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Flightline Friday Monday Edition: The Navy That Was January 25, 2016

Posted by Tantumblogo in disaster, Flightline Friday, foolishness, fun, history, non squitur, sadness, scandals, silliness, Society, technology.
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I was stunned to read in the latest issue of Combat Aircraft that the United States Air Force is down to 54 fighter squadrons (and still dropping).  That includes the Air Force Reserve and National Guard.  In 1987, the USAF had 38 1/2 fighter wings numbering over 130 squadrons. So the Air Force is less than half the size of it’s Reagan-era peak.

Speaking of bygone glory days and steadily deteriorating capability, I got this excellent photo off Foxtrot Alpha showing a whole bunch of ships from the late 80’s which have been entirely retired:

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That’s BB-62 New Jersey followed by BB-63 Wisconsin with CGN-9 Long Beach and a Sprucan and a couple of maybe Knox-class frigates in the tail.  That’s a whole lot of firepower, and it’s all gone, gone gone.

Long Beach was the world’s first nuclear powered cruiser.  She was paid off in 1995.  All the Spruance class destroyers, built at great expense in the 70s and 80s, were retired in the 90s and early 00s – at least a decade or more early – even though they were still immensely capable. But Navy BLACK shoe surface warfare types decided it was more important to keep building billion dollar destroyers than to adequately maintain and recapitalize the Navy’s air fleet.  Now carriers go to sea with maybe 50 aircraft, instead of the 90+ they used to.  And, there are only 9 carriers, down from 15 in the 80s.

The Knox Class frigates were not particularly good ships, they were another questionable product of McNamara’s time as SECDEF, had limited capability and were not good handling ships with their single screws.  But, they were useful for convoy escort and could carry a helicopter, making them valuable for antisubmarine warfare work.  But no particular loss there.  The bigger loss is that once again, the Navy retired an entire class of ships (the later, much more capable Oliver Hazard Perry (FFG-7)) built in the late 70s and 80s during the 90s and 00s.  I guess a few struggled on into this decade.  They are to be replaced by nearly worthless ships called the “Littoral Combat Ship,” which was the product of a zany and possibly unstable man named Admiral Cebrowski who always wanted to build a vast fleet of small, not very capable boats (the same highly flawed mentality is resident in the Air Force in types like Pierre Sprey and Chuck Riccione, who forever argue for “cheaper” (re: less capable, apt to get more pilots killed) aircraft. Discount everything they have to say).

The problem is, the numbers never get built and even if they do, they aren’t much more than targets in their present configuration.  They have almost no anti-aircraft or anti-missile defense, and what they have defends nothing but themselves (they are not good for convoy work or defending other ships, like amphibious warfare craft).

The Navy has also developed the ~$10 billion dollar, 15,000 ton (that’s a WWII heavy cruiser, plus) “destroyers” of the Zumwalt Class.  Those are so expensive only one or two will be built, and their core design was horribly compromised 15 years ago by something called “tumblehome.” Tumblehome = sinking almost immediately if hit and being very unseaworthy.  Think of a boat built upside down with the wide part way down in the water, and the hull narrowing as it goes up.  So for every foot of water the ship takes on, it wants to sink faster, as there is less and less buoyant surface to keep it afloat.

Sorry for all the detail that probably goes over most people’s heads.  The long and short of it is that the Navy has been spending a very large procurement budget (larger than the other services) on exceedingly questionable priorities.  Surface ships have seen very, very little combat since Vietnam. But aircraft have been employed constantly in warfare going on over two decades straight now, and the Navy has given short-shrift to the aviation budget since the end of the Cold War.

I – and I am far from alone (but I’d like to hear what our resident Naval aviator has to say) – believe that is due to the Navy still being dominated by surface warfare admirals, who tend to favor funding for “their” sector of the Navy at  the expense of their black shoe aviation rivals (and it most certainly IS a rivalry).  This is a prime argument to me for keeping a separate Air Force, as you need at least one service whose core mission is air power and which cannot be placed on a lower priority as aviation sometimes suffers in the Navy and Army.

See how much I can read into one pretty pic?

BTW I am not an advocate of putting the battleships back in service, as Trump recently advocated.  They are manpower hogs and while almost unsinkable by modern weapons (OK, torpedoes remain a grave threat) they don’t really represent a capability that is lacking anymore.

