jump to navigation

Non-Sequitur – the Cuban Missile Crisis and the Vietnam War October 23, 2012

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, Basics, disaster, foolishness, sexual depravity, sickness, Society.
comments closed

Finally, people are starting to get it.  I’ve never blogged on this before, I don’t think, but far from being the gung-ho Cold War hero the left has always tried to portray him as, John F. Kennedy was a bumbling idiot who gravely weakened the US defense posture viz a viz the Soviets and whose actions led directly to the disastrous US involvement in Vietnam.  Power Line has some thoughts on this anniversay, to which I will add copious comments, but first, a bit of preliminary history.

Why did the Cuban Missile Crisis happen?  We have to go back to the late 50s.  Eisenhower’s defense policy was masterful, he drove down US defense spending by reducing the Army to a thin shell (modern, mechanized armies being incredibly expensive) and using the policy of Massive Retaliation to insure the Soviets that if any of our interests were threatened, Ike wouldn’t hesitate to attack the Soviet directly in his homeland with the extremely power Strategic Air Command the Soviets had no means of stopping at that time.  The US possessed a massive advantage in strategic delivery systems (bombers and missiles), and with Ike, the threat was not empty.  The Soviet took him at his word.  Reduced government spending+the low levels of regulation, etc = one huge, long economic boom.

The democrats had held the White House from 1932 to 52. They wanted it back very badly. Like today, they were willing to do anything – lie, cheat, and steal – to get it back.  In fact, there is copious evidence the 1960 presidential election was stolen by LBJ in Texas and Daley in Illinois.  One of the areas in which the democrats attacked the Eisenhower administration and, by extension, his successor, Nixon, was that they had been lax on defense. They claimed first a “bomber gap” and then a “missile gap,” claiming the US lagged dangerously behind the Soviets.  Now this was a complete, utter joke – the US defense dominance under Eisenhower was the greatest in this nation’s history, and what’s more, the democrats knew it.  U-2 and satellite overflights had proven the US had a massive advantage in strategic nuclear firepower, and Kennedy and Johnson were read in on this intelligence.  However, they continued their attacks, claiming the policy of Massive Retaliation a failure and stating we needed a large, conventional army to provide “flexible response.”  That was the major platform on which Kennedy ran, aside from his completely false image of youthful vigor (the man was almost totally crippled by back pain and was a junkie, being shot up several times a day for “pain management”).  The problem with large, standing armies – sooner or later, you will be “forced” to use them.

In terms of defense and foreign policy, Kennedy was a dilettante and a nincompoop. His problem was, even after being read in on the classified intelligence programs that shot his “missile gap” theory to pieces, he still continued to believe his own lies!  Thus, when Kennedy met with Khrushchev in Vienna in 1961, he behaved as such a spineless ninny, with such fear and trepidation, that Khrushchev was convinced he could roll this feckless young man over left and right.  Thus began the building of the Berlin Wall and the whole associated Berlin crisis.  This was followed by the “crisis” in Cuba.  Now, picking up the Power Line blog post:

Today is the 50thanniversary of President John F. Kennedy’s nationally televised address informing the nation of the presence of Soviet missiles in Cuba, and his intention to make sure they were removed.  The Kennedy glorification industry has pointed to this episode as Exhibit #1 of JFK’s coolness under pressure, etc, etc, and the outcome has always been regarded as a great triumph of American statecraft.

To be sure, as Churchill once put it, “talk-talk is better than war-war,” but the conventional “lesson” of the Cuban Missile Crisis could not be more incorrect.  The view that that U.S. “won” the Cuban Missile Crisis has more lives than a cat.  In fact, the Cuban episode was an American defeat, and it contributed powerfully to the thinking that led to the Vietnam quagmire. [And even more, Kennedy’s nebbish, fearful attitude towards the Soviets helped pave the way for eventual Soviet strategic dominance by the end of the 1970s, which only Reagan extirpated]

In the conventional narrative, President Kennedy’s guarantee that the U.S. would not invade Cuba was seen as a small political victory for the Soviet Union, but on balance the outcome was represented as a military humiliation for Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev.  The Kennedy White House heavily spun the outcome that way, even to the point of concealing for a time that Kennedy had also agreed to remove American Jupiter missiles from NATO countries.

