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Flightline Friday: Five Military Weapons That Should Not Have Been Scrapped May 20, 2016

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, Flightline Friday, foolishness, fun, history, non squitur, silliness, Society, technology.
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I stumbled on this post, and found it very interesting for two reasons: one, it is always fun to contemplate might have beens, considering different courses of action that could have been taken that may have been better than the one actually done.  Secondly, it’s interesting because it’s quite naive in parts, and seems to not comprehend the severe state of degradation in the nation’s military, especially in its air and sea arms.

So, the list, in brief, with my comments:

  1. General Dynamics F-111:  I agree, it was a heckuva a platform, much more a medium bomber/heavy attack plane than a fighter, showing the long influence of the fighter mafia in refusing to fly anything without an “F” in front of it.  No tactical aircraft in USAF history has had the -111’s combination of range and payload.  But, my problem with this recommendation is that, while the 111s were retired way too early in 1996 as a strictly cost-saving move (one that left USAF seriously handicapped in some scenarios, especially electronic warfare), today, 20 years on, those birds would be getting very, very old.  The newest would be 40 years old, and they were always something of a bear to maintain.  The D-model, the most capable in theory, would have to have been retired by the mid-90s anyways as it was literally impossible to find parts.  The E and F could soldiered on for another 10-15 years, but by now would be very long in the tooth.  Nice idea, but unrealistic.
  2. Grumman F-14 Tomcat:  Ditto, even more, while Tomcats remained in low-rate production through the 80s and into the early 90s, most were built in the 70s and had become maintenance nightmares by the time they left service in 2006.  The few F-14D models built starting in 1988 were much better in this regard, and it’s a crying shame Dick Cheney was allowed to cancel production after only 55 planes built, instead of the several hundred planned, in favor of the much-less capable F-18E/F.  The Tomcat also had very long legs, absolutely priceless in combat, and is still far superior today as a fleet air defense fighter than the F-18E/F will ever be.  The Navy probably should have gone with the Tomcat for its future fighter back in the early 90s, to my mind, but it would mean they would put carriers to sea with even fewer fighters than they have today (usually, only about 40, instead of the 70-80 of the 70s/80s/early 90s), but they would be far more capable than the ones they are stuck with now (whose range limitations are truly severe).
  3. Spruance Class Destroyers: The argument here is less to have kept them in service than to have at least maintained them in mothballs.  I argue a little differently: both the Sprucans and the Oliver Hazard Perry class frigates should have been kept in service rather than spend tens of billions of dollars on black shoe admiral surface combatant showpieces of dubious usefulness, like the Zumwalt class destroyers, Littoral Combatant Ship, and even large scale production of the Arleigh Burke class destroyers.  By putting surface ships on a moratorium during the period 1990-2010 and using the many Sprucans and Perrys built in the late 70s and 80s (the former, especially, being very capable and thoroughly modernized) to form the core of the fleet (while building some new Burkes), the Navy could have freed tens of billions to properly reconstitute its air wings and keep many important types – like the Tomcat, Invader, and Viking in service.  But the Navy is still led predominately by surface warfare types, akin to the battleship admirals of old, who won’t believe their precious fleet is obsolete until it is sitting on the bottom of the sea floor somewhere.  Plus, the Spruance Class destroyers were perhaps the most capable ASW ships the US Navy ever produced, and have never been adequately replaced.  Anti-submarine warfare in the surface fleet is a glaring weakness in the US Navy that is only beginning to be addressed – and 15 years too late.
  4. B-52G Stratofortress:  The argument here is strained, the G’s – produced in larger numbers than any other B-52 version  – were retired due to the START treaty of 1992.  Given the post Cold War environment, I don’t think there was really ever even a remote chance these could have been kept in service. The Soviets/Russians were pretty adamant they go, and it was either that or cut more effective delivery vehicles like ICBMs/SLBMs.  Yes, the G model would have been more useful in the kinds of wars we’ve wound up fighting, but at the time, seemed like a fairly no-brainer decision to cut.  Plus, they would be really, really old now, and were handicapped by poor-performing engines (something the B-52H dramatically improved on).  I’d say this one is mostly a pipe dream, and fails to take into account the budget realities of the past 25  years.
  5. All retired supercarriers:  The argument here is that they should have been kept in mothballs and not scrapped, as is occurring to basically all retired carriers now down in Brownsville.  I agree, that’s a stupid and short-sighted move, at least in part.  Holding ships in mothballs costs a trifle in the grand scheme of things, and while bringing them back to operational service might take a few years and cost billions, it is still far, far cheaper and quicker than building a new carrier.  Basically, the entire reserve fleet of carriers is now being scrapped (with CVN-65 Enterprise remaining in reserve for a few years).  BUT, on the other hand, most of these ships were badly run down and really didn’t have much life left in them.  Saratoga is about the only exception to this reality (having undergone a thorough modernization in the late 80s right before retirement) and perhaps Kitty Hawk.  I know Enterprise was in horrific condition on her last cruise (I know sailors who served on her), JFK was down to three screws and had irreparable boiler and reduction gear problems, America was sunk in a very important test, Connie and Independence were in really bad shape when they retired, not sure about Ranger and Forrestal but I think they were pretty well spent, too.  Having said that, I see no major reason to scrap all of them, at least 3 or 4 retired carriers should always be kept on hand as major national resources worthy of keeping around and as surge assets should there ever be some kind of terrible war.

