Please pray for your blogger! August 29, 2014Posted by Tantumblogo in General Catholic.
Forgive me for impugning on your generosity yet again, but could you please pray for me? Between falling off a latter Monday night and some apparent illness, I’m doing pretty poorly. Whenever I get a fever it tends to make my normally mild arrythmia a bit worse. If you were wondering where I have been, the answer is at home, in bed.
I surely appreciate your prayers. I could really use them at this time.
God bless you.
Traditional Priest – Soft, liberal Katholycism will offer no resistance to resurgent militant Islam August 26, 2014Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, disaster, Ecumenism, episcopate, error, General Catholic, horror, persecution, priests, sadness, scandals, secularism, Society, Tradition.
Great post by Father Carota, as usual. He notes that islam is increasing in population at a time when the Church is shedding members in the millions in most parts of the world, especially Europe and the Americas, Her traditional home. Now, I have read detailed studies of islam’s own fertility collapse, and outside a few countries in Africa the population of muslims will peak around 2030 or 2040 and then begin to follow the same decline that is being seen almost everywhere else, but the problem is, islam’s fertility collapse is trailing Christianity’s by over 50 years, and that time interval represents an increasing window of danger as population percentages shift. Irrespective of the demographics, so long as islam, and especially its radical wing, presents a very vibrant, cohesive, and countercultural set of beliefs, it will continue to attract more and souls disaffected with the prevailing sexular pagan status quo, the sort of soft socialism with pandemic sexual immorality that American hegemony has set loose upon the world. The more the Church rejects Her own countercultural beliefs, the more elements within Her try to please the world and succumb to its prince, the fewer the souls that will be attracted to the Church’s far stronger, reasonable, glorious, charitable, and Truthful belief set.
So while the Church continues to retreat under the twin forces of sexular paganism and militant islam, many souls, including souls raised within the boundaries of the remnant of Christendom (Britain is the source of many of the most extreme of the ISIS psychopaths, including the one who beheaded that poor journalist), will drift into islam’s orbit or formally join this disordered, violent, and even diabolical religion.
Father Carota notes some of the depravities of islam, especially with respect to the persecution of Christians, as well as the cancers eating away at the Church. First, only a very brief list of islamic atrocities:
1) Raping Catholic and other non muslim women and girls. [and performing mass, forced genital mutilation. They also sexually enslave islamists of sects other than wahhabism]
2) Driving Catholics and others out of their homes and country.
3) Bombing, burning and destroying Catholic, Orthodox and other christian churches.
4) Suicide bombings.
5) Kidnapping men, women and children to be sold as slaves, (and some as sex slaves). [indeed, the only parts of the world where slavery has not been totally eradicated are in islamic areas and, perhaps, in East Asia, where women and even children are sold into what amounts sexual slavery. But as the sexular pagan ethos continues to advance in the West, there will be fewer and fewer philosophical and social strong points of opposition to slavery, and I fully believe that if this culture does not turn around, the utilitarian and materialist ethos dominant in the West will find justifications for the reintroduction of slavery and/or indentured servitude in the not too distant future]
6) Stealing Catholic’s and other’s houses, cars, jewelry and possessions as they are driven out of town.
7) Torturing, burring alive, crucifying and murdering of Catholics and other religion members, (and bragging about it on Youtube).
Father Carota also notes some specific atrocities muslims have committed, such as various bombings and terror attacks, and the constant treatment of women as chattel. He then asks how such a religion could be growing and attracting thousands of young men willing to die for religion, when most Catholics, far from being willing to suffer even a minor inconvenience to show up to Mass once or twice a year, demand the Church change it’s Dogmas to suit them and their sins. And that is why islam is attracting at least a fair number of converts, because it presents a strong, masculine-seeming and vibrant set of beliefs in opposition to the ongoing pointlessness of self-absorbed existence in the West and much of the rest of the world. Father Carota lists some reasons for islam’s growth:
1) They have passion for what they believe in.
2) They will kill you or make life difficult for you if you do not convert.
