Have you subscribed to the Catholic newspaper? April 22, 2014Posted by tantamergo in Admin, awesomeness, catachesis, fun, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Interior Life, Latin Mass, priests, religious, sanctity, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
One of my biggest occasional treats is when the great Catholic newspaper put out by the Transalpine Redemptorists shows up in my mail 4 times a year. I just got the Easter edition yesterday, and it is so edifying, so wonderfully traditional, so gloriously Catholic that it just makes my day whenever it comes.
Many readers may already be familiar with this “newspaper,” but those who are not may be asking why I think it’s so great, and whether it’s worth $10 per issue. The answer to the latter question is easy, it most certainly is, not only for the content, but also because this newspaper provides the prime source of income for this very devout, holy, traditional order. They are constrained in many of their plans and ability to grow (for they have many vocations) due to financial considerations.
It’s great for too many reasons to list. Each issue contains beautiful photographs of traditional Catholic piety from around the world, whether it be offering the TLM, a grand procession, a humble soul in prayer, or what have you. The photos are so uplifting and moving they alone are worth the price of subscription. But in addition to that, there is a good deal of news, often on subjects not often covered in the main media or even blogs, there is commentary, there are writings on Saints, and there are even some deep theological insights.
But more than anything it is just the profound sense of Tradition, in every sense of the word, that pervades each issue that makes it so special. Not just Tradition, but also a marked sense of piety and sanctity that pervades each issue. I always come away from reading both edified, and convicted of some deficit in my practice of virtue. Not in a way that makes me feel beat down, but uplifted.
I even like how the paper describes itself in a small box on the back page of every issue:
Catholic is a quarterly newspaper published under the patronage of Our Mother of Perpetual Succor by The Desert Will Flower Press, organ of the Sons of the Most Holy Redeemer…….
This newspaper claims, so to speak, to be but as the lighthouse of Papa Stronsay which lighthouse is officially described by the Scottish Commissioners of Norther Lighthouses as a “minor light”……Without pretensions this newspaper is simply as a minor lighthouse on a small island in the vast darkness of this world and its oceans.
The light from this island’s vantage signals abroad news of the traditional resurgence in the Church, a renaissance that is evident in the increase of the number of Masses celebrated according to the Roman Missal of 1962; the boost in number of vocations to the traditional forms of religious life and priesthood; the reappearance of large families indicative of the sacrifices made by married couples to live according to the Church’s Magisterium concerning openness to the transmission of life’; and the other manifestations of the recovery of traditional Catholic life in the Church, the longed-for New Pentecost burgeoning with blossoms of new life ungrafted, shooting skywards directly from the roots of the holy past.
Have I gone over the top in my selling it? Ah, well……..the zeal of the converted. Another little bit I like very much is this guidance also on the back cover of every issue:
Now, some scenes from the Vigil Mass on the holy island of Papa Stronsay, the Orkney home to the Sons of the Most Holy Redeemer:
Here is the link to subscribe, again.
This made me laugh April 22, 2014Posted by tantamergo in Admin, blogfoolery, error, foolishness, Four Last Things, General Catholic, silliness, Society.
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Why does the left love totalitarian iconography so much? Do we really have to ask the question?
But I found the below hilarious. First of all, the left is trying to use the same cult of personality effect that got Zero elected on that foul old warhorse Hillary Clinton:
First of all, Clinton hasn’t looked like that in 20 years, if ever. That’s about as favorable a portrait as I’ve ever seen, and still………yikes.
But I loved this comment on the new totalitarian iconography for Hillary:
The Hillary poster in particular seems to come from some weird alternate universe in which Eva Peron was an admiral of the Imperial Japanese Navy.
I don’t know why, but that made me laugh hysterically. Maybe because I’ve been such an officianado of the IJN going back many years. The Imperial Japanese Navy was hands down the most lethal, efficient navy in the world from 1937 to, say, June 1942. Then they were utterly crushed by the pupil they had so cruelly taught, who learned so very well, indeed.
This was their battle flag:
You get the resemblance.
