Here’s an example of one of the daily visits to this most read post:
Location: New York, United States
IP Address: Mcgraw-hill Education (184.108.40.206)
Referring URL: (No referring link)
My feelings exactly.
An old school, super excellent, honorable guy, a John Edger Hoover redivivus (in the good aspects anyway), disillusioned as he is with the shenanigans that have been going on from mid-level on up for quite some time at the bureau, gave me my marching orders. What a patriot he is. He waxed poetic, reminiscing about the old days. We have a common understanding about doing what is right for the common good, no matter the cost. Do it! So, he mentioned how to go about this, given the extraordinary difficulties and those who don’t want this to happen at any cost. His “how to” surprised me greatly. I had been warned to go ahead and do anything but that, anything else, including going to my friend in the Institute for Intelligence and Special Operations. But, no, I couldn’t do that. I would end up in the middle of some mountain in Colorado if I did that. But this guy insisted that his way, so surprising to me, was the only way.
My reaction to that, only thought but not said – and I confess this – was “Oh s#!+”. Sorry, but I am a sinner. At any rate, O.K. I’ll see what I can do. This may take some time to arrange.
We pray for those who died and their families and friends, for more heroes like Aaron Feis, for the conversion of criminals and terrorists.
Of course the highest aspiration of our Veterans is peace. Of course the determination of our Veterans is to support that peace with what it takes: courage, valor, integrity…
The surest sign that there is a lack of patriotism in a country is when people jump up to ensure that we make a distinction between Memorial Day and Veterans Day, the one being for the dead and the other for the living.
Here’s the deal: the living Vets thoughts and prayers on this Veterans Day go to their brothers who died in battle.
Lest we forget.
U.S. Army Sgt. La David Johnson, 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne), one of four American soldiers killed in Niger, second from left in picture above, knew that he might be killed when he, the “Wheelie King”, signed up for the military in service of these United States.
To Democratic Congresswoman, Rep. Frederica Wilson, such an assertion must be false, as if anyone who would risk his life for his brothers and for his country by signing up for the military must be insanely stupid, as if no one would ever be so generous as to lay down his life for his friends. To Wilson, signing up for the military must simply mean another whatever job with no particular risk ever.
But to lay down one’s life for one’s friends by signing up for the military while knowing the risks – and he surely did – is not stupid; it is generous. But to say it is stupid to that soldiers’ loved ones is to attempt to skew their understanding of the heroic nature of signing up for the military in the first place is it not? This would be a viciously insensitive manipulation on the part of the Congresswoman for private political gain. In my opinion, this is a disservice to his loved ones. Horrific, really. It betrays, it seems to me, a spirit of disrespect for America and for Americans by the Congresswoman. What a shame.
I sincerely hope that his family is able to step back from this controversy in times to come and see the heroic nature of his signing up to the military in the first place.
As a priest, if I were to have the great privilege of being a martyr for Jesus, laying down my life for my friends with the love and truth and goodness and kindness of Jesus, witnessing to His love and truth and goodness and kindness to the end, however politically incorrect in a fallen society, I would love it if Jesus were to present me to our dear Heavenly Father saying of me that I knew what I signed up for. Indeed, I signed up for the love and truth and goodness and kindness of Jesus, and that, my friends, is politically incorrect, enough so that Jesus Himself said, “As the Master, so the disciple.”
Just to say it, when Jesus was obedient to His Father, He also knew what He signed up for, and I thank Him for his generosity. And just to say it, Mary, Jesus’ Mother, knew what she signed up for as well, and I thank her for her generosity as well:
If Trump didn’t say the words about him knowing what he signed up for, he should have, as it speaks to the ultimate generosity.
Remember Miriam Woldu of Eritrea (34), “Front of House” receptionist at the Pope’s residence of Santa Marta? She was assassinated with her baby in her womb. Intense culpable homicide investigations began after the autopsy and examination of her medical supplies. After. It’s the mercenary guy in my opinion. The deaths were a shot over the bow. Some people said she was simply stupid. But you don’t get an Intelligence job as “Front of House” for the leader of 1.3 billion people by being incompetent. I think she was the best in the world at the can’t ever forget a face thing. At any rate, at the time, the Holy See was under enormous pressure not to influence the Italian referendum on “gay marriage”, so much so that many of the Cardinals, apoplectic, publicly, really almost shrieking, exclaimed that they weren’t saying anything whatsoever about anything whatsoever during the referendum. Sometimes it isn’t about not doing anything evil; it’s about not doing anything good. And sometimes some governments think that neglect needs to be encouraged with extortion.