His honorable mentions:

 

  • OV-10 Bronco – Would have been a useful counter-insurgency assets in Iraq and Afghanistan. [Indeed, so useful, updated version were sent to Iraq and the Af to test to see if they should be brought back into service.  I hope it happens, they are dirt cheap to acquire (or should be) and operate and make a lot more sense to use in low-intensity counterinsurgency operations than $120 million F-22s]
  • Iowa-class battleship – The Marines need the fire support. [Dumb.  Hideously expensive, their guns are now outranged by 5″ laser guided projectiles and their manning costs are horrific.  Not needed]
  • Tarawa-class amphibious assault ships – While old, the America-class ships take five years to build. [Kind of agree, but these ships had problems and were not terribly well designed.  They were getting quite old.  Wouldn’t mind having them around, but in a world of draconian budget limitations, they don’t make sense]
  • M551 Sheridan light tank – The 82nd Airborne Division needs some mobile firepower. [They have it in the Stryker AGS, don’t they?  Plus, that 152 mm gun was never worth squat.  Literally useless, at least against armor.]
  • S-3 Viking – Anti-submarine plane would also have been useful for intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance missions, and as a tanker.[Couldn’t agree more, one of the more colossally stupid decisions the Navy has made in the past 20 years. Cheap to operate, could carry a ton of gas and act as a tanker (which the Navy desperately needs), never should have been retired.
  • F-117 Nighthawk – The original stealth fighter could be very useful. [Meh. Somewhat useful.  A light attack aircraft with a limited mission set and pretty expensive to operate]

I can think of some more, but this post is getting long.  One thing not many people know is how small the tactical air fleets have become under Bush/Obama.  USAF is down to about 150 air superiority F-15s.  That, plus about 150 F-22, means USAF now has fewer air superiority aircraft in service than deployed for Desert Storm in 1991.  The number of F-16s is plummeting, as well. So when people freak out about the A-10, they are really missing the big picture. Everything is being gutted under Obama.  I have no idea what they spend all those hundreds of billions on (pay, health care, and gas, mostly), but it sure ain’t on new aircraft, or even old ones.  The Navy has purchased over 550 F-18E/Fs (not counting Growlers) but somehow only has about 2/3 of that number in actual service.

And so it goes.  There are supposedly 76 B-52Hs “in service” but only about 40 are available for combat at any one time.  20 B-2s yields about 10 for actual combat.  The military is a near total mess – soldier’s M4 carbines are literally falling apart in training – but still the money goes out the door in a torrent.  I can’t explain it.  Bad decisions, PC bullcarp, lack of focus, the steady domination of left-wing politics at the command level, have all managed to severely degrade the US military, all in the past 7 years.

