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Catholic Charities supports dissenting ‘gay Catholics’ July 29, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in asshatery, Basics, Dallas Diocese, episcopate, General Catholic, North Deanery, sadness, scandals, sickness.
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I didn’t say it.  A traditionalist didn’t say it.  No, Sister Jeanine Gramick, founder of the uber-pro-gay ‘New Ways Ministry,’ she who has been barred from the Vatican from speaking on such issues publicly, said it:

Sister Jeannine Gramick, a Catholic nun and one of the founders of New Ways Ministry, which provides support for LGBT Catholics, [that’s one way to put it.  Another way would be: “seeks to undermine Church Doctrine on homosexuality and is a condemned ‘ministry’] said Catholic Charities USA and some local Catholic Charities agencies have provided behind-the-scenes support for the LGBT Catholic community. [I’m shocked, shocked to hear this!]

“Catholic Charities in general have been the most progressive wing of the church other than the nuns,” [Wow, I’m even more shocked!  Actually, this has been known for years] she said. “In some cases, Catholic Charities USA has supported our events. I feel they personally are pro-gay but they can’t do this publicly.”  [Why would that be?  Because they can’t risk offending the knuckle-dragging neanderthals in the Church?]

Whatever you do, don’t read this.  Seriously, don’t even think about reading that if your kids are around.  Link goes to Gawker report of gay priest cabal in Miami and their horrendous perversions.  Includes very foul language AND male nudity. 


A humble plea to Bishop Farrell July 29, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, Art and Architecture, awesomeness, Dallas Diocese, General Catholic.
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At the recent Ordination Mass at the Cathedral, Bishop Farrell alluded to the fact that he would like to see a new, larger Cathedral for the Diocese.  If he’s looking for ideas, here is an example of the very well renovated Cathedral for the Diocese of Souix Falls, South Dakota.  I think its a quite successful renovation:

What did it look like before?  Well, it had an altar placed oddly to one side:

Well, at least it left the old high altar in place! 

Note that there is an altar rail (ahem), and that more seating space was created by not having the low altar jutting way out into the nave.  Overall, a quite good job. 

The Crucifix should be plainly visible from all seats.

I don’t know Fr. Adamcyzk finds them….. July 29, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, Art and Architecture, awesomeness, Basics, General Catholic, Saints.
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….but he has the BEST Catholic art.  I never find things this good when I search! 

‘The Seven Sacraments – Marriage’  He must have some mad Google skilz!

My thoughts on defense spending cuts July 29, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, Dallas Diocese, disaster, episcopate, foolishness, General Catholic, North Deanery, sadness, scandals, Society.
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Before I being, I’m a hawk, but a Reagan type hawk. I believe in peach through strength – sufficient strength that no one will think about attacking this country.  I don’t like to see the military used, and overused, as it has been for the past 15-16 years.  But I favor a strong defense. 

The USCCB has stated that, in order to deal with the deficit crisis without touching the ‘sacred’ entitlement (wealth transfer) programs, we should gut defense spending.  Catholic Vote posted on that story here.  What is below is the comment I left at Catholic Vote.  I cannot accept blanket defense spending cuts without a concommitant definition of our vital interests, our desires in terms of being able to project military power, and a strategy to support both.  And, defense, even though spending has been modestly high, has actually been horribly underfunded for 20 years:

Without looking going and looking it up, does anyone here know how many carrier battle groups the USN has in service at present, vice how many it had in 1990?  How about Air Force fighter wings, or number of bombers?  Or Army divisions?  How many fighter aircraft has the United States Air Force purchased in the last 15 years?  How many ships does the USN have in service compared to 20 years ago? 

