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Flightline Friday: the lamentable Bell X-2 revisited October 8, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Flightline Friday, foolishness, fun, history, non squitur, silliness, Society, technology.
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Since I didn’t get to a Flightline Friday last week, I’ll try to kick out a double this week.

I did one of the first Flightline Fridays ever on Brig. Gen. Frank K. “Pete” Everest, USAF, Ret., way back in 2011.  For the latter half of the ’50s, Pete Everest was known as the “fastest man alive.”  That’s because he had successfully flown the temperamental, problematic Bell X-2 out to Mach 2.9 in 1956.  Mel Apt had actually gone faster, Mach 3.2, but died in the attempt.

The X-2 had been created as a follow-on to the X-1 series of planes that had so famously broken the sound barrier and done much, much more (most people don’t know, there were actually 7 X-1s built, of varying models and capabilities).  Chuck Yeager had gone Mach 2.53 in the X-1A and almost died trying.  Kit Murray had not over 90,000 ft.  But in the race for space at that time, there always had to be another faster, better, higher plane on the drawing board (unlike today).  The Bell X-2 was expected to go past Mach 3.

However, Bell had the bad luck to suggest a dying Curtiss-Wright corporation for the complex new rocket engine.  It was 4 years late.  By the time the Bell X-2 was finally ready to begin powered flight, one had already been lost in a mysterious inflight explosion, and there were already service jets like the F-104 and F-105 nipping at its speed capabilities (well…….Mach 2.2-3) on a daily basis.  Time was running out on the program to make a useful contribution, since the infinitely more capable and refined North American X-15 was already on the way.

So, a hurried flight test program was conducted between March and September 1956, when the second aircraft was lost with Apt.  It was later determined that the X-2 was perhaps the worst possible way to go after Mach 3 – hugely insufficient lateral (right left) control, wings that bent under load and caused huge variances in handling characteristics (you don’t want a long, thin wing to go much past Mach 2), a faulty ejection system.  It was really behind the times even when it finally flew – wind tunnels had confirmed the design, so advanced when first conceptualized in the late 40s, was a dead end.

Some cool vids on the X-2 below.  There are whole DVDd on some really cool aircraft available from rocket.aero, if anyone wanted to stuff my stocking with them I certainly wouldn’t refuse.

The first vid gives an overview of the X-2 program and shows the Model A Ford that was passed on from one “hottest” test pilot at Edwards to another for about 20 years.  Pete Everest had it in ’56, Bob White had it later:

Gives a bunch of other data:

Video of the first flight:

Ivan Kincheloe’s record setting high-altitude flight (126,500 ft – 24 miles):

Unfortunately, they don’t have any footage uploaded of Pete Everest’s Mach 2.9 flight.

Going off topic a bit, the a PR “flight test report” produced by Bell Aircraft for the X-1A:

Farming in the old days October 8, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, family, farm, fun, history, non squitur, silliness, technology.
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My dad sent this photo and recollection to me.  I’ve seen the pic before but hope you don’t mind if I share it, and the story, with you.  This picture was taken on June 30, 1954:


The acorn don’t fall very far from the tree

This picture was taken about 10:00 AM just after we had finished harvesting the wheat in the our field across the road west of the house, [I sure wish we still owned that field!] and were preparing to pull out of the field to commence cutting some wheat for a neighbor a mile north.  These two self-propelled combines are 1953 Massey-Harris Model 80 machines with 14’ headers. 

(At that time Massey-Harris, a Canadian company, dominated the market in the states for self-propelled combines.  Massey-Harris survives today as Massey-Ferguson, an AGCO Company that has small market share in this country but has a sizeable market share in the rest of the world.)

The combines and the Dodge truck were owned by Clarence Dunlap who operated out of Pine Bluffs, Wyoming.  I am the skinny kid on the left at age 17; Clarence is standing next to me.  The truck I drove was owned by Jake Rein (standing on the right in the picture) from North Platt, Nebraska.  It was a blue 1950 Chevrolet 2 ½ ton truck (parked just out of the picture on the left) that had previously been owned by Ceco Steel Company in Grand Island, Nebraska.  Because it hauled heavy loads of steel, Ceco had reinforced the frame and made it extra stiff. 