Thinking of some other things taking place, or not, along the Tiber and along the Potomac, I went to get some advice yesterday with an alphabet soup friend. “Just ten minutes,” I said. “Sure, c’mon over,” he said. That turned into four hours, as always. The result was simply the statement of ultimatums. It comes down to the typical mafia-esque extortion, the shot over the bow kind of thing.
I should hope that no one can be bought, replacing God’s love within us with empty mind games of moralizing self-congratulation, you know, “sophistication” and “doing what you have to do”. God’s love and truth is stronger than death and is our treasure and is irreplaceable.
Jesus’ heart could not be extorted, and so a sword pierced that heart in His tortured, crucified body. But God’s love and truth is stronger than death, and He has led the way. He is the way. I should hope we all say that we cannot be extorted.
“If you see something, say something.” If a tree falls in a forest with no one around to hear it, does it make a noise?
The bear that screams as it is crushed to death can’t even hear itself as it dies. Is that what the tree wants in falling? Sorry to be so cryptic (except to a few), so cynical (no choice on my part at this point). The country is not being served by the unpatriotic swamp who put peoples’ lives at risk.
“If you see something, say something.” If a tree falls in a forest with no one around to hear it, does it make a noise?
Today may be an interesting day.
I went over to one of my “shut-ins”, “Mr Win”, to see if he was up to taking a wheel chair ride at the memorial today. Couldn’t do it. So I said I would go to the Wall for him and take back a stencil of the name of a friend of his, Arthur J Elliot II. One of the guides there gave me this medallion for him. That already about set him to tears, as did the stencil…
Elliot was a Lieutenant Commander, a Navy Seal, who was in charge of setting up ultra-temporary tactical forward operating bases. Mr Win (finally a Full Bird as they are called) was in charge of logistics. The commander of the entire war effort in Vietnam was having a meeting with Elliot and Win. “Can you supply what’s needed?” he asked. “Yes,” said Win. Later, Win went down to the docks at their base in the Mekong Delta, asking the whereabouts of Elliot. “He no longer exists,” he was told. “What do you mean he no longer exists?” asked Win. “He took a B-40 right to the chest. Nothing left, sir.” A B-40 is a rocket propelled grenade (RPG).
The guy got his heart ripped out.
And the NFL can’t put their hands over their hearts during the National Anthem…
The mobile wall is called the Moving Wall for a reason. You can’t but weep.
I was shown the following picture which I later in the morning showed to Mr Win. He said that this was an absolutely typical scene of a Catholic Mass being said immediately after the guys would come back in from combat:
The priest pictured, Father Kevin Devine, is still alive as far as we know. It’s Father Kevin who supplied my guide at the Wall with this letter of a young man to his parents, written just before he was killed in combat. I read this to Mr Win and, of course, we both got choked up. It’s as if he wrote it today in the midst of the NFL protests:
Please share this! Honestly!
Last night I had a few errands to run at the parish after the last events for the retreat were over for the day. You’ll notice the flag at half mast because of Vegas. This is patriotism, which, btw, is a virtue. I had requested that lowering from the retreat and the parishioners were so eager to carry it out. Our most unpatriotic parishioner can recite all verses of Taps.
Someone set up Laudie-dog with a new doggie house complete with wind flaps for the door, transparent of course. Very nice. More on that when I’m back from the retreat.
Meanwhile, someone’s been working on the creek bank. I didn’t see it at night but was told about it. Could be nefarious or really good. I’m thinking someone was good and kind. People are awesome.
Perhaps someone knows who “The Guy” is. He’s someone whose example I strive to follow.
You’re a day late Father George. The anniversary was yesterday…
Here’s the deal: The cases of those those still dying from the toxic dust they ran into isn’t expected to peak until 2041. This wasn’t a one day event. The aggression of terrorists is ongoing. Today. Tomorrow. So many dead. So many dying. Still. So many families stricken. Today.
