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Anti-Catholicism Rising: Even in “Catholic” Philippines May 23, 2016

Posted by Tantumblogo in abdication of duty, Abortion, Basics, contraception, disaster, episcopate, error, General Catholic, horror, persecution, scandals, secularism, self-serving, sickness, Society.
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So the Filipinos have elected a new president, it seems, a man who has made numerous virulently anti-Catholic statements, and who promises to institute a “3 child policy” (I don’t believe he has specified what penalties will occur if families “violate” the policy), divorce on demand and government-funded contraception.

Apparently, his hostility to the Faith did not prevent a plurality of nominally Catholic Filipinos (where roughly 80% of the population today claims the name Catholic, down from over 95% about 20 years ago) from voting for him.  As in so many countries, so-called Catholics vote in their own persecutors – assuming, of course, these self-described Catholics even view these anti-Catholic policies and tirades as being opposed to the Faith, which, of course, they don’t (my emphasis and comments):

Philippine President-elect Rodrigo Duterte said he will defy the Roman Catholic Church and seek to impose a three-child policy, putting him on a new collision course with the bishops a day after he called them “sons of whores”……..

……..Duterte’s often outrageous comments have won him huge support and his tirades about killing criminals and a joke about a murdered rape victim do not appear to have dented his popularity in the largely Catholic country.

“I only want three children for every family,” Duterte said on Sunday in Davao City. “I’m a Christian, but I’m a realist so we have to do something with our overpopulation. I will defy the opinion or the belief of the Church.”……[Not clear on if this “Christian” Duterte claims to be a Catholic or protestant.  Indications are that it is the latter, which, surprise!  A protestant advocating for draconian governmental interference into the most intimate of spheres, the size of family and relations between husband and wife]

…….On Saturday, he criticized the Church as the “most hypocritical institution”, meddling in government policies and said some bishops were enriching themselves at the expense of the poor. [So, opposition to your evil policies = “meddling in government policies?”  How many other tyrants have said similarly over the years?]

“You sons of whores, aren’t you ashamed? You ask so many favors, even from me,” Duterte said in an interview broadcast by TV station GMA.

Monsignor Oliver Mendoza, spokesman for the Archdiocese of Lingayen, whose head is the president of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines, said the Church respected Duterte’s opinion [is that how you respond when someone calls your mother a whore?  You “respect their opinion?”  That’s not an opinion but an insult, and unworthy of respect.  This is a major problem, an indication of leadership far too willing to bow to the secular authority, and its certainly not limited to the Philippines] but that it would continue to speak against government policies that are contrary to Church teaching. [But even after you have done your duty, say, we are unprofitable servants, for we have only done what was required of us]

…..Political analysts said they were not surprised at Duterte’s statements because some bishops spoke out against him during the election campaign. [Only some.  Shocking, I know.  And thus his successful election?  So where does uber-progressive and Francis confidante Cardinal Tagle stand on this?]

“Like most liberal, secular politicians, Duterte is a deist,” said Joselito Zulueta of the University of Santo Tomas. “This in itself is a self-serving position conceived out of human conceit. He will do as he pleases except when he’s stopped by public criticism.” [Well, someone knows the truth!  And a Catholic university professor, of all people!  I need my fainting couch!]

He said Duterte’s government was expected to clash more with the Catholic Church not only on population issues, but on the restoration of death penalty, legalization of divorce and planned distribution of contraceptives[Which, if it occurs, means legalizing abortion within a few years, to deal with the “problem” of contraceptive failure (which failures are guaranteed and frequent).  Legalized abortion is also necessary to insure a “3 child policy.”  You can see where this diabolical plot is headed]

And once again we see bishops expending their limited and dwindling political capital on matters like the death penalty, on which the Church has spoken clearly until the last 40 years or so.  The state has always had the right of the sword, according to the Church, and while there may be prudential reasons to oppose the application of the death penalty in a given country either generally or on specific occasions, proclaiming it to be an intrinsic evil, as is generally done by Church leadership today, is simply not reconcilable with the Doctrine of the Faith.

That may sound like picking nits, but it’s not.  For as many people as a particular bishop, or even Francis, may turn on by making prudential matters into dogmatic ones, or elevating the progressive political platform into a pretended doctrine, they turn at least that many more off.  Even more, the confusion this causes undermines the Church’s moral authority in ALL spheres and can be a precipitating factor in souls falling away.