It had a 102 HP inline six-cylinder engine, mated to a four speed transmission, a two speed axle, and a three way “Brownie” auxiliary transmission, giving it 24 speeds forward and six in reverse.  In low/low/low, you could redline the engine at 4 mph. [Well, this will certainly be familiar to Powerstroke owners……….heh]

The Chevy had a sixteen-foot box, and could haul 350 – 375 bushels (11 tons).  It had a 20-gallon seat tank and two 50-gallon saddle tanks. 

Only the seat tank had a gauge – the only way you could tell when one of the saddle tanks was going dry was when the engine began to stumble.

  And it was a bitch to switch from one saddle tank to the other – – I found that out the hard way one night about 10:00 PM on the way home  from taking a load of wheat to the grain elevator in Phillipsburg.  I ran out of gas in one saddle tank; could not get it to switch to the other; and had to walk two miles home.  I got a five gallon can of gas, drove back to the truck, put it in the seat tank, and then had a terrible time getting it started because all of the gas had been sucked out of the gas lines.

You will notice that in those days there were no nice clean air-conditioned cabs on the combines – – the operator sat out in the heat and the dust and the chaff. [Let me tell you……..that would have sucked.  Unbelievably.] Clarence had an umbrella on his combine – – it kept the sun off but it also trapped the dust and chaff.

Most combines today have 30’ – 40’ headers while at that time these had 14’ headers.

And they were dang high-tech for their day!  Also, the paddles on the header were wood, not steel.

Now for the modern day, one of the slickest harvest videos I’ve ever seen (someone got a bit crazy with the drone), from LaRosh Farms, Osborne County, Kansas. The film-maker is from Smith Center.  This is just east of where our farm is at.  They even give you a bit of old school with what looks like a late 40s or early 50s John Deere combine around ~7:00:

NO it is almost never that green.  We remarked when we were up there this year we’d never seen it so green.  They got a lot of rain in July, too, but now all I hear is about how dry it is.  Waaaah.

Bishop contradicts Christ, spouts heresy at Synod October 8, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in abdication of duty, asshatery, different religion, disaster, episcopate, error, foolishness, General Catholic, horror, Papa, scandals, secularism, self-serving, sexual depravity, sickness, Society, SOD, the struggle for the Church.
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This is getting to be a film at 11 kind of thing.  Panamanian Cardinal (elevated by PF) and primate Jose Luiz Lacunza Maestrojuan decided that Grace is no longer operative, the New Covenant no longer exists, and we have to go back to Moses’ way of dealing with things:

Here is one happening that was NOT mentioned in the Synod Briefings given by the adulterist and homosexualist churchmen. It took place on Monday, October the 5th, 2015 and is reported by an eminent European Prelate, Archbishop Stanislaw Gadecki on his blog. 

Cardinal Jose Luiz Lacunza Maestrojuan, the president of the Panamanian Bishops’ Conference, and Rapporteur at the Synod of the Family suggested on October 5, 2015, during his alloted three minute speech, that the Law of Christ be overturned and the Church adapt a position on divorce following Moses. The Cardinal was quoted by Archbishop Stanislaw Gadecki (translated by Toronto Catholic Witness) as saying:

“Moses drew near to the people and gave way. Likewise today, the ‘hardness of hearts’ opposes God’s plan. Could Peter not be merciful like Moses”?

There we have it: a priest of Jesus Christ, a bishop, a Prince of the Church openly before his brother bishops, before the whole Church: contradicting Our Lord Jesus Christ! However! A voice of Catholic sanity, from the Greek-Melkite Patriarch of Antioch, His Beatitude Gregory III Laham, responded:

“One should always speak of the “sacrament of matrimony” and not “marriage”.  To show the spiritual beauty of marriage. To assist spouses one must show them the unchangeable, spiritual vision of matrimony. Many times we are not united with the positive vision of marriage and the family. Jesus corrected Moses. Dissoluble marriage is against its nature”.
More to follow. 

Simply put, what we are getting from the Holy See Press Office is propaganda.

