uh-oh: I scared myself a bit when I shot my own Glock 19 from a prone position. I’ve never tried to shoot laying down before. Aiming at a green post-it note with one AR-15 round through it from the Army guy, I quickly put four more rounds in a row through that one hit with my little pistol, so pretty much 10-X with all of them. I am reminded of this scene of the beginnings of recovery from amnesia:

But, no. I don’t think I’ve been suffering from amnesia. I mean, after all, I’m not great at one-handed whatever-hand shooting, good, but not great without practice (which I never really do in that way). So, therefore, no amnesia. I mean, I did do the 10-X multiple times in a row with one hand, if I remember, with a .45, last Autumn. But that had a smooth trigger pull, not like a Glock. No, no. No amnesia. Unless it’s like a mental block… ;¬)

Anyway: that was all after the breaking of bread together at the evening meal on a glorious Easter Sunday. The discussion at table was intensely religious as you might imagine with an American Greek-Orthodox soldier who has a Masters Degree in theological studies under his belt.

We spoke of the cultural differences (complementary) between East and West, the whole breathing with two lungs thing, the excommunications and the wiping out of the excommunications (leaving us with communion), the divine liturgy and the singing and being brought up into the Sacred Mysteries, Jesus fulfilling the prophesies in the Old Testament by being the acceptable sacrifice, His standing in our stead, having the right in His own justice to have mercy on us, our obligation in love to offer a sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving, the possibility of another major Ecumenical Council between East and West, and which theologians might be useful to this end…

You didn’t expect that, did you? If not, why not? You might offer a comment in the comments box… Pretend you’re sitting around the fire we had outside as night fell, all reminiscing. There was also some discussion of how it is that John the Baptist gave advice to soldiers about how to be the best of soldiers, and about the morality of self-defense on one’s own behalf or that of others: a positive contribution to the virtue of justice as opposed to the idiotic PTSD inducing lesser of two evils theory that would mean that no matter what you do you are always doing something evil (No!).

Is there a disconnect here? You know, between it being Easter Sunday evening and, you know, guns? No. And you have to know that the Army guy tested me on that, joking a little by wishing me a Happy Easter with all the target practice. Those who are on the front lines either here at home or overseas in some of the worst of the worst most violent hot-spots in the world have to know that we are in solidarity with our soldiers even as they are in solidarity with us. That’s an orthodox truth that the Orthodox appreciate.

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Navy pilots strike: not the first time. Get rid of the weasel top brass, masters of tender snowflake fluff-speak.

george-byers-jr-usmc-corsair

[[ Picture above: George Byers, Jr. – Top Gun before there were Top Guns ]]

It took a FoxNews story for the Department of the Navy to check into grave safety issues encountered by pilots, you know, because it’s not about pilot safety, nor about military readiness, but about image, perception, looking good even while purposely (=intransigently ignoring problems) running our military literally into the ground with crash after crash. It’s not the first time.

But let’s go back some decades when my dad, after his illustrious career as commander of the famed Checkerboard squadron, after ten years of fighter attack sorties in Guam, Philippines, Japan, China and Korea, after many years more at Andrews AFB training the guys while doing his law studies at Georgetown, went to train the guys with the new jets at Chicago’s civil-military airport freshly named after another commander-pilot, Edward Henry “Butch” O’Hare, all this under the larger umbrella of the Department of the Navy.

My dad up and quit in protest against protracted government intransigence regarding, as always, lack of funding for the training programs. He told me he went ahead and took a cut in rank and pay and then joined the National Guard (unable to cut himself away from the military), because he couldn’t take so many of his trainee pilots dying while he was training them in. The problem in this case, he said, was that funding to conduct training flights was cut out from under them, enabling them to do only sporadic flights, and this just as the new jets were getting quicker. This is always  the problem. He said that his guys were smashing their planes right into the ground because they couldn’t handle flying by the instinct gained only with a high frequency of training flights. Instead of instinct, they thought their way through a maneuver, thinking themselves right into the grave. He said that staging this protest was the honorable thing to do as he brought me as a tiny little kid into the NG Armory in Saint Cloud, MN., or up to Camp Ripley. Just before that he would be taking the shingles off the roof with his Corsair, making my heart thrill, often still going down to Chicago, but more frequently to the Twin Cities at the airport named after World War I pilots Ernest Wold and Cyrus Chamberlain.