In point of fact, the Navy is smaller than it has been since before WWII. The USAF has bought fewer than 300 fighters in the last 15 years.  The Army is pretty well funded, but much of its heavy equipment (like tanks) is very old and nearly worn out after 10 years of constant war.  Our military is actually chronically UNDER-funded, at least in terms of procurement of weapon systems.  We are nowhere near the ‘military industrial complex’ nightmare that Eisenhower warned about (which was actually little more than a shot at the incoming Kennedy Administration, which had run on a platform claiming Eisenhower had underfunded defense). [This blurb about Eisenhower is in response to another commenter] It would take me pages and pages to even give a primer on the dread problems our military faces, but because we have been in these rather useless, endless wars, we have not replaced very aged equipment.  The average age of the US Air Force flying fleet is over 30 years old, at present.  We are flying 50+ year old bombers and tankers on a constant, daily basis.  We are spending huge amounts on defense, but much of it goes to operational and personnel costs – in fact, the vast majority of it does.   This nation has spent relatively little on defense procurement for 20 years, and that has been part of a deliberate strategy on the part of some who want to force the military to downsize dramatically by starving it of new equipment.

To answer the questions above – the Navy is about to dip to 9 carrier battle groups, meaning we have effectively 3 that can be deployed at any time (one on deployment, one in maintenance, one training for deployment.  Even that doesn’t begin to cover the problem, because carriers designed to carry 90+ aircraft now routinely sail with less than 50.  Why?  Because the Navy hasn’t had the money to buy enough fighters to fill the decks!  Not only that, but we’ve lost many specialized types of aircraft, because older types have been retired and not replaced.  In 1990, we had 15 carriers and each would sail with 80-90 aircraft.  The Air Force is dropping down to 17 or 18 fighter wings, vice the 38 it had in 1990. Again, many specialized types of aircraft, like electronic warfare, have been retired and not replaced, and the number of aircraft assigned to each wing has also been cut.  There have been many plans to replace the specialist types and number of aircraft, but no money.  USAF had 300+ bombers in 1990 but now has about 60.  We haven’t built a B-2 or any other bomber in 15 years.  We’ve closed down the F-22 line after a run of all of 187 aircraft.  They are wonderful planes, but there aren’t near enough of them.  The Navy had nearly 600 combat ships in service in 1990, but is down to a little over 200 now. 

What I am saying is, aside from these hugely expensive and foolishly prosecuted wars, the military HAS been cut.  It was cut in the 1990s and never recovered.  It’s been cut as we’ve been fighting wars, as in the case of the F-22 and myriad other programs (S-3 retired and not replaced, F-14 retired and not replaced, EF-111A retired and not replaced……etc.)  Bush did not adequately fund procurement during his term, and Obama is doing the same.  Many of our pilots are flying aircraft many, many years older than they.

The question is not – should we cut defense spending?  The question is – what capabilities do we want our military to have?  Do we want the ability to project power globally?  If so, I don’t think you can cut spending much at all.  If we want to lose our global influence and be bullied in the East Pacific, then, go ahead, cut away.  But I will say this – capabilities given up now will be much, MUCH more expensive to reacquire later. And, it will take much time to reacquire them.  We are actually rapidly following the path of the social welfare states of Europe – spending so much on entitlements that we cannot afford to spend anything on defense.  The European NATO nations had only a few hundred bombs in stock!  They had to beg the USA for more bombs for this idiotic campaign in Libya!  Is that what we want?  To be a paper tiger, barely (if even) able to defend its own borders?

Even if all discretionary spending is zeroed out, including all of defense, we still run a large (multi-hundred billion dollar) deficit. Our deficit crisis is not one of discretionary spending, it is entirely due to enormous wealth transfers (entitlements) that are underfunded by taxation and simply cannot be sustained along with a vibrant economy. 

I would add one more bit.  We are facing an adversary in China that will soon possess capabilities equal to, or in excess of, those of the US military.  This is not scare-mongering, it is a sober analysis of the facts.  China spends far more percentage of GDP on defense than the US, so even though China’s economy is smaller (for now), they are spending huge amounts on defense and rapidly catching up (don’t believe the official figures, they are spending 10x their official figures). In some areas, like cyber attack, China’s capabilities may exceed those of the US.  In fact, China has repeatedly committed acts of war by attacking sensitive US defense and computer networks, probing them for weaknesses and stealing data.  The point is, I don’t think we can assume the US will have a military advantage over China for much longer. 

Now…..tell me of US vital interests we will protect, the capabilities we want to have, and a strategy to go with all that, and we can look at how to ‘cut’ defense.

