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Plano cop harasses pro-lifers March 7, 2012

Posted by Tantumblogo in Abortion, Basics, Dallas Diocese, Ecumenism, General Catholic, North Deanery, scandals, sickness, Society.
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I try to be supportive of the police and any public safety officers, but they periodically take actions that make them seem like repressive tools of the state more than the public servants they are intended to be.  Jill Stanek has the story here, which, given the extensive background on the man involved, I’ll copy entirely:

As I wrote a couple weeks ago, pro-life activist Todd Bullis recently relocated from California to Texas.

Recall Todd launched “The Church Project” while in California, showing graphic images of aborted babies on Sunday mornings in front of churches professing to be pro-life but bearing no fruit.

To say the least, Todd had interesting experiences at those churches – from being hosed by an off-duty police officer congregant at one church to having signs flipped over by a congregant at another.

Todd plans to continue his project in Plano.

This past Saturday Todd and his son decided to test the waters by holding a little two-person picket on a random high traffic street corner. Todd had run into rudeness when attempting to communicate his future plans in person to the Plano police department, so he decided to check out the lay of the land.

Plano Police Officer Steven Sanders, Badge #1439, responded to a complaint, and as Todd explains in his video, went above and beyond the call of duty to harassment.

Sanders refused to let Todd videotape him, claiming Todd’s camera just might be a gun. But I found a photo of Sanders, right, in a cigar club puff piece.

Sanders went out of his way to make trouble for Todd. For instance, Todd had parked his car in an empty church parking lot, not even knowing it belonged to a church a block away. Sanders said he was going to encourage the church to file trespassing charges.

I’ll let Todd take it from here…

The idea that the video camera is a gun is ridiculous.  Police departments around the country have implemented policies directing their officers to order people not to video them in order to limit liability exposure.  This incident occurred at the corner of Legacy and Custer in Plano, near Custer Road United Methodist Church.  We’ll see if they press charges. 

The dude has cajones, I’ll say that.  He’s quick in his arguments with an authority figure, something that’s always difficult to do. 

Things could get more interesting around here.

Another abortion: The woman who claimed she was denied the Blessed Sacrament by a priest in the Washington, DC Diocese at her mother’s funeral (the Diocese reprimanded the priest), is not only a long known gay activist who presented herself and her lover as gay before the Mass, she’s also Buddhist.  So…….why would she desire the Blessed Sacrament, if not simply to harrass what she knew was a faithful priest, in an attempt to discredit the Church in the run-up to an election to decide if gays  simulating marriage will be recognized by the state in Maryland?  She used her mom as a prop and a political weapon.

Must press on – Michael Voris’ appraisal of the Church March 7, 2012

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, Dallas Diocese, disaster, episcopate, error, General Catholic, horror, North Deanery, priests, religious, sadness, scandals, sickness, Society.
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I wrote the post before this one largely before I learned of Lex’s death.  I’m still surpringly devastated, but I’m going to press on.  I promised I’d get to some of the “heavy stuff” discussed with Voris today, so here is some.

Michael Voris has traveled all over the world.  He has seen the Church on every continent save one, and he’ll be there, soon.  He knows what is going on in the Church, as well as anyone I can think of, better than almost all the individual bishops and priests and even Curia officials, because he travels everywhere, meets people in their parishes, and sees the reality of the Church in every locale up close and personal.  As such, he is probably as well placed as anyone to be able to describe the present reality of the Church.  He shared some of this study, if you will, with my wife and I, and I’ll present it below, to the best of my ability:

The Church, as it is commonly viewed both within and without as an enormous structure of over a billion of faithful, spread around the world and generally holding the same beliefs, no longer exists.  There is no “bastion” of the Faith, where the Faith is truly practiced in a widespread way, where the Church has high esteem and great influence in the culture, anywhere in the world.  Whereas in times past, 50 years ago, perhaps, there were demonstrably Catholic countries like Ireland, Spain, Italy, the Phillipines, etc., no such country exists today.  Europe is all but lost.  The vast, vast majority of Europeans, save for a tiny remnant, think like atheists, act like atheists, vote like atheists – because they are atheists.  The same is true in most of the Americas.  The United States and a few other countries, like the Phillipines, have a more robust faith than most others, but even that is limited and greatly reduced compared to just a few decades ago.

