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A (true) Liberal’s Perspective on the Left and Berkeley February 3, 2017

Posted by Tantumblogo in General Catholic.
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I like Sargon of Akkad, a Youtube presenter named after an ancient Sumerian emperor.  He is a liberal, but not a leftist.  In fact, he is a bitter opponent of all hard leftism, especially communism. I think it fair to say he despises Social Justice Warriors of all stripes.  He is unfortunately a fairly committed atheist, but this rarely comes out in most of his videos.  He does also unfortunately use a lot of bad language and occasionally blasphemes, as people lost in this culture with no religious bearing tend to do.

Having said that, his analysis of the Left and their descent into totalitarian persecution of others is extremely valuable because it comes from a left-wing-spectrum point of view.  Sargon is no right winger.  He is what much of the Labour  Party in Britain and the Democrat Party in the US used to be, a man concerned over the plight of the working class and someone who very much desires to see their condition bettered.  He favors what used to be mainstream Democrat/Labour policies – progressive taxation, a generous social safety net, economic nationalism over a one world economy, etc. But he also disfavors the kind of pants-wetting social concerns we see out of Democrats and similar of late over fractional social issues and the Left’s efforts to Balkanize the West into warring camps.

He takes some getting used to.  He cusses even more than Gavin McInnes.  But boy does he make some excellent points, which are all the more valuable as he is not coming from a right-wing perspective.  He had some really good commentary on Wednesday’s night’s debacle in Berzerkely, which has gotten wide enough coverage I probably don’t need to explain further.  He especially focuses on the Left’s increasing recourse to violence, a recourse necessary as their political program which looked so assured just a few  years ago unravels into more and more of a shambles.  Total political failure is a major motivating factor for having recourse to violence, but their failure, as Sargon notes, has been increasingly global and very, very much earned.

FINAL WARNING.  HE DROPS F-BOMBS LEFT AND RIGHT AND BLASPHEMES THE LORD’S NAME ONCE.  YOUR CHOICE.  But there is excellent commentary especially on the Left’s decision to label all opponents as Nazis, and then decide all Nazis are so unworthy of discussion/debate as to make punching them not just acceptable but a moral necessity, thus leading to what we got last night in New York and Wed night in Berkeley:

Looks like we need another Vietnam to thin out their ranks a little.

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Some Nice Traditional Catholic Culture For You February 3, 2017

Posted by Tantumblogo in Art and Architecture, awesomeness, Basics, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Interior Life, Latin Mass, sanctity, thanksgiving, Tradition, Virtue.
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From the great guys at JMJHF Productions, some beautiful chant sung in an old church in Juarez around Christmas.  Wish I could have been there.  Chant like this is very rarely heard in Mexico in these days, especially northern Mexico, always so deleteriously influenced by these United States. I’m sure it was even more amazing in person.  Even though Christmas season officially ended yesterday, we’re still in Epiphany and Septuagesima does not start until next week, so enjoy!

 

Flightline Friday: F-35 Debuts at Red Flag February 3, 2017

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, awesomeness, Flightline Friday, fun, non squitur, silliness, Society, technology.
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Red Flag – the world’s premier and most realistic air combat exercise – 17-1 began last week at Nellis AFB, NV.  As usual, participants are many and varied – F-22s from the 1st FW at Langley AFB, VA, B-1s from the 28th Bombardment Wing at Ellsworth AFB, SD, and marking their operational debut, F-35s from the 414th Combat Crew Training Squadron (CCTS), 388th TFW, Hill AFB, UT.

Everyone knows, it’s been a long slog for the F-35.  I have certainly never been a big supporter of this badly compromised design.  From a standpoint of aerodynamic performance, it will always be a very middling performer.  Crippled by the Marine requirement for STOVL capabilities, it will be badly hamstrung in the visual air-to-air arena.  In addition – and also because of the Marine requirement – it’s internal storage volume, required to maintain low-observability – is also badly limited.  It can only carry two air to air missiles internally when engaged in the high-end fight.  This wouldn’t have been a big deal, had Obama and Gates (who also destroyed the Boy Scouts), not crippled US air superiority by capping F-22 production at 187 aircraft.  The F-22 has turned out to be all that was promised and more in the air-to-air arena, but there simply are not enough of them. As such, should disaster happen, like a war against a near-peer competitor in China or Russia (God forbid this should happen), the US would be badly  underequipped in the air supremacy regime and F-35s would likely be pressed into the fight be default.  This is not something it was designed to do.