The Cardinal’s statement is simply incredible.  Well if we’re going to roll back to Moses’ time, then we should stone those adulterers who have valid first marriages but have shacked up with others, shouldn’t we?  Oh, I get it……..we only go back to Moses’ time when that’s convenient to faithless shepherds desirous to cave to the zeitgeist.  Sorry, all this just makes me sick.

These guys aren’t of the Faith.  I don’t think saying “different religion” begins to cover what we’re seeing here, because not only do they reject the Catholic Faith, but they seek to twist and pervert like latter day Canaanites.  Simply incredible.  We see here literal rejection of the entire concept of Grace and an admission that somehow, Christ just isn’t good enough any more.  Always bear in mind left-wing projection – what they attribute to others, they almost invariably feel themselves.  Thus, we know all we need to know about this soiled Cardinal.

But remember, it’s we trads who are the faithless pharisees.  And Archbishop Lefebvre is a protestant.

Understanding the “gay” lifestyle from a man who has lived it October 8, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, horror, Interior Life, Papa, sadness, scandals, secularism, self-serving, sexual depravity, sickness, Society, Virtue.
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I stumbled across Joseph Sciambra’s site via Ann Barnhardt Hilary White and I’ve been very impressed by his presentations on the “gay lifestyle”.  Before I go any further, if Mr. Sciambra should come to my blog, understand I take a very combative stand against what I perceive as militant proselytization for this lifestyle and its use by progressives as a mascot to advance their anti-Christian agenda.  So if you peruse some of my writings and find them uncharitable, understand they are directed not against individuals but against the broader, more amorphous movement that is presently persecuting Christians and wreaking havoc in our culture.

I should also warn readers that the material at his site and that I copy below is of course of an adult nature.  Those with sensitive consciences or easily scandalized may want to move on to the next post.

I really like what Mr. Sciambra has to say.  I would say it correlates very well with my own observations and a fair amount of study of this subject.  He makes plain several salient facts I have tried to convey on my blog repeatedly:

  1. becoming “gay,” or active in a sexually perverse (in the classic meaning of the term) lifestyle, is a choice, more or less conscious
  2. there are no “gay” people, as in really born that way and just so biologically determinant they had no other choice
  3. those drawn to acts of sodomy with other men universally have some grave trauma early in life that causes them to seek out affirmation from other men.  Robert Reilly describes this almost as a desire to consume their essence, to somehow through the act of sodomy to become the other man, to absorb his perceived “maleness” through the act.  This explains why there are frequently wide age differences in “gay” couples, with a father-son type dynamic at play
  4. the “gay lifestyle” is a fantasy lifestyle disconnected from reality

There is much more below. I am posting two of his most recent videos and an excerpt from a written post.  Again, the material is of its nature somewhat explicit and certainly not for anyone under 21. The first video contains some images of disturbing kinks and perverse behavior, do be careful, but I think they are necessary to illustrate his points:

Even more revealing of the psychological aspects of sodomy, with the false, never-quite-fulfilling “affirmation” taken from another man via the act of sodomy.  Not to be too gross, but I have to wonder if this is more the perspective of the “receiver” rather than the, uh…..thrower, IYKWIM.  This one does, towards the end, also start to delve into some advanced subjects.  But I think the perspective shared is very valuable to understand how to potentially approach individuals lost in this lifestyle (though, I do have a few qualms about some of what is presented):

I think this sums up his analysis of the error at the root of this lifestyle:

Although I spent over a decade in the homosexual enclaves of San Francisco and Los Angeles, I never met a “gay” man…the people I did meet were mostly battered and wounded souls that somehow wound up in either the Castro District or West Hollywood, because they thought happiness awaited them in the arms of another man. Of these men, backgrounds were diverse, but there always remained a common denominator: an almost unquenchable need to be loved, but not just any love – it had to come from a man. Most of us thought we were just born that way; as we could never recall a time when we didn’t have such feelings. We once felt different, odd, but “coming out” and “accepting” ourselves as “gay” had changed all of that. But what had it changed?