Kennedy and his circle approached the crisis as though it were a “misunderstanding” that needed to be worked out through “communication” based on the new strategic doctrine of “flexible response.”  In fact Khrushchev had calculated correctly that he could bluff the U.S. into giving a non-intervention guarantee for Cuba and a trade of Soviet missiles in Cuba for NATO missiles in Turkey.  Kennedy and his grandmasters thought they had “won” because they had avoided war, even though the Soviets were never prepared to engage in warfare at the time. [Because we would have completely, utterly crushed them.  In fact, it is very possible the US could have totally destroyed the Soviet Union without a single Soviet warhead reaching the US.  Not that I advocate this outcome, it just shows how skewed the thinking of the Kennedy cabal was] The Crisis ended with Cuba being secured not only as an intact political asset to the Soviet Union, but also potentially as a military asset for the future.  Some “victory.”

But the best and brightest of the Kennedy-Johnson administration were so self-deluded with their “success” that they decided to apply the same strategy of “flexible response” in Vietnam.  Cyrus Vance, who was a deputy secretary of defense at the Pentagon in 1962 and who later served as Jimmy Carter’s Secretary of State, confirmed this view: “We had seen the gradual application of force applied in the Cuban Missile Crisis and had seen a very successful result.  We believed that, if this same gradual and restrained application of force were applied in South Vietnam, that one could expect the same result.”  Not!  [We all know how well that worked out.  The Vietnam war may never have been winnable, but it was certainly never winnable in the way the Kennedy/Johnson Administrations fought it.  And all that massive debt piled up in that war laid the groundwork for US competitive/manufacturing collapse and the dire straits of our economy.  They were so very, very helpful……]  

If, as Kennedy thought, wars start by “miscalculation” (one of Kennedy’s favorite books was Barbara Tuchman’s The Guns of August, which argued that World War I began because of “miscalculation”),  [she was wrong, was a lousy historian, and incredibly boring to read]  then the task of leadership consists chiefly of sending the appropriate rational “signals” to affect the other side’s calculations about the chances of war.  During the heydey of this thinking, John P. Roche recalled, “Discussions of military security began to sound more and more like seminars in game theory.  There was a kind of antiseptic quality permeating the atmosphere; one often had the feeling he was attending a chess match. . .  The atmosphere made those of us who come from the harsh training of poker decidedly uneasy.”

In reviewing this whole period of liberal strategic thought, military historian Jeffrey Record wrote that Robert McNamara was “The most disastrous American public servant of the twentieth century,” combining “a know-it-all arrogance with a capacity for monumental misjudgment and a dearth of moral courage worthy of Albert Speer.”  

Boy, that last bit, I cannot agree with enough.  In serious defense circles, no one is more loathed than Robert Strange McNamara.  I know Vietnam fighter pilots, men of great dignity and respect, who have a loathing for this man that 40+ years has done nothing to diminish – this actually includes my wife’s uncle, who did 3 tours as a Marine in Vietnam.  They hate the man with a white hot passion, because his inept conduct of the war was directly responsible for the loss of thousands of American lives, especially the 3500+ highly trained aircrew lost over Vietnam.  The restrictions on the air campaign over Vietnam were the most horrific, ridiculous, and counter-productive ever seen in the annals of history.  McNamara managed to take what should have been an immense US tactical advantage – airpower – and turned it into a strategic liability, due to his inept handling of the air campaign.  In fact, McNamara had given up on air strikes being an effective tool within 3 weeks of the start of Rolling Thunder, and yet kept the campaign going – with the same ridiculous restrictions – for 3 more years!

I don’t agree with everything in the Power Line piece – the missiles removed from Turkey were not very effective and due to be removed, anyway – but the overall point is exactly correct.  Kennedy’s bumbling incompetence at the Vienna summit with Khrushchev set the stage for the Cuban Missile Crisis, and then his panicked over-reaction almost bumbled us into nuclear war.  The lunacy was, the great fear the Cuban missiles caused – because they were so close, they gave virtually no warning time, just a few minutes –  was replaced a year or two later by SLBMs launched from Soviet submarines in international waters the US could do nothing about.*  The entire thing was much ado about nothing, and was more an attempt by Kennedy to reassert his emasculated manhood than anything else.   I should add that the defense against the Soviet missile threat – from Cuba or anywhere – national missile defense, was always perfectly feasible and could have been effectively deployed from the early 60s on, but was shot down by McNamara because his “cost-effectiveness” studies didn’t reveal the numbers he liked.  So, he single-handedly kept the US from having a defense against ballistic missiles, and the left has insured that we still don’t have anything but a token defense – a total abrogation of the federal government’s duty to protect it’s citizens.