What the Navy and Air Force do need is planes, newer and somewhat cheaper (than the F-35) planes.  We cannot afford an all stealth fleet.  They cost too much to build, too much to operate, and they are very costly and difficult to keep in operation.  I actually saw a proposal to put the F-22 back in production from a serious source within the Air Force.  That is almost as stunning as the admission at the top.  But that won’t happen as long as the fool who cancelled the greatest fighter aircraft ever built (except for the Crusader!) after 187 were built (and all development paid for, and flyaway price plummeting) leaves office.  Yes, I’m looking at you, fool:


One more:


Teresita Quevedo’s Code of Amiability January 25, 2016

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, catachesis, Domestic Church, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Holy suffering, Interior Life, mortification, reading, sanctity, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
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I have been reading the biography of Teresita Quevedo (Sister Maria Theresa of Jesus O. Carm) for some time. I highly recommend it.  Mary was truly her life.  She gave such great evidence of heroic virtue during such a short life.  She is emblematic of Saint Therese of the Child Jesus, though she did not develop such an exalted, simple form of piety that has been adopted by millions (or, at least, they have tried to adopt it).

One thing Venerable Teresita Quevedo did develop, however, was her Code of Amiability.  Even from a young age, 0276family members and friends were amazed by Teresita’s kindness, generosity, and consideration of others.  These characteristics and others informed her general code of amiability, something which I believe, if adopted by many souls, could lead to a religious/spiritual revival, even restoration.  Given that we have now started Septuagesima and thus our preparations for Lent, I recommend this Code of Amiability as a possible means of mortification during these penitential seasons:

Amiability was Teresita’s most characteristic virtue.  She drew up a norm for acquiring amiability which she printed on a large card.  Painted on the foreground is a picture of Our Lady with the Child Jesus in her arms.  Under the image, in Teresita’s writing, are the words: “Code of Amiability.”  It reads as follows:

The virtue of amiability results from the fusion of several strong virtues.  It is the “all things to all men” that grows out of charity; the knowledge of self that humility teaches; the pure detachment found in mortification; the meekness born of patience; and the undaunted courage won of perseverance.

Of what does amiability consist?  To be amiable, as the Mother of God is amiable, one must radiate a strong sweetness – one that will bring a smile to the lips of another and invite confidence. Amiability moves one to give in meekly to the wish of another, or to lighten another’s burden with a kind and comforting word.  It is the priceless fruit of union with Our Lady

What are the ten commandments of the Code?  The Code of Amiability obliges one:

  1. To smile until a kindly smile forms readily on one’s lips.
  2. To repress a sign of impatience at the very start.
  3. To add a word of benevolence when giving orders.
  4. To reply positively when asked to do a favor.
  5. To lend a helping hand to the unfortunate.
  6. To please those toward whom one feels repugnance.
  7. To study and satisfy the tastes of those with whom one lives.
  8. To respect everyone.
  9. To avoid complaining.
  10. To correct, if one must, with kindness.

I have seen the fruit of attempts to follow Teresita’s Code of Amiability up close, and I can say that they can make a tremendous difference in the conduct of family life, to give just one instance.  They are a very good pathway towards 2187345532_401e12cb1elearning self-denial and, from that, humility.  Mortifications need not be grand acts.  In fact, it is better when they are not, but are instead little acts of penance made throughout the day.

But because some readers are likely already familiar with Teresita’s Code of Amiability, I also thought I would include her “little sack of virtues,” as well:

“I have seen clearly what I must do to become a Saint.  I had been apprehensive about the way I was using time, for I realize that no fraction of the important years in [our lives] should be lost.  However, after consulting an authority on the spiritual life I feel completely at ease about my distribution of time. Father makes the ascent to sanctity seem quite simple.  He explained what I must do to be a Saint and I intend to take advantage of every point he listed, after, of course, recommending myself to Our Blessed Lady.  She will lead me to whatever Jesus wills every moment of the day.  Nevertheless, I must examine my conscience on the following points every evening:

  1. No matter how slight they may be, imperfections must be avoided.
  2. When filled with defects, one should not become discouraged.  Rome wasn’t built in a day!
  3. If one falls, she must place herself under Our Lady’s cloak immediately.

I have been thinking lately that it would be a good idea to have a spiritual sack into which the day’s works may be placed. Every evening I could bring it to Our Lady and ask here to remove the defects.  Free from flaws, I would take the sack to His Eucharistic Presence and offer it to Jesus.  I shall do this!  Years from now, when the sack is full, I believe I will have reached sanctity.  O my Mother, I know you will help me.  I also know that it will take the rest of my life to fill the sack.”