I hear a lot of conspiracy theories about 9-11. I’ve been in quite a few terrorist incidents and have met quite a few terrorists who’ve taken very many peoples lives. I don’t care much about conspiracy theories. People are dead, and people are dying. It needs to stop. Period. If terrorists got help, the helpers are terrorists, whoever they are, wherever they come from, whatever their work happens to be. For me, it isn’t a matter of many different groups conspiring together. Instead, they are all one, terrorists who share but one outlook, one hatred, one arrogance. Anyone shocked by this or that person or office or bureau or institute or company or group or whatever being involved in terrorism is naive as the day is long also about their own weakness and idiocy.
The response is to be sharing the greatest love of our lives, the Prince of the Most Profound Peace, who holds out that bond of love to us from the Cross when all hell broke out on Calvary. Who is it who was presented with terror more than anyone? Jesus, along with His blessed Mother. They saw clearly all the worst of every last person ever conceived or to be conceived, including ourselves, right there on Calvary. What was their response? Goodness, kindness, forgiveness, peace.
Of course, forgiveness might not be received. That’s on the terrorists. It’s pouring burning coals on their heads. Staying with goodness and kindness and forgiveness and peace is the Way to go. Also, securing peace with the military and our special operators and all of our public safety personnel is not contrary to this goodness and kindness and forgiveness and peace. It’s all part and parcel. Yesterday. Today. Tomorrow.
If your very person is sovereign to yourself so that you are otherwise without territory, you are nevertheless subject to the laws of the place where you happen to be, right? Can you be a citizen (=a city’s denizen) if you are one person without a city or a city state or state for that matter? Oh I forgot. Sovereign Citizens are not persons, as that’s a “contract word”, so they are just human beings…
Can Sovereign Citizens, whatever they are, rape and pillage and murder, and break the speed limit while under the influence for that matter because they say that local laws don’t apply to them?
What an irony that in claiming to have an ultimate standard of identity in just themselves as cut off from God and man, they have no identity at all.
Sovereign Citizens are the final sad joke of Descartes’ “Cogito ergo sum” — (I think therefore I am). All alone, relative only to themselves, nothing, vacuous, empty…
But then there’s the acting out on the frustration of having no identity. I’m not talking about an identity of belonging to this or that country, but the problem of one not having an identity of who one is before God and, therefore, who one is before man. Not even knowing that this is the problem leads to extreme writhing frustration and weird guesses as to why one is the way one is, like not belonging to whatever State. This is a recipe for resentment of laws and, because one is a law unto oneself, makes one more likely to be a violent anarchistic and terrorist than any others. I would also think that these would be likely candidates, ironically, to be violent Marxists, making the violence of dialectical materialism without borders into one’s identity. One can attempt to find one’s identity by identifying with others who have no identity. The energy of rationalization of one’s state becomes the driving force of every aspect of one’s life.
A priest friend often asked me over the years why it is that communists have such ferocious energy to dedicate to their cause of nothingness that is nowhere, the old ploy of the utopia carrot on a stick that is tied to one’s own back so that one can never reach it.
Well, it’s this, the total lack of identity. The lack of identity is too painful not to act upon.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Lots of people give lots of statistics to put America down. They say that America is…
And so it goes. Some truth to the criticisms. Lots of lies. Mixed in with the lies, I’ve noticed, are attacks on religion. Thus, there are rankings for stupidity based on whether people believe in angels. America ranks very high on the list, but that’s good. Those who go out of their way to say that “people who believe in angels are morons” are blasphemers of Jesus, who spoke of those pure spirits who see the face of God in heaven, and also see us. Jesus also did exorcisms over against fallen angels. Those who deny this effectively say that Jesus was a fool to be damned by God if God even exists. I would not want to be damning Jesus at the last judgment when He shows us the wounds which demonstrate how much He loves us, having taken on the whole onslaught of hell so as to stand in our place for the sins we ourselves committed so that He would have the right in His own justice to have mercy on us.
Here’s the deal: Patriotism, by definition, is about wanting what is best for one’s fatherland. We can want what is best no matter what the present conditions are. Those who say that patriotism is foolish hate themselves and their neighbor and the way God made us, that is, as spirits with bodies that necessarily have to be in the here and now in whatever nation, whatever fatherland. Are there elements which need to be fixed? Yes. Is it Patriotic to recognize that and go about fixing whatever? Yes. To be content with what needs fixing is to be selfish, un-Patriotic.