Having said that, however, in the air-to-ground role for which it was primarily designed, the F-35 is finally starting to come along.  The sensors and sensor fusion of the type are simply amazing.  Once the real meaty software comes out later this year – Block 3F – the type will have extremely impressive capabilities in finding, fixing, sharing, and prosecuting all manner of ground targets. In addition, the aircraft will have very advanced means to avoid both ground-based and airborne threats, all projected instantaneously on the pilot’s all-important helmet visor., with the threats appearing as 3-D volumes to be avoided. Thus far, capabilities are limited but all reports are that the F-35 will take visual spectrum, infrared, ultraviolet, and radio-frequency sensors, and the fusion of all the above, to the next level.

Whether all this will be enough to overcome its fundamental aerodynamic limitations, the shortfalls in other areas of US airpower, and to deal with the rising Chinese threat remains to be seen.  Whether it is worth the (falling but still) astronomical cost is infinitely debatable.  But, unfortunately, due to policy decisions of three different presidential administrations, it is now the only game in town (whereas, had the F-22 been kept in production, as it should have been, the types could have been competitively evaluated and the best – the F-22 – chosen) and it would be 10-15 years, minimum, to field a replacement.  If it turns out to be a turkey, we’ll be stuck with it.  Cancellation really isn’t an option at this point, the Marines and Air Force are nearly utterly dependent on this type.

More than likely, what will happen is that US crews will make it work, and work well, warts and all.  It’s just what they do.  And hopefully sanity will prevail and the F-35 won’t ever have to come up against a serious competitor.

Now for airplane video pr0n.  Check out how much the F-35 resembles the F-22 on approach:

I don’t know what the Air Force was thinking with these new velvetine looking crew sweaters.  They look awful.

Taking off.  That 43,000 lbst engine makes terrific noise:\

As I said, Red Flag brings a wide variety of participants. There are Navy and Marine F-18s and EF-18s and British Typhoons from a squadron I am hoping someone will identify. Video courtesy 99th ABW PAO:

See what I mean by those velvetine sweaters?   WTH?  As if people in other branches didn’t make fun of Air Force softness enough, now they have to look like a stuffed animal?

And now for something a bit different – an awesome 360 degree video from inside the cockpit of the Boeing T-X entry’s first flight.  External view in the second video.  I wish it had come out with more F-23 in it as originally planned.  Looks more like a shrunken Super Hornet.

I like Boeing for the win in this large program.  The only real competition left is Lockheed since Raytheon has already bailed and it seems Northrop Grumman isn’t real serious about it.  Lockheed’s only advantage might be price, but will a Trump administration buy hundreds of new jets largely fabricated in Korea?  Doubt it.

That’s it.  Enjoy your much belated Flightline Friday.

Iraqi Bishop – Where Were Leftist Protesters When Christians Were Being Slaughtered? February 3, 2017

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, catachesis, cultural marxism, Ecumenism, episcopate, error, General Catholic, Holy suffering, horror, persecution, rank stupidity, secularism, sickness, Society, unadulterated evil.
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They were at home, smokin’ bud and enjoying some internet porn, silly.  Leftist concern for others stops where their political convictions end. If you don’t advance their political agenda, they couldn’t care less for you or your suffering. Christians are the hated enemy, not part of their coalition of the damaged.  Thus, the Christians of Iraq and Syria (among many other places) could go suck an egg for all leftists care.  No political advantage, no protests for you!

I guess I should do a quick reset before I jump into the block quote – President Trump executed a very narrow and temporary ban against muslims from certain terrorist-supporting/afflicted countries last weekend.  The left has gone nuts over this supposed tyrannical and wholly racially motivated ban on all muslims, simply because Trump is Racist McHitler.  As the Iraqi Archbishop              notes, however, these same leftists seemed a lot less, ah…….energized…….when it was simply Christians being slaughtered in their thousands, rather than a few hundred muslims potentially inconvenienced by having their travel plans delayed.  Ah…….priorities.  The Left always has them:

The Catholic Archbishop of Erbil has denounced the hypocrisy of those protesting President Trump’s recent executive order on immigration, wondering aloud where all of the demonstrators were when Islamic State fighters were slaughtering Christians and other minorities in the Middle East.

In an interview with the online journal Crux, Archbishop Bashar Warda said that from his perspective in Iraq, he couldn’t help but ask “why all of these protesters were not protesting in the streets when ISIS came to kill Christians and Yazidis and other minority groups.”

Warda also criticized the policies of the Obama administration, which offered no financial assistance to displaced Christians in Islamic State territory and instead favored Syrian Muslims when it came to accepting refugees into the United States.

“They were not protesting when the tens of thousands of displaced Christians my archdiocese has cared for since 2014 received no financial assistance from the U.S. government or the U.N.,” he said. “There were no protests when Syrian Christians were only let in at a rate that was 20 times less than the percentage of their population in Syria.”