And it did, though the end came less than two years after Venerable Teresa Quevedo wrote the diary entry above.  She was always in a great rush to reach sanctity – a particular Grace given her by Our Lord, Who knew her life would not be a long one.  It did not take years to fill the sack, but only months.maria-teresa-quevedo-05

We, too, may not have as long as we think.  Sanctity is often a project we defer for what we think are very good reasons. We are too busy.  We’ll focus on it when we have more time.  The kids, the spouse, work, they are more pressing.  But sanctity deferred is frequently – I might even say almost always – sanctity that never arrives.

I pray I may follow Venerable Teresita Quevedo’s good advice, especially during this Septuagesima and Lent.  This is  a method whose simplicity is great enough that even children could make use of it, just as many children place straw in the creche’ during Advent, to prepare a bed for Baby Jesus’ arrival.

Venerable Teresita Quevedo, pray for us!


This Church accuser has zero credibility – are there many others like him? January 25, 2016

Posted by Tantumblogo in abdication of duty, catachesis, disaster, episcopate, error, General Catholic, horror, It's all about the $$$, paganism, persecution, scandals, secularism, self-serving, sexual depravity, Society.
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I don’t know how many readers have followed the saga of former University of Virginia coed Jackie Coakley and her lurid claims of a horrific gang rape at a fraternity party on that campus in 2012.  She refused to report the matter to police for years, but attracted the attention of a Rolling Stone reporter with a history of fabulist creations.  The article that resulted created a firestorm in fall of 2014 when published, but just as quickly was refuted on any number of counts.  It turns out Ms. Coakley had created the entire tale out of thin air, in the hopes of attracting the romantic interest of a male UVa student.

That background is important for the report below, which casts grave doubts on a man who has successfully accused a number of priests of molesting/raping him over years, including incredibly debauched details that netted both several convictions and a $5 million settlement for the plaintiff.  However, it now looks as if the entire tale was fabricated, and that the priests were railroaded into prison unjustly.  One wonders just how many others, in the climate of hysteria the permeated the Church and country in the wake of many (it must be said clearly) valid claims of boy rape, were similarly unjustly prosecuted? I imagine it is more than a handful (note the source below is a libertarian site that is not a particular friend of the Church):

On October 9, 2015, a former Philadelphia altar boy reported to the office of Dr. Stephen Mechanick to undergo a court-ordered forensic psychiatric evaluation. It took nearly three hours because the two men had a lot of ground to cover. Daniel Gallagher is a slender 27-year-old with a wispy beard who is better known as “Billy Doe.” Under that pseudonym, he made national headlines in 2011 when he claimed to have been serially raped as a fifth- and sixth-grader at St. Jerome’s parish by two priests and a Catholic schoolteacher.

Gallagher subsequently became the Philadelphia district attorney’s star witness at two historic criminal trials. His graphic testimony helped convict three alleged assailants, as well as Monsignor William Lynn, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia’s former secretary for clergy, who was found guilty of endangering the welfare of a child. The monsignor became the first Catholic administrator in the country to go to jail for failing to adequately supervise a sexually abusive priest.

The Billy Doe rape story was so sensational it attracted the attention of crusading Rolling Stone writer Sabrina Rubin Erdely. She described Billy Doe in a 2011 story, “The Catholic Church’s Secret Sex-Crime Files,” as a “sweet, gentle kid with boyish good looks” who had been callously “passed around” from predator to predator. According to the charges recounted by Erdely, two priests and a Catholic schoolteacher “raped and sodomized the 10-year-old, sometimes making him perform stripteases or getting him drunk on sacramental wine after Mass.” [So, a female reporter has now twice been demonstrated to have concocted a lurid story based on an unreliable accuser, and in both cases she never once sought out contradictory views from those being accused, or even from disinterested third parties. This Erdely is quite a piece of work.  Note that her efforts are always oriented to help feed and inform the left-liberal agenda]

Erdely is the same reporter who later wrote about “Jackie,” a University of Virginia student who claimed she was gang-raped by seven men at a fraternity party. The 2014 story, which dominated headlines and cable TV news for weeks, was subsequently exposed as a hoax by “Jackie,” retracted by Rolling Stone and is now the subject of a couple of libel suits.