Chesterton was right! July 29, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, Dallas Diocese, foolishness, General Catholic, scandals, silliness, Society.
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Chesterton said, to the effect, that a man without religion doesn’t believe in nothing, he’ll believe in everything.  As a society, Pope Benedict, as Cardinal Ratzinger, has stated that societies that leave behind the faith will descend into a kind of cultural psychosis, as the innate fear of damnation projects itself onto other issues, like environmental extremist scare-mongering, dread fear of sudden pandemic, asteroid collisions with earth, and bizaare conspiracy theories.  An interesting article from the Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano discusses this modern trend:

World crises have been unleashed with “Mad Cow,” in 2001, SARS in 2003, Avian flu of 2005, swine flu of 2009. They all were supposed to have annihilated mankind, according to certain “experts.” The Avian flu, according to a March 28, 2006 article in The New York Times, was predicted to cause from 5 million to 150 million deaths, whereas actual deaths were registered at around 300; the Swine flu saw a similar end, but not before causing States to purchase millions of doses of vaccine, which were left for the most part untouched, because the Swine flu proved to be less lethal than your average seasonal flu.

Andrea Kerbaker in his book, Bufale apocalittiche (Apocalyptic Bunk) writes: “In the last ten years, according to the news piling up in our media, we should have died ten times over, in the strangest ways. Pandemic, massacre, apocalypse: these are recurring terms for the press at the beginning of the third millennium.” And Andre Glucksman in Italian daily, Corriere della Sera, on June 12, wrote ironically: “Whoever buys vegetables, exposes himself to clouds of assassin bacteria. Scientific reassurances are in vain. The principle of precaution has become our gospel.”….

In 1989, then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger foresaw the roots of this tendency towards panic in a self-sufficient culture that is diffident towards others, where apparently everything is programmed and foreseeable: “Liberalism and illuminism want to insinuate us in a world without fear; they promise to do away with every type of fear. They wish to eliminate every dependency on another and its intimate tension. This search for security is founded on a total auto-affirmation of the self which denies the risk of going out of oneself and entrusting oneself to another.” He continues, “When one tries to completely eliminate fear, without any residue, repressed fear shows up in many guises, as a fundamental anxiety…In our time, these new anxieties germinate and assume in many ways the form of collective psychoses.”

I can think of many more examples of this kind of ‘collective psychosis:” the Y2K bug, Malthusian overpopulation fantasies, the weird fad diets that suddenly figure out the key to being healthy (uhhh…..eat moderately and exercise?), the fear that eggs, or saccharine, or whatever may just totally deadly/carcinogenic, etc.  And what about the bizarre conspiracy theories?  Moon-landing hoaxers, 911 Truthers, the Illuminati, UFOs and aliens, black helicopters…..the list is nearly endless.  People have always been gullable, and the media has always loved big, juicy, sensationalist stories.  But I don’t seem to recall SO many people being SO willing to embrace so much craziness at one time. 

I love the ‘golden age of NASA’……basically, NASA from 1955 – 1973.  So, I watch alot of old NASA videos on Youtube.  And every single video of the Apollo program brings out the literal moonbats, the ‘hoaxers,’ who believe we never landed on the moon.  Even with repeated refutals, with copious evidence presented, with the videos themselves and the recent shots of the Apollo landing sites by the Lunar Prospector spacecraft – they will not be convinced.  It is an article of faith – it is something they accept without question no matter what evidence is presented.  It has, in essence, become a substitute religion for them, and the same is true of ‘Truthers’ and ‘space alien’ and many of the other crowds.  This kind of pop conspiracy mongering has become a substitute religion, and it is immensely sad.  The TRUTH, the real Truth, Jesus Christ, is available for all who will humble themselves, confess their sins, and follow Him.  But many choose to remain mired in a weird kind of pride, immersed in the world of black helicopters and Hangar 18 and all that crap, the new gnostics who believe they have the ‘secret’ knowledge (shared by millions of others) that is somehow the key to a higher plane of existence.  It is a lie.  There is only one key to a fulfilled existence, and that is Jesus Christ, and Him Crucified.