* – the US did have a defense against Soviet ballistic missile subs, our own attack sub force which would have decimated their “boomers,” but only after they had lobbed more than a few missiles at us.

Rant concluded!

The whole disastrous mode of “the government must always intervene” got started with Kennedy.  Plus, he started the official destruction of the Faith in the life of Catholic public servants.  I’d say, he needs a lot of prayers.


+Williamson dismissed from SSPX October 23, 2012

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, episcopate, foolishness, General Catholic, Latin Mass, religious, sadness, scandals, Society, SSPX, Tradition.
comments closed

Well, this is hardly surprising:

Rorate has learned and can confirm that Bishop Richard Williamson, one of the four bishops consecrated by Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre and co-consecrated by Bishop Antonio de Castro Mayer on June 30, 1988, in Écône, Switzerland, for the Society of Saint Pius X (FSSPX / SSPX) has been removed from membership in said society by its Superior General, and can now be considered a former member. The removal comes at the end of an internal procedure that included repeated entreaties by the higher authorities of the Society regarding Williamson’s decisions and actions that apparently went unheeded.

I know Williamson was repeatedly insubordinate, rebellious, and constantly undermined the authority of Bishop Fellay.  How, exactly, is that different from what the Society does with respect to the Holy See?

Not that I don’t agree with many SSPX criticisms of current state of the Church, and I can understand very well how confusion or consternation about conciliar statements can exist.  But it does seem like a bit of dissonance, for SSPX to refuse within it’s own ranks what it seems to be asking of Rome.

Remember that terrible video of the lesbian feminists attacking a Cathedral? October 23, 2012

Posted by Tantumblogo in Abortion, asshatery, contraception, disaster, episcopate, General Catholic, Glory, horror, persecution, priests, scandals, sickness, Society, Virtue.
comments closed

And remember how strange it was that the police were nowhere to be seen, even after dozens of violent assaults against faithful Catholics attempting to defend the Cathedral?  Do you want to know why the police weren’t called?  According to TFP Student Action quoting an Argentine website, it’s because the Cathedral Canon did not like the pro-life defenders of the Faith, calling them “fundamentalist,” and didn’t want to expose the police to an “unpleasant moment!”

Prior to the abortion gathering, members of a pro-family network, Familias de Misiones, distributed a letter warning people about the anti-Catholic attacks perpetrated by pro-abortion activists during other National Women’s Conference events.  The alert was substantiated by a large amount of footage from previous encounters. [and by the satanic outrage of the feminists shown in the video I put on the site here]

However, the pastor of the Cathedral, Fr. Alberto Barros, said in a television interview that the pro-family alert “does not help.” In a telephone interview conducted by TVA, the priest criticized Catholic groups who “live in a fundamentalist and intolerant faith.” [sounds like this guy is an out and out modernist/leftist.  Tolerance to the left means doing what they say.  If you don’t do what they say, you are intolerant. And so, dozens suffered brutal assaults (but received tremendous Grace by remaining peaceful and prayerful!) and a cathedral was horribly vandalized.  If they hadn’t been so “intolerant,” the raging feminists might have been able to break down the doors and do some real damage/desecration!]

When asked about seeking police protection for the Cathedral, the priest responded: “we don’t want to expose the police to an unpleasant moment.” [But as for those terrible, icky, “fundamentalist” Catholics, you know, the faithful ones, they deserve all the unpleasant moments they get] In fact, law enforcement officials did not restrain the 500 pro-abortion vandals from repeatedly defacing the Cathedral walls or assaulting those defending its entrance.

The Catholic men and women who stood in defense of the Church cannot be labeled as intolerant fundamentalists, as Fr. Alberto Barros did.  What’s so extreme about respecting innocent life from conception to natural death?  What’s so extreme about affirming that marriage is the union between a man and a woman? [What’s so extreme about defending a Cathedral from terrible defacement and the Faith from the attacks of evil?]

Make no mistake, the intolerant ones are those who attack Catholics for peacefully praying the Rosary on the steps of the Church; intolerant are those who promote abortion.

