Being President’s Gonna Be the Least of Your Worries, Hillary

Posted in 'Murica, War | 6 Comments

Deacon Brandon Justice On Chattanooga, Sheepdogs and the Triumph of Christ

The following is from a homily preached by Deacon Brandon Justice at St. Mary’s parish near Silver Spring, Maryland a few weeks ago in the wake of the unprovoked terrorist killings of 5 US military men in Chattanooga, Tennessee. My good friend, Zmalfoy, was in attendance, and asked Deacon Brandon for a copy of his words, knowing that I’d appreciate them (and others, as well). Thank you Zophiel! And thank you Dcn. Brandon, for your permission to spread your good words. They are especially meaningful to me as I write from a hotel just a few miles from Chattanooga, tonight.

Cart_sheepdog1In 2008 I was, as a police officer, involved in a gunfight where the other person lost his life. This was the fourth time since 1994 that someone shot at me, but this time it was different. This was the only time since becoming a husband and a dad. It was also the only time I returned fire at someone, and I was in my third year of deacon studies by this time.

During the 8 weeks I was off waiting for the grand jury to convene and decide its ruling, I was given a book to read by a fellow officer and veteran of the 1991 Gulf War. He knew I was struggling, and a book titled On Killing by Col. David Grossman was his suggested remedy. One particular chapter was called On sheep, wolves and sheepdogs. In his book, the ‘public’ are sheep, and those who perpetrate evil are the wolves and people like me, who protect the sheep from the wolves, are the sheepdogs. Grossman explained that the masses needed those of us who could kill to occasionally do so for the greater good.

From military high school, to ROTC in college, my time in the Naval Reserves and a police career that began in West Baltimore, I pictured myself as a sheepdog – a man, as Grossman writes, with a capacity for violence. As such, I was one of those charged with protecting the sheep, who are inevitably viewed as helpless, fearful and potential victims. I took pride in being the guy who would meet evil with force. “If I have to, I will kill for you” was my pledge.

As time went on, this part of my psyche confused me. My identity as a Catholic father, son, husband and deacon were at the front of my mind, but to regulate my fear I needed to feel like a sheepdog. To be a “lamb among wolves” seemed ridiculously unrealistic to me. Even though I read about Dr. Martin Luther King, Gandhi and Archbishop Romero, I never related to exactly how they resisted injustice or faced down evil. Was King a scared sheep? Did Romero run from the wolves like a sheep? Would we consider Gandhi a helpless sheep in the midst of violence? Each of these men bravely protected his flock, not as a sheepdog, but as a shepherd. I began to see non-violence as a duty when, for so many years, I understood it to mean weakness.

John 10 expands on Mark’s gospel: the Good Shepherd. None of us are called to embrace violence, or to celebrate having the capacity to kill. We’re called to be shepherds FIRST – held accountable to how we guide, teach and protect those around us. As Catholics, we must confront evil non-violently with our faith, hope and love. Sheepdogs, like wolves, kill; except one is evil and the other is hired. The Good Shepherd lays down his life for his sheep.

In 2012 I took a fellow clergyman of mine, Fr. Harry, to see Of Gods & Men – the story of the seven Trappist monks who, in 1996, not only refused to leave their sheep but also refused armed protection from the sheepdog – in this case the unjust Algerian army. In the end, the Islamist terrorists kidnapped and beheaded all of the monks. Afterwards I asked Fr. Harry what he would have done. He, too, had military training in his background before becoming a priest. Would he passively go with kidnappers or fight back? He surprised me, saying “I would like to think that as a man of faith, I would respond peacefully with love.” I began to realize that if he could shed the desire to be the sheepdog, then so could I. Instead of “I will kill for you,” my pledge became “I will die for you”.

Such is the calling for clergy, as I have chosen to become. It remains a sad reality, however, that the sheepdog pledge and the sacrifice of police officers, deputies, soldiers, sailors and marines are necessary as long as some men continue to choose evil. Non-violence may not be an option for all of us. Pray for these men and women who choose to be sheepdogs. They are targeted, not just in Asia and the Middle East, but now in St. Louis and Chattanooga.