3) They give men a masculine role in their religion; a) God made men to be leaders, and b) Men and boys like to fight. [While Western women want to emasculate men and smash "patriarchy." You know what......success in their endeavor will make them even more miserable than they are now. But ideologues aren't much open to reason]
4) Religion and state work together for their religious laws. [This is very key. Islam demands the state accord to the religion, and islamic nations enforce laws to perpetuate their faith. We in the West are of course far too sophisticated for that, having chosen the false gods of "self-determination" and atheism as the de facto state religion. States founded on such nebulous and ultimately false beliefs will not stand a religiously motivated enemy]
5) Men can marry a lot of women and have more sex.
6) Muslim men get non muslim women to fall in love with them and convert. They then could later on find out that these men have other wives as well. [That's not the half of it. They can claim any women from the infidels they conquer and keep them as concubines in their harem. This has been ongoing in Iraq and Syria. Those don't even count as marriages. So muslim men get to screw a lot of different women, which has a certain animalistic appeal].
7) There is sex in heaven. [Their entire conception of "heaven" is entirely worldly. Islam is incapable of understanding God or existence outside of time as they must be, where worldly "pleasures" (almost always associated with some pain or downside) have no meaning. That's because it's a recycled version of pre-Christian Judaism with heretical Arianism thrown in]
8) Oppressed races are given honor when they convert, like when (Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr), Mohammed Ali converted. (Read here his conversion on a pro muslim blog). Many black men convert to the muslim religion in prison. [I don't know about "oppressed," but converts are certainly lauded.]
So what is the Church doing in opposition to this existential threat?
we Catholics 1) feminize our Catholic faith, 2) accept all religions as good and equal and 3) become more and more hedonistic, we will continue to see more and more Catholics converting to islam.
And that’s just the beginning. We also see Church leaders fawning all over islam as a great “religion of peace,” we are told, rather coyly, that islam “worships the same God,” in the current catechism, we see Koran’s kissed, we see even TFG tell muslims there is no reason for them to convert……we see a very great deal, none of it good. We see a constant denial of islam as an endemically hostile religion that seeks to conquer or convert the entire world, and has the zeal and willingness to do so. We also see pointless “dialogue” that often gives scandal and undermines the Faith of the relatively few souls striving to accept and practice what the Church has always believed. We see a very great deal.
Father Carota concludes:
I find it interesting that when the Israelites would become evil, God would send people from Babylon to destroy them and take them into exile. Isn’t Iraq where Babylon was? Yes, it is. [see Psalm 43, which I posted yesterday]
But God will never be outdone, even when we are giving away our Catholic souls to the muslims. God will come to our aid. And that is why we need the passionate traditional Catholic beliefs and practices. At least a few of Jesus’ followers are standing up strong for His Catholic Faith. And our loving Catholic witness in our everyday life, speaks powerfully in a world filled with selfishness and hate.
Meanwhile we should be praying, sacrificing and sending money to help the Catholic refugees from muslim terrorism. Especially offer your Holy Rosaries for the conversion of muslims and the spreading of the Catholic faith. [I do, every day. Even if my devotion and attentiveness during prayer is not what it should be] Mary has always had a powerful hand in defeating the muslims and all evil. [Dang right! And another sign of the weakness in the Church today was the replacement of the great Feast of Our Lady of Victory every October with Our Lady of the Rosary. I have a great devotion to the Rosary, but Our Lady is also a powerful intercessor in earthly Christian struggles against rampaging hordes of pagans and infidels of all stripes, especially muslims. She has intervened to effect miraculous victories on numerous occasions. And, in response to the overly pacifist tendency in Catholicism today, a complete misunderstanding and misrepresentation of Saint Francis, in particular, our God is the God of Armies! That's what "God of Hosts" means, He is the God of Armies, earthly and angelic! And He always intervenes to protect and bring victory to His souls, when they are faithful to Him!]