Accepting that I was “gay” meant that I no longer denied my feelings – for other men. It also meant that I would no longer harbor any shame about those emotions, or, even about openly expressing them. Lastly, it meant that in order to be happy, in order to be fulfilled as a human being, I needed to be “gay;” that I was not complete without that; denying my “gayness” would be like denying myself. Only, it never quite worked that way. For, the more I got lost in “gay” the more I just got lost. Because, here I was: I was “gay,” I was with other men, getting and giving love to other men, but, something wasn’t right. It wasn’t working. I wasn’t fulfilled and I wasn’t complete. A piece was still missing. I thought to myself: “I must be doing something wrong.” [Is this realization a major factor in the shockingly high rates of drug addiction and suicide among the practitioners of this lifestyle.]

After that, like everyone who invests time, energy, and suffering into a failing project – you tend not to pull back and reexamine, but you get desperate and try forcing things into place. I did this by getting more “gay;” I tried it all: more one-hour stands; a few “exclusive” partnerships; and then, a final slide into “gay” overdose – pulling in as much manliness and masculinity as I could handle, hoping beyond hope that some of it would stick. It didn’t. Then, at that point, there was nothing left to do – I had truly tried it all. “Gay” was turning out to be a bust; but, I am “gay;” does that mean there is something wrong with me as well? I looked back, and saw the faces of those who had died: perhaps none of us were meant to be here; I came to believe we had all been destined for death.

But I didn’t die. God found me. I was a heap of flesh: soiled and covered in filth. He washed me; when everyone passed by, He took me to His home. There, I was bathed in His Blood. Everything was stripped from my skin – it was a strange sort of acid immersion that hurt but soothed. The first thing to rinse away into the gutter was “gay.” For, it was at the center of all my confusion and pain. “Gay” was not who I ever was: “gay” was an explanation, a false hope, a stinking balm like rancid butter – it covered my wounds, but they never healed. And, all of us, we were that way – we were sick and we were doing that best we could, but we weren’t gay. We were lost boys still looking for our fathers, for a place on the team, for a man to simply say that: “Yes, we mattered.” Are those exclusively “gay” desires? No…they are the simple joys that every child needs in order to grow. Yet, we didn’t get them when it most mattered. Does that make us gay? No…but it makes us in need of healing; true healing. The kind that can only come from Our Lord Jesus Christ: the God made Man. When he embraces us, we are no longer “gay,” but His child – and, in that we are recreated in His image.

I have reported in the past the strong parallels I see between this perverse lifestyle and addiction.  As Mr. Sciambra notes, an addiction to porn and self-abuse paved the way for his acting out with men.  Many people may have a hereditary/genetic component to their addiction – there is certainly far more evidence for that than there is for any “gay gene.”  But in the end, the decision to use or not remains just that, a decision.  It’s a terribly hard one at times, one that causes many to die before they make the right decision not to use, but it is always a choice.  This lifestyle, in spite of all the rhetoric, in spite of all the victories gained, in spite of having the media in their pocket as their cheerleaders, will always remain a choice, as is the case with each and every sin.

I think that even more the case with regard to women.  Some will even admit that their descent into that lifestyle was the result of a conscious decision, because they had been burned by men in the past (giving themselves away too easily) or wound up in a place where they felt no man was interested in them or would take them seriously.  Obesity is rife among women in this lifestyle, which contributes to low self-esteem and a feeling of being rejected by men.  What is frightening is that the hook up culture among young people today is causing many very young women (who already have had dozens/scores of partners) to look to this lifestyle after feeling used and abused by men.  The whole thing is a swirling cauldron of evil that only seems to get worse as time goes on.

One more thing – I have tremendous respect for men like Joseph Sciambra and Laurence England who have left this lifestyle.  I cannot imagine the confusion and anguish this pontificate and especially the Synod are causing them.

The crisis has been a long time coming – an excoriation of the policies of Pope Paul VI from 1977 October 8, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, catachesis, different religion, episcopate, error, General Catholic, history, horror, Papa, Revolution, sadness, scandals, secularism, self-serving, Society, SOD, the struggle for the Church.
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History, dear readers, is my first love.  I pray it always remains so.  I love history, because by studying it, one learns very quickly that there is little new under the sun.  In almost every contemporary situation, one can find examples from the past that provide very good guidance on pitfalls to avoid and safer ways to proceed.  Certainly, history does not repeat itself, contra George Santanaya, but historical situations do recur.