The local Bishop of Posadas, the Most Rev. Juan Martinez, called the pro-abortion feminists “violent and provocative professionals” and demanded that justice be carried out and the assaults not go unpunished.[Maybe the bishop should have a talk with his Canon]

The bishop also stated that the anti-Catholic graffiti would remain on the Cathedral walls for 48 hours, so that people might reflect on the gravity of the matter.

“The city was put down and violated,” said Bishop Martinez. “If they had done this to a synagogue, it would have been called an anti-Semitic aggression. But since it was committed against Catholics, nothing happens,” he stated.

Exactly.  And even more sad, we have priests of Christ’s Holy Church so confused about what constitutes the Truth, and belief, and a strong, vibrant faith-life, that they would sooner attack the faithful than defend that Truth.  They’d rather see their church sacked and desecrated than support and defend the faithful, the very best allies they have.  Fortunately I speak some Spanish, and I can tell from other sites I’ve read that the portrayal of the Canon is accurate to his views, given above.  He doesn’t view these “fundy” Catholics as allies, he views them as more of the enemy of the Faith than the radical lesbian feminists who attacked his church, with which he seems to have a disconcerting degree of sympathy.  The rot is deep and wide, my friends.  At least the Bishop seemed to have a bit of a clue.

St. Mark Latin Mass to be terminated……. October 23, 2012

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, Dallas Diocese, episcopate, General Catholic, Interior Life, Latin Mass, Liturgy, North Deanery, priests, sadness.
comments closed

…….unless attendance increases dramatically, and soon. Within a month or two, I would guess.  So we were told by Fr. Hopka last night, repeating the words of Bishop Kevin Farrell, who apparently told Fr. Hopka he was “disappointed” with the attendance at the Latin Mass.  We have of course been very grateful to Bishop Farrell for this Mass.  I know I and many others hoped that it would succeed.  But there are many reasons for the low attendance, and I don’t think the Mass has been given a reasonable chance to succeed.

Before I get to some analysis of the whole situation, I should make a simple statement: if this Mass goes away, the Diocese and any pastor/priest will have a ready-made, 100% plausible excuse never to have Latin Mass again – it was tried and it “failed.”  I would guess Latin Mass, outside the locations it is presently offered, would be done for many, many years.  If you don’t want to see that happen, you might want to start coming to the Mass at St. Mark again.  I’m not trying to beat you over the head, because I’m not really trying to “save” this Mass, if that were even possible. I’m just pointing out reality.  If this Mass is cancelled, the  likelihood of Latin Mass anywhere else would be essentially nil, for a long time to come.

So, down to some reasoned analysis.  First, if “attendance” is the reason why the Mass is being cancelled, half the daily Masses in the Diocese ought to be cancelled, because they have the same, or fewer people assisting compared with this Novus Ordo Latin Mass (we get about 30-50 a night, somewhat more at the Requiem Masses).  I have never heard that attendance was a factor in this Mass until now.  Secondly, just why is attendance so low?  Well, there are several reasons, including a startling one we just learned last night, but first, some of the obvious ones:

  • The time has been terrible.  Making a Mass scheduled for Monday at 7pm succeed was always going to be a huge uphill battle
  • Even still, early Mass attendance was very positive, and largely made up of TLM-types, many of which were “trying” the NO again after many years away.  Then, we had the disastrous situation where the priest got upset about the distribution of Communion, and stopped doing it for a month or so.  He had lay people distribute the Communion, while he went back to his presider’s chair and……presided.  As you can imagine, souls were horribly scandalized.  That drove about 2/3 of the crowd away, never to return.
  • For a while last fall/winter, it was impossible to tell when Mass was going to happen.  It was cancelled more than it was “on,” and it was only “on” at extremely irregular intervals.  Because they could never tell when it was going to be “on,” another large percentage of people fell away.
  • Why couldn’t they tell the Mass schedule, or whether one would be offered in any given week?  This is the really big, surprising issue.  It’s because it was forbidden to list the Latin Mass with the rest of the weekly Masses on the front of the bulletin, or on the front page of the website, for that matter.  It was buried as a separate announcement on page 5 or 6.  An area that most people never read.  For a while, a video announcement board listed the Latin Mass, but that went away a long time ago, too.  But neither the announcement in the bulletin, or the video screen, was ever updated to reflect cancellations, so people would show up and there would be no Mass.  A sure way to win interest!  I know some frustrated souls who stopped coming because of that.