If we don’t learn from history, we’re bound to repeat it. And here we go again. The top brass are full of tender snowflake “fluff speak” when speaking in public even while “discussions” and “conversations” with the pilots are extremely heated behind closed doors. This is insanity. You either have a military at the ready or you surrender to whoever wants the country. We need to drain the swamp as a first step, and then fund the military with those interested spending the money on readiness.

I’ll tell you this, the tender snowflake “fluff speak” about “discussions” and “conversations” of our top brass in our military and the top brass in our intel services is sickening. I’m getting to think it is tantamount to treason, purposely subverting the readiness of the military while arrogantly upholding their “honor” and “integrity.” As soon as you are complacent with honor and integrity or are only concerned with the perception of those things, you not only don’t have them anymore, but try to punish those who are honorable and full of integrity.

We need to drain the swamp as a first step, and then fund the military with those interested spending the money on readiness.

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I love that bumper sticker @ 72 virgins

72 virgins dating service

This bumper sticker was seen in my driveway the other day, not on the bumper of this friend’s truck, but on the back window of his truck.

I like that Pope Francis doesn’t want us throw around insults just to do it.

But this bumper sticker is merely a rather sharp reprimand of ISIS-minded people who torture and kill people just to it, hoping that they will themselves be “martyred” so that they can go to heaven and have 72 virgins to rape for eternity (since it’s all about women’s rights, right?).

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Update: Israeli Air Force getting cocky about doing the impossible. Dancing.

But the Israelis are not the first to land an attack fighter with only one wing. Perhaps my dad was the first. He also had the wing of his gull-wing corsair knocked off during a training exercise at Andrews Air Force Base in D.C. by a knucklehead student pilot coming up out of a barrel roll a bit too quickly. In the case of my dad, Commander of the Checkerboarders, he was able to keep the inevitable spin from happening by holding the stick all the way over while flying at 45 degree angle, landing on the tip of his good wing, and then the wheel of his good wing. Hah! He would have used the side of his plane for the necessary lift. Hah!

corsair vmfa 312 USMC Korea

Whenever I see cockiness trounced, I am tempted to do a dance. Attack pilots are the same. And attack pilots are pretty much all the same. Here are some Russians. I can just hear the criticisms, saying that those are toy planes without any serious possibilities in a real war, blah blah blah. Regardless, this is some good flying:

Even if tender snowflakes are offended by this, I have to say: Competition is a good thing. It’s hilarious. It brings us beyond where we’re at. A challenge to overcome. Let’s see what Saint Paul says in Romans 12:10-19:

“Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality. [Outdo one another in showing honor.] Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. [Outdo one another in showing honor.] Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another. [Outdo one another in showing honor.] Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight.[!] Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. [Outdo one another in showing honor.] If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. [Outdo one another in showing honor.]

You get the idea.

Update:

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Solum Facilis die fuit heri – Sealing it!

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Solum Facilis die fuit heri. The only easy day was yesterday. – A Navy Seal motto…

Some think to get a bit of hope by things becoming easier. The Navy Seals get hope by having tougher days, as the tougher days are the only ones by which one can be challenged to excel all the more in the service of all.

There’s a spiritual analogy here… no? What think you?

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Father Byers: Thank you Nikki Haley! “USA! USA!” and “US-UN! US-UN!”

All of a sudden America is no longer a puppet for Islam.

I love that. I could have written that speech.