I’ll add this final consideration – does not soft, liberal katholycism, far from offering any opposition to islam and its effectiveness in bringing in many converts, some former Catholics, but does it not instead immensely aid islam in its continued growth and depredations? Does not the pathetically soft response of so many Church leaders only help convince radical islamists that Christianity is weak and ripe for attack? And for how long must we be told that the great mass of muslims are peaceful and kind and loving, just like the best Catholics, when they seem to offer absolutely no opposition to the radical elements at all (exactly the opposite from how “radical” traditional Catholics are treated), and in fact can be found, in much coverage of the ongoing atrocities, happily milling around and taking photos and videos while people are crucified, beheaded, raped, or shot? Where is the movement of this “great mass” of muslims in opposition to the radicals? They are nowhere to be found, because they are either too cowed to stand against them, or really don’t mind seeing Christian, shiites, and others, get what they “deserve.”
End post. I was going to post a great writing by Saint Louis, King of France, but I have run out of time. Tomorrow, God willing! Dang work!
Over at The Remnant Newspaper’s website, Christopher Ferrara has a loooooong article about the upcoming Synod and all the many, many reasons faithful/traditional Catholics might want to oppose it. Some of the reasons are mere annoyances or doubts caused by TFG’s behavior, while many others are quite detailed and deserve serious consideration. Because the post is so long and detailed, it’s a bit difficult to excerpt, but here’s a couple of extracts (my emphasis and comments):
First they came for the Roman Rite, which they destroyed. Then they came for the Church Militant, which they disarmed and surrendered to the spirit of the age. Now, at the Synod, which threatens to become Vatican II rebooted, progressivist bishops and their apparatchiks will be coming for the moral law itself under the guise of a search for “pastoral solutions” to “challenges facing the family” [This is a point Christopher Ferrara and Michael Matt have argued extensively in other settings. Suffice it to say, the argument, I believe, proves beyond a doubt there is certainly a large segment of the hierarchy that does seem set on that last bit, which is the unwinding of the Church's entire moral law, or whatever remains after 50 years of concerted assault. I will say that Cardinal Kasper and his greatest ally have been almost diabolically wise in their choice of point of attack, because if one undoes the current belief surrounding marriage as one time union of man and wife resulting in a radically new and different union that simply can't be undone, while simultaneously turning the Blessed Sacrament, the reception of God in the Flesh Himself, into something to which every person has a positive right, irrespective of their sinfulness......if you do these two things, the entire moral Doctrine of the Faith can be completely unwound and destroyed, along with much of the remaining positive theology in other areas. The Church would be left a totally prostate liberal protestant sect, about on the par with the episcopalians. And look at how well they're doing, with their average congregation size of, I kid not, 67 souls]
But the proposal to find “solutions for remarried divorcees” is only part of the looming threat posed by the Synod—a Synod for which there is no more actual need than there was for the disastrous Second Vatican Council itself. The entire Synod project smacks of an effort to determine Church practice on the basis of what people who reject Church teaching would like to see. In that regard, the Synod’s Instrumentum Laboris(working document) refers to the earlier “Preparatory Document” containing a survey filled with loaded questions which give the impression that Church teaching is a matter for debate and discussion at the “pastoral” level. While the questionnaire was directed solely to the bishops, many bishops promptly distributed it widely or posted it on diocesan websites to obtain “input” from any priests and members of the laity who wished to speak for “the People of God.” The result, quite predictably, was that a questionnaire intended for the bishops became an opinion poll generating what the Instrumentum Laboris calls “significant reflection among the People of God” regarding “new demands of the People of God.” Demands! [So, after 50 years of catering to the absolute lowest common denominator in the Church, from aggrieved liberals to apostate priests, how has that worked out? Has the Church, through this debasing of Herself, at least attracted scads of liberal converts and reverts into the fold? Absolutely not. In fact, it is the liberals who have left, or stayed gone, in the greatest numbers. Because liberalism/leftism is a competing religion in its own right, one our secular friends much prefer to any worldly version leftists in the Church can trot out]
