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Four tips for visiting large families January 30, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Domestic Church, family, fun, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Interior Life, manhood, Society, Tradition, Virtue.
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Kevin Kukla has an entertaining post up regarding what to do when visiting large families (this would be for those who don’t). Good stuff for a Friday.   I copy a bit below, go read the rest, and make your own suggestions!

1. It’s a Given at Least One Child Will Be Crying at All Times

You’re grown up now, so you probably do not remember. But as a child, you had a heightened radar detector for fairness. It was your sixth sense. Any perceived injustice earned your tears. And you sought an immediate remedy from the closest authority in charge (i.e., your parents).

This is the mindset of most little kids you may run into. And if you are visiting a large family, then there likely with several little kids there.

Inevitably, at least one of them will be crying for mom or dad. This may even interrupt your conversation.Please, extend some patience.

4. You Won’t Be Able to Deny How Much Love is in the House

After spending some time at a house with a big family, I am confident you will not be able to deny the great love being displayed. Family members talking to each other. Family members actually enjoying, not merely tolerating, each other’s company. Who knew such things were possible?


I’m out.  I pray you have a blessed weekend.  Sunday is Septuagesima Sunday!  Time to start getting geared up for penance!  Have you formed a plan for what penances or other acts of self-denial you might perform during both Septuagesima and Lent?  Now is a great time to start thinking about it!

Is cremation an option for Catholics? January 30, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, catachesis, Domestic Church, error, Four Last Things, General Catholic, paganism, secularism, Society, Tradition.
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Lately this subject has come up around our house, due to some unfortunate comments heard at our homeschool high school co-op (yes, reliable catechesis is a problem, if a relatively slight one, even there).  I have long felt that cremation is not something I’m at all interested in for myself or any member of my family.  But as to the broader question, whether Catholics can or should be cremated, I think the video below raises a number of good points.  Ultimately, the practice of cremation is pagan in origin and denies the great work of mercy found in burying the dead, which our Lord extols several times in Sacred Scripture.

I found this video quite by accident.  I had been dimly aware that Fr. Gruner and The Fatima Center produced these videos, but hadn’t watched one until last night, when it came up in the suggestions Youtube always puts in the sidebar while I was watching something else.  It’s a pretty good and brief synopsis of the subject.  Just take it for what it is, and keep any side-issues to a minimum:

To me, the arguments against cremation weigh strongly against any perceived benefits. Having heard some arguments in favor of cremation, I tend to reject them.  Some people believe cremation to be cheaper than burial, but much of the difference is mitigated in the need to have the remains placed in a columbarium, which ain’t terribly cheap.  You’re really not supposed to put the remains of your dear Uncle Fred on the mantle (and if I recall correctly, doing so is an abuse if not sinful?).  As to whether cremation is more sanitary, I think in the modern parlance the difference is slight.  Certainly, cremation would contribute vast amounts of greenhouse gasses, and we can’t have that!  I think the main argument against is in the history of the practice, it’s origin in pagan cults and its association with the rejection of bodily resurrection.  Even if no longer forbidden, per se‘ (and this would be yet another in a very long line of recently introduced novelties that run counter to prior practice), I tend to think it is a practice that should be avoided without a very good reason.  I’m not sure the cost difference rises to that level or not, and all the other reasons in favor of cremation I’ve seen seem to be about preference and, perhaps, what is a growing revulsion to the idea of allowing one’s body to slowly decay.  This may reflect on the cult of youth and beauty in our society, with people preferring near-obliteration to slow and natural decay.  But we should be striving to be so holy we can hope for remaining incorrupt, right?!?

As to Fr. Gruner’s rather incidental comments that Pope Paul VI may have taken some of the actions he did due to be being extorted over his personal peccadilloes, I really have no comment.  Whatever the reason, the actions were taken, and can’t be dismissed based on innuendo.

Guns don’t kill people……. January 30, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, Basics, demographics, error, foolishness, General Catholic, persecution, secularism, Society.
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…….leftist policies do.  That’s the major argument of Bill Whittle below.  I only post this video because I sense a little bit of gun-leariness from some faithful Catholics, and because my hometown is featured prominently in the video.  I think Whittle is a bit over the top in his description of Plano, TX……we never had a gun in the house the entire time I grew up, and my dad had a hard time convincing my mom to let him get a .30-.30 lever action a few years ago.  Since, he’s put all of about 50 rounds through it.

