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Awesome Fatima Center Conference Coming to DFW March 9-11 2018 January 31, 2018

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, catachesis, Dallas Diocese, General Catholic, Grace, Latin Mass, priests, Restoration, Society, the struggle for the Church, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
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The Fatima Center/Our Lady’s Army of Advocates will be holding a conference at the DFW airport Hyatt Regency March 9-11 2018.  A bevy of fantastic speakers are lined up, including this blog’s favorite Father Michael Rodriguez, Fr. Paul McDonald, Father Isaac Mary Relyea, Chris Ferrara, Michael Matt, and many other top speakers.  Rates for the conference vary, the rate for the entire weekend is $270 which includes meals but not lodging, but walk-in rates starting at $20 are available for the main Saturday conference, which, yay! The Sunday conference is also only $20 if you brown bag it.  What a great Lenten retreat!  I pray my wife and I and perhaps some of the kids are able to attend, it should be a fantastic event.

The flyer is below.  The complete list of speakers is here.  Father Rodriguez is mostly speaking on Sunday, for those with a particular interest in hearing him, though I’m certain the entire conference will be wonderful and well worth attending.  We should be able to make at least one of the days.  The rest of the conference schedule is here.

Flyer-Dallas2018

This conference is not just for locals.  Come in from Waco, Austin, San Antonio, Oklahoma City, El Paso, and much further afield!  If you do plan to attend, please leave a comment and we can try to set up a meeting if you want.  I’m sure I’ll/we’ll be at least one of the days.

What a blessed event for our area and dioceses.  Though Mass will be offered each day of the conference and I’m certain the speakers will be quite busy, it would be wonderful if any of them could take a short trip over to Irving and drop by Mater Dei.  I know their presence would be most appreciated, and it might be interesting for them to see such a large traditional parish.  We’ll see.

I will post additional reminders and announcements as the event nears.  If any of the organizers would like any particular aspects advertised, don’t hesitate to leave a comment or contact me at larryr103@gmail.com.  I’m eager to spread the word on this great catechetical and social activity.

USAF Hosting Largest Ever Red Flag Exercise, Featuring Massive GPS Blackout over Western US January 31, 2018

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Flightline Friday, fun, non squitur, silliness, Society, technology, Uncategorized.
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Now I know why I didn’t do a Flightline Friday for months – I knew once I got started on the subject, I wouldn’t be able to stop.  You’re witnessing the transformation of this formerly dumb Catholic blog to a smart military blog.

Actually, I’ve been just pounded at work this week and when I get a moment, I want to read something “light,” which has meant military. Because nothing says light like war and death.

Red Flag is the world’s premiere, largest, most complex, most realistic air warfare exercise.  Red Flags are typically held 4-6 times a  year, always at Nellis Air Force base adjacent to Las Vegas and the sprawling Nellis Test and Training Range.  Red Flag 18-1 is the first of the year, as the name implies, and is also the largest ever held.  Not only that, it is also one of the most secretive, highest-end threat environments ever presented at Red Flag, which is saying something, because many aircrew maintain that after experiencing the rigors of Red Flag, actual combat seems rather dull and uneventful.  Red Flag generally prepares aircrews for the highest end fight, against the most complex defenses and the most skilled adversaries.  This year is no exception, as, for the first time ever, USAF will be making use of GPS-jamming technologies so powerful that normal GPS reception over almost the entire western US will be affected for several hours a day while the exercises are ongoing:

The year’s first iteration of the USAF’s premier set of aerial war games, known commonly as Red Flag, is kicking off today at Nellis Air Force Base just outside of Las Vegas, but this exercise will be different than any in the past. Not only is it the largest of its kind in the exercise’s 42 year history, but the USAF is going to blackout GPS over the sprawling Nevada Test and Training Range to challenge aircrews and their weaponry under realistic fighting conditions. The tactic will spill over throughout the region, with warnings being posted stating inconsistent GPS service could be experienced by aircrews flying throughout the western United States.