It seems, however, that “the People of God” have a problem with the Law of God. Half a century after the imaginary “renewal of Vatican II” supposedly began, the Instrumentum admits: “[t]he People of God’s knowledge of conciliar and post-conciliar documents on the Magisterium of the family seems to be rather wanting,” that “many Christians, for various reasons, are found to be unaware of the very existence of this teaching,” and that “even when the Church’s teaching about marriage and the family is known, many Christians have difficulty accepting it in its entirety.”[Ha! That's a mild understatement! How about stating the Truth, which is that a whole great swath of people are deeply mired in sin, and don't want to be reminded of that fact, so they demand the Church change Her beliefs in order to assuage their own consciences. It still won't work, because God is God and sin will remain sin - all that will happen is the continued destruction of the Church and condemnation of millions of souls] It is of course inconceivable to the ideologues of Vatican II that what the Instrumentum describes is a catastrophic failure of the attempt to “update” Church teaching by restating it in more accessible language. Yet the very title of the document, “The Pastoral Challenges of the Family in the Context of Evangelization,” is an implied admission that fifty years after the Council it islapsed Catholics who must be evangelized because they are more or less apostates, producing the “silent apostasy” John Paul II lamented. Instead of admitting the Council’s utter failure to “renew” the Faith, however, the drafters of the Instrumentum—one can only laugh at the suggestion—call for yet another “updating” of Church teaching…..[Well, of course. As I’ve said recently, the post-conciliar Church represents a competing religion, the religion of secular leftism, trying to exist within the Church. That is impossible, which is why these “spirit of…..” types are irrepressibly hostile to the traditional practice of the Faith. And as Ferrara notes, they are dogmatic ideologues, so they are completely closed to any contradictory evidence – they are literally blind to the destruction their project to redefine the Church has caused. Or, they secretly see it as a feature, and not a bug. Either way, they press ahead with one “new evangelization” and “new catechesis” project after another, only to see Church attendance, donation, vocation, and other indicators slip, yet again. And then we’ll have another “new” program, more slip, etc., ad infinitum, until……..? But I will say this Synod represents one of the gravest threats to any possibility of true restoration in the Church in the past few decades. And it won’t take a formal “change” to Doctrine, Doctrine can be obliterated in practical terms by secular pastoral approaches
So I almost put a question mark at the end of the lede, because while I fear this upcoming Synod (while retaining confident hope of a miracle), I don’t think a petition is going to accomplish very much – especially one with only 1000 signatures. It would take 1000 times that many to attract any serious attention. But, in conscience, I thought I would go on the record as putting forth my wish that it be stopped. I am very concerned that even some subtle “pastoral” changes that seem innocuous at first could have enormous repercussions that are impossible to discern in advance. Certainly we’ve seen that with regard to many pastoral “advances” made in the past 50 years.
You can sign the petition at the bottom of the Remnant link. Whether you sign or not, prayer is an even better response.
All young priests are belong to us August 26, 2014Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, Dallas Diocese, Eucharist, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Interior Life, Latin Mass, manhood, priests, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
Not really, but it makes me feel very good to see this:
Oh how I love to see priests rock the cassock! I know one of these priests fairly well, the one on the right, not as much, but I do know something very wonderful about him but I have to bite my tongue. Sthho haawd.
The priest on the right is the one who led the Good Friday Procession from near downtown to far north Plano earlier this year. I understand he would like to lead another such Procession next year, and is working on….and I’m so excited to hear this…..a Corpus Christi Procession at some point in the near future! What a great Grace both will be, but especially the latter, as Corpus Christi Processions have a long and glorious history in this Diocese. I miss this priest a lot, he’s so holy, and very good in the confessional! Both of these priests have been ordained in the Diocese of Dallas in the past few years.
I am so edified seeing good priests of this Diocese wearing traditional clerical dress and giving witness to the continuity in Tradition of our glorious Catholic Faith!
Now for the tonsure……..
In actuality, intercepting ballistic missiles, in spite their fantastic speed, is an exceedingly easy targeting solution. Indeed, the US obtained skin on skin hits with the ancient Nike Zeus system, using a mechanically scanned radar, as far back as 1962. The reason why the targeting solution is that a ballistic missile, once launched, follows an entirely predictable, parabolic arc, so that radar and computer systems working in concert can predict where that missile or warhead will be at any given moment with fantastic accuracy. This does not deal with the matter of penetration aids, obviously, but as a basic technology, missile defense has never been terribly difficult, in spite of the speeds involved.
