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Flightline Friday: Airbus to cancel further A380 production December 19, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, Flightline Friday.
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Boeing always said it was a white elephant.  The A380 was begun in a period when the airline industry was fat with cash and the hub and spoke model was at its peak.  But few people want to travel in a 700 seat cattle car.  And the hub and spoke model is increasingly breaking down, the point to point model being preferred by passengers.  After making about 200, mostly for Emirates Airlines (and don’t think there wasn’t a ton of cash under the table to make that happen), lagging sales and an inability to make a profit on each plane produced (they have to be sold for less than cost) is prompting Airbus to contemplate cancelling the A380 program:

Despite these luxuries, sales of new A380s have been dismal. Not a single A380 has been ordered by a passenger airline so far in 2014. (The sole new buyer this year was Dublin-based leasing company Amedeo, which has yet to line up a single carrier to take any of the 20 jets it ordered.)

The dearth of orders for the seven-year-old plane led Airbus Chief Financial Officer Harald Wilhelm on Dec. 10 to raise the prospect of discontinuing the A380 as soon as 2018. Wilhelm’s remarks at an investor meeting in London riled customers who bet on the big plane. The next day, Airbus backtracked. Fabrice Brégier, who leads its airliner unit, told investors that upgrades to the A380—more fuel-efficient engines and a stretch version capable of carrying 1,000 passengers—will happen “one day.”

Despite such optimism, there could be financial turbulence ahead for the A380. Airbus will break even on the plane in 2015, 2016, and 2017, [that only means they won’t lose money on each plane they build. It does not address the massive development cost of the A380, which will never, ever be recouped] but that outlook doesn’t hold for 2018, forcing the company to either spend heavily to improve the economics of its engines or discontinue the program, Wilhelm said.

I will state straight up, I’ve never liked Airbus. I don’t like their planes.  They feel rickety and cold.  Airbus would never be able to compete with Boeing if the European countries did not front 80-90% of their development costs.  Labor costs in Europe are simply too high, and their employees love ludicrous benefits too much, for them to be even remotely competitive without giant subisidies. And Airbus’ argument that Boeing’s defense contracts count as a similar subsidy are ludicrous.  The two units, commercial and defense, are completely separate at Boeing.  And development costs for military projects are rarely a source of fat profits (those come in production).

What ticks me off, is that a great company like McDonnell Douglas was forced out of the commercial airplane business partly due to their own unwillingness to seriously invest in their product, but mostly because of unfair subsidized competition from Airbus.  No Airbus, and McAir is still around.

The A380 was begun because Europe wanted to trump the US in having the biggest airliner.  There was no other reason for the program, no real economic justiication (again, Airbus would lose tens of billions on the project were that money not covered by member governments), it was always about having the biggest you know what on the planet.

And now, I’m out of time.

Material for the long break: two good sermons December 19, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in Abortion, Basics, catachesis, contraception, episcopate, General Catholic, Latin Mass, paganism, sadness, scandals, self-serving, sexual depravity, sickness, Society, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
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I won’t be blogging much for the next two weeks plus – we’re going to Clear Creek for a bit – so I thought I’d leave you with some good sermons.  Both are actually very good.  The first deals with the counter-natural evil of contraception.  You may be thinking you already know all you need to regarding contraception, but I think the approach the priest takes might bring up some points you have not considered.  He relates how Our Lord prophesied during the Way of the Cross that a time would come when women counted themselves blessed to be barren.  He also discusses aspects of the 1965 Griswold vs. Connecticut decision by the Supreme Court which not just legalized, but normalized (in the minds of many) contraception.  Since then, it’s all been downhill on the cultural front.  Is it meaningful that this decision was reached in the same year that the most recent ecumenical council concluded?  At the least, there was certainly something in the cultural water in the 1960s:

Another aspect of Griswold vs. Connecticut is the role played by Catholics – laymen, priests, and prelates – in minimizing Church opposition to both this decision and the general liberalization of contraception and abortion in the 1960s.  Those people have an enormous amount of blood on their hands, and much to answer for.