I’m not sure he’d appreciate the association:
Resurrexit Sicut Dixit! April 21, 2014Posted by tantamergo in Admin, awesomeness, Basics, Dallas Diocese, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Latin Mass, Liturgy, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
Just a quick reminder, if you aren’t already aware, the Regina Caeli replaced the Angelus starting on Easter. We will keep with the Regina Caeli until Saturday noon before Trinity Sunday.
I pray you had a most blessed Easter. We certainly did. I thought I might share some scenes from the Triduum at our local parish. For the first time at Mater Dei, we assisted at the Vigil Mass. It was most impressive. I must say, I am unused to staying up so late, and I was unable to take a nap during the day, so I was sort of dragging during the actual Mass portion. But aside from that, it was something I was very glad to have been able to participate in, to assist in something so ancient, timeless, and sublime.
I’m glad someone took these and posted them to Facebook, my camera was on the fritz at the Vigil Mass. I do have some items I took on Holy Thursday and Good Friday I hope to upload later.
It was quite a scene seeing the church suddenly light up and the vestments change from somber violet to radiant gold.
REMINDER: All day procession from Dallas to Plano April 18, 2014Posted by tantamergo in Admin, awesomeness, Basics, Ecumenism, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Lent, Liturgical Year, manhood, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
I blogged on Monday about the all-day procession taking place from Dallas to Plano. The details are at that post if you want to join at the last minute.
But I mentioned how the priest leading that procession is one of those younger priests that fills one with hope for the future. While not traditional per se, he has many leanings in that direction.
Well, here he is today as the procession got started just a short while ago, rocking the cassock and biretta:
God bless you Fr. Marco Rangel, this is an inspired idea. And thanks so much to J Schwartz for his help, as well.
Yes, external signs such as cassock and biretta may not be as critical as what resides in the heart, but they are key aspects of Catholic witness. I am so gratified to see young priests who understand the need for priests to give that witness constantly, and who are proud to wear the visible signs of their awesome vocation in public.
It is interesting that these two have been assigned to a parish that has long had a reputation as among the most liberal in the Diocese. I pray they have a hand in changing that.
Like I said, wonderful witness. I have had an on-again, off-again desire to just stand outside these whorehouses with a placard and pray on Friday or Saturday nights. I should have liked to have joined this procession. We’re so tied up with wonderful things at our parish, but this is wonderful, too.
God bless you guys, this is beautiful.
Now for something a lot better… April 15, 2014Posted by tantamergo in Admin.
I’ve probably given into way too much grousing already during this Holy Week. No more. If I do any more posts, just good stuff, like this:
The FSSP doing a solemn tone Salve…….fantastic. Compare with my other favorite version of this prayer:
This is kind of neat, the Stations in video, haven’t seen it all, hope it doesn’t get goofy, but I am out of time:
That’s what I do when I’m late for Mass, I just dump out videos.
Quick Flightline Friday – F-20 Tigershark – 041414 update April 14, 2014Posted by tantamergo in Basics, Society, Admin, silliness, fun, Flightline Friday.
Since I am going to be out most of the week, I am going to update this post today, instead of on Friday, when, God willing, I will be at church pretty much all day.
The F-20 Tigershark. It is another of the great also-ran’s of American military aviation. Derived from a design dating back to the late 1950s, incredibly, with the installation of a modern engine, updated digital avionics, and some minor aerodynamic changes, the F-20 Tigershark emerged as a very potent low-cost 4th generation tactical aircraft. Itcould have been, and maybe should have been, a big seller to third world NATO allied nations. But it didn’t sell.
The Tigershark got its start as a Northrop design submission for a new trainer for the United States Air Force back in the late 1950s. The design originally started out as a speculative lightweight fighter (the N-102 Fang), but when the USAF competition for a new advanced trainer began, Northrop realized their little fighter design would be a nice fit. Northrop had sort of specialized in idiosyncratic designs, and small and light weight were sort of a fetish at the company for decades.
The trainer became the T-38 Talon, which is still in use as the USAFs advanced trainer for fighter and attack aircraft today, over 50 years after it entered service. But when Kennedy entered office in 1961, his administration sought to support a lightweight fighter for lower-rung, less-advanced allies that could serve in all the Cold War brushfire wars that administration was interested in prosecuting. So Northrop returned to their trainer design, called the N-156, and produced a new model, the N-156F, that became the F-5A Freedom Fighter.