In many respects, these rickety short range missiles fired into Israel represent a more difficult targeting solution than do long range ICBMs, even if these short range missiles are much shorter ranged. But it is that shorter range that makes them difficult to intercept, short range means short flight time and less time for defenses to react. Many of these short range missiles have a flight time of only 2 or 3 minutes. In addition, because they are so flimsy, the often start falling apart in flight, providing a sort of penetration aid to target in the form of debris that can fool the radars into mistaking false targets for the real ones. Flimsiness can also result in deviations from the ballistic flight path, which means accuracy is non-existent, but makes defense all the more difficult (Hamas doesn’t care how inaccurate their missiles are, so long as they land in Israel and kill Jews).
So it is not a mean feat when Iron Dome engaged and defeated fifteen Qassam rockets simultaneously – and from the same battery. Boo yah!
Regarding some of that old missile defense technology, which they used to call ABM (anti-ballistic missile):
Something more recent – MRBMs have a range of about 1000 miles. BTW, the Soviets, errr…..Russians, are now in violation of the 1987 INF treaty by testing the SS-26 ‘Stone’ medium range theater ballistic missile.
If I were President, I would wallpaper the country with these things. Defense is inherently moral, offense much more problematic.
I have long maintained on this blog that there are powerful, I would say almost irrefutable, similarities between drug addiction and the favored sin du jour, the sins of sodom and gomomrrah. The more I have thought about this, the more I have tended to believe that “homosexuality” reflects a process of sexual addiction and self-worship that culminates in one desiring the “same,” instead of the “opposite.” In some sense, it’s almost genital worship. Strange as that may seem, you ought to read what some radical lesbian feminists and sodomite men write and say regarding their equipment. To say it seems to be the be all and end all of their existence (speaking generally, of course) would be not much exaggeration.
It is amazing how, in our current society, certain behaviors that result in negative “life outcomes” or effects on one’s life receive great concern and medical attention as something to be combated and, hopefully, reduced, while others – with even far worse outcomes – are held up as a wonderful source of diversity and something as good and wholesome as apple pie. Such is the incredible achievement of the 25 year long sodomite propaganda campaign which has taken a tiny minority, rightfully viewed with some disdain and concern, and turned it into a dominant cultural powerhouse that is now demanding, and receiving, from the dominant majority all manner of special treatment, even at great cost to the majority itself! But the dread life effects remain all the same, and no matter how much propagandists attempt to dress up sodomy and its allied sins as wholesome, that is simply one lie that will never become the truth. As a post at Pertinacious Papist points out, compared to even alcoholics, sodomites have disastrously bad rates of all manner of afflictions, from premature death to risk of all manner of disease. First, alcoholism:
- A significantly decreased likelihood of establishing or preserving a successful marriage
- A five- to ten-year decrease in life expectancy
- Chronic, potentially fatal, liver disease –hepatitis
- Inevitably fatal esophageal cancer
- Internal bleeding
- Serious mental disabilities, many of which are irreversible
- A much higher than usual incidence of suicide
- A very low likelihood that its adverse effects can be eliminated unless the condition itself is eliminated
- An only 30 percent likelihood of being eliminated through lengthy, often costly, and very time-consuming treatment in an otherwise unselected population of sufferers (although a very high success rate among highly motivated, carefully selected sufferers).