The NBAA Command Center reports the U.S. military will begin training exercises on the Nevada Test and Training Range between 0400Z until 0700Z daily. Training maneuvers will impact vast portions of the Western U.S. including California, Nevada, Oregon, Wyoming, Arizona, Utah, Colorado, Montana and New Mexico. FAA enroute ATC centers affected include Albuquerque (ZAB), Denver (ZDV), Los Angeles (ZLA), Salt Lake (ZLC), Oakland (ZOA) and Seattle (ZSE). Operations in R-2508 and R-2501 may also be impacted.

Arrivals and departures from airports within the Las Vegas area may be issued non-Rnav re-routes with the possibility of increased traffic disruption near LAS requiring airborne re-routes to the south and east of the affected area. Aircraft operating in Los Angeles (ZLA) center airspace may experience navigational disruption, including suspension of Descend-via and Climb-via procedures. Non-Rnav SIDs and STARs may be issued within ZLA airspace in the event of increased navigational disruption. Crews should expect the possibility of airborne mile-in-trail and departure mile-in-trail traffic management initiatives.

Those dates and the location perfectly correspond with Red Flag 18-1. The timeframe for the daily disruptions is also the same as the night launch and recovery period for Red Flag this time of year. Two major large force employment missions take place every day during the exercise, one during the light and one during the night, with each last roughly two to three hours.

This particular Red Flag includes players from the USAF, USMC, Australia and UK. [Those are the US’ top-tier allies and get access to the darkest and spookiest stuff.  Britain used to far and away be the most trusted in that respect, but more and more of late Australia is given the most favored nation status in access to highly classified capabilities and programs. Still, the two are easily the most trusted and given access to the most sensitive capabilities – and vice versa.  The militaries of the US, Britain, and Australia share as much, and are as integrated, as any in the world.] The very limited guest list of only America’s most trusted allies is indicative of a Red Flag exercise where high-end and sensitive capabilities will be put to the test. According to a press release from the USAF that was posted just hours ago, this seems to be an accurate assumption, with Colonel Michael Mathes, 414th Combat Training Squadron commander, stating:

“We’re trying a few new and different things with Red Flag 18-1… It’s the largest Red Flag ever with the largest number of participants, highlighting the balance of training efficiency with mission effectiveness… Red Flag 18-1 primarily is a strike package focused training venue that we integrate at a command and control level in support of joint task force operations… It’s a lot of words to say that we integrate every capability we can into strike operations that are flown out of Nellis Air Force Base.” [So Red Flag also often involves lower-tier allies, and even some nations that are only kinda sorta friendly, like India.  Adversaries are not invited. So, it’s not unusual for the Israeli Air Force to attend, or Colombia, S. Korea, and certainly other NATO nations.  But this one is reserved only for the closest allies, which says something special is going on]

If you read  yesterday’s single post, you know that the US presently has a significant vulnerability to anti-satellite weapons, which is another way to deny critical capabilities like GPS to US forces.  Powerful ground- or air-based jammers are another way to accomplish the same goal.  I’m glad, in a sense, to see USAF taking the threat seriously and training to fight in a GPS-degraded environment.  My brother-in-law who is apparently a genius at packaging ever-smaller and cheaper inertial navigation systems (INS) into aircraft, weapons, ships, and ground vehicles has his work cut out for him, but should stay busy for years.

A bit of a rah-rah video from USAF on this Red Flag 18-1.

Unfortunately, a Royal Australian Air Force Boeing EF-18G Growler electronic warfare aircraft caught fire and was severely damaged during the exercises this week.  Apparently the crew were able to escape without injury, but the aircraft is likely a total write off.  It seems the starboard engine caught fire and burned through the empennage.

As to the threat, here’s a video the Navy released of Russian Su-27 Flankers – armed with live missiles – flying dangerously close to an EP-3E Aries II electronic surveillance aircraft over the international waters/airspace of theBlack Sea recently.  This kind of thing used to happen occasionally during the Cold War, but has been occurring regularly, several times a year, since tensions mounted with Russia over their intervention in the Ukraine/Crimea:

In some of those shots, that Flanker is single digit feet from the Aries.  Dangerous.  Lots of potential for bad things to happen with that kind of behavior.