But Trump will fix it all.  I have every confidence.

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It just never, ever ends: Francis has had a busy week May 20, 2016

Posted by Tantumblogo in Bible, different religion, disaster, error, Francis, General Catholic, horror, persecution, scandals, secularism, self-serving, sexual depravity, Society, the struggle for the Church.
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He began the week by pretending to see deep inside the heart of every business person who fails to provide health insurance, and finding mortal sin (not a safe link, goes to Distorter).  He finished by implying that Christ actually gave His blessing to divorce, rather than castigating it in the harshest terms.  Before I get to the quotes, can I just say, someone capable of turning Scripture and Tradition this upside down and placing it at war with itself, is capable of literally anything.

First, today’s debacle, Franky George Bergoglio making Christ a liar in order to further his modernist-progressive deconstruction of the Church:

This morning Pope Francis gave a homily at Casa Santa Marta where he appeared to claim that Jesus approved of the Mosaic Law on divorce on the grounds of mercy. Or, as Francis put it, Jesus enunciated the “official” truth while then going above it or beyond it in order to engage in accompaniment, integration and discernment.

This is of course the very opposite of what is described in Matthew 19 and Mark 10. It is the Pharisees who attempt to use the Mosaic Law to justify divorce. And it is Jesus who rebukes them for it.

The Pope is fond of accusing his enemies of “casuistry” but it is he who consistently engages in it. This twisting of one of the most famous exchanges in the New Testament is striking in its attempt to mislead.

That would be to prevaricate, to obfuscate the Truth with deliberate intent to mislead.  Is that what Francis is doing?

I am of two minds, kind of. My rational, evidentiary side says: absolutely!  These 60s Jesuits are not dumb.  They know precisely what they are doing, and they do it for very specific reasons, to force the Church to fit into their ideological preferences. They have been at this game for a long time, and the consistency of their arguments and willingness to make both themselves and Christ liars from one moment to the next – whichever they perceive as aiding their progressive cause the most – shows them to be agendized ideologues in single-minded pursuit of a goal.

But the other part – the merciful part – of me says, well, maybe he’s imbibed such hideous, nonsensical, contrarian nonsense for so long, Francis is not only incapable of consistent reasoning, he doesn’t even realize when he’s turning logic and the plain meaning of Scripture on its head.

I have a very hard time believing that, however.  The twists and turns of Francis’ logic are simply too consistent, and too aligned with a particular goal in mind, to be honest mistakes of zeal and bad formation.  That is to say, it’s well past time my doubts have been taken out behind the woodshed, and put down.

To wit:

According to the National Catholic Reporter, the pontiff made the comments while delivering a homily at Casa Santa Marta on Thursday evening. He reportedly outlined a hypothetical situation in which a business employs someone from September to June but denies them health care coverage during their tenure. Francis observed that when the job ends, the worker “must eat air.”

“Exploitation of people today is a true slavery,” the pope said, referring to the suffering of workers who aren’t treated fairly. “We thought that slaves do not exist anymore. They exist. It’s true, people don’t go to Africa to take them and then sell them in America, no. But it’s in our cities.”

“Living off the blood of the people: This is a mortal sin,” he added. “And it takes much patience, much restitution to convert ourselves from this sin.”

As usual, Francis fails to make a direct point. He strongly implies, however, that failing to pay what he feels are sufficient wages (whatever that means), or only employing people on a seasonal, need-based basis (so teachers are mistreated?), or failing to provide health insurance, constitute a mortal sin.

Note the dichotomy, and note the perfect correlation with progressive (Leftist) thought: sins of the flesh are infinitely excusable, if they are even sins at all (and not occasions for “accompaniment” and “mercy”), while prudential matters that may or may not be sinful, being entirely dependent on circumstance, are not just sins, but mortal sins.  Whatever happened to “who am I to judge?”