Which gets down to the root question: is this a feature or bug of the post-conciliar paradigm?

Flightline Friday Extra: Early Viper Mania May 23, 2016

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, Flightline Friday, foolishness, fun, non squitur, silliness, Society, technology.
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The excellent San Diego Air and Space Museum (I’ve been there – Sandy Eggo is the best city in CA for my money) has a very enjoyable Youtube channel wherein they post videos stemming from San Diego-based defense contractors – most notably, Convair/General Dynamics, Teledyne Ryan, and General Atomics.

They’ve been posting a flood of wonderful early F-16 videos, mostly from General Dynamics.  These are both great timepieces and very informative.  There are really too many for me to list, but I give some of the better ones below (enjoy your groove to the late 70s music, too):

First up, some fascinating (and, to my knowledge, heretofore unreleased) footage of early attempts at integrating the semi-active radar homing (SARH) AIM-7 Sparrow missile capability into the F-16.  What was new to me are the missile mounting rails on the landing gear doors!  Innovative, but I can see why Air Forces would balk at the idea.  Sparrow integration into the F-16 was a long and arduous process, the original APG-66 radar was not intended to guide SARH missiles and so lacked the continuous wave illumination system that radars like the APQ-120 in the F-4E Phantom II possessed.  Everyone figured it would be very easy to provide a Sparrow capability to the F-16, but in reality, it took 10 years and a quite different radar. In the end, the Sparrow was only really used on air defense variants of the F-16A (equipped with the special radar), while the F-16 gained its all weather radar guided missile capability with the far more capable, active-guidance (no in-flight illumination from the a/c required) AIM-120 AMRAAM:

Touting the F-16s ground attack capabilities.  True aficionados will observe @~0.10 and various other points, the smaller nose of the original YF-16 before the nose was redesigned to accommodate the more capable APG-66 radar.  Eat dirt, Pierre Sprey.  Also observe the F-16 leave the F-4D chase aircraft behind on takeoff. Sorry, sound pretty bad on this one, but the footage is teh awesome. @~8:14 you can easily see how much tighter an F-16 could turn than an F-4E (slatted wing) at 500 kts and probably 25-30k ft:

I wish someone would post this kind of awesome internal PR material from other manufacturers!  Republic had some fantastic material on the A-10 but I haven’t been able to find it.  America’s very proud aerospace industry had been kind of humbled during the Vietnam experience, and the late 70s/early 80s were a time when they were getting their legs back and strutting their stuff.  There’s never been material like it before or since.  Witness the glorious simulated combat between F-16s and English Electric Lightnings!  Do I even need to say who won?:

The 388FW at Hill mentioned in the video above is now in the process of transitioning from the F-16 to the F-35.  For many reasons, I don’t think we’ll see too many videos from LockMart bragging on the unprecedented operational readiness of the F-35 anytime soon.

A few more, mostly general flight demonstrations with various countries.  First one has good footage but the audio is in Spanish, quite possibly associated with the sale of F-16s to Venezuela in the early 80s:

This one has pilots from various countries singing the bird’s praises (watch for loud buzzing sound the first 2 seconds):

Not sure how many readers are familiar with a dramatically altered variant of the F-16 that flew in 1979 and was intended to compete for the Air Force’s Enhanced Tactical Fighter competition to provide a dedicated long-range strike aircraft to supplement the F-111 fleet.  The F-16XL was the result of that effort, and even though it lost to the F-15E, it was an impressive aircraft in its own right.  Chief F-16 designer Harry Hillaker has said had he known the F-16 would be used primarily as a ground attack aircraft in service, his original design would have been more like the F-16XL than the F-16 most are familiar with.  The F-16XL had a cranked delta wing, lengthened fuselage, and numerous weapons pylons.  Unfortunately, the video is silent:

Finally, a dedicated research variant of the F-16, the F-16 CCV or control configured vehicle.  A highly modified F-16 intended to push the envelope of intentionally unstable designs controlled by fly-by-wire, the F-16CCV could do all kinds of novel things, like move sideways without banking or gaining/losing altitude, go up or down without changing the orientation of the nose relative to the airstream, or point its nose up/down left/right without changing the direction of vehicle travel.

