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Flightline Friday: The End of the Line for the SLUF October 17, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, awesomeness, Flightline Friday, foolishness, fun, General Catholic, history, non squitur, silliness, Society.
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I can’t say what that means……Short Little Ugly, uh……Fella.  That’s it.  The F-8 that shrank when put in the wash.USAF_A-7K_Corsair_JPEG

Today marked the final retirement of the incredible Vought A-7 Corsair II from military service.  The Hellenic Air Force retired their last A-7H at Araxos airbase just today, Friday, October 17 2014, completing 49 years of active service.  The Greeks, like everyone who flew it, loved their SLUFs.  Derived from the GREATEST MILITARY AIRCRAFT EVER!11!, the Vought F-8 Crusader, the A-7 served with the US Navy, Air Force, and the air forces of Portugal and Greece.

Designed as a light attack aircraft replacement for the Douglas A-4 Skyhawk, the A-7 was developed incredibly quickly. From contract award to entry into service was less than 3 years – utterly unheard of today, but very possible for the amazing aerospace industry this country once had.  Of course, it helped that the A-7 leveraged a whole bunch from the F-8 design, but it was a substantially new aircraft.  It was A-7E_Corsair_VA-192_1971also not cripplingly expensive.

The A-7 had much better range-payload capability than the A-4 it replaced, and when lightly loaded could even serve as a fighter.  In fact, because of their longer legs, low operating costs, and high fuel efficiency, A-7s were routinely assigned to escort Soviet bombers that frequently shadowed US carrier battle groups.

The A-7 first entered squadron service in 1965 and went into combat in 1966.  It served throughout the Vietnam war in increasing numbers.

While derived from the nearly Mach 2 Crusader, the A-7 was a subsonic bomb truck with, for its time, unprecedented accuracy, especially in the A-7D and E versions.  Developed for the Navy, the Air Force was compelled to purchase a large number of A-7s, lacking an alternative strike aircraft to buy in the late 60s.  USAF resented that greatly, and after Vietnam ended (in which the A-7D acquitted itself admirably), rapidly transferred the A-7Ds from active service to the Guard and Reserve.  In fact, the A-7D was still in production, so, unusually, the Air Force was procuring a new aircraft for the Guard, instead of the usual hand-me-downs they received.  This continued into the 1980s.  The A-7 became the prime aircraft of the Air National Guard during the mid-late 70s, and was a heck of a capable aircraft.  Pilots loved its stability, maneuverability, reliability, and bombing accuracy.  The A-7 had a very capable digital bombing system.

As the 80s wore on, more and more A-7s were replaced by F-16s and A-10s in the Air Force and F-18s in the Navy.  The F-18 may have been a way better fighter than the A-7 but it was much shorter ranged, a A-7E_VA-72_over_Saudi_Fort_1990problem that continues to afflict the F-18 to this day.  In the late 80s, the Air Force actually wanted a supersonic aircraft to replace the very slow A-10.  Yes, USAF has never been entirely comfortable with the A-10.  While a variant of the F-16 was favored by the brass, the Army balked at a short ranged light fighter in the close air support role, and Vought saw a chance to stay in the fighter business by redesigning the A-7 to take a much more powerful and modern engine, the F100, and make the SLUF supersonic like it’s F-8 parent.  But the end of the Cold War brought all those plans to an end and the A-7 left service in 1993 after a final swan song, in naval service, in the first Gulf War.

I’m out of time, so that means videos.

First a late 80s video of an ANG A-7 on a bombing run:

Navy birds, terrible soundtrack:

Better quality footage, even worse soundtrack.  You can see an A-7D operating from a roadway, which used to be done back in the Cold War in case the balloon ever went up.  There were some sort of plans to use roads as alternative bases, as it was assumed the main airbases would not last long in a WWIII environment:

Great Planes documentary on the type.  Best video I could find on the SLUF.  Has some good info on the YA-7F Mach 1.6 supersonic variant:

Finally, given the auspicious nature of today being the final flight of an A-7, two vids from the HAF with A-7s playing down low.  Lots of napalm, and super low level sea flight:

God willing, next week will be better than this last.