Anyway, I don’t want to beat this horse too much.  As I said at the top, every stinkin’ week it’s the same thing, some new outrage, some new attack.  I don’t think it any coincidence that the despicable Fr. Thomas Rosica went on the offensive this week against Catholic blogs, either, castigating them/us for everything from being a “cesspool of hatred, venom, and vitriol,” to being “very disturbed, broken, and angry individuals who never found a pulpit in real life.”  Once again, where is the mercy, where is the accompaniment, where the endless apologias?  The truth is, those are reserved for those who serve, or advance, the ideological agenda.  Opponents will be crushed.

Talk to the Franciscans of the Immaculate about that.  They weren’t even given the chance to be opponents of the new authoritarian regime, they were cdestroyed in advance as  warning to all others.

It’s all about power with these people.  Power, and ideology.

Gueranger: beware becoming a false Catholic May 20, 2016

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, catachesis, different religion, error, General Catholic, Interior Life, Liturgical Year, mortification, secularism, Spiritual Warfare, the struggle for the Church, Tradition, Virtue.
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From Dom Prosper Gueranger The Liturgical Year* vol. 9, an insightful description of the decay of Catholicism in the lives of millions.  The trends visible in nascent form them have become omnipresent in our own day, forming a huge portion of that phenomenon many call the crisis in the Church.  Gueranger notes the source of this mass apostasy: an immense intellectual pride stemming from what Ann Barnhardt aptly terms diabolical narcissism.  If the dangers confronting souls were great in Gueranger’s day, they are orders of magnitude worse today. Not only does the world present us with too many dangers and traps to count, even our very Church, in the form of so many lay people, clergy, and bishops, now present numerous errors and falsehoods as “truth.” We must exercise great caution in what we expose ourselves if we hope to avoid falling into grave sin or worse:

The Holy Ghost creates faith within our souls, and by faith we obtain life everlasting; for faith is not the intellect’s assent to a proposition logically demonstrated, but a virtue which proceeds from the will vivified by Grace. [Beautiful] Nowadays, faith is rare.  Pride of intellect is at its height, and docility to the Church’s teachings is far from being general. A man calls himself a Christian and a Catholic, and yet he has his own views upon certain subjects, which he would very reluctantly give up, were they to be condemned by the only authority on earth which has power to guide us in what we are to hold or reject in matters pertaining to faith. [Our situation today is a thousand times worse!  The only authority on earth which has power to guide has itself fallen into saying, and even teaching, incredible things, things which would shock Gueranger to the core and probably cause him to doubt the ultramontanist views he so famously held. Faithful souls navigate a world and Church so filled with dangers we are the proverbial rich men seeking the eye of a needle to pass through.  That is how narrow our way has become.]

He reads dangerous, sometimes even bad books, without thinking of inquiring if the laws of the Church forbid such books. [And we have far more to be concerned about today that just bad books]  His religious instruction has been of a very meager kind, and he seems to wish it to remain so, for he takes no pains to come to a solid and perfect knowledge of his religion; the result is, that his mind is filled with the fashionable prejudices of the world he lives in, and, on more than one point, he may depend upon his having imbibed heretical notions. [Notions which, all the more horrifically, are often promoted in the Church as “truth!”  Even more, the faithful soul may encounter – will encounter – numerous authorities in the Church who will tell him he positively ERRS by holding to the constant belief and practice of the Faith!]  He is looked upon as a Catholic; he satisfies the exterior obligations of his religion, either because of his early training, or because the rest of his family do so, or because he feels more satisfied to do than to omit them; and yet – how sad it is to say! – he is not a Catholic, for his faith is gone!…….

……..In this our age, darkness is prevalent.  Even false lights are seen to rise up, and mislead millions. [Even, most incredibly, within the Church herself]  We repeat it: faith – that faith which brings us to God and saves us from His judgment – is now rare.  O Divine Spirit, deliver us from the darkness of the times in which our lot has been cast!  Humble the pride of our minds.  Save us from that false religious liberty, which is one of the idols of our generation, and which keeps men from the true faith.  We wish to love, and possess, and keep within us, the glorious light; we wish to merit, by the docility and child-like simplicity of our faith, to enjoy the full cloudless vision of this divine light in Heaven.