Disclaimers: I’m a Catholic priest, and I’m also Jewish, you know, mom, grandma, great-grand-ma… enough for me to be a Knesset qualified Israeli. I’ve lived in Israel. Been there multiple times. I have friends there. Contacts. Dare I say המוסד has always been really good to me. I think Israel has a right to defend itself, has a right to security, has a right not to be obliterated by Iran or others. Moreover, “Salvation is from the Jews,” said Jesus. And Paul:

They are Israelites; theirs the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises; theirs the patriarchs, and from them, according to the flesh, is the Messiah. God who is over all be blessed forever. Amen.

Disclaimers: I also deplore unjust actions meant to antagonize, and I saw really a lot of that while living in Israel and spending really a lot of time all over the West Bank, far North to deep South, West to way to the fence on the East. I raised my voice about injustices to the consternation of many others. Economic slavery only brings frustration and anger and… revenge. There are a million little anecdotes that I heard from friends, but those add up to make a culture, a policy. Also, just to say, anecdotally, a Palestinian man saved me from getting shot by wild IDF gun-fire (spraying bullets just to do it, or perhaps a bit directed). Another saved me from abduction. Another very dramatically stopped me from getting killed. Ironically, it was while I was attending a university in the occupied West Bank that I noted just about half of the student body also wanted peace by way justice, so, I’m not alone in that. I would like to see it be easier for priests and nuns to renew their visas so as to work in the clinics and schools and orphanages that no one else takes care of. I condemn what comes down to a forced removal of Catholics from the West Bank to anywhere else in the world, as the former Patriarch had warned was happening in one of his pastoral letters.

Having said all that: Thank you, Nikki Haley. What you said had to be said. Utterly reasonable. Keep up the good work. I had to laugh out loud at your rambunctious and repeated statement: “US-UN”! Hah! That should be a new chant at all South Carolina sporting events along with “USA! USA!” Let’s shout: “US-UN! US-UN!” Hah! What a great day brightener.

img_20170222_073706Totally off topic (and I ask forgiveness in advance… I put these things up for a reason…). After my sacramental visits on my day off yesterday (some hundreds of miles), bringing Holy Communion, Anointing the sick, and other sacraments, I was able to get off a clip or two from the Glock. It’s been a while. This is really the first time that, instead of aiming so much, I was concentrating on the basics (as I’m a complete beginner), so that with now abandoned Israeli-carry, I was practicing drawing from the holster hot. This is what I did with the bottom corner of a moldy folder from the hermitage (which is still there I’m happy to say). That folder was the only target I had to use. I was aiming to the upper right side of that pattern, so I’m still a bit South and to the left. But still pretty good I thought for this activity.

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Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, American puppet[?] treated like royalty

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Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman is in federal lockup, up on the tenth floor of Manhattan’s Metropolitan Correctional Center, second in security only to the ultra-super-max in Colorado. There are more than forty witnesses ready to testify against him. I’d like to add one more name to that list…

From prison, Guzman will continue to head up the world’s largest drug cartel (concentrating on cocaine, heroin and meth), which is, as expected, also by far the most violent. His Sinaloa thugs have killed more than 30,000 people, a third of the more than 100,000 people assassinated in the Mexican drug war. That’s not counting the millions whose lives were destroyed by his drugs right around the world, and millions more for succeeding generations. He is largely responsible for the rampant drug use in these USA, and is indirectly responsible for all the crime and murder and family sorrow related to the presence of drugs. Anyone who has ever helped him now has a debt of honor to work against him…

I would have some questions for our own government about all this, you know, why it seems that he was simply our puppet, someone who would destabilize a neighboring country so that it couldn’t possibly prosper. Remember how he was the hero assisting the U.S. government in the investigation of the assassination of Cardinal Ocampo? Remember how we supplied him weapons? Is he here in the USA because he won’t be able to talk much to the outside world about our partnership with him?

I would have some questions for the Mexican government along these lines, such as why Mexico, which wants to see Guzman convicted and imprisoned about 100,000 times more than these USA… why did they give him up to these USA?