But this is also a time of unprecedented martyrdom in our Church. More faithful shepherds are being sacrificed than ever before. Nonetheless, this evil, this hatred for Christ, will eventually collapse – just as the genocidal regimes have all done before them – not by force, but by love. We will ultimately triumph – not because we killed greater numbers, but because we sacrificed in greater numbers: not by inflicting, but by enduring. This is the victory of the Cross that is fulfilled through the calling of the shepherds.

Posted in 'Murica, Church, War | 6 Comments

You Can’t Blame Them for Being a Little Confused

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“It’s sad that governments are chiefed by the double tongues. There is iron in your words of death for all Comanche to see, and so there is iron in your words of life. No signed paper can hold the iron. It must come from men.” – Chief Ten Bears, The Outlaw Josey Wales, 1976.

Posted in Barack Obama, Foreign Policy, World | 7 Comments

Pluto’s Heart Formation Looks Strangely Like…a Cartoon Dog

And why not? Seriously, go over to Space.com at the link below, look at the high-resolution images and see if the heart formation doesn’t look a lot like the right-side profile of a cartoon dog’s face. Possibly Droopy or Snoopy or, yes, even Pluto.
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Space.com – The first age of solar system exploration is in the books.

NASA’s New Horizons probe flew by Pluto this morning (July 14), capturing history’s first up-close looks at the far-flung world — if all went according to plan. (Mission team members won’t declare success until they hear from New Horizons tonight.) Closest approach came at 7:49 a.m. EDT (1149 GMT), when the spacecraft whizzed within 7,800 miles (12,500 kilometers) of Pluto’s frigid surface. To celebrate, NASA unveiled the latest photo of Pluto, showing a reddish world with a stunning heart-shaped feature on its face.

More than 1,200 scientists, NASA guests and dignitaries — including 200 reporters — watched the flyby live at New Horizons’ mission control center at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Maryland. They chanted a countdown to the closest approach, then cheered and waved American flags as the big moment occurred. Read more at Space.com.

For other more imaginative interpretations, see XKCD’s preliminary map of Pluto.
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Posted in 'Murica, Space | 3 Comments

Tragically, Perhaps Fittingly, Harper Lee Personally Hammers the Final Nail in the Coffin of Post-Racial America

After the last (fictional) icon of racial harmony is stricken from our national memory, there’s not much left but the radical race-war narrative, and the actual race war that seems to be the goal of the Left.
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The event was recorded in our nation’s newspaper of record, on the front page of the New York Times, yesterday. Michiko Kakutani wrote about the imminent release of Harper Lee’s “only other book” as though she were writing an obituary:

We remember Atticus Finch in Harper Lee’s 1960 classic, “To Kill a Mockingbird,” as that novel’s moral conscience: kind, wise, honorable, an avatar of integrity who used his gifts as a lawyer to defend a black man falsely accused of raping a white woman in a small Alabama town filled with prejudice and hatred in the 1930s. As indelibly played by Gregory Peck in the 1962 movie, he was the perfect man — the ideal father and a principled idealist, an enlightened, almost saintly believer in justice and fairness. In real life, people named their children after Atticus. People went to law school and became lawyers because of Atticus.

Indeed, the central figure in the book Oprah Winfrey once called “our national novel” set a heroic tone at a time when America needed racial harmony more than anything else. He made a case for the feasibility of blacks and whites living together in the shadow of their grim mutual history in America. And it made that dream believable and personal, much like Dr. Martin Luther King did with his “Dream” speech. It’s personal for me, as well. A friend and fellow blogger (and lawyer) whom I admire, perhaps more than any other, took the name AFINCH as an homage to the character.

nyharp2All that vanished yesterday when Ms. Kakutani described the plot of the book that will be released on Tuesday, “Go Set a Watchman,” in which no less an authority than the author, herself, reveals that Atticus Finch is a racist who once attended a Klan meeting and wished to keep his community free of blacks.

The book was actually written by Harper Lee before she wrote “To Kill a Mockingbird,” and was suppressed by her for decades, but it matters not now. She personally agreed to release it earlier this very year, and when that comes to pass in a little over 24 hours, the Atticus that America has loved for 55 years will definitively vanish.