Report: Average Vatican Employee makes $10.50 an hour? May 23, 2016

Posted by Tantumblogo in abdication of duty, Basics, different religion, error, foolishness, Francis, General Catholic, It's all about the $$$, Revolution, scandals, secularism, self-serving, Society, the struggle for the Church.
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In the light of Pope Francis’ incredible statements made last week, seeming to attribute mortal sin to “bloodsucking” employers who fail to provide what he feels are adequate wages and, more specifically, health insurance, it is reported (link to Crux) that the average Vatican employee makes $22,000 a year, and this in Rome, one of the more expensive places in the world to live.  If you assume a 40 hour work week (indications below are that many work much more than that) and 52 weeks work a year (the article also claims most receive no paid vacation), that works out to just over $10.50 an hour, about what a moderately experienced grocery store clerk makes.  However, this income is supposed to be tax free, the impact of which is unclear to me in real terms.  In the US, people who make under $45k a year rarely pay any income tax, anyway, but I’m not certain of the situation in Italy.

Some additional details:

…..The Vatican has a working force of roughly 4,600 employees, three quarters of which are lay people. The overall annual budget is around $300 million, with salaries and benefits being the largest single expense. [We don’t know, from the data presented here, just how much of that $300 mil goes to salary.  If we can assume 2/3 of the total Vatican annual budget goes to personnel costs, and that would probably be a bit high given many other expenses, the “average” salary+benefits cost per employee would equal ~$43500 a year – pretty durned low, especially in Rome]

……The net result is that the average Vatican employee makes around $22,000 a year, tax free.

That may seem shockingly low by American standards, but for those already in the system it’s at least a secure source of employment: Odds are, the Vatican is never going out of business. [Does it seem shockingly low to you?  Seems pretty low to me]

Under the Vatican’s labor law, it’s also virtually impossible to get fired……….

……..Those working with a full-time contract get a pension and health care, though anyone living in Italy for more than three months and who registers with the National Health Services is eligible for free or low-cost health care along with their families, university students and retirees.

Things have gotten considerably more difficult for many lay Vatican employees since February 2014, when the Vatican announced an immediate end to new hires and imposed a freeze on wage-increases and overtime in an effort to cut costs and offset budget shortfalls.

Pope Francis, with input from the Vatican’s central accounting office, also determined that volunteers could be used to help provide the labor needed to make up for the hiring freeze and eventual attrition.

According to four Vatican lay employees, all of whom asked to remain unnamed, the freeze has created new ways in which laity face exploitation.

In truth, new lay people are still being hired to work in the Vatican, but under what are known as “religious contracts.” These contracts are supposed to be for religious men and women coming to Rome to fulfill a specific task, for a period ranging from 10 months to a year. [Which would seem dubious to start with.  Also a sad sign of the continued collapse of religious life?]

Since religious communities normally provide health insurance, pension and benefits, the Vatican doesn’t have to cover them, and doesn’t do so for a lay employee hired under these contracts. [So that notional $22,000 salary does not even include the single largest additional cost to employers – health insurance?]

This is the case of many people working today at Vatican Radio, for instance, or the Vatican Museums.

In most cases, the employees add, people under these contracts end up working for many years, with no benefits, no guaranteed vacation days or no health insurance, hoping to eventually see their situation regularized. [My goodness.  If true, wow.  Hypocrisy much?]

Now, this is one report, not exactly the gold standard for reliability, but nevertheless, if even somewhat true, this would reveal a huge dichotomy between the rhetoric we are treated to, and the reality of how Francis runs the Vatican administration as a sort of religious CEO.  It would mean, in essence, that Francis has condemned himself with his words. And not for the first time, I might add.

There could of course be true mitigating circumstances, a perceived need to balance the Vatican books, the collapse in religious fervor leading a general decrease in donations to Peter’s Pence (for which, it can be said, Francis shares a growing responsibility), perhaps some dire and unseen funding/debt difficulties – all of which apply to private “bloodsuckers” just as much as they do to the Vatican.  Meaning, that while the seemingly low pay of Vatican employees, and using less than perfectly just means to keep employee costs down, can perhaps be excused or explained away, they cannot be squared with the rhetoric declaring others who do exactly the same things for perhaps even better reasons to be mortally sinful.

A skeptic might add that such behavior, however, would be thoroughly in line with the Peronist oligarchical populists of Argentina, who loved to condemn the rich as evil and show themselves to be the friend of the poor common working man, even while obscenely enriching themselves, often at the expense of the poor.

Thankfully, I am not a skeptic.

h/t reader “ediegrey”