The Freedom Fighter had several advantages. It was cheap. It was designed to be very easy to maintain, even in an austere environment without a great deal of advanced support facilities. But it had very short legs and was certainly not overpowered. Even by the late 60s, the F-5A was obsolescent for combat in all but the most permissive air defense environments, and competitors from other countries posed threats to this low-end fighter market. So, USAF fired up a competition for an F-5 follow-on, to ameliorate some of the Freedom Fighter’s shortcomings.
Naturally enough, Northrop won that competition, too, and what came forth was the F-5E Tiger II. By adding afterburners to the small J85 turbojets, a small ranging radar, ability to carry infrared air-to-air missiles, and some other improvements, the F-5E and its two seat variant, the F-5F, went on to be best sellers throughout the 1970s, with nearly 1400 built. The F-5E received a big boost when, in the early 70s, USAF bought a couple hundred to serve as aggressor aircraft in the air-to-air training role. Air combat in Vietnam showed that USAF’s priority on fighting a nuclear war did not work out well in a conventional environment, with large, heavy aircraft designed to carry a nuclear weapon a long distance being rather poor performers in the air-to-air arena. Even more, the pilots had not been trained hard in that vital area, skills had deteriorated, and our guys had a hard time dealing with the very maneuverable aircraft used by the North Vietnamese. Nonetheless, at least as many losses were attributed to bad tactics and bad airmanship, as were due to unsuitable aircraft types.
The Navy had started its own intensive air-to-air training program, the famous TOPGUN program, in the early 70s. As always, USAF did one better, developing a massive training environment at Nellis Air Force Base called Red Flag, where extremely realistic and difficult training was implemented. F-5Es played a key role in that training, simulating such very maneuverable communist aircraft as the MiG-19 and MiG-21.
But by the early 80s, the F-5E was running out of steam. Many newer types were available, foreign competition was intense, and there had been so many incredible advances in engines and avionics that the Tiger II was looking pretty tired. It was at this time that Northrop decided to try to refresh the design again, putting in a modern engine, very modern avionics, and some aerodynamic changes to improve performance. And improve performance it did.
Originally called the F-5G, to seem newer and sexier, Northrop petitioned the Air Force for a new number for their aircraft, and was given F-20. Northrop lobbied pretty hard for this number, to try to sell the fact that this new plane was a big advance on the “teen-series” fighters – the F-15, -16, etc.
The primary changes to the F-20 were the replacement of two small GE J85 engines with one F404 engine, a remarkably lightweight and durable powerplant. This engine was much, much more powerful than the two previous engines, as well as being much more reliable and fuel efficient. Thrust increased from 10,000 lbst at sea level to 17,000 lbst. This gave the F-20 a thrust-to-weight ratio of about 1.1:1 at combat weight, meaning it could accelerate going straight up. In addition, the airframe was strengthened to permit 9 G maneuvering. Coupled with the basic Tiger II aerodynamics, the F-20 was extremely competitive in terms of air combat maneuvers.
What really improved the Tigershark over the Tiger II, however, was the avionics. The very simple and limited ranging radar was replaced with a modern pulse-doppler set from GE, digitally controlled, with all kinds of modes: sea strike, synthetic aperture, track while scan, etc. It could detect fighter size targets at about 40 miles (about the same as the APG-66 radar in the F-16), and could track 10 targets while engaging two. The old Tiger II cockpit, which was a sea of analog gages and switches, was cleaned up remarkably with a good sized HUD and two large electronic multi-function displays (see below).