What is left in the Church are small pockets of the faithful, typically gathered at an orthodox parish of the FSSP, Institute of Christ the King, SSPX, or some similar group, or an occasional diocesan parish.  If a Diocese does not have an orthodox parish, there will be little groups of the faithful who try to muddle along as best they can.  Voris estimates that there are, out of the 67 million or so “Catholics” listed by the Church in the United States, in reality fewer than 5 million actual, practicing, BELIEVING Catholics in this country. I’m not sure I’m even that sanguine – I think it may be more  like 3 million, but, the point is, apostasy is incredibly widespread, formation is disastrously poor, and there is very little being done on an institutional level to change the present situation.

How have we come to this point?  Well, a variety of reasons, in Voris’ mind, but some of the main reasons are the same things I harp about constantly on this blog –

  • toleration of or outright support for heterodoxy, error, and apostasy
  • complete failure of catechesis on an institutional basis – that is to say, the entire system of catechesis from the schools to RCIA to the pulpit is broken, and frequently worse than that, actually teaches error, because there has been a failure to enforce discipline among the teachers, and many of them are among the most heterodox
  • rare enforcement of discipline, and, when enforced, it is never followed up on.  The lack of discipline has allowed the heterodox to run wild for decades
  • confusion as to what the Church believes because of a failure to combat openly heterodox organizations like Catholics for Choice, Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good, heretic priests like Charles Curran, etc.
  • rampant, I mean terribly rampant, sexual improprieties on the part of clergy and religious.  Failure to remain chaste is invariably linked to apostasy, and vice versa.  Again, this is linked to the collapse of discipline
  • far more concern at the highest levels of the Church for playing politics and promoting primarily a very left-wing view of politics than being saints utterly spending themselves for the souls in their charge 
  • At core, a lack of faith on the part of very many of the most influential in leadership positions throughout the Church

The bit about sexual improprieties should perhaps be listed first.  It is the unrestrained concupiscence that is the fire that keeps the steam engine of heresy going.  So many priests and religious (and bishops) are not faithful to their vows of chastity.  The former bishop of Miami was forced to retire early because the faithful had sent a dossier to Rome which went to great lengths describing both the sexual debauchery of the bishop and that of the priests he had encouraged. The unchaste men and women who have taken religious vows have a great psychological need to justify their actions, and so they attack and undermine the Faith that calls them to be chaste. 

The future looks somewhat brighter.  Almost all the young priests being ordained, and the men in the seminaries, are conservative in political outlook and much, much more orthodox than their older peers (I’m talking in broad sweeps, not in detail on each individual priest, bishop, or religious).  They will need much help to grow in the Faith, for even though most are orthodox in outlook, their formation is still pretty weak in comparison to what is needed.  There will be a sea change in 10-15 years, when there will be such a huge exodus of older priests and the younger ones will be more in number so that we’ll have a smaller but more orthodox priesthood.  But even in their retreat into the night, the liberal denizens of many chanceries and even rectories continue to act against the orthodox, reshuffling org charts to keep the younger priests from occupying positions of responsibility, or naming them ‘pastoral administrators’ as opposed to pastors, etc. 

It will take a century, at least, to recover from the collapse of the 1962 – 1990 timeframe (barring Divine intervention). 

Tomorrow, what we the lay people can do to help the Holy Father and the orthodox in Rome and other locales to restore the Faith.

Bachmann warns: Obama could use Obamacare to limit number of children per family March 7, 2012

Posted by Tantumblogo in Abortion, Basics, Dallas Diocese, disaster, foolishness, General Catholic, horror, persecution, sadness, scandals, sickness, Society.
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Congressman and former presidential candidate Michelle Bachmann warned yesterday that the federal government, now that it has almost completely inserted itself into the health care industry, may impose limits on the number of children who can receive medical coverage in order to “save costs” at a future date:

Bachmann then described what she sees as a plausible and disturbing scenario.  She began with her summary of the position expressed by the HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius — that the government should cover contraceptives because it is less expensive than pregnancy to the federal government.