- A significantly decreased likelihood of establishing or preserving a successful marriage
- A twenty-five to thirty-year decrease in life expectancy
- Chronic, potentially fatal, liver disease — infectious hepatitis, which increases the risk of liver cancer
- Frequently fatal rectal cancer
- Multiple bowel and other infectious diseases
- A much higher than usual incidence of suicide
- A very low likelihood that its adverse effects can be eliminated unless the condition itself is
- An at least 50 percent likelihood of being eliminated through lentghy, often costly, and very time-consuming treatment in an otherwise unselected group of sufferers (although a very high success rate, in some instances nearing 100 percent, for groups of highly motivated, carefully selected individuals)
What the above fails to note is that the rate of suicide for sodomites is even higher than that for alcoholics, and by a substantial amount. In addition, there are frighteningly high rates of drug addiction among that same sex afflicted community (as any addict can tell you, crossover addictions are exceedingly common. Even when addicts get clean, they often manifest addictive behavior in other areas of life, and it’s not uncommon for addicts to have several addictions ongoing at once).
There are, in addition, other public health risks unique to the latter population which we don’t need to talk about now, but which seem almost to have been purposefully designed to target primarily that community.
That sodomy, in particular, was a dirty practice subject to grave health risks used to be one of those things most even semi-literate people understood, but many in the culture are either too propagandized to understand this, or have been educated into imbecility and no longer accept the wisdom of the ages.
But that process may well have been part of a broader plan, as well, no?
I read the following commentary on the ongoing civil unrest in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, MO, on Friday. I’ll present the text before I tell you who wrote it and provide a small amount of commentary:
As we watch the scenes from Ferguson, Missouri unfold on the nightly news, does it prompt some questions? Certainly, they are not scenes that we in the United States expect to see in 2014. But, what do we see?
Are we looking in a mirror? Are we seeing ourselves as others see us? Are we seeing ourselves as God sees us? Do we feel the pain and frustration of those protesting? Do we feel the fear and anxiety of the police officers? Or, are they like figures in an NCIS episode?
I wonder if we have become anesthetized to the authentic agony of others, whose real life pain and suffering will not be resolved by the end of the show. Have we fallen victim to the culture of indifference that inures us to the sufferings of others?
Have we lost the capacity to weep over the pain of those different from us? I hope not. I pray that we seek to be compassionate not judgmental. I pray that we stand down, not stand firm. May God bring peace, justice, understanding and mercy to all the people of Ferguson and throughout this great land and may He grant us all the wisdom to see ourselves as God sees us.
The author was Dallas Bishop Kevin Farrell.
I really don’t want to say too much, I am interested in your reactions. But I will say a few things.
I could bring up a number of matters of prudence, such as the seeming assumption that the audience is a group of 5 year old’s that have difficulty discerning reality from a TV show (a manifestation of clericalism?). Since I haven’t had a TV in a while, perhaps its influence is even more pernicious than I thought, and there are scads of people who think what is occurring in Ferguson is entertainment.
There is much room for commentary on both the original shooting, the crimes that led up to it, the rioting and looting of the community, the extremely militaristic response of the police, and the ongoing strife in that town. Indeed, there have been probably thousands of pages written in response to this Ferguson matter, already.
I noted above, from a man standing in an office inherited from the Apostles, a heavy focus on emotion in place of reason. This is very common in the world and such emphasis on emotion over reason has crept into the Church to a marked degree over the past several decades.
Taking in all of the above, I am struck by how many opportunities for catechesis by Bishop Farrell were missed in choosing to place the emphasis on emotion and non-judgmentalism. Saint Thomas does make plain that to rebel against the state authority is a grave sin, unless the state’s tyranny be truly egregious and all other methods of recourse have been exhausted. Even then, any rebellion against the state, which this kind of rioting represents at least in part, must have at least a reasonable chance of success in changing the government, either by overthrow or by forcing a change in behavior. I do not think either likely in response to the rioting in Ferguson, although I do hope this militarization of the police gets reconsidered.
There seems to be a growing sentiment in this country that if a white cop shoots a black person, some injustice has occurred. But how does that sentiment line up with reason and Catholic belief? That would have been an interesting avenue to explore. And what of the role in the media in stoking this unrest, repeatedly referring to a fully grown, 6’5″ 300 lb 18 year old giant as a boy or teen? Yes, technically he was, but he was a teen fully capable of doing grave harm to others.