A huge selling point for the Tigershark was that its avionics were all brand new, 8-10 years newer than those used in the F-15 and F-16. We all know how much digital electronics advanced in the late 70s and early 80s, and the Tigershark reaped the benefits of those advances. This meant lighter weight, for one. But more importantly compared to even the F-16s avionics, it meant much higher reliability. At least, according to Northrop. Northrop claimed that the Tigershark would have mean time between failures for major systems (engine, radar, inertial navigation system, etc) several times better than that of the F-16, and an order of magnitude better than the F-15. The F-20 was projected to consume 53% less fuel, require 52% less maintenance manpower, had 63% lower operating and maintenance costs and had four times the reliability of average front-line designs of the era
All this resulted in a very hot little fighter which would sell at a price substantially lower than any other American or even foreign aircraft of similar capability. The Tigershark was a very modern, Mach 2 fighter on the cheap. And in some areas, the Tigershark was more capable than the F-16 it ultimately competed against: the F-16 could not fire Sparrow radar guided missiles in 1984, whereas the Tigershark could. The Tigershark had the quickest point intercept reaction time of any aircraft in the world at that time (and possibly today): from getting the launch command, the F-20 could be at Mach 1.2 at 30,000 ft in less than 3 minutes.
However, there were also a number of problems with the F-20. This all had to do with Northrop recycling a design that started out as a 1950s training aircraft. Because it was not designed from the start to carry large loads, the
Talon/Freedom Fighter/Tiger II/Tigershark all shared very short landing gear and a low mounted wing. This wing meant there was little ground clearance for ordinance. This dramatically limited both the quantity and types of ordinance that could be carried. In addition, the F-20, being both very small, and always rather limited in fuel capacity, had a much shorter range than aircraft like the F-16. As an attack aircraft, the F-20 came up very short in comparison to other types. Even the very design of the wing limited payload capability. In addition, the F-20 was so small and cramped inside that, as vastly improved as it was, it did not show much promise for future growth. The F-20 was an amazing improvement to the basic 1950s design, but it wasn’t going to go much further.
Nevertheless, the F-20 should have been very attractive to a number of air forces, especially those of countries that don’t make a practice of going to war with their neighbors and blowing up their stuff (like we do). As a point defense interceptor/fighter aircraft, the F-20 was hard to beat on price and capability. And it was thought many countries would be interested in it.
Bu the Tigershark ran afoul of political maneuvering and typical USAF obstinacy. The F-20 was far cheaper than the competing F-16, but the F-16 happened to be built in the home district of the House Majority Leader, Jim Wright. Wright put a good deal of pressure on the USAF to not give any support to the F-20. In addition, many elements within USAF did not want to see F-20s built, since they might take away F-16 customers, resulting in marginally higher price on the F-16 due to a lower production run. So the USAF kept buying more and more F-16s, even for missions the F-16 was not particularly suited for, while the F-20 was never purchased by the Air Force. Without a US endorsement, foreign clients were reluctant to sign on – and General Dynamics sold F-16s at a loss to keep Northrop and its F-20 out of the marketplace.
I always felt this attitude by USAF was a bit ugly, and unreasonable. The F-20 would have made a perfect replacement/addition to the F-5E in the aggressor role (a role the Navy still uses it for today), since it could better represent more advanced competition from Soviet types like the MiG-29 and Su-27 than could the F-5E. But USAF steadfastly refused to purchase the type for that purpose, for which it was eminently suited. Today, the dissimilar air combat training that so benefited USAF pilots in the 70s and 80s, making them the best of the
world, is defunct, since the Air Force does not have a dissimilar (that means, other than what is in service) type to train against, save for occasional Navy or foreign participation. So F-16s fight F-16s, F-15s and F-15s, etc.
The F-20 wound up also being hurt by a couple of crashes that had nothing to do with the aircraft. Two of the three prototypes were lost due to what is called “G-induced loss of consciousness” – basically, the pilot pulls such hard Gs that he passes out, crashing as a result. This was a problem back in the early 80s (and not just in the F-20), as the mega-capable modern fighters were going beyond the limits of what some humans could endure.
I am not one to say that the F-20 was a world beater that got entirely robbed by political shenanigans. Like any aircraft, it had its upside and its downside. But it is probably one of the most capable aircraft ever to fail so totally, never garnering a single significant sale. And that sad end is, unfortunately, primarily due to politics, and not capability. There was no reason, for instance, for a country like Venezuela to buy 18 F-16s, when they could have had 40 F-20s at the same price.
Anyhoo, now the important part, plane Pr0n.