Don’t Have a Freak Out – Russian, Chinese Anti-Satellite Technology Nothing New January 31, 2018

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, Flightline Friday, history, It's all about the $$$, non squitur, silliness, Society, technology.
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This article from Hot Air is remarkably ignorant of history.  It does not mention, for instance, Program 437, which ran from 1962 until 1975, which involved launching a Thor missile from Johnson Atoll in the Pacific to down low earth orbit satellites and/or fractional orbit bombardment systems (FOBS) – a kind of nuclear warhead designed to behave like a satellite and thus attack by stealth, possibly from a surprising direction – like from the south.  This was an active US anti-satellite (ASAT) capability for over a decade.

And even Program 437 was preceded by another American ASAT system, Program 505, which used a Nike Zeus anti-ballistic missile missile to also target low earth orbit satellites and FOBS.  505 was phased out because Thor could reach much higher altitudes than Zeus, up to 800 miles above earth – really out of LEO territory and into medium orbits.  Both were armed with nuclear warheads to make sure they killed what they targeted, though they were accurate enough (at least Zeus was) to get skin-to-skin hits even way back in the very early 60s.  Satellites and ICBM reentry vehicles behave in extremely similar ways, if you have a capability against one, you have a capability against the other.  And right now, the US missile defense system is neither the world’s most advanced nor it’s most comprehensive.  Apparently, many other nations have concluded that shooting down targets on entirely predictable ballistic paths is not impossible.  Because it’s not, and we’ve been doing it for nearly 60 years, though the current Ground Based Mid-Course Defense system is kind of a kludge and has been starved of vital infrastructure for years (like enough radars to discriminate targets).

The thing is, all of our major world adversaries have had a similar capability for decades.  Pretty much, if you have the ability to orbit a satellite, you have the ability to shoot them down, at least the ones in LEO. Simply calculate the orbit of the target satellite, and launch your own to coincide with at some determined time, and blammo, no more satellite. The Soviets had a massive ASAT program from the 60s on, and deployed a number of ASAT systems, up to an including a 1 megawatt laser battle station prototype, which, thank God, failed to achieve orbit when it’s booster turned the wrong direction and fired it back into the atmosphere (that was in 1987, when the same Soviets were screaming to all the world, and had eager acolytes in the Western press doing same, that orbital laser battle stations were an impossibility.  They were actually way ahead of us at the time, and in some ways, still are).

Anyhoo, some statist media were trying to work up a panic today, eagerly parroting what their patrons in the Deep State wanted them to say, proclaiming that Oh My God, the bad guys are threatening us again!  It’s all much ado about nothing (or very little, and very old, news), but it does point up that, indeed, at present, the US has no viable, operational ASAT system, not because we don’t have the ability, or can’t afford it, but by deliberate act of policy. Any number of systems have been proposed, and a good number have reached the hardware stage, but demonrats in Congress (or the executive branch) have always managed to scuttle them, since we signed a stupid treaty in 1967 that pretends to ban warfare in outer space.*  Good luck with that:

China and Russia are developing anti-satellite missiles and other weapons and will soon be capable of damaging or destroying all U.S. satellites in low-earth orbit, according to the Pentagon’s Joint Staff.

The Joint Staff intelligence directorate, known as J-2, issued the warning in a recent report on the growing threat of anti-satellite (ASAT) weapons from those states, according to officials familiar with the assessment.

The report concludes that “China and Russia will be capable of severely disrupting or destroying U.S. satellites in low-earth orbit” in the next several years, said the officials.

The capability to attack low-earth orbit satellites could be in place by 2020, the officials said.

Notice the subtle manipulation – there is a big threat, but it’s not quite real, yet.  We’re safe for now.  But you better pour billions into our pet project, or we’ll be doomed, doomed!