I’m not sure what the takeaway is supposed to be. Don’t judge, have empathy for others? So, we should just stand by when people riot and loot? Or feel the pain of “anxiety” of the militarized police when they conduct an erroneous no-knock raid on my house at 3 am on a bogus warrant, because some unfireable civil servant typed in the wrong address?
I’m getting excited, I could go on for quite some time, but some final questions- have we, as a Church lost the capacity for bishops to guide us in necessary moral distinctions and to give reasonably clear and vigorous responses to ongoing moral questions in the Church and world? Or are we as a Church now in a place where the best we can possibly expect is a muddy call to “understanding” and having empathy for all, no matter how egregious their behavior? And, of course, never, never, never judge! Of course, Christ was referring to the state of someone’s soul, and not the evil of individual or group actions, but He did say “judge not,” ergo, irrespective of the context, and contrary to 2000 years of Catholic understanding, you better not judge!
Which it’s our birthday, precious……. August 25, 2014Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, Bible, catachesis, Christendom, General Catholic, Holy suffering, persecution, silliness.
……..and we are this many……..
1 Unto the end, for the sons of Core, to give understanding.
2 We have heard, O God, with our ears: our fathers have declared to us,
The work thou hast wrought in their days, and in the days of old.
3 Thy hand destroyed the Gentiles, and thou plantedst them: thou didst afflict the people, and cast them out.
4 For they got not the possession of the land by their own sword: neither did their own arm save them.
But thy right hand and thy arm, and the light of thy countenance: because thou wast pleased with them.
5 Thou art thyself my king and my God: who commandest the saving of Jacob.
6 Through thee we will push down our enemies with the horn: and through thy name we will despise them that rise up against us.
7 For I will not trust in my bow: neither shall my sword save me.
8 But thou hast saved us from them that afflict us: and hast put them to shame that hate us.
9 In God shall we glory all the day long: and in thy name we will give praise for ever.
10 But now thou hast cast us off, and put us to shame: and thou, O God, wilt not go out with our armies.
11 Thou hast made us turn our back to our enemies: and they that hated us, plundered for themselves.
12 Thou hast given us up like sheep to be eaten: thou hast scattered us among the nations.
13 Thou hast sold thy people for no price: and there was no reckoning in the exchange of them.
14 Thou hast made us a reproach to our neighbours, a scoff and derision to them that are round about us.
15 Thou hast made us a bye-word among the Gentiles: a shaking of the head among the people.
16 All the day long my shame is before me: and the confusion of my face hath covered me.
17 At the voice of him that reproacheth and detracteth me: at the face of the enemy and persecutor.
18 All these things have come upon us; yet we have not forgotten thee: and we have not done wickedly in they covenant.
19 And our heart hath not turned back: neither hast thou turned aside our steps from thy way.
20 For thou hast humbled us in the place of affliction: and the shadow of death hath covered us.
21 If we have forgotten the name of our God, and if we have spread forth our hands to a strange god:
22 Shall not God search out these things: for he knoweth the secrets of the heart.
*Because for thy sake we are killed all the day long: we are counted as sheep for the slaughter.
23 Arise, why sleepest thou, O Lord? arise, and cast us not off to the end.
24 Why turnest thou thy face away? and forgettest our want and our trouble?
25 For our soul is humbled down to the dust: our belly cleaveth to the earth.
26 Arise, O Lord, help us and redeem us for thy name’s sake.
Interesting that this Psalm – this year! – would be the one in number corresponding to the years of my life. For the Church and so many faithful souls seem to face the same horrible persecutions, the same terrible sufferings as King David describes above.
More and more, we seem to be a bye-word among the Gentiles, a name spoken with reproach. And as is said above, so many Catholics “have forgotten the name of our God, and if we have spread forth our hands to a strange god.”
Oh Lord, have mercy on Your Church! Give us the strength to remain faithful to You in our sufferings, as this Psalm You have given us so beautifully describes. Arise and redeem Your Church! Convert and save all the many troubled souls therein.