I love these defense vids from the 80s. So over the top in their earnestness and seriousness. Of course, the Cold War was serious business.
More Yeager greatness:
Uno mas vez:
I always thought the F-20 had a really great, clean cockpit design. It was very good for its time, and fully modern even today:
Prayer Request April 8, 2014Posted by tantamergo in Admin, Dallas Diocese, Holy suffering, Latin Mass, sadness.
Bill DeVille has been a good friend of this blog online and off. He suffered a stroke over the weekend. Could you please, in your charity, say a prayer for his healing and that he and his wife may offer up this suffering for their own sanctification and the good of the Church? Bill and Beverly are pretty well known in these parts, I pray for Bill’s quick healing and growth in holiness and virtue in this trial.
Thank you for your kind consideration.
Flightline Friday re-post: The “almost” F-15 April 4, 2014Posted by tantamergo in Admin, silliness, Society.
Most people have at least some small familiarity with the mighty McDonnell Douglas (now Boeing) F-15 Eagle. First entering service in 1974, the Eagle has been the mainstay US air superiority aircraft for 40 years (uhhh….which isn’t exactly good that it’s been that long – can you imagine Wright Flyers fighting WWII?). It’s a beautiful ship. It has an unparalleled air to air combat record – over 100 kills and zero losses (although, the quality of the opposition does sort of diminish that record). But what everyone knows as the F-15 could have been a radically different, and in some ways even more capable, aircraft, had things gone a bit differently.
The military, in particular, almost never produces a weapon system without a competition within private industry to try to find the very best product available. The competition that produced the F-15 was started in the late 60′s and was known as Fighter-Experimental (F-X). The F-X competition had developed in fits and starts over the last half of the 60s, with the USAF originally wanting a Mach 2.7-3 superinterceptor+ ground attack aircraft – sort of an ultimate F-4. But the disastrous performance of US aircraft in air combat in Vietnam made the USAF reconsider and reposition the F-X competition for an all out air supremacy aircraft. There were 3 main contenders in the latter stages of F-X – Fairchild Republic, McDonnell Douglas, and North American Aviation, Inc. We all know the McDonnell plane already, and the Republic plane didn’t really have a chance, but the North American plane almost won the competition, and some say should have.
Throughout the 1950s, North American had frequently been the #1 defense contractor. But in the 60s, the company had a number of huge projects cancelled and even with their huge role in the Apollo program had fallen on somewhat hard times. They needed to win this competition for the USAFs next generation mainstay fighter. They pulled out the stops.
There is no question the NA-335 as it was known was aerodynamically far advanced on the F-15, possessing features that would not be seen on other aircraft for another 5-8 years (which, back then, was a very long time in aviation years). It had wings blended into the fuselage, static instability, and the wings had a graceful, curving design that provided sufficient lift for hard maneuver but were shaped so as not to cause huge supersonic drag. Horizontal stability may have been a bit of an issue without twin vertical tails, but the rest of the aircraft looked a winner. The avionics package was very advanced for its time – even more advanced than McDonnell’s (and it is avionics – aviation electronics – that have provided the true edge for US aircraft since Vietnam and precipitated their dominance). But it was expensive.
In today’s eras of trillion dollar deficits and military tactical aircraft with unit flyaway costs on the order to $100 million it’s amazing that a competition like the F-X would be decided on an expected cost differential of $200 million, but that was really the issue. North American’s proposal involved the construction of a new manufacturing plant, and the cost of that, plus the more complex avionics suite, caused the North American proposal to have expected lifetime program costs $200 million more than McDonnell’s. There was also a comfort factor – McDonnell’s design had derived from NASA studies that had been extensively wind tunnel tested, and the Air Force may have had more confidence in the aerodynamic qualities of the McDonnell design. Sadly, at that time, the USAF did not conduct fly-off competitions between aircraft and judged the merits on the paper designs – some aviation historians feel that if a flyoff had been held, the North American design would have emerged the clear winner.