There actually is a real threat out there, but I think it has much more to do with how the US defense establishment has allowed its operations to evolve into this desire for an ultimate control, God’s eye view of the battlespace, requiring massive recon and even more massive data transfer capabilities.  Because the “gods” don’t want to be anywhere near an actual battlefield, which tend to be in hot, nasty, dusty, and sticky places.  They want to sit in their air conditioned cocoon in DC and call all the shots.  The only, or easiest, way to get worldwide recon and transmission of data is via satellite.  Thus, the US military is now incredibly, incredibly dependent on constant and massive satellite presence, a very very delicate system and one with a thousand and one dire vulnerabilities and single points of failure. Thus the screaming about the threat.  25 years ago, satellites were very nice to have an in some limited ways even vital, but the Gulf War could have been fought with a serious reduction in our satellite capabilities without a great deal of impact at the operational level.  Nowadays, literally everything runs via satellite, from the Predator footage that allows Obama to sit in the Oval Office and watch a terrorist get Hellfired in Yemen, to all the JDAMs/JSOWs/JASSMs and other “joint” bombs and missiles that now make up the overwhelming majority of the ordinance dropped by tactical aircraft, which, similarly, navigate via satellite.  There is still some sanity, many of these bombs and certainly the aircraft have embedded INS and other systems to back up and replace the GPS if need be, but a) those are just that, back ups, and not used much anymore, and b) the entire concept of operations, training, budgets, etc., are focused around constant availability of very expensive, very few, and very vulnerable satellites.  This actually is a very major concern for the US, because satellites are extremely difficult to harden, and they are very easy to find (there are ways around this, satellites do contain maneuvering fuel, but not very much, and a few orbit changes to avoid a threat will use that up very quickly.  Plus, moving them around causes them to not be where you need them to be when you need them – at least some of the less numerous kinds. Probably most of you would be shocked to know how FEW recon “spy” satellites the US has in orbit – even adding in the radar and other non-visual types, it isn’t even 10, and may be as few as 4 or 5).

Thus, ZUMA, which some of you may have heard of, was probably not actually a failed mission, but is almost certainly a prototype (or not so prototype) stealth satellite design.  That’s one way to avoid being targeted – many amateur astronomers, radio hobbyists, etc, are able to track all publicly acknowledged satellites by their transmissions (even if they cannot decode them), literally see them in orbit, etc.  It is known there have been some stealth satellites that were not visible to the ground and used transmission technologies that most ordinary enthusiasts could not ID and track.  Several of these have been orbited over the years.  ZUMA appears to be another one, but unusually large and with an unusual cover story.

*- While the Us has no acknowledged, purpose-built ASAT system at present, as recently as 10 years ago, the US very publicly shot down a satellite in LEO using an ABM missile (a Navy Standard 3 missile, our best ICBM defense weapon at this point).  If a nation has an operational ABM system, it most certainly has at least some measure of an ASAT capability. I’m sure Obama scratched any further development of that capability, even at the classified level, but perhaps Trump will turn it back on.

In the past, I’d have said that was a good thing.  Not so sure anymore.

Sorry I do have a lot of good Catholic stuff to get to but had little time today.  I’m really running late now, have a blessed evening.

Sorry for the atrocious pic – who would take it from between some fuzzy covers, and why? But it’s the only one that shows what we could have had, and almost had – a layered missile defense system covering almost the entire US with nearly 1000 interceptors (more could have been added later) with numerous, very capable and very hardened, targeting radars. Not sure why New Orleans and El Paso were left uncovered – Miami, too, apparently. This system wasn’t really good against SLBMs but with additional radars and interceptor sites, easily could have been. Yes it was expensive but at present we have almost no defense, and for some of the country, none at all, against a ballistic missile attack, nuclear or otherwise.
These are coverage areas of the proposed – and somewhat built – Sentinel ABM system, which later was called Safeguard under Nixon, and then cancelled by the commie Congress of the mid-70s that came in the national temper tantrum in the wake of Watergate, which was an absolute nothing burger compared to what the corrupt federal government is up to today, and has been since at least Jan 20 2009, when Obama turned it into the paramilitary enforcement branch of the demonrat party.

Flightline Friday: SpaceX Static Fires the Mighty Falcon Heavy January 26, 2018

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Flightline Friday, fun, non squitur, silliness, technology.
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I haven’t done a Flightline Friday in ages.  Well, some important recent aerospace news – SpaceX, finally, after years of delays, appears about set to launch the Falcon Heavy rocket sometime in the next few weeks. The full stack was static fired for the first time on Wednesday – and they did it at Launch Complex 39A, from which all but one Saturn V launches took place.

The Falcon Heavy is not as powerful as the Saturn V, but it is in the same league.  It produces over 5 million pounds of thrust, to the Saturn V’s 7.7+ million (on Apollo 15).  The Space Shuttle stack made just over 7 million pounds, but most of that was from solid rockets, which are boring, and the Space Shuttle doesn’t fly anymore, so there.