Judging from Mechanick’s report, Billy Doe has as much credibility as Jackie.  [Which is to say, less than none]

The Newsweek piece is long and detailed.  It contains so many revelations of inconsistencies in Gallagher’s stories, and such a long and checkered history of drug addiction, lying, rehab, more lying, bizarre behavior, and profound indications of double-dealing and such a narcissistic outlook as to make the man capable of anything, that it is incredible that his testimony was relied upon to send several men to prison.

This case contains many elements that highlight the witch hunt that plainly surrounded the Church/priesthood in those days, and which continues to this day:

  1. Long past claims of horrific abuse, almost always relying on the testimony of one individual
  2. The media seizing on and sensationalizing the claims of the alleged abused soul
  3. A district attorney with a seeming animus against the Church looking to advance his career and later political prospects by bending some rules – or a whole bunch of rules – to insure a conviction
  4. A climate of hysteria – one of many that has gripped this country periodically going back nearly to its founding (remember the claims of hundreds of children being sexually abused in California day care centers, resulting in a whole family being imprisoned, which were later found to be completely, totally false?) – which created an environment where normal due process was casually cast aside and only punishment for the perpetrators was sought, because everyone “knew” them to be guilty

Please do not misunderstand. I am not even a slight apologist for those genuinely guilty of boy rape, and there were many of those.  But I am equally convinced that in the process of coming to grips with this rampant and horrific abuse, there were a lot of miscarriages of justice, with which the Church hierarchy, under the influence of lawyers far more concerned with monetary cost than justice for priests, basically told the bishops to roll over and throw priests under the bus whenever necessary.  I’m am certain a large number of good men have been caught up in this nest of vipers.  Bishop Robert Finn was just one of them.

Saying dumb things January 25, 2016

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, blogfoolery, foolishness, silliness.
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Sometimes I say dumb things. It is almost impossible (for me) to crank out a thousand-plus posts a year and not have some clunkers.  Or, at least, that’s how I like to rationalize my mistakes.

So, I had two that I felt had gone astray as I considered them over the weekend.  One in particular was dumb, regarding the new foot-washing regime. I even prefaced, as a sort of warning, in that post that I was about to say something ill-advised.  But, I should not have given into the temptation to write that.  It was a pointless jab born of excessive scandal and mounting frustration.  The post has been amended.

Look, I study a bit of history, and I am just about convinced the Church has not been afflicted with such a destructive pontiff (and with this one, the destructiveness seems to have some deliberation behind it) since the Renaissance princes of the 16th century (yes, I know….Paul VI.  But give the man time).  My scandal reached a peak of pique last week, so while that’s not an excuse for saying dumb things, consider that as part of the background that encouraged them.

The other post I felt I did not write well was nothing to give scandal, it was just an opinion I got a bit carried away with.  I wrote a post about manhood and the difficulty of instilling masculinity into adult males.  I asked whether such was even possible.  Upon reconsideration, I went too far.  I’m not entirely certain what prompted me to say that, it seemed to make sense at the time, but as I tried to reconstruct my reasoning later I felt I had gone too far.  What I should have said is that it is very difficult to instill a sense of masculinity of men who do not receive the basic tenets in childhood, not that it is impossible.

My hope in saying that was to encourage fathers to really be engaged with their children, especially their sons (but daughters need a proper appreciation of masculine behavior, as well), stressing the importance of inculcating a sense of manliness/masculinity at a young age.  But due to various distractions I never got around to actually saying that till the comments.

Anyhoo…….don’t mean for this to be a long post of self-justification, but when I make a goof, I try to own up to it.


Franciscan Ecumania Gathering Steam as 500th Anniversary of Protestant Revolt Approaches January 25, 2016

Posted by Tantumblogo in abdication of duty, Basics, different religion, disaster, Ecumenism, episcopate, error, Eucharist, foolishness, General Catholic, horror, Papa, Revolution, scandals, secularism, self-serving, sickness, Society, the struggle for the Church.
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Two recent posts by Rorate highlight the growing impetus in the pontificate of Francis to give tremendous credence to protestant claims by participating in “celebrations” marking the 500th anniversary of the (to date) permanent rending of the union of Christendom and the launching point for the unleashing of forces that have all but totally destroyed Western Civilization.  That is to say, events are to be given official approbation, if not approval, and the direct participation of the highest levels of the Church (to the scandal of millions), which should rightly be lamented and deplored.

Nevertheless, the new god of ecumenism must be worshiped, and worshiped it shall be, apparently for an interminable year-plus.