“I do not understand why some Americans are now upset that the many minority communities that faced a horrible genocide will finally get a degree of priority in some manner,” Warda added. [Great point. Under Obama, persecuted Christians found it virtually impossible to obtain a visa to come to the US.  Only a tiny fraction of “refugees” from Iraq and Syria have been Christian, in spite of the fact that Christians made up 15-20% of the pre-war Syrian population and have been the most targeted people in this terrible conflict.  Fortunately, Trump seems to be finally giving them the priority they deserve.  That’s what happens when you have a nominally Christian president versus a muslim one.]

The archbishop also suggested that the inconvenience posed by a three-month moratorium on visas is nothing compared to the suffering of minorities in Iraq and Syria during the past several years, and yet no one seemed to think that was worthy of a protest.

“Most Americans have no concept of what it was like to live as a Yazidi or Christian or other minority as ISIS invaded,” he said. “Our people had the option to flee, to convert, or to be killed, and many were killed in the most brutal ways imaginable.”

“But there were none of these protests then of ISIS’s religious test,” he said. [Of course not!  Muslims are perceived by leftists as part of their political coalition, whereas Christians are, as I stated above, the hated and despised enemy that must be crushed at all costs.  They didn’t protest because not only did they not care, but probably thought the Christians had it coming (speculative, but quite probably true).]

In his lengthy interview, Warda underscored the hypocrisy of protesters who are willing to side with Muslims but won’t lift a finger to aid Christians facing genocide in the Middle East.

“Our people lost everything because of their faith—they were targeted for their faith, just like the Yazidis and others too,” he said. “Now these protesters are saying that religion should not matter at all, even though someone was persecuted for their faith, even though persecution based on religion is one of the grounds for refugee status in the UN treaty on refugees.”

“From here I have to say, it is really unbelievable,” he said. [That’s the Western Left, as unbelievable as it is despicable.  How was last night in Manhattan near NYU, by the way?]

Warda also blasted the careless journalists who have called the order a “Muslim ban,” noting that this label is not only false but also dangerous to Christians and other minorities living in lands dominated by Islamic terrorists.

“All those who cry out that this is a ‘Muslim Ban,’” Warda said, should understand clearly that they are hurting Christians and “putting us at greater risk.”

“Here in Iraq we Christians cannot afford to throw out words carelessly as the media in the West can do,” he added. “I would ask those in the media who use every issue to stir up division to think about this.”

“For the media these things become an issue of ratings, but for us the danger is real,” he said. [Not just ratings – also advancing their dearly held religious-political agenda]

The Archbishop said “it is very hard for me to understand why comfortable people in the West think those who are struggling to survive against genocide, and whose communities are at extreme risk of disappearing completely, should not get some special consideration.”

Everyone possessed of any sense and decency agrees.  I pray God many of those Christians suffering horrible atrocities as a direct result of deliberate (and disastrous)US policy decisions by the preceding administration can finally obtain some redress from our nation, which put them into this nightmare situation to a large degree in the first place.  It may be too little and too late, but it’s better than the status quo.

Laudits to Archbishop Warda for having the wherewithal to tell it like it is, at least on this particular matter.  May God give him strength to better proclaim the Truth of Jesus Christ and the plight of his people as time moves on.

PS – So, I work with an Iraqi Christian.  His name is David.  He has led a most remarkable life.  He was a graduate student in mechanical engineering when the US invaded in 2003.  He very much wanted Saddam gone and was glad for the initial US intervention.  He served as an interpreter in combat operations with US forces (mostly Marines) in some of the most horrific fighting in Iraq.  He was at Fallujah in 2004 and 2007.  It was there that the jihadis identified him and he had to flee.  So he – get this – walked out of Iraq, across hundreds of miles of barren desert, to Jordanian refugee camp.  From there, he somehow wound up in eastern Ukraine.  There he met his wife and obtained a visa to come to the US.  He then joined the US Army and went back to Iraq for two tours.  He got his citizenship and US degree in 2015 and has been working at our company ever since.

Did David vote for Trump?  Yes.  Does he hate Obama?  Yes.  Does he think Obama more or less permitted/encouraged the destruction of his country?  Yes.  Does he support the “travel ban?”  Yes.  Does he think muslims are fundamentally incompatible with Western civilization?  Hell yes.  He was fortunately able to get his family here last year.  They are all Christian.  He knows many Christians still in Iraq.  He is very happy that they may now have a much better chance of escaping the hell that Iraq has become.  He is an Orthodox from the Nineveh plain outside Mosul.  Good guy.