So my daughter did this cartoon….. October 17, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in Art and Architecture, awesomeness, Dallas Diocese, Domestic Church, family, fun, General Catholic, Papa, persecution, silliness, SOD.
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……more or less spontaneously.  I sort of put the idea in her head but she took off and did it on her own. When she started it on Monday, it made a great deal of sense. But I kind of wonder now if it were not the other way around, with a small pope hiding behind a large Cardinal.

I do wish she would use better paper.  My oldest daughter is a very talented artist but she so frequently just uses whatever crummy scrap of paper she finds, even though we’ve bought her all these really nice art supplies with heavy bond paper and the like.

Ah, well:


It probably comes out better here, I keep my office notoriously dark ———>>>>>>> 0683_001

So another awesome thing about my kids.  Yesterday in religion class, of all things, the teacher started touting evolution.  My 13 yo was apparently the only kid that fought back.  And she apparently didn’t do so just a little bit.  I’m afraid there’s going to be a bit of a row about this at the co-op.  That sort of thing is not acceptable.

Great kids.

Synod Fathers in full revolt, modernist schemes smashed? Hold your horses! October 17, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, episcopate, error, foolishness, General Catholic, scandals, secularism, self-serving, Society, SOD, true leadership, Virtue.
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I have been as heartened as anyone to read about developments late this week at the Synod of Darkness (or Death, or Doom, or…..), when it seems an orthodox counteroffensive has made plain that at least most of the Synod Fathers are strongly opposed to the extreme, Doctrine-destroying novelties a narrow modernist-leftist cabal – centered, it must be said, on this Pope of unprecedented radicalism – and will not go along with the Kasperite (or is that Bergoglian?) gambits.  However,  the modernists set up this entire Synod process incredibly in their favor, there is still the matter of the final report AND the entire second session next year, and as Rorate notes, they still control all the organizational elements in the Synod through Francis-appointed Cardinal Baldiserri and other apparatchiks, and thus tremendous power to manipulate events.  While I happily repeat Rorate’s translation of an Italian article on yesterday’s orthodox counter-offensive (and add some commentary), I would caution folks to keep praying intensely because this thing is far from over.

And I fear, as I stated  yesterday, the final report was written weeks or months ago and will be unleashed in spite of what the Synod members do.  But we’ll see:

Rome. They say that a confrontation like this had never been seen before, perhaps not even at the Council.  [Oh, if only it had.  But the modernists were less bold and more clever (they were the originals, not the reproductions), the hyper-montanism was stronger, there was no alternative media, and few orthodox could imagine the direction things would take]