Today, almost no one remembers this aviation also ran. There are almost no pics of it on the web, although I have a book at home with some very nice artwork and 3-views. I’ve posted the only photos I can find:
North American was bought by Rockwell International during the F-X competition. Although North American Rockwell went on to produce the B-1 bomber and some test aircraft, the company gradually drifted more and more behind the times. For the USAF’s next heavyweight fighter competition, the Advanced Tactical Fighter, their design finished last. It was aerodynamically quite up with the times, but completely behind the times in terms of stealth technology. North American Rockwell was absorbed by Boeing in the 90s and no longer exists.
UPDATED: Well shuck my corn, I just found 2 gorgeous prints of the North American model NA 335, the F-15 competitor:
It was said that the designer of the Sukhoi Su-27, the F-15′s Russian competition, was glad that USAF chose the McDonnell design over the North American one, because he felt he could design a superior aircraft relative to the McDonnell design, but not the North American one. He did, at least aerodynamically. In fact, the Su-27 appears to borrow a fair amount from the NA-335.
And, I retract what I said about horizontal stability, until I found that print on the bottom, I’d never seen those ventral stabilizers. Beautiful ship.
For this 2014 update, I found one more pic of the NA-335. BTW, it would have also been called the Eagle had it gone into service:
Below, by the way, is what the Republic version of the F-X would have looked like. Rather F-14 in a way, but with two widely spaced engine nacelles which might have made control a problem if one had flamed out:
Quick hit query April 3, 2014Posted by tantamergo in Admin, asshatery, blogfoolery, disaster, error, foolishness, fun, manhood, secularism, sexual depravity, sickness, silliness, Society.
If feminists (aka marxist lesbians) are so dedicated to crushing Teh Patriarchy!11! and smashing all “heteronormative” impositions of same (increasingly, crazed feminists define heterosexuality as a repressive tool of men)…..why do they all worship at the altar of a man, Marx? Marxism is inseparable from radical feminism..
But if these womyn are such fierce man-crushers and dedicated to the destruction of a “male-dominated” society, how can they base their entire political-economic philosophy on the thinking of a hated man?
C’mon, grrrls, when are you going to develop a truly neo-pagan post-male patriarchy-crushing philosophy of your own!?
Look at all those Marxist men! It’s a veritable snausage party! What are all you lesbians doing there?
That’s it, I’m done April 1, 2014Posted by tantamergo in Admin.
This is it, my last post as a Catholic blogger. I’ve tried to keep up a brave front, but I simply cannot stand it anymore. I can’t stand all the scandal, all the failures, all the abuses. I’m tired of fighting.
Nope, I’m done, and I’m going back to where I belong, back to good old protestantism. At least there, I can find some pastor just like me who will tell me what I want to hear, all wrapped up in the warm warming fuzzy sweet sweet embrace of private interpretation. We can pick and parse Scripture down till it reflects just what we want it to. Heck, I might even become a pastor myself. That way, I don’t have to agree with ANYONE on what the good book says, just what the Lord Jesus reveals to ME.
I know this seems rather sudden, but I’ve been thinking about it for a looooong time. Hours, at least. I know that’s where Jesus, my Lord and Savior, wants me to be. Isn’t it amazing when the Holy Spirit guides you to make those easy choices, rather than encouraging you to continue the fight?!? I just ripped John 6 out of all my Bibles, along with Maccabees, Tobias, James chapter 2, etc. Don’t need any “apocrypha!”
Another great benefit to my decision is that now I’ll be the beneficiary of all kinds of ecumenical outreach, rather than being one of those despised and ignored neo-pelagian restorationists!
Now I’m free, free to be me! I wonder how many people will join me in my gay-friendly (oh, yeah, forgot to mention, tired of fighting on that, too, easier (and much more lucrative$$$) to just go along) radical traditional protestant sect, with
simulation pretend offering availability of the Sacraments? I mean sacraments, both of them.
Well, it’s been quite a journey. I’ve made a lot of friends along the way, but they’ll all have to be bitter enemies now that I’m switching teams. Again. Because it’s all about me.
Toodaloo, I expect this life-shaking change to affect me for at least the next 16 hours or so.
Rock on, my good former co-religionist readers.
And, oh yeah, I almost forgot……have a happy April Fool’s Day.