Guzman enjoys 240 square feet of floor space. Multiply that by air space up to the ceiling and that’s 2,400 square feet. That’s one hundred times as much space as American prisoners in, say, the New Hampshire State Prison for Men, where inmates get a total of 24 square feet, that is, a coffin sized bunk two feet high, two feet wide and six feet long. That’s it. These USA treat Guzman like royalty. Why is that?

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*NOC*NOC* “Who’s there?” “Fear.” “Fear who?”

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N.O.C. – I pass by this sign all the time. It will soon be a frozen ghost town in the middle of nowhere in the mountains. In some rather arcane circles, the letters N.O.C. also stand for Non-Official Cover, the rather obnoxious title for “illegals,” who are neither illegal (at least for us), nor non-official (at least for us), and whose only cover (usually business and politics) might be playing the self-referential fool, kind of like the Holy Roman Empire which was not Holy, nor Roman, nor an Empire.

At any rate, being an illegal, a NOC, usually, is nothing Kryptos. But that’s the problem. It should be everything Kryptos. Can anyone figure out terrorist initiative without being Kryptos? No, not without being Kryptos, at least my version of it, you know, taking into consideration the geological and mathematical elements physically represented and begging to be brought into one’s heart of hearts. What’s an analyst without it? Just someone manipulated by others. Not being at the heart of Kryptos is all play. An analyst might get lucky once in a while without being at the heart of all, but once in a while isn’t good enough. In fact, it makes one vulnerable to being used, the most dangerous NOC of all. All NOCs should be Kryptos.

It’s kind of like the difference between being “spiritual” and religious, as if those who are religious are not at all spiritual. The “spiritual” but not religious person is a faker, the most dangerous person of all. They congratulate themselves for being, you know, nice, sharing some supposedly common value, say, of niceness, that one supposes some spiritual power somewhere out in outer-space might appreciate in a heartless, mindless, but, you know, nice way. As often as not, it’s psychologism replacing a truly spiritual life. And that’s a licence to murder: “The god of my creation is on my side.” That’s when right and wrong lose the integrity of black and white and become 50 shades of self-serving gray, lusting for the power that covers the innocent in the red blood if death. Is that still called integrity? Integrity demands excellence. It’s the harder option, but is always worth it.

Excellence demands smarts and guts. True religion frees one from fear of being smart and from fear of having guts. One can face reality head on. It’s exhilarating. NOCs should give it a try. Those who insist “Gray is good for integrity” are low-life scum, you know, the ultra sophisticated creepo guys who have gone all Gnostic about “gray”. Having been had, betrayed, almost killed however many times, having seen killings even by the hundreds, having killed many… none of that means facing reality head on. It just means one has had those experiences which, however much they may put an edge on someone, do not of themselves make anyone less fearful of the big picture, perhaps more. Only watching God take our place in tortured death so as to have the right in his own justice to demand forgiveness can be the occasion for for one not to run away from seeing the big picture: “Father, forgive them.”

Meanwhile, the truly religious person lives out the ultimate virtue of justice, namely, religion, namely, giving to God that which is God’s due: “Thank you, God, for having this otherwise useless heap of weakness live what is reasonable and just in service of you and others, even if it means I have to lay down my life that others might live for that which is reasonable and just, for you.” Doing the religious thing, say, going to Mass, the Last Supper united with Calvary (see Kryptos) – This is my body given for you in Sacrifice, my blood poured out for you in Sacrifice – giving to God that which is his due in all justice, he himself standing in our stead to take on the death we deserve for original sin and whatever personal sin so that he might have the right in his own justice to have mercy on us… yes, that is also spiritual and brings one without fear into the heart of all.

And that’s deadly important: no fear. The merely “spiritual” person is full of fear. They are on the run from themselves. Such an analyst might fill his waking hours and his nightmares with innumerable facts, all so intriguing with their interconnectedness or not, and the adrenaline rush had by someone who lives the fake-news cycle, thinking they are it, you know, special. Such a person doesn’t want to get to the heart of all. They are afraid. They paint themselves into the peripheries so that they can’t see the way things really are, however much violence and injustice they otherwise see.