“Going with that logic,” Bachmann says, “It isn’t far fetched to think the President of the United States could say…we need to save health care expenses…the federal government will only pay for one baby to be born in the hospital per family. Or two babies to be born per family. That could happen.”

The foolishness of the left knows no bounds.  The left looks at all money in an economy as belonging to the government. As such, they don’t see individuals as contributors to a free economy that produces goods and services which are then taxed by the government to pay for various expenditures, but they see all people as being a “drain” on government resources, leeches who don’t contribute anything to that invisible money tree the government uses to produce all the wealth of an economy.  And so we have the head of the HHS claiming that covering contraception is cheaper than paying for child birth, which may be true, in a very narrow lefty way, but is incredibly ignorant in a broader sense, as individuals and their work make up the wealth of an economy.  By reducing the number of new births, Sebelius is insuring the future economy will be that much smaller, and thus we will have less resources on which to draw to fund all these utopian socialist schemes she, and others like her, are so fond of.

We are largely in the debt mess we’re in because Americans haven’t had enough children to pay for the wealth transfers from the productive sectors of the economy to the non-productive sectors “we” ostensibly want.  If Americans had averaged 3 children per family over the last 30+ years instead of 2, social security would not be underfunded by trillions of dollars, because there would be 50% more workers to provide inputs into the wealth transfer ponzi scheme.  The same for Medicare and all the other government programs.  I am amazed that no politician talks about this – they all act like the current underfunding of these programs was completely, 100% inevitable, and nothing could be done or could have been done to change the math of the situation.  That’s completely false!  Tell people to have more kids, subsidize it if you have to, and grow the economy to pay for all these wonderful social programs that our bishops are so enamored of.  But that would cut against the other sacred shibolleth of the left – pagan sex orgies with “no consequences” (well……save for moral and personal degradation, collapse of societal standards, STDs, etc….).

It is not an exaggeration to claim there are many forces on the left, including high ranking members of this administration, who strongly believe the government should regulate births.  It’s hardly a reach to look at Obamacare and see in it the vehicle to implement this kind of further, incredibly onerous government interference in private lives.  The philosophical basis is already there – people are a “cost,” so why not reduce “costs” (in the short term) by penalizing families that have more than one or two kids?  Our current president has stated on several occasions that he cannot imagine why a family would have more than a kid or two, anyway.  That the entire system will collapse as a steadily shrinking pool of workers has to subsidize more and more retirees or disabled persons is immaterial – it won’t happen on his watch, so who cares? 

Anything is possible if this guy gets re-elected.  The chastisement, it is here.

Gut punch – UPDATE March 7, 2012

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, General Catholic, sadness.
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I’m at a loss.  I lost a friend yesterday.  I found out today. I never met him.  But I’ve read his words for years, and he was the finest milblogger out there.  He died yesterday doing what he loved, what he felt compelled to do even after he left the service – flying military jets in a serious training/pseudo-combat environment.  His jet crashed in a snowstorm at NAS Fallon, NV.

The internet is a funny thing.  You feel like you get to know someone very well even if you never meet them.  As I have related on this blog, before my conversion I was about as serious an “amateur” student of military affairs as one could be.  That same passion that fuels my current love for the Faith was present in a primordial form with regard to military technology, history, etc.  But since my conversion, I stopped reading all the military stuff except that one blog, the best one, Neptunus Lex.  Reading him, I am convinced that Lex was a very good and decent man, profoundly patriotic and a devoted husband, father, and Christian. Oh his poor wife and children. His son is training to be a Navy helo pilot.  He also has two daughters, one of which has had serious problems that I can very well relate to.  What a tragedy.