———–End Quote———

I haven’t much to add to that.  While I don’t see the Church and world as entirely black, that literally everything is terrible, it is awfully, awfully bleak.  We must tread with great caution.  Perhaps the premier vice of faithful souls is a tendency to pride, to think we’ve got it figured out even if all those poor million other slobs are just wandering around in the darkness.  But really, if we are doing right, the very best we’re doing is cooperating with Grace, and probably poorly at that.

I try to always remember, even if I follow every jot and tittle of the Doctrine of the Faith, I am an unprofitable servant.  I do only what is required of me.

*- I can no longer find the link to the site that had all of Liguori’s Liturgical Year in .pdf form.  I have found some sites with partial uploads but not the entirety.  Has that site gone away, or am I simply missing it?  Your help appreciated.  God bless you.

The proof of a religion is established in miracles….. May 20, 2016

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, catachesis, Christendom, Ecumenism, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, paganism, secularism, Tradition, Virtue.
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…..thus, all the protestant sects, all the other religions, are proved false from the get-go in their total lack of miracles in support of their claims.

Did Luther work any miracles?  Absolutely not.  Beza?  No.  Malanchton?  Heck no.  Cranmer?  You’ve got to be kidding.  Wesley?  Yeah, right.  Calvin, so desperate to prove his false religion, actually sunk to the level of bribing a man to appear dead, so that he might pretend to raise him back to life.  God will not be mocked, however, and the man Calvin brought in to try to fool souls instead actually died, and of course Calvin could not raise him.

What of Mohammad, or Buddha, or Shiva or Ganesha?  No, no, no, and no.  Buddha actually eschewed miracles, Mohammad’s only pretended miracle was witnessed by no one, and the foundations of the Hindu religion also do not speak of miracles in any kind of real, verifiable sense.

Do I even need to mention laughably false “religions” like scientology or new age?  Not only no miracles, but negative proof through their uniformly destructive influence on the lives of poor lost souls.  Then there were all the false sects along the way in the past 2000 years, the Manicheans, the Gnostics, the Marcionites, etc…….all of these were proved false by the absence of divine proof in the form of miracles.

Judaism was of course rife with miracles, but it has been superseded by the New Covenant.

Which brings us to Jesus Christ and the Church He founded, the Catholic Church.  Christianity spread like wildfire in its inception, in spite of a very hostile environment, largely on the basis of mass testimony of the miracles Christ worked while incarnate (miracles witnessed by, in total, tens if not hundreds of thousands) AND the continuous miracles of His Apostles.  Some of these are recorded in Acts of the Apostles, many more followed in generations to come in the lives of numerous Saints.

The ancient Christian churches – those that date back to the original Apostles – are the only ones that were founded by a Divine Source and whose early history was filled with divine, miraculous proof.  The unity of that early Church has been sadly sundered by error and schism, first by Nestorians and Monophysites and then by Eastern imperial pride and ambition, so that only the Catholic Church remains – wounded though she may be – still blessed with that original divine assent and continually in union with her founding spirit.

But that Church does continue on today, and while the schismatic churches may make claims to miracles, only the Catholic Church has continued with a line of publicly verifiable miracles almost up to this very day. Certainly, one of the greatest miracles ever, the Miracle of the Sun, occurred within living memory.  This is simply a further attestation to the Divine founding and continued blessing of the Church, in spite of all the efforts of insider revolutionaries over the past 50 years or so.

This post probably got longer than it needed to be, but the takeaway is: Christ’s miracles prove, beyond a shadow of a doubt, the Truth of the Christian Faith, and continued miracles prove the Catholic Church to be the One True Faith to this day.  None of the protestant sects can even remotely claim this.

This post inspired by a good sermon I heard last night.