Falcon Heavy, with 27 Merlin engines, will be able to loft about 70 tons into low earth orbit, and nearly 30 tons to geosynchronous orbit.  It also has very substantial capacities for escape velocity – about 25 tons to the Moon and 19 tons to Mars.  Those are the capacities with full expendability – no returning and landing any of the stages.  With reuse, the capacities are substantially reduced, especially to GTO and escape velocity.  Generally, the Falcon Heavy has capacities almost exactly half those of the Saturn V – one handicap is that SpaceX continues to use a relatively low energy upper stage powered by hydrocarbons, whereas Saturn V upper stages were cryogenic and powered by liquid hydrogen.   They also had way more thrust, especially the spectacular S-II stage.

Anyhoo, even though the test was very short, shock waves in the flame trenches of Launch Complex 39 like this have not been seen in over 45 years:

I cannot wait for one of these to launch from Boca Chica.  I will so be in South Padre, if SpaceX ever gets moving on their south Texas launch site.  Apparently the sand there is unusually unstable and they’ve had to do a lot more soil prep than they planned.  The bedrock is much deeper than thought, too – which, guys, the Rio Grande has been running through 1000+ miles of desert for thousands of years, that’s a lot of sand to dump into the Gulf, but whatever.  They say they are going to finally get started in earnest this year.  We’ll see.

 

Good Catechesis – Priest Notes that Sin of Onanism at Root of Inclination to Sodomy/Transgenderism….. January 25, 2018

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, catachesis, Domestic Church, family, General Catholic, Grace, Latin Mass, scandals, secularism, self-serving, sexual depravity, sickness, Society, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
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………and he also notes, that this sin of onanism – which I assume all readers know means self-abuse – does not have to be a sin of the person who falls into these inclinations.  It can, in fact, be attributed to these sins in the parents, especially when combined with pornography use, which then allow the demons associated with these sins into the house, infecting even those who may not share the same sin (though, in most of these cases, they will).  In the Old Testament, God reveals that the sins of the father are visited upon the children, even down to the 4th generation.  This is actually a good reason for all Catholics, and especially converts, to know their family history.  Masonry in the US was extremely common, especially throughout the farming communities of the Midwest, 100-150 years ago.  I have several family members who were Masons, God rest their souls.  Thus it was advisable that I, as father of my family, have minor exorcism prayers said in order to break any curses that might have been brought down on our family through this Masonic involvement.  I also wonder if that Masonry is a source of the anti-Catholic animus that existed in some of my forebears, but that’s another subject.

At any rate, the sermon below is on a difficult topic, gender dysphoria, but the priest handles it with good care.  I would say it is suitable for all fathers, almost all mothers and most children, but some families with the blessing of extreme innocence and delicate consciences may want to be careful with it.  The priest notes that God made us male and female, and that this definition is made at the very core level of our beings – in our genetic codes.  You either have a Y chromosome, or you don’t.  Thus these transgender activists, pretending that gender is just an accident of socialization and can be “easily” changed with massive chemical intake, a change of dress, some makeup, and, oh yeah, permanent body mutilation, are insane.  Actually, they’re not insane, they are in thrall to a hideous, satanic ideology, an ideology that seeks endless power for itself, and ruination for souls:

Transgenders, sodomites, and all their ilk (the growing “pedophile rights” movement) all pretend that their sin is somehow unique or different.  Remember back when sodomites and their Leftist enablers told us they were born that way, and so it couldn’t be a sin?  Now they say that not just sexuality but sex itself is entirely mutable and changeable, because it is convenient for them to do so.  But as the sermon notes, it’s just another sin, and we all sin.  Everyone of us struggles with various kinds of sins, and temptation to sin.  Every single one.  I’m an addict.  There is infinitely more evidence that there is a genetic, “born that way” component to addiction than there is to sodomy or transgenderism.  In fact, the genetic or hereditary component of addiction is pretty much proven – it definitely runs in families.  That doesn’t make my sins of intoxication or compulsive sexual sins no longer sinful.  And I am not “special” because I have this inclination.  Everyone is born with a particular temperament, and particular inclinations towards sin.  Some people have greater inclinations than others.  Why? God knows, but the common view of the Saints is that God allows more suffering in those he loves most.  His Son suffered infinitely for our sins, and God is incapable of loving anyone any more than Himself in His Son.  Those tempted more are called to higher sanctity.  Some horrible sinners have become tremendous Saints.