For the less discerning:
Imagine, if you can, an aircraft larger than an MD-11, and weighing as much, that could travel over three times the speed of sound, and not just for a brief spurt, as experimental and a few fighter aircraft could do, but for hours at a time. Imagine an aircraft that could conduct its full strike mission from CONUS to the USSR, and back, in 6 hours or less. If you can imagine that, you can understand what an incredible aircraft the North American XB-70 Valkyrie was.
Conceived in the late 1950s as a replacement for the mighty B-52 Stratofortress just then entering squadron service, it was the XB-70 that embodied all of General Curtis E. LeMay’s desired characteristics in an intercontinental bomber. LeMay knew the B-52 would soon be rendered highly vulnerable to rapidly improving Soviet air defenses. LeMay also knew that a highly supersonic bomber could make almost any defense extremely difficult and incredibly expensive, even for a country like the FSU that spent almost half its gross domestic product on “defense.” It was predicted that the B-70, possessing extremely capable electronic countermeasures and even hypersonic defensive missiles shaped like little flying saucers, would be able to penetrate any defense the Soviets could conceive.
However, the B-70 program ran into two enemies it could not overcome: the intercontinental ballistic missile, which supposedly rendered the manned bomber obsolete, and the intransigent hatred of Robert Strange McNamara for both manned bombers in particular and the Strategic Air Command in general. McNamara was convinced that ICBMs were far, far cheaper than manned bombers, even if ICBMs had numerous limitations and were very vulnerable themselves (the whole bomber-ICBM debate, which ties in deeply with the ICBM-missile defense debate, would take several very looong posts to unpack. Suffice it to say, what most people “know” regarding the supposed invulnerability of ICBMs, the high vulnerability of high-altitude high speed bombers, and the claimed inefficacy of missile defense is all completely, totally wrong). It turned out, as usual, that McNamara was massively wrong: while individual missiles were cheaper than individual bombers, by the time one added in the cost of super-hardened missile silos, the incredibly elaborate and redundant command and control systems needed to manage an ICBM fleet, maintaining complicated missiles in cramped holes in the ground, etc for a very long time, bombers are actually quite a bit cheaper. But McNamara and his Kennedy/Johnson allies had the whip hand, and the B-70 program was reduced to a technology demonstrator.
But what a demonstrator it was! The first XB-70 was pretty limited – it could fly at Mach 3, but had some structural problems that limited it, eventually, to less than M2.5. But the second XB-70, incorporating many improvements, could cruise at well above Mach 3 and nearly 80,000 ft as long as the fuel lasted (which was quite a while). A number of 5 hour missions were flown with most of that time being spent above Mach 3.
Well, as always on Friday, I have run out of time. The videos below are only pretty good, they give some great footage but do repeat the prevailing, and erroneous, orthodoxy regarding the supposed vulnerability of the B-70 to surface-to-air missiles. That vulnerability was always greatly overstated for political purposes. Maybe more on this next week. The B-70 was a pivotal program at a pivotal time, and tied in so many issues related to strategic offense and defense that one post cannot even begin to do it justice.
Know that improved, production versions of the B-70 were to fly as fast as M3.5 and at altitudes nearing 100,000 ft. If you know anything about surface-to-air missiles, you know there are almost none that would have a capability to engage a target that high and fast, and that any such missile that could be developed to do so would require such awesome capabilities as to be nearly as expensive as the bomber itself. And, the bomber can shoot back.
Pretty good overview from Discovery Wings:
Testing was not without problems. The landing gear locked up on one early flight, resulting in a dangerous fire and a quite grave situation:
The B-70 testing program was brought to an end because of a really preventable tragedy on a publicity flight. GE wanted to get video footage of a bunch of GE-powered planes (which the XB-70 was), but Joe Walker flew his F-104 into the wake turbulence of the XB-70, his aircraft flipped over the back of the Valkyrie removing both vertical fins, with the result of two men dying and two aircraft lost, including one irreplaceable one. God rest his soul, Chuck Yeager said Walker was always a lousy formation pilot (for all his great aviation achievements and records set), and never should have been on that flight:
Below, the Standard Aircraft Characteristics of the initial B-70 production version. Note test aircraft routinely exceeded Mach 3 and approached 80,000 feet.