I could tell, reading his posts since he started working for Airborne Tactical Advantage Company, that he never fully trusted that Israeli-made derivative of the Mirage III – the Kfir C.2.  I actually asked him last week why his company flew an aircraft that was so problematic.  I guess it was cheap, I don’t know, I don’t believe he responded.  It had a seat.  But the news says he crashed inside the perimter fence of NAS Fallon, so he must have been coming in to land.  It was snowing and foggy.  That damned Kfir had virtually no modern aids to fly in that kind of situation.  So, he bought the farm, trying to land it.  Uff da.  I am at a loss.

Resquiat In Pacem.  God Speed, Capt. Carroll LeFon, USN, Ret.

Steeljaw Scribe, another really good milblogger, shares these thoughts:

We have lost a friend, a father, husband — a comrade in arms. Fellow aviator and blogger-at-arms, Neptunus Lex, was killed earlier today when the F-21 Kfir he was flying in support of TOPGUN’s adversary squadron crashed at NAS Fallon.  No word on the cause as yet.  Prayers and thoughts go out to his family — please likewise keep them in your prayers in the days/weeks to come.

Lex would be the first to tell you, upon asking (or not), that he was a fighter pilot.  And he was an accomplished one at that – having reached the pinnacle with command of a Hornet squadron and XO at TOPGUN (“not two words” he would say…).  He was a sailor at heart with a love for the sea and those who set forth thereon in grey-hulled ships – befitting of one who wore the gold wings of a naval aviator.  And he was a patriot in the truest and traditional sense with a deep love for this country and her people.  Indeed, his last work in this life was training a new generation of fighters to defend this nation.

Even so, what really set Lex apart was his eloquence, obvious love of the classics and an abilty to turn a phrase that would do his Irish ancestors proud.  Anyone who has spent time in the air or at sea comes to appreciate the change in perspective those alluring mistresses offer and how they come to change you.  It is the rare person, however, who is able to more than adequately express and convey that imagery, that perspective.  Lex was one of those rare individuals and you could readily see it in his work – almost all of which he shared gratis online.  Whether it was a semi-fictional account of a young aviator wrestling with carrier flight ops or surgical disection of a controversial subject, his wit, grace and command of the language marked him as a finely honed rapier in a field cluttered with dull broadswords and broken battle axes.  And it will be missed.

Videos of Lex flying at Fallon, doing what he loved:

I will add Capt. LeFon to the list of names of the deceased I pray for every night.

I just saw this on another blog:

This is apparently his crash.  If so, his drag chute failed to deploy properly, again (for he blogged about that happening just yesterday), and he may have gotten caught in a dead man’s corner where he couldn’t take off and couldn’t bring the Kfir, which lands at an incredibly high speed, to a stop in time.  Looks like he ran off the runway.  I don’t know if the seat in a Kfir is zero-zero to make ejection a possiblity in that condition.

UPDATE: Commenter Quartermaster, who I believe is a regular at Neptunus Lex, notes that there are no buildings on the approach ends of any of the runways (indeed, I should have noted that, buildings are almost never placed near approach ends in case of overruns, but I was thinking he might have been in a high speed ground loop or skid and gone off to the side), and that GCA may have caused him to overshoot due to unfamiliarity with the high speed approach and landing characteristics of the Kfir (another frequent problem Lex had reported) and landed him on a taxiway.  If that’s the case, and visibility was bad, he may have been in a very bad place from the beginning.

I think now about the growing sense of foreboding I had developed when reading Lex describe his missions in the Kfir.  As time went by, I became more and more unsettled, but I couldn’t put my finger on it.  Reading about all the problems he had with the plane – which really weren’t that minor – and the problems the ground controllers had, I blew them off at the time, but I had this dark sense that I couldn’t shake.  I guess now I know why.  Some at Lex’s have even wondered aloud, if you will, that Lex documented all the numerous problems he had with the Kfir (very limited avioinics, no HUD, no nose wheel steering, very fast landing speed, maintenance problems, failed rain seal on the canopy, failed drag chute deployment, repeated overshoots caused by ground controlled approach misjudging his approach speed – and all in 5 months!) for a certain purpose.  I don’t know.  Two days later, I’m still very distressed.