I think this is important, coming at the time that it does. For America has labored now for 6 and a half years under a President who has refused to embrace the spirit of Martin Luther King and of the former Atticus Finch. Instead, Al Sharpton has enjoyed more access to the White House than some members of Obama’s own cabinet. Under this President, racial tensions have exploded, and rather than encourage reconciliation and harmony, he consistently blames a festering (though perhaps imaginary) racism among whites for the unrest. This is in stark contrast to the evidence that blacks are responsible for more violence and crime and overt racism, themselves, than any other racial group in the nation.

Further, like no decade since the 1960s, we seem locked in a period of obsessiveness and a strange, misplaced vindictiveness and alarm over past – ancient almost – grievances that demand instant gratification. Flags and statues and gravestones are being torn down and history is being erased and some demand that even the recollection of our own history be treated as a hate crime worthy of criminal prosecution. With the disregard for King’s wise words and the absolute vaporization of Atticus Finch, our patron saint of racial atonement, I feel that very little now remains to argue against the malignant voices now attempting to characterize all whites as evil racists and America itself as a despicable and incorrigible place fit only for total destruction.

As he has been for years, Barack Obama is uniquely poised as America’s “first black President” to turn this tide and encourage racial harmony and healing. But will he? If the past is any indication, he will not. A race war, either hot or cold, is now coming, and its blood lies squarely at the feet of the one lawyer, and you could call Barack the “anti-Finch,” who holds the remedy, unused, in his attache case.

Posted in Barack Obama, Race | 19 Comments

Lighter Side of Independence Day: Five Subversive Sex Tips (… I Mean, Relationship Pointers) from the Founders.

This post was originally published over on 4gfc.wordpress.com for the 4th of July in 2012 by some idiot called “Gronk” or “Grunt” or something, but the words of the founders never go out of style.

1. Just Get Married Already!, by Ben Franklin.  I know this is ironic, given that Franklin, himself, never really married.  He did, however, propose to Deborah Read when he was only 17, and established a common-law marriage with her eventually after he was denied permission to marry her.  More important, though, is that Franklin really believed marriage was the best state of man, and he made a famous plea to a particularly horn-doggish friend in a letter that has only recently received wide attention because of its explicitness.

Marriage is the proper Remedy. It is the most natural State of Man, and therefore the State in which you are most likely to find solid Happiness. Your Reasons against entring into it at present, appear to me not well-founded. The circumstantial Advantages you have in View by postponing it, are not only uncertain, but they are small in comparison with that of the Thing itself, the being married and settled. It is the Man and Woman united that make the compleat human Being. Separate, she wants his Force of Body and Strength of Reason; he, her Softness, Sensibility and acute Discernment. Together they are more likely to succeed in the World. A single Man has not nearly the Value he would have in that State of Union. He is an incomplete Animal. He resembles the odd Half of a Pair of Scissars. If you get a prudent healthy Wife, your Industry in your Profession, with her good Economy, will be a Fortune sufficient. Continue reading

Posted in 'Murica, Americana | 1 Comment

The Clinton-Obama Benghazi Night Call is Being Withheld by State

Anybody care to bet a hundred grand or so that this call doesn’t exactly show these two registering appropriate concern for the life of their ambassador in Benghazi and other critical US personnel? Anyone?
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Fox News – New documents released by a federal court show President Obama called then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on the night of the 2012 Benghazi attack — but the contents are being withheld by the State Department.

It had previously been disclosed that Clinton and Obama spoke the night of the terror attacks. But the documents offer additional information about the timing of the call — after the initial attack on the U.S. consulate, but before the second wave where mortars hit the nearby CIA annex and killed former Navy SEALs Ty Woods and Glen Doherty.

The contents of the call, however, are being withheld, not because the information is classified but because the administration claims they represent internal deliberations about the 2012 terror assault.

The claim comes as Clinton also faces accusations that she withheld Benghazi-related emails from her private server in the trove of emails handed over to the State Department. Read more at Fox News.

Posted in Obamanana Republic | 12 Comments