Rorate Caeli has helpfully posted some material that makes clear that the present peak of crisis in the Church has been a long time coming.  Contrary to what many conservative neo-Catholics have tried to tell us for years, the papacy has not always been a sure rock of unquestionable adherence to truth, virtue, and surety of purpose.  There have been, in history, a great many bad popes.  We were very blessed to have a nearly 200 year run of very good popes from Pius VIII to Pius XII, but since then, we have not been so fortunate.  And so the crisis we see today is simply an extension of the crisis that began at Vatican II under, primarily, Paul VI.  Even more, as the below makes clear, Paul VI’s policies and actions in the years following the closure of the Council helped enshrine the more revolutionary elements/interpretations of the Council deeply into Church administration and practice.  As Rorate notes, many of the things we see from the pontificate of Pope Francis that so exasperate us, were just as present in the pontificate of Paul VI.

The piece below was published by John McCaffrey in 1977.  He examines the dread error of papalotry and the rising traditional critique of the Council and the post-conciliar papacies.  It is stunning just how strong the parallels are between the declining years of the Pauline pontificate and the opening years of the Franciscan one.  I excerpt some of the passages I found more meaningful below, do read the whole thing (if you already haven’t) and note my emphasis and comments:

For some years after the Council, the conventional line had been: the Pope is isolated/misled/uninformed/captive/what-haveyou. This position always depended on a vast innocence of Church and human affairs, and moreover needed occasional tokens that the Pope was really on their side. [Just as we see many, I hope, well meaning Catholics today clinging to occasional orthodox statements from Francis, even while his great revolutionary wheel acquires unbreakable momentum] The pressure of catastrophe had to eat away at that position—particularly when the Pope was at pains to show that he does indeed know what is going on, that he is indeed the author of these policies, that he is no fool, and that he is not at all pleased with Catholics who oppose him. [Familiar?]
When these facts began to hit home, less balanced Catholics reached for new explanations, and came up with kookery: the Pope is a Communist/Freemason/imposter…or was invalidly elected…or is drugged; and so on. Sensible Catholics, rejecting all this nonsense but still confronting the cruel fact of a pope hostile to much of what they hold sacred, had to enter upon what may be called, at least analogously, their dark night of the soul.
But if God is there, dark nights of the soul can be illuminating. Troubled Catholics began to consider seriously what had once been mere abstractions to them. Not every papal or conciliar statement is infallible, or even wise. Not every papal policy is prudent, or in the best interests of the Faith. No pope, St. Peter himself knows, is beyond error, and no humble pope refuses to correct his error. And, as Dante and St. John Chrysostom once told us, some popes do go to Hell. [I dare anyone to read Pastor’s History of the Popes and conclude differently]
These truths had almost to force themselves on many a conscientious Catholic. But once they did, these Catholics made a wondrous discovery: the truth had to set them free. They found to their delight that they had at last joined the Catholic mainstream of centuries. Now the traditions they revered meant so much more to them as they became more deeply a part of those traditions. They drew strength from those traditions. To be specific, they found in Catholic tradition almost universal respect, even reverence, for the pope as St. Peter’s successor—but nothing of the pope-can-do-no-wrong aberration. They found some courtier flattery of popes, but none from Catholics who had a decent respect for the pope, and for themselves. They found among real Catholics a widespread love for the pope as father, and almost no papolatry. (A good son loves and respects his father—but he doesn’t praise him for coming home drunk. Refuting Stephen Decatur’s “My country, right or wrong,” Chesterton once remarked that it was like saying, “My mother, drunk or sober.”)
….[T]he derelictions of the present papacy have forced thoughtful Catholics to reconsider the papolatry some had succumbed to in recent decades: a corrective badly needed in many quarters—just as, in the opposite direction, the Councils of Florence and Vatican I helped to right the balance after the Council of Constance had heaped indignities on the papacy. (Incidentally, I wonder how many edicts of Constance those council buffs among today’s conservatives would subscribe to. Or is the most recent Council the only one that counts?[I think we  know the answer to that, because it appears nigh impossible, without violating the principle of non-contradiction, to reconcile aspects of that most recent Council with the dogmatic statements of certain preceding ones]
………My disagreement with some in the conservative Catholic media is twofold: they distort our present crisis, and are not even true to their own murky principles. They distort by suppressing news about the Pope–which is to say, they fail as Catholic journalists. They never report when the Pope receives a Communist leader, or Women’s Lib pioneer Betty Friedan, or mass murderer Idi Amin. They do not tell us that he refused to meet with an international pilgrimage of traditional Catholics even though they kept an all-night prayer vigil in St. Peter’s Square—though at the same time he was receiving three Portuguese revolutionaries. We could never have learned from them that the Pope joined with the international Left to condemn the Franco government for executing the Spanish terrorists. In papers that proclaim admiration for the Pope, why is news of so many of his key activities carefully excluded?………
……….Not surprisingly, Pope Paul VI understands his Council far better than his conservative admirers.[And I’d wager my house (you can take over the note) that Pope Francis understands his Synod better than conservative apologists] He has never disguised his conviction that the Council was the gateway to change in the Church, and was meant to be. And he has underscored this, pointing out that Gaudium et Spes was a break with the old Catholic view of the world held by many of the saints. (He could with greater accuracy have said all of the saints—not to mention the authors of the Epistles, and our Lord Himself.) [And the broader tragedy is, every subsequent post-conciliar Pope, even Benedict XVI, has believed the same – that Guadium Et Spes was a “counter-syllabus,” that it pointed up a radically different understanding of the world and the role of the Church than that held by the Saints and Fathers, etc.  At least PBXVI was honest enough to discern that the Revolution had not brought the “new pentecost” expected (what hubris!), but had in fact all but destroyed the Church.]