To me, a gun is a tool like any other.  You can kill someone just as dead with a car as with a gun, and many people do every year, either through malice (rarely), neglect, or accident.  Many nations with strict gun control laws have murder rates far in excess of that in the United States, and as Whittle notes, most of the top-murder cities in the US also have strict gun control laws.  Social and moral factors are far more related to murder than availability of firearms.

I need my guns to go all Branch Davidian when the government comes to take my guns away.  And to give me that enlarged sense of self-worth I so desperately crave.

Flightline Friday lazy edition January 30, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, damnable blasphemy, Flightline Friday, foolishness, fun, non squitur, silliness, Society.
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Just some videos of various recent training classes in the F-16 and F-22 communities.  Luke AFB near Phoenix is the site of all F-16 training in USAF.  The F-22s are done at Tyndall in Florida.  Each training class – it appears – is now making graduation videos.  The music uniformly stinks.  There is simply no other way to describe it.  But some of the flight footage is awesome.

You will see patches saying “LPA” – that is the “Lieutenant’s Protection Association, ” a sort of mini-fraternity for lieutenants in pilot slots (especially fighter) that ensures they have  money for beer.

This has some pretty good footage:


One of the best, and most recent.  This guy really struggles with a Marine F-18D:

This one is not from a training class but is from the “Raytheon Award” for best F-15 unit.  Good cockpit voice recordings:

So now you learned today that it is increasingly becoming a “thing” for USAF training classes to produce graduation videos. And now you know where a couple dozen-odd fighter pilots you’ve never seen before in your life are stationed.

Lucky you!

In the unlikely event you ever watched a graduation video from a primary flight training class, like the one below, you would also find that some of the class get reassigned back to a training base to serve as new instructors.  That assignment is called FAIP: First Assignment Instructor Pilot, and aside from getting stuck flying UAVs is the most dreaded option on what is called “assignment night,” when the student pilots are given their first assignments.  This video below is pretty funny, they based it on scenes from the classic movie The Right Stuff:

To understand how incredibly deflating it can be for a student pilot to learn he will be stuck in Air Education and Training Command for another 4 years, flying relatively low-performance aircraft on boring missions, you could go to this link.  It has lots of grown-up words and sentiment but if you know how bad it feels to get re-assigned to a training squadron after dreaming of flying fighters for 20 years, you might find the use of language excusable. A whole lot of student pilots have met a FAIP like this, one who wears their disappointment on their sleeve.  I won’t imbed the song on my nice clean blog, it’s pretty bad, but it also conveys a reality better than a long essay on the subject. If you have a strong interest in the subject and can appreciate dark and quite raunchy humor, you might find it worth listening to. Otherwise, skip it.  You have been warned.

The author of that song, BTW, is a 12 year product of Catholic schools.

In fact, being a USAF fighter pilot anymore is an exercise in fear and frustration, with occasional bouts of incredible exhilaration when you find out you’ve been assigned to fighters for your next tour.  Pilots have to guarantee sign on for 10 years.  USAF insists on that because training pilots is very expensive and they don’t want them leaving after 4 years to join an airline (or whatever).  But USAF has for years kept the training pipeline far larger than the reduced force can really support.  And so, a fighter pilot in a 24  year career would be very lucky indeed to spend even half his career assigned to operational fighter squadrons.  Nowadays, he could expect at least one tour in UAVs or back in training command (which happened to the author of that song, after his one tour in F-16s he was reassigned to Moody to fly T-6 basic trainers) and at least one or more staff tour.  Many pilots in a 20 year career only have two assignments to fighter squadrons – 8 years out of 20.  It’s really ridiculous to spend bazillions of dollars training people to a high level of perfection and then have them serve a tour in the Pentagon sharpening their PowerPoint skills, but that’s the way it is.  About the only way to stay in fighters all the time is to get extraordinarily lucky and get a slot in the Air National Guard or Air Force Reserve, but even there, it’s not all beer and skittles.

Oh, and next week I hope to have a better post on the Northrop YA-9A aircraft which competed in the A-X contract with the mighty A-10 Thunderbolt II back in 1972.  The Soviets heavily copied the design to make their own Su-25 “Frogfoot.”