Oklahoma does something good for a change! Legislative bill criminalizes abortion May 20, 2016

Posted by Tantumblogo in Abortion, awesomeness, Basics, contraception, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Interior Life, paganism, sexual depravity, sickness, Society, true leadership.
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I’ve been pretty hard on Oklahoma, and especially Oklahoma City, over the past couple of years because of that city’s manifest failure to oppose, even slightly, the promotion of grave evil in the form of several satanic atrocities.  Contra the City of Dallas in opposing an immoral “sexxxpo” at the city-owned convention center, Oklahoma City has meekly rolled over to satanists in opening up city property to black masses and other despicable acts.  They’ve even provided police protection to satanists desecrating statues of Our Blessed Lady on public streets.  I can’t help but feel at least some of the motivation for this inexplicable cooperation with evil stems from a latent anti-Catholic bias among the overwhelming evangelical majority that exists there.

But, nonetheless, Oklahoma, or its legislature, has done something quite good, even amazing, in the present context: they have passed a bill that criminalizes all abortion except in cases where the life of the mother is ostensibly in jeopardy (which cases are exceedingly rare, constituting less than 1% of abortions performed in the US).  It remains to be seen whether the governor will pass the bill into law or veto, but it seems she’s likely to do the former.  There will of course be instant court challenges, but it’s a hopeful step nonetheless:

The Oklahoma state legislature has passed a bill that would criminalize abortion procedures in the state. According to the language of the bill, anyone who is found to have performed an abortion — except in instances to save the life of the mother — will be found guilty of a felony and can receive up to three years in prison.

The bill now is on its way to Gov. Mary Fallin, a Republican, for final approval.

Of course there has been instant hue and cry from the pro-aborts.  Hardly surprising, given what a threat a law like this would represent to their blood for money schemes.  While a quite promising move, without taking action against contraception and the contraceptive mentality, abortion will remain around in substantial numbers.

This does bring up an interesting point, one perhaps inadvertently raised by Donald Trump earlier this year: should the mothers who procure abortion not also face some kind of criminal penalty?  The pro-life industry has always tried to portray mothers who have their children killed as being innocent victims, but anyone who has spent some time outside mills and spent some of the callow, hard-hearted women who are going in for their 5th or 6th abortion knows that is not always the case.

Logically speaking, if I were to hire someone to murder, say, my boss, I would be held just as liable for the crime as if I had done the foul deed myself.  In most states I could face the same first degree murder charge as the hit man.  There is no substantive difference between cases such as that, and women who pay someone to kill their child.

Of course, from a standpoint of political expedience, such measures can certainly be deferred, as it would be almost certain political poison to start advocating for the arrest of mothers who procure abortions.

However, perhaps the pro-life industry should start reconsidering its reflexive habit of giving mothers who procure abortions a near-total moral pass, while often casting aspersions at the fathers involved (even though we tend to know almost nothing of the situations surrounding almost all abortions – there could be many cases where the dad desperately wants the child and the mother just obstinately gets an abortion anyway.  To hear the major pro-life groups tell it, abortion is almost always the man’s fault).

 It is interesting to contemplate just how much of the radical feminist rhetoric even pro-life groups have absorbed in the painting of the dads as reprehensible and the moms as innocent victims.  Why do they do so?  Is it a sort of moral convenience, seeking to befriend women and turn them away from abortion in that manner, and so never (or rarely) emphasizing the evil of the act?

Or is it more a form of moral cowardice and ease, seeking to avoid confrontation, perhaps finding it easier to yield massive ground to feminist presuppostions regarding the supposed motivations for abortion (it were da man what made her did it!) than to give women the “moral agency” feminists supposedly crave and hold them just as accountable for their role in abortion as the man, doctor, or mom and dad, or whomever?

I’m certainly not trying to say abortions are all women’s fault with no culpability for anyone else, I’m just suggesting the pro-life strategy of excusing women’s role in the murder of children may have been a failed one, and helped contribute to the evil pro-lifers are committed to ending.  A few thoughts for consideration, anyway.

I wonder, did the bishops of Oklahoma do much to help this get passed?