As for the conciliar documents themselves, they require an exegesis that could fill a bookshelf. But they do breathe a spirit, especially where they deal with temporal problems, that clashes with the strictures of earlier popes on liberalism and humanism. [Again, I do not think anyone could honestly oppose this view]
It is no accident that liberals the world over sang hymns to the Council. Were they all wrong? The children of this world are wise in their generation. The liberals know their own. In particular, they know that the Council moved their way on religious liberty—whereas they despised the views of earlier popes (who, in turn, were simply repeating what had been the unvarying attitude of the Church since the Apostolic Age). If the Council did not offer a wholly novel view of religious liberty (novel, that is, for the Church; it is old hat for liberals), then words have lost all meaning. This, I suspect, is one reason why Archbishop Lefebvre is denied his hearing. The Vatican is loathe to defend a hopeless case, even in its own court. [Oh, but schism…….]
But the Pope himself has given us the final refutation of the conservative position, in condemning Archbishop Lefebvre. Among other things the Pope demands that the Archbishop accept the post-conciliar “orientations” of the Church—which are, by definition new, or else the Pope, the Archbishop, and the rest of us would be arguing over—nothing. [QED.  Pope Benedict changed the terms of debate slightly, but still insisted on that “acceptance of Vatican II,” which is so nebulous as to mean anything.  How does one accept a pastoral vision dogmatically?]
Which leads to my point that the conservative axis is here again betraying its own position. Why do they decline to follow the post-conciliar orientations? The Pope has endorsed them. Why do they resist the pentecostal wave? The Pope smiles on it. Why do they shy away from the revolutionary activities of papal appointees in the Third World? Why do they quarrel with theological ideas that are taught in Rome’s pontifical seminaries? Why do they argue with catechisms imposed by nearly all the bishops of the world? These bishops, after all, are answerable to the Pope; most are appointees; and the caliber of the appointments has remained constant over fourteen years. [Make that 50 years]
I think I know why. Scratch a conservative—and more often than not you’ll find a traditionalist. [Do you agree?  Maybe back in 1977, but today?  I think more often than not today, scratch a conservative and find a liberal. Especially among those who make their living off the Church, and especially episcopal approbation] But a traditionalist who shrinks from resolving the ambiguity of his own position. This is not surprising. It hurts to change.
Which is just what we’ve been telling our father, the Pope. Who isn’t listening, and doesn’t care.
Ouch.  This post is long enough, it was a long article.  Let me know what you think.