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Flightline Friday – the forgotten South African Border War April 17, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, Flightline Friday, foolishness, fun, history, sadness, silliness, Society.
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The video below covers a conflict few ever heard of even when it was ongoing, and probably next to no one (in this country, anyway) remembers today.  It was the two decade-plus “border war” between South Africa and Cuba+the Soviet Union in southern Angola and northern Namibia.

The war started in 1966 when an insurgency against then Portuguese Angola got started with substantial Soviet support.  South Africa at that time ruled what was then called South West Africa (Namibia) as a trust territory.  South African involvement was mainly limited, for the first decade, to joining Portugal in creating a counter-insurgency movement, based on tribal lines, to fight against the so-called “Southwest Africa People’s Organization” (SWAPO).  This counter-insurgency was called UNITA.  Anyways, after the leftist Portuguese “rose revolution” of 1974, Portugal rapidly divested itself of its colonial empire in Africa and Angola was granted independence.  A leftist (communist) government seized power, and was abundantly supported by the Soviet Union and Cuba, up to and including the insertion of tens of thousands of ground troops and hundreds of millions of dollars in military hardware.

South Africa responded by increasing its support for UNITA, support that was so successful South Africa/UNITA basically controlled the southern quarter of Angola, along the border with Namibia, for most of the duration of the conflict.  However, as SWAPO used terrorist/insurgency tactics, there was ongoing low level conflict in northern Namibia throughout.  South Africa’s main aim in the conflict was to limit the insurgent activity into Namibia as much as possible, and basically to contain the major fighting to Angola. They were almost wholly successful in this.

As I said, Cuba, in particular, deployed large contingents of troops in division strength to support the Angolans. As the war progressed in the 80s, it became less and less a counter-insurgency and more and more a conventional conflict.  In all respects, the South Africans absolutely excelled.  Over the course of the war, South African casualties were an order of magnitude less than those of the Cubans, and even less when the native Angolans are factored in.  South Africa used long range patrols, mobile forces included wheeled armored vehicles such as the Ratel, and long-range G5 and G6 artillery to deal crushing blows to the communist forces.  The South Africans demonstrated themselves to be a very competent, professional fighting force, almost always severely outnumbered and even out-equipped, but, through superior training, tactics, and unit cohesion, almost always emerging victorious.

The war eventually degenerated into a costly stalemate.  South Africa basically gained its objectives but Cuba and the Soviet Union were, even as their own nations collapsed, too stubborn to quit the fight.  It was actually international pressure and changing internal political dynamics (the collapse of Apartheid) in South Africa that eventually led to the end of the war in late 1988.  Namibia gained its independence and majority rule, while the Cubans and Soviets, who couldn’t afford to fight such a costly war anymore, anyway, went home.  The communist aspect of the insurgency, anyway, was soundly defeated.

The video below was produced in the late 80s and contains a lot of very graphic combat footage.  You are forewarned that there is a lot of blood and gore.  Unfortunately whatever source this came from deteriorated badly before being uploaded.  Resolution is quite poor overall, and terrible at times. But ti’s a heck of an interesting video for the 2 other readers who share my interest.  This is a modern counterinsurgency war and one with a lot of lessons for those willing to investigate and learn them.  For some reason, the southern Africa whites (Rhodesia, South Africa) somehow proved to be perhaps the world’s greatest counterinsurgent fighters, even if their cause was far from noble or just, in the grand scheme of things:

The final South African withdrawl from Angola in 1988.  Real good footage of a Centurion @~1:30.

Non sequitur – Tim McGraw poised to “Dixie Chick” himself over gun control endorsement? April 17, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, asshatery, error, foolishness, non squitur, silliness, Society, the enemy.
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EDIT:  So, I wrote this yesterday, then decided I wasn’t sure I wanted to post it.  But since I’m running short of time today, and haven’t got much else queued up, I’ll just throw it out, with the preface that this is just sort of random ephemera, and not something I feel very passionate about.