But for the religious person who is truly spiritual there is no fear of finding the answer in oneself when looking for the terrorist, and one can find that terrorist, even in the early stages, well, pretty much every time as quick as quick can be. In Jerusalem I did this for recreation. Starting from scratch, one could get a stop-watch and see how many minutes it would take me to get the personal contact info of someone personally named on our terrorist list. My record on the street is, I think, eight minutes. That was in Jerusalem, but the head terrorist guy for whom I got the contact info was in Syria. Then you see who those guys know in Jerusalem, etc. I’m not tooting my own horn here, as my point is that anyone can do this if you’re not afraid to see what is right in front of you. Fakers not only waste everyone’s time, they bring everyone down with them: “We didn’t think it was important.” Compared to what is the question. What’s the standard of importance, of urgency, of whether something means something? When the importance of fake-religion (e.g. ISIS rubbish) is dismissed, successful terrorism ensues. One cannot see the importance of fake-religion unless one sees the importance of true religion. One cannot see the importance of true religion unless one lives it with integrity.

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John Kerry’s bogus speech – Part 2

A reader sent in the above video. It reminds me of the one I made, perhaps even more to the point, at Yad vaShem back just before the first Gulf War:

As I mentioned in my first post on John Kerry’s bogus speech 28 Dec 2016, I had a long chat with him in the Vatican Gardens. That was immediately after the funeral of Saint Pope John Paul II. The diplomats had to leave through the gardens, as well as the priests who were helping with Communion (I was with the choir right at the facade of Saint Peter’s). I beckoned him and we had quite the conversation about Catholic doctrine and abortion, at the end of which he agreed to a televised debate. That never came about. He was, after all, moving up in the world, right? His body guards were almost pulling him off his crutches (he having a broken leg at the time). But he insisted on speaking with me at length. Those were the days when, after pushing for abortion as strenuously as he might, he would be televised going to Communion. Thank the Lord that diplomats never ever receive Communion at Papal Masses. I would have scolded him just like JPII scolded Father Knucklehead in Nicaragua. Did I mention that today is the Feast of the Holy Innocents? The nations rage against the Lord and against his anointed, but the Lord is the Lord of History.

This calls to mind the night I spent at the Iranian Embassy with the Chief Rabbi of Rome. The Jews of Rome gathered to pray since just hours before Iran threatened to wipe Israel from the face of the earth. I was in my roman cassock and collar, obviously a priest. The Rabbi came over to greet me, he saying to me: “Praised be Jesus Christ!”

ISIS sawed in half a five year old boy the other day. I wonder if that kind of thing is what John Kerry means by “not-significant security risks.” I wonder if kids don’t matter to John Kerry outside the womb just like they don’t matter for him inside the womb.

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John Kerry’s bogus speech 28 Dec 2016

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John Kerry’s passionate speech (like my one-on-one 15 minutes with him in the Vatican Gardens), was entirely anachronistic, living in the past, utterly suppressing present day realities of these U.S.A. helping Iran wipe Israel off the face of the earth with Iran’s increasingly aggressive nuclear program.

The two-state-solution means nothing if one of those states is dying from the cancer subsequent to nuclear fallout, also making the land unlivable for the other state. Everything under the Obama Administration, anything touched by this Secretary of State, is deadly for Israel and the Jewish people.

There are a thousand ambiguities and openings to terrorism in the speech. How many times was it referenced that moving forward in whatever way would only involve a not-significant risk to security? What on earth does that mean? How many terrorist incidents would be allowed under the high bar of “not-significant”? What does that even mean when people are getting killed? On and on. Is Russia really a best friend of Israel in the region? Unbelievable…

I have to wonder if the analysts who had input into that speech were conspiring to go out of their way to make Kerry look like a clown in hopes of getting promotions under the upcoming Administration. I mean, really, it’s just that bad, and, I’m afraid, just that easy to do. It’s just too easy.

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