Another really good sermon, having to do with the beginnings of the Reconquista in Spain (the 774 year long war to liberate Spain from the yoke of islam) and the key role Our Lady played in preserving the Faith on the Iberian peninsula (at least, it seems, until now – Spain is one of the most thoroughly secularized countries in the world.  It is amazing how the Faith has collapsed there since 1975):

The US sure looks more and more like a police state December 19, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in abdication of duty, Basics, disaster, error, horror, persecution, scandals, sickness, Society.
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I reported some time back about police in Demming, New Mexico who abused a man horribly because they were under the mistaken assumption he had hidden illegal drugs on his person.  He hadn’t, but they took him to a hospital and forced numerous cruel and dehumanizing procedures on him in order to prove they were wrong. At that time I said the cops, instead of admitting their mistake and letting the man go, kept doubling down with more and more outrageous abuses in order to try to prove his guilt.  This is not the way police should operate in a free society.

Another data point below.  A Houston-area man had his life pretty much ruined by a SWAT team that responded to a call that he might be suicidal and proceeded to beat the crud out of him.  Then, the prosecutor doubled down trying him on charge after charge, again trying to establish guilt after the fact:

Chad Chadwick has something many citizens can only covet – a spotless record.

“These cops are out of control. They are ruining good people’s lives. I am a good man. I have done everything I can to show that, as a father, as a citizen, as a worker,” said Chadwick.

But on the night of September 27th, 2011 Chadwick’s commitment to living within the law did him no good at all.

It started when a friend concerned for Chadwick’s emotional well-being called Missouri City police to Chad’s Sienna apartment where he’d been distraught, drinking and unknown to anyone, had gone to sleep in the bathtub.

A SWAT team was summoned.

“They told a judge I had hostages. They lied to a judge and told him I had hostages in my apartment and they needed to enter,” said Chadwick. [Lied to a judge so they could go play soldier and bust into someone’s house]

Chadwick did own a single shotgun, but had threatened no one, not even himself. Chadwick’s firearm possession apparently prompted SWAT to kick in his door, launch a stun grenade into the bathroom and storm in, according to Chadwick, without announcing their identity. [How did they know he had a gun?  Did they search the national firearms registry?  But I thought there was none?]

“While I had my hands up naked in the shower they shot me with a 40 millimeter non-lethal round,” said Chadwick.

A second stun grenade soon followed.

“I turned away, the explosion went off, I opened my eyes the lights are out and here comes a shield with four or five guys behind it. They pinned me against the wall and proceeded to beat the crap out of me,” said Chadwick.

That’s when officers shot the unarmed Chadwick in the back of the head with a Taser at point blank range.

“They claimed I drew down with a shampoo bottle and a body wash bottle,” said Chadwick.

And it wasn’t over.

“They grabbed me by the one hand that was out of the shower and grabbed me by my testicles slammed me on my face on the floor and proceeded to beat me more,” said Chadwick.

Chadwick, who hadn’t broken a single law when SWAT burst through his door, was taken to the Ft. Bend County Jail with a fractured nose, bruised ribs and what’s proven to be permanent hearing loss.

He was held in an isolation cell for two full days. [O’er the land of the free……..]

“Instead of apologizing to this man and asking let us see what we can do to help you to make you whole again, they concocted criminal charges against this man, one after another, after another,” said Quanell X who believes the prosecution of Chadwick was designed to fend off civil liability. [Of course it was.  They made up charges against him that appear preposterous so they wouldn’t get sued.  He should sue, anyway]

Ft. Bend County District Attorney John Healy sought to indict Chadwick on two felony counts of assaulting a police officer, but a Grand Jury said no law was broken. [You know the old saying that a prosecutor can get a grand jury to indict a ham sandwich?  That’s doubly true in Texas.  So how obvious was this guy’s innocence if they couldn’t even get an indictment, let alone a conviction?]

It could have stopped there, but Healy’s prosecutors tried misdemeanor charges of resisting arrest, calling more than a dozen officers to testify. Those charges were dropped as well.

A month ago, three years after the SWAT raid, a jury found Chad Chadwick not guilty of interfering with police. With tears in their eyes members of the jury offered the exonerated defendant comforting hugs.