I’ll be honest…..I’ve never liked Tim McGraw.  I really don’t like anything Nashville has produced in at least 20 years, and if you exclude some early George Strait, a lot longer than that.  The only time I thought McGraw was half decent was in the Friday Night Lights movie.  As for his music and his whole shtick……..it’s about as “country” as New York City.  And I’m tired of that spray painted black straw hat.

Anyway, McGraw has come out recently pretty passionately in favor of severe gun control, and he’s agreed to do a benefit concert for some gun control group that instills fear of children dying from firearms to try to advance their cause.  This is apparently a group that uses some pretty ugly tactics.  So a pro gun-rights blogger is wondering if this will turn off his (diminishing) fan base:

In 2003, the country music trio Dixie Chicks were near the top of the charts and starting a world tour in England when leader singer Natalie Maines criticized President George Bush in the run up to the Iraq War. The statement led to a harsh backlash from country music fans who viewed the act of lashing out against a President on foreign soil prior to conflict as inappropriate. While the group produced albums since then, they were never accepted back into the country music fold, and have faded from prominence.

Country music superstar Tim McGraw seems poised to make a similar, potentially career-ending move, as he has announced plans to play a concert benefiting gun prohibitionist group Sandy Hook Promise:…..

……This decision is not going to be received well by McGraw’s country music fan base, which overwhelmingly supports gun rights, and views a concert benefiting Sandy Hook Promise as being a betrayal.

Sandy Hook Promise claims to “promote mental wellness, combat social isolation, and prevent gun violence,” but by far their strongest emphasis is on turning the public against the Second Amendment rights of Americans by subtly equating the support of gun rights with the murder of children, as their social media accounts clearlyshow.

A major push right now for the group is forcing the adoption of so-called “universal background checks,” which would prevent the private transfer or sale of firearms between friends and family members without a federal background check. The goal of such a system is to serve as de facto gun registry, and which serves no legitimate crime prevention purpose.

Meh.  Whatever.  As one commenter at the link said, even more reason not to know who he is. I know who he is, but I pretend not to.

This is so much better, anyway:

Can’t get enough of Ralph Mooney’s steel guitar.

Tim McGraw can’t even a hold a candle to Waylon.

Should I even bother? It seems there has been raised a generation of spoiled, pampered, helpless crybabies…. April 17, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in abdication of duty, disaster, error, foolishness, General Catholic, paganism, rank stupidity, secularism, self-serving, sickness, Society.
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……..who use “being offended” as a weapon to get what they want.

But then again, this is UC Santa Cruz, one of the most radically leftist colleges on the planet, so…….no, I’m sorry, this is just too stupid.  Someone tried to make a nice night for the apparent 4  year olds who populate this campus, using a them of “intergalactic” and aliens and all that.  And they decided to serve a Mexican food buffet to go with it. That was the poor planner’s fatal mistake……..to the thin-skinned children trained to be perpetually aggrieved by 12 years of leftist indoctrination in the public schools, you cannot even put the words “Mexican” and “alien” in the same building together, because…….well because they say so, I guess. There is absolutely no logical reasoning for any of the below:

Stevenson College [A subdvision of UC-Santa Cruz] is apologizing to its students for serving Mexican food during “Intergalactic” night.

In a letter sent out to students, the college apologized for having “a Mexican food buffet,” while also featuring spaceships and aliens. The college received complaints saying the combination was racist because of the association between Mexicans and illegal immigrants.

“We would never want to make a connection between individuals of Latino heritage or undocumented students and “aliens” and I am so sorry that our College Night appeared to do exactly that,” wrote Carolyn Golz who had taken this picture of the activities before the complaints.

