Friday, April 19, 2013

Boston Locked Down Amid Manhunt

Off topic a bit this morning, but Metropolitan Boston is under lockdown this morning as police search for the surviving suspect in Monday's Marathon bombing. There have been police officers shot, bombs thrown out the window if a carjacked car, a gun battle with the police, and a significant part of Watertown is completely off limits. Police are going door to door to find this creep, reportedly a Chechyan rebel, whose brother was already killed in the previous gun battle. This guy may have a bomb strapped to him, he may have grenades, and he certainly has one or more guns. I have a feeling this is not going to have a peaceful resolution. I just hope he is the only one who dies from this point on.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Boston Again A Terrorist Target

As everyone has read by now, the finish line of the Boston Marathon was targeted yesterday by terrorists who succeeded in detonating 2 bombs which left 3 dead and over 140 injured. Other bombs that did not detonate were also found. Something also happened at the JFK/UMass area, but it remains to be seen if it was related.

Let me say first, that I have never been the Marathon's biggest fan. Well, my focus has always been on what Patriots' Day is all about: the anniversary of the Battle of Lexington and Concord and the beginning of the American Revolutionary War. The Marathon was this event that overshadowed everything I, as an historian and reenactor cared most deeply about. And increasingly, since the Marathon went international with big prize money, the dimension of local, or at least American, winners has been gone. Didn't really care about who won, because it would be some emaciated chap from somewhere in Africa. No more Billy Rogers from Melrose, or Joanie Benoit from Maine winning.

But with that said, an attack by some mongoloid or mongoloids on "our" Marathon focuses the attention and rallies the hearts and minds. Among those killed was an 8-year old boy. And if that doesn't fill the heart with a flinty resolve to see this avenged adequately, nothing will.

It is too early to jump to conclusions regarding who did this. The first thought is al Qeada or its allies. And North Korea has been acting bizarrely lately. But Patriots' Day/April 19th/Tax Filing Day are natural magnets for home-grown goniffs, too. Columbine, the final assault on the Brach Davidians, and the bombing of the federal building in Oklahoma City all seem to have come around this time, and were all the work of American citizens. More than once I came home after marching in the Lexington Parade on Patriots' Day afternoon hoping to see myself in uniform on the news for a second or two, only to have some ginormous national tragedy overshadow even the Marathon.

If it is an attack from some agents of a foreign power or international gang, then means outside the judicial system should be used, including massive unilateral military retaliation. Read that as saying Mecca and Medina, or Pyonyang, should be turned into irradiated parking lots incapable of human use for the next millenium or two, or three. And, with renewed urgency, rev up the Predator drones to hunt down the leadership.

If it is the work of home-grown assholes, we need to not treat this like an ordinary crime. Investigate, yes. With all the tools at the government's disposal. Make sure the right assholes are found. But acts like this require some extraordinary and extrajudicial means of resolution as a matter of national security. Every crumb of useful information needs to be ripped by whatever means necessary from the minds of the perpetrators. And punishment needs to be swift, horrific, and public. No worries about "cruel or unusual punishments." Lincoln didn't worry about Habeas Corpus when the security of the nation was at stake. Nor should we let respect for constitutional safeguards which are respected in normal crimes and circumstances hinder a truly horrifying and painful punishment as soon as we are sure we have the right assholes. But I suppose the best that can be hoped for is that they will offer armed resistance and need to be shot in the course of capturing them.

And finally, as you will notice in how I headlined this post, something in the culture of this city needs to change. The two flights that crashed into the Twin Towers on September 11, 2001 originated here at Logan Airport. Boston's airport was chosen by the hijackers because of its lax security. And once again, almost 12 years later, Boston is seen as a soft target by terrorists. A place you are more likely to be able to carry out your designs than elsewhere. Clearly there is a problem here that needs to be identified and fixed.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Second Sunday After Easter

From The Liturgical Year, by Abbott Prosper gueranger, OSB:

THIS Sunday goes under the name of Good Shepherd Sunday, because in the Mass there is read the Gospel of St John, wherein our Lord calls himself by this name. How very appropriate is this passage of this Gospel to the present season, when our divine Master began his work of establishing and consolidating the Church, by giving it the pastor, or shepherd, who was to govern it to the end of time!

In accordance with the eternal decree, the Man-God, on the fortieth day after his Resurrection, is to withdraw his visible presence from the world. He is not to be again seen upon the earth till the last day, when he will come again to judge the living and the dead. And yet he could never abandon mankind, for which he offered himself on the Cross, and delivered from death and hell by rising triumphantly from the grave. He will continue to be its Head after his Ascension into heaven: but what shall we have on earth to supply his place? We shall have the Church. It is to the Church that he will leave all his own authority to rule us; it is into the hands of the Church that he will entrust all the truths he has taught; it is the Church that he will make the dispenser of all those means of salvation which he has destined for the world.

This Church is a society, unto which all mankind is invited. It is composed of two classes of members; the governing and the governed; the teaching and the taught; the sanctifying and the sanctified. This society is the Spouse of Christ; it is by her that he produces his elect. She is the one only Mother of the elect; out of her bosom there is no salvation.

But how is this society to subsist? how is it to persevere through the long ages of time, even to the last day? who is to give it unity and adhesion of its parts? what is to be the visible link between its members—the palpable sign of its being the true Spouse of Christ, in the event of other societies rising up and disputing her titles? If Jesus himself could have remained with us we should have had nothing to fear, for where he is, there also are truth and life; but, as he says, he is going, and we may not as yet follow him. Give ear, then, and learn what is the primary quality of the true Spouse of Christ.

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