“They tried to make me a convict. It broke me financially, bankrupted me. I used my life savings, not to mention, I lost my kids,” said Chadwick. [Uff da.  I don’t know how all this played out and there may be more to the story but basically a whole bunch of people had their lives ruined by this egregious abuse]

“This type of police abuse and excessive use of force and concoction of criminal charges against innocent people is not just happening to black people, its happening to white people too,” said Quanell X who is assisting Chadwick in getting the story of his ordeal to the media.

For Chadwick some of the damage will never be repaired.

“All I could think about is, what are my daughters going to think? My goal in life is to be a father that my kids are proud of. That’s it,” said Chadwick, a long time manager in the energy industry.

We have police at our parish because of prior threats made against it.  One of them is a really great guy, sadly, he’s retiring in days, but he converted (or reverted) to the Faith through his experiences at Mater Dei.  I know several cops that are good guys.  But there does seem to be more and more a tendency within law enforcement to use over the top amounts of force, to shoot first and use the immense and growing power of the state to find something to prosecute someone for after the fact.  One area of terrible abuse is the seeming SOP in many law enforcement agencies to shoot any dog they encounter in the line of duty on sight.  Hundreds of dogs have been killed in police raids, and sometimes just seemingly for the heck of it, because they presented a “threat” to the police.

But what do they expect a dog, or a person, to do when a group of armed, screaming, hooded men bust into their home in the middle of the night?

Law enforcement has often presented itself as being devoted to protection and service, selfless exposure to danger for the benefit of others. But more and more it seems police operate in a more military counterinsurgency manner, viewing all civilians as a deadly threat and exhibiting greater and greater willingness to put civilians in harms way for the protection of themselves.  Maybe that’s because a whole lot of LEOs have prior military experience, and thus have been engaged directly in counterinsurgency combat in the recent past.

Expect this problem to only get worse as the Leviathan grows in power and endless appetite and civil liberties become an increasingly distant memory.

 

What Obi Wan Kenobi had to say about the liturgical reform December 19, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, disaster, Ecumenism, episcopate, error, General Catholic, Latin Mass, Liturgy, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
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This is not the Mass you're looking for

This is not the Mass you’re looking for

Good friend and blog reader SB gave me A Bitter Trial a while back, and I just got around to reading it.  This book relates the correspondence Catholic convert and famous author Evelyn Waugh had with John Cardinal Heenan, primate of England, regarding the liturgical revolution instituted after Vatican II, and how much pain it caused both men.  Waugh, Heenan and others were responsible for the unique “Agatha Christie” exemption, allowing the continued offering of the TLM in England for some years after the Council.

Many know that Alec Guinness, one of the greatest actors of the 20th century, was a Catholic convert, too.  In fact, A Bitter Trial notes that Englishmen were converting to the Church at the rate of 12,000 per year in the 1930s and 40s, but after the post-conciliar changes, the rate of conversions collapsed along with everything else.  Many non-Catholics in the early 20th Century saw the Church for what she was – the last bastion of Truth in a culture that seemed determined to commit suicide.  But that bastion evaporated with the changes of the 1960s.

Guinness was another of this group of English artists less than impressed with the liturgical renewal.  In fact, he thought it stank:

Much water has flowed under the Tiber’s bridges, carrying away splendor and mystery from Rome, since the Pontificate of Pius XII…….the banality and vulgarity of the translations which have ousted the sonorous Latin and little Greek from the Liturgy…….handshaking and embarrassed smiles or smirks have replaced the older courtesies……..

While dismayed by the liturgical revolution, Guinness did hold out hope, provided souls came to worship God and not the pagan idols of modernism:

But so long as the God who is worshiped is the God of all ages, past and to come, and not the Idol of Modernity, so venerated by some of our bishops, priests, and miniskirted nuns

Pretty smart commentary.  Guinness was no fool. And I do him no favors calling him Obi Wan.  He despised the role (but loved the money – he got a percentage).  For me, he will always be Colonel Nicholson, fanatically building a bridge to be used against his own army to show up his Japanese oppressors:

The-Bridge-on-the-River-Kwai

Or Prince Faisal:

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No better combination than Guinness and Lean.  Ever watch Smiley?