After receiving complaints, Dr. Golz said that the event “demonstrated a cultural insensitivity on the part of the program planners and, though it was an unintentional mistake, I recognize that this incident caused harm within our community and negatively impacted students.” [HOW did it negatively impact them?!?  That one of the “bad thoughts/words” was allowed to penetrate the bubble in which these glass-doll minds live?  And it’s wasn’t even bad.  Oh I hate colleges today.  They are the font of evil in our culture]

As a result, Dr. Golz “will require cultural competence training for Programs staff, in addition to implementing mechanisms for future program planning that will ensure college programs are culturally sensitive and inclusive.” [WTF?!?  That’s all warped leftist enclaves like Stevenson College do all day, and have done for the last 40 years!  And they still haven’t gotten it right?  That’s because this is a never-ending spiral, where there is never an end goal, because all this grievance-mongering is about the ineffectual and lazy gaining power over others much better than they]

In the letter, Dr. Golz then assures students that she is “an ally for students of color and, in particular, undocumented students.” Further, she is “committed to ensuring that student life staff receive the training necessary to make sure that this type of incident does not happen again at Stevenson.” [Is it bad to hope that this turns into a huge row and this Orwellian toad gets fired over it?  Because this self-serving weasel doesn’t deserve to be anywhere near a position of influence over others]

“I am working closing with Donnae Smith, Coordinator for Diversity and Inclusion for Colleges, Housing and Educational Services (CHES) to continue to increase the cultural intelligence (CQ) of our staff,” she continues.

Dr. Golz then encourages students to report “hate” to http://reporthate.ucsc.edu/ to cut down on insensitive events like Intergalactic night.

These fools are aggrieved because they love to be that way.  And they love to be that way, because they have been taught for years that claiming victimhood and offense over pathetic nothings like this is the only way these failures can exercise power and control over others.  But it is a very good method, as the constantly aggrieved have been taught all too well.  See how the college administrator jumps when they yell “I’m offended.”  In all likelihood, the complainant wasn’t even Hispanic.

We can also see in this most absurd, stupid example how the left comes to dominate language, and, thus, discourse.  The term “illegal alien” has been around for decades, but we can see its on its way out for a way to describe those who come to this country illegally.  Even much more innocuous, much more general and imprecise terms like “undocumented worker” and “migrant laborer” are also being pooh-poohed out of existence by the left. Basically, they want to make this uncomfortable subject where their extremism is definitely at odds with the vast majority of the public go away, and to do that, they are basically declaring all the language on the subject out of bounds.

A neat trick, if they are allowed to succeed.  After all, virtually every decent person in this country is paralyzed at the thought of being called “racist,” “sexist,” or whatever.

Uff da.  It’s hard to know how to even begin when we are surrounded by so many creatures like this.

Unearthly beauty of traditional Chant in a hallowed hall of Christendom April 17, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in Art and Architecture, awesomeness, Basics, Ecumenism, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Holy suffering, Interior Life, Liturgy, sadness, Society, Tradition, Virtue.
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Komitas – Lord have mercy, sung in the ancient Church of the Holy Cross on Akdamar Island by a woman of substantial talent.  This below, and “Gather us in” or “On eagle’s wings” aren’t in the same liturgical universe:

Too bad the other women don’t have their heads covered!  Good for the singer.

About the church, it is actually a 10th century cathedral.  Of course, we are at present marking the 100th anniversary of the Armenian genocide.  This cathedral was a major seat of the Armenian Orthodox Church.  Quite controversially, after being allowed to deteriorate badly for decades, the Turkish government set aside a small amount of money and turned the former cathedral into a museum.

A brief  quote on that history:

In 1915, during the Armenian Genocide, the monks of Aght’amar were massacred, the church looted, and the monastic buildings destroyed.

I guess we know why the former cathedral looks so barren.  I wonder how much incredible, irreplaceable art from two millenia ago! was destroyed in the process.  And now the Turks try to pretend to be nicey nice with the Armenians (now that they are almost all gone or dead) by spending a whole $1 million on a forced “restoration” and conversion of the cathedral into a museum the Armenians didn’t want!

So, this beautiful act of prayer, and the hymn sung, at that place, and at this time, by an Armenian woman…….it is absolutely pregnant with meaning.  And boy does she knock it out of the park.  The Armenians are some of the most ancient Christians it is possible to find.  I pray for their return to unity with the See of Peter.

h/t JP Sonnen