So, why was their little or no advertisement?  Why couldn’t this Mass be listed with the other Masses at St. Mark on the bulletin’s front page, or on the website with the other Masses?  We had wondered that for a long time.  We had asked ushers, called the office, talked to the music minister, all who said it should be on the front page, but never was. We asked specifically for it to be added to the front page, and nothing ever happened.  Well, now we know whyIt’s because Bishop Farrell himself demanded that it NOT be put on the front page!!!!!!! Apparently, he was very specific about this.  So, the prime means of letting people know of the Mass’ ongoing existence was eliminated from the start.  I should note that the Mass, from the beginning, was described as “experimental.”  Thus, it was perhaps not “worthy” to be listed with the other, “real” Masses.

This is all so incredible.  In reality, NO priest of Christ’s Holy Church needs anyone’s permission to offer Latin Mass, the Traditional Mass or, even more so, the Novus Ordo.  The Holy Father has gone to great lengths to make this fundamental fact apparent to all, even clarifying his Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum with another, Universae Ecclesiae.  In point of fact, the Latin form of the Novus Ordo remains the default, “ordinary” form of the Mass.  The vernacular forms which dominate everywhere are actually the result of decisions made by episcopal conferences around the world and required permission from Rome in every case. Which is why Rome has been insisting, of late, on dramatically improved vernacular translations, replacing, for one, the disastrously incorrect rendering of pro multis as “for all,” instead of the “for many” it plainly means.

But in Dallas, as in so many dioceses, there is a very strange phenomenon afoot, which states or implies that the vernacular Mass is somehow the “normal” Mass, and the Latin is just a little bit weird, a little bit deficient, a little bit “abnormal” (or, maybe, a lot weird, abnormal, etc).  But again, as Pope Benedict XVI has gone to great lengths to make plain, the TLM and the Novus Ordo are two forms of the same Mass, equal in dignity, respect, and validity.  I know many souls who would argue quite the opposite – that it is the TLM that is the more Grace-filled, efficacious form of the Mass.  That is a topic for another day, however. 

There is a certain consistency about the treatment of this “experimental” Mass.  In 2007, Bishop Farrell reserved to himself the right to determine the “need” for the Traditional Latin Mass and to assess whether or not any priest could offer the TLM.  This statement seems very difficult to reconcile with both Summorum Pontificum and Universae Ecclesiae, which state that priests themselves have not just the right, but the duty to offer this form of the Mass should it be requested by a group of the faithful.  In fact, those documents indicating the Holy Father’s will state that bishops should do all in their power to help priests meet these requests, quite the contrary to having bishops “assess the need.”  Bishop Farrell’s statement is, in fact, a return to the provisions of the now superseded document Ecclesia Dei, which did allow bishops to determine the need for such a form of the Mass.  I should add, the Bishop Farrell’s letter regarding Summorum Pontificum also included dark hints about assigning priests undesirable duties if they persisted in trying to offer the TLM.  All of the above, said in relation to the TLM, applies infinitely more to the Novus Ordo in Latin, upon which there have never been any restrictions of any kind!

So, there you go.  I doubt I am helping matters by publicizing all this, but I’m not going to hold my tongue in the hope of getting some favor.  In point of fact, there has been lukewarm support, at best, for this Mass, since its inception.  Even before it began, I received a threat from an authority figure at St. Mark that they would cancel the Mass if I dared criticize anything related to that parish.  That’s actually how I found out about this Latin Mass in the spring of ’11!  I got a steaming communique telling me because I was critical in some area, this Mass that was “going” to happen would now be cancelled!  Before it even began! There were other, similar threats along the way.  I have to wonder if my recent criticism of Bishop Farrell on the radio show had any impact on this “threat” to terminate this Mass.

So, from the very start, this Mass had a great deal stacked against it.  And I think attendance would have been fine, even with the bad time, the lack of advertising/support, the cancellations, the whole schlemiel, if it hadn’t been for the sad imbroglio with the distribution of Holy Communion.  Too many souls were scandalized.   Ever since then, my own interest has not been nearly as strong as it could/should have been.

Nevertheless, in spite of all said above, I will remain grateful to Bishop Farrell for at least giving a Latin Mass a shot outside Mater Dei and St. William.  It remains a very generous gesture, which he didn’t have to do.  Who knows, perhaps souls will come back to the Mass, now, or new ones will come.  It wouldn’t even be a very great miracle if such happened.  And I shall redouble my prayers for Bishop Farrell.