The priest’s explanations in the sermon are full of truth and love.  It is very compassionate, but not in the modern, Francis of Rome Jesuitical sense.  Not in the Father James Martin sense.  In, you know, an actual Catholic sense.

I should add, also, that I don’t mean to imply above that if a kid falls into one of these lifestyles, it is necessarily the parent’s fault.  I have seen kids falling away from wonderful families, families who, as well as an outsider can tell, seem to do everything right.  People sin. There are myriad causes.  The point above was just to note that these particular sins are very dangerous not only for parents but for their kids as well.

Crazed Mass Murderer, One of History’s Greatest Monsters, Resigns Planned Barrenhood January 25, 2018

Posted by Tantumblogo in Abortion, asshatery, contraception, cultural marxism, Endless Corruption, General Catholic, horror, It's all about the $$$, Revolution, scandals, secularism, self-serving, sexual depravity, sickness, Society, unadulterated evil.
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The rumors have been that Planned Butcherhood is about to get hit with a number of federal charges/indictments, and that some of those might name apparently departing Planned Parenthood head Cecile Richards personally.  She got out while the gettin’ was good.  Whenever one of these ambitious, wholly ideological creatures says “time with the family” or “other projects,” it means it was forced in one way or another.  These people never voluntarily step down from their positions of power and influence.  To the idea that she means to run for governor of Texas – yeah, good luck with that.

Anyway, by deliberate act, she participated in the murder of over 3.5 million babies.  That makes her one of histories greatest monsters:

The President of America’s largest abortion chain Planned Parenthood, Cecile Richards, plans to resign next week, according to a Buzzfeed report that cited “two sources familiar with the matter.”

A Planned Parenthood representative told Buzzfeed, “Cecile plans to discuss 2018 and the next steps for Planned Parenthood’s future at the upcoming board meeting.”

“The Planned Parenthood official did not comment on Richards’ future,” Buzzfeed reported, even though “Richards, 60, has informed at least some members of the organization’s board of directors [that she is leaving], one of the sources confirmed.”

Richards has overseen America’s largest abortion vendor since 2006. Her salary continually increased as did her tenure. She currently rakes in nearly a million dollars a year overseeing the organization that commits over 300,000 abortions annually. [$3 a head.  What a bargain.]

During the Obama era, the abortion business had an ally in the White House. However, Richards still had to contend with investigations from Live Action and the Center for Medical Progress (CMP) that revealed Planned Parenthood’s willingness to cover up child sex abuseaid-and-abet sex traffickers, and profit from selling body parts of aborted babies. [Abortionists cover up sex abuse?  How else do the abusers get rid of the evidence?  I mean, c’mon people!  This is current year!  What else are they going to do with it?!?  It’s not like selling babies into white slavery in Qatar or Brunei is easy these days!]

Since President Trump took office, Planned Parenthood has increasingly sounded the alarm about the threat he and other pro-life Republicans pose to abortion-on-demand.

“Cecile Richards was the most devoted practitioner of Planned Parenthood’s ‘out of sight, out of mind’ mantra to cover up their barbaric abortion business from the public,” David Daleiden of CMP told LifeSiteNews. “As Planned Parenthood faces federal criminal investigation from the FBI and DOJ for selling aborted baby hearts, lungs, livers, and brains, Richards’ departure shows that the old strategy is no longer working – the secret is out that Planned Parenthood is a taxpayer-sponsored crime syndicate of industrial-scale child killing, and even Cecile Richards can no longer put a friendly spin on it.” [Awesome quote]

“Cecile Richards may be stepping down because Planned Parenthood is under investigation for illegally trafficking in aborted baby body parts and other crimes,” Troy Newman, President of Operation Rescue, told LifeSiteNews. “She may be trying to get out before indictments drop. She is also tainted with other scandals by her close affiliation with Hillary Clinton and Fusion GPS, which are also being investigated. Planned Parenthood may now view her as a liability.”