Soon after nine yesterday morning, cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri, General Secretary to the Synod, takes the floor and announces that the relationes of the circuli minores would not be made public. A reverse course from what had always happened in the past and affirmed in the previous days. In other words, only the Relatio post disceptationem, signed by Cardinal Erdo and written by Abp. Bruno Forte, would have been fed to the press. Against the novelty presented by Baldisseri, rose up Cardinal George Pell, who strongly contested the decision. After him, a long line of Fathers, from the Archbishop of Brussels, Abp. Léonard, to that of Durban, Cardinal Napier, asked for the matter to be at least put to a vote. Even the Secretary of State took the floor. And all in the atmosphere of a stadium, with standing ovation and even some booing. The Pope, seated at the presidency table, looked on, impassive. At the end, as Cardinal Christoph Schönborn would say some hours later at the press conference, “the decision to render public the relationes of the circuli was taken by large majority.” The texts are clear, and go in an opposite direction as the one upheld by Cardinal Walter Kasper.  [Rorate is claiming the influence of Kasper and Forte (he of the highly questionable orientation) is finished.  We’ll see]
A taste of what was to happen had already been given on late Wednesday by the Cardinal-Archbishop of New York, Timothy Dolan, who sided himself in a clear way to positions taken in the Hall by Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke.  [Then why oh why did he give such a weak tea interview yesterday, after his intervention!  Always the politician, I guess. He shows occasional flashes of having great potential but he always falls back into his glad-handing antics!] The Major Archbishop of Kiev, Sviatoslav Shevchuk, spoke directly of the need of “sending a clear message to the faithful and to the Pope” on the fact that “the family is the stable, faithful, and sacramental union between a man and a woman.”  [The clearest quote we’ve had yet that the Synod members understand it is the Pope behind this assault on the perennial belief and practice of the Faith, and that he needs, it can be said, conversion on many matters.]  The most controversial and delicate points, from the question of the approaching of remarried divorcees to the Eucharist to the overture to homosexual unions, were dismantled almost unanimously. That also because, as more than one Synod Father said, very little had been said of the unions between persons of the same sex – not more than three interventions in the assembly -and yet Monday’s Relatio spoke about it ad abundantiam. The conclusions of the group [Gallicus B] moderated by Guinean Cardinal Robert Sarah, President of the Pontifical Council “Cor Unum”, were particularly stern. On the third point, that of difficult pastoral situations, the thrashing was total: “The doctrine of the Church on the indissolubility of matrimony and non-admission of the remarried divorced to the sacraments of reconciliation and the Eucharist cannot be changed.” Those who open up to it (fewer than half of the ten groups), do so with conditions or asking for further studies on the matter. The first Italian group [Italicus A], moderated by Cardinal Fernando Filoni, prefect of Propaganda Fide, notes that, “the Fathers, though moved by the problem, propose that the argument be re-studied under the light of n. 84 of [John Paul II’s Apostolic Exhortation] Familiaris Consortio, with the goal of specifying eventual conditions different from the current discipline.” … [Source, in Italian]
———–End Quote———–
Those last bits make me nervous – “less than half” of the small groups were “open” to the idea of changing Church discipline regarding admitting adulterers to the Blessed Sacrament, but how much less than half?  “Specifying conditions different from the current discipline” is a potentially huge opening. May it be thoroughly squashed.
All this is most heartening.  I know some would like to see this Synod go into full bore apostasy for the clarity it would provide but that would have an unbelievable cost.  I am fine with reaffirmations of Doctrine and moving along. Even more, I am increasingly fine with seeing this pontificate neutered, which seems possible.  Far from definitive – Pope Francis and his progressive allies now face a choice, either continue with more intimidation and repression to try to advance their agenda, or accept defeat. Past experience indicates it won’t be the latter.  I do think it enormously important that the ultimate source behind this unbelievable attempt at destroying Doctrine be revealed.  It is not just Cardinal Kasper.  Having said that, hearts can change.  I do pray for that.
It is extraordinarily painful to make this realization regarding Pope Francis, but the evidence is simply overwhelming, as is the reaction of the Synod Fathers.  Much of this group was apparently selected for its, ahhh……agreeableness…….but things were pushed too far.  The mid-week “Relatio” was perhaps less of a coup than an enormous mistake, a too early tipping of the hand to show what the ultimate intent was.  That Relatio made clear this was about more than extending some “mercy” to a group of people in manifestly sinful situations, it was about rolling back and ultimately obliterating the entire Moral Doctrine of the Faith.  That is why that bit about sodomites was included.  Francis/Kasper – Frasper – must have misread the situation very badly, or they just did not care.  The Pope does have the ability to act unilaterally, and if he so wills, he could still foist this on the Church without cover of Synod.
That’s why I say we are far from out of danger and this is much less a war-winning maneuver than a small tactical victory.  It’s the 1st Marines landing on Guadalcanal, not Leyte Gulf.
I will continue to pray for this Synod even after it’s over for this year, because we still have next year.  Huge threats remain.  I do hope Kasper is finally and totally discredited in the public eye – no one deserves that more – but there are other characters ready to step up and bring their “serene theology” to the fore.  Having both Pope as ally is an enormous advantage.  How do you think Vatican II happened?  But I do think this is not 1962, and things are very much different.