First up, Pope Francis will participate in a common worship service with Lutheran heretics in Sweden on All Hallow’s Eve this year (more on the date below):

Vatican Radio confirms (Pope Francis to travel to Sweden for joint Reformation commemoration) that the event on October 31 is intended to kick off a whole year of events marking the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation.

The Pope will lead the “common worship service” along with two Lutheran leaders: Lutheran World Federation (LWF) President Bishop Dr Munib A. Younan and LWF General Secretary Rev. Dr Martin Junge. It will be held in Lund cathedral, a medieval cathedral held by the Lutherans from the 1530’s to the present day. [That is, it was stolen from the Church in the protestant revolution, occupied by heretics who very often (I don’t know the details of this particular occupation) killed or drove off those Catholics who refused to depart.  In the process of the “reformation,” tens if not hundreds of thousands of faithful Catholics were killed, while priceless treasures of art and architecture were lost forever in pogroms of iconoclastic destruction]

The common worship will be based on the controversial “Common Prayer” liturgical order published earlier this month by the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity (PCPCU) and the Lutheran World Federation (LWF). As we have earlier reported this “order” contains prayers and passages extolling Martin Luther and the Reformation. We can only hope that these truly scandalous prayers will not be included in the actual service to be headed by the Pope. [I blogged on that horrid liturgy here]

About the date……how significant is that?  This is All Hallow’s Eve.  Did they originally want All Saints Day?  That is a time of year in the Church that is very special, with great indulgences available for the faithful to earn for the souls in Purgatory…….and just exactly the kind of belief that Luther founded his revolution against.  That is to say, a day more significant to the protestant revolution, and offensive to Catholic belief, could hardly be chosen.  Luther was no fool when he chose that day in 1517 to nail his erroneous theses to the door of Wurttemburg Cathedral.  That the Church would go along in celebrations of this foul date, which so cut against huge swaths of the sacred beliefs for which thousands of martyrs (many of them now canonized Saints) went to their deaths is simply incredible.  What an insult to their memory and all they stood for.  But the world, or at least the progressive portion of it, will cheer wildly, as they will see very clearly what grave damage is being done to the Church’s reputation in the process.

And as an indication of where this kind of runaway ecumania will shortly lead (it’s 1968 all over again!), another post from Rorate indicates that the heretofore relatively moribund ecumenical “movement” has sprung to new life under this pontificate, with precious distinctions being thrown out the window and a largely “kumbayah” approach:

Although the Pope has previously chosen to wash the feet of both non-Catholics and non-Christians, Archbishop Arthur Roche, secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship, cautioned that the new change does not necessarily include them.

In Jan. 21 comments to CNA, the archbishop said that the changes are meant for “the local community,” and members of “the local parish.”

He said that reading the decree as an invitation for non-Catholics to participate would be a “selective interpretation” of the text, and that while this could be something that happens “in the future,” it’s probably not what the Pope’s decision intended.

However, Archbishop Roche did say that although the decree is meant for the local community, it’s possible that a non-Catholic spouse of a parishioner who regularly attends the Catholic liturgy could be chosen to participate…….

……According to Edward Pentin, a group of Lutheran pilgrims were given communion in St. Peter’s Basilica itself this week. What is significant here is that communion was offered to them unilaterally by the celebrants of the Mass — the Lutherans themselves were expecting to receive only a blessing, and the celebrants knew they were not Catholics. [From no longer being a “reward for good behavior,” the Eucharist has become a worthless object handed out to anyone.  That’s why standards exist, that’s why distinctions are made, and when those are pulled down, the very sanctity, or meaning, of the sacred matter deteriorates down into meaningless dreck in no time.  I am not saying that the Eucharist has lost its sacredness and profound meaning, I am saying it is being treated as such]

It is scarcely possible that this happened without the knowledge of the Basilica authorities. Are we now seeing the practical effects of Francis’ ambivalent words on holy communion for Lutherans?

Those mean ‘ol bastions may have been torn down 50 years ago, but there was still some rubble in the way preventing total ease of occupation of the Church by secular pagan authorities.  Some bulldozers seem to have been provided to helpfully clear that out of the way and construct a superhighway from the world straight into the bosom of the Church – as a form of outreach, of course!  But it’s never quite revealed just whom is reaching out to whom, or perhaps invading whom would be the more apt phrase.  I guess we know, now.