“In any case, this news indicates a destabilized Planned Parenthood organization, and as long as they are in disarray, they can’t expand their abortion enterprise, and that is good news,” said Newman.

So for the greatest killers of the last 120 years, Cecile Richards has passed fellow leftist Pol Pot and is up there in Hitler territory.  She’s a piker compared to the greatest leftist murderers of all time, though – Stalin and his 50 million, and Mao with his 100 million plus.

It’s almost like this ideology is the literal inversion of all that is good and true and brings with it nothing but endless, hellish death.  But it’s the official ideology of probably 95% of all the college professors in this country and throughout the West.  Could a hundred thousand academics really be this wrong?

And you want to pay them $50,000 a year for the privilege of indoctrinating your children in this most beastly of ideologies?  Of course, there are ways around this, it’s not a blanket condemnation of sending any kids to any college, but it is meant to be a provocative challenge – are you really thinking about what you’re doing?  And are you doing it for them, or for yourself? I knew a family, an outwardly good, seemingly Catholic family, that refused to believe that Notre Dame University was anything but the be all and end all of Catholicism, and the absolute best place to send their kids to college after going through the incredible sacrifice of homeschooling all of them.  They had 5 kids.  They sent four of them to Notre Dame.  Every single one has fallen away from the Faith. and not in a low key, but a spectacular manner.    They’re not just cold to the Faith, they are positively hostile.  The last kid, the youngest, was lucky.  He didn’t have the grades for Notre Dame. So he’s going to a local community college, and is still Catholic.

I bring up this bit about college because Leftism is an all-pervading ideology with a thousand facets and a million ways to kill a soul.  It’s also the dominant culture in our media-numbed society.  Leftism always ends in death.  Sometimes its the death of millions of babies, other times it’s the death of faith in millions of souls, but it always brings death with it, because it’s not just a creation of fallen men, but it was contrived as a deliberate antithesis to Christianity and godliness.  It’s the tempting alternative to a moral, godly life.  It’s presented as bright and shiny, intelligent and popular, urbane and sophisticated, the default belief set for anyone who wants to be anybody in this world.

But this is what it really is:

For the squeamish, frankly, I could have shown much, much worse.  This is who Cecile Richards is, and what she promotes.  May God have mercy on her soul, and may she convert before it is too late.

The Case Can Be Made that Trump is the Most Pro-Life President Ever January 25, 2018

Posted by Tantumblogo in Abortion, awesomeness, Basics, contraception, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, sexual depravity, sickness, Society, Victory.
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Even though, in the past, he has painted himself as a pro-abort at times, in terms of concrete action, has any president done as much as Donald Trump to support the pro-life cause?  Not only was he the first sitting president to directly address and, in a way, take part in the March for Life, he named Jan 22, the anniversary of the worst, most murderous, most unconstitutional and immoral Supreme Court decision ever (Roe v Wade), Sanctity of Human Life Day:

President Donald Trump proclaimed Monday, January 22, 2018, “National Sanctity of Human Life Day.” The proclamation comes on the 45th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the landmark decision that legalized abortion in the U.S. throughout the entire nine months of a mother’s pregnancy.

Trump made the proclamation on Friday, as hundreds of thousands of pro-life pilgrims converged upon Washington D.C. for the annual March for Life.

“Today, we focus our attention on the love and protection each person, born and unborn, deserves regardless of disability, gender, appearance, or ethnicity,” begins Trump’s proclamation.

“Reverence for every human life, one of the values for which our Founding Fathers fought, defines the character of our Nation,” Trump continued in the proclamation. “Today, it moves us to promote the health of pregnant mothers and their unborn children.”

In doing this, however, he was just continuing a practice of Republican presidents since Reagan in 1984:

President Ronald Reagan proclaimed the first National Sanctity of Human Life Day in 1984, making note that millions of U.S. lives lost to abortion in the 11 years since Roe v. Wade — already by then over tenfold the number of Americans lost in all our Nation’s wars” — was “a tragedy of stunning dimensions that stands in sad contrast to our belief that each life is sacred.”…….

……….It was continued every year throughout the administration of Reagan’s successor, George H.W. Bush. Bill Clinton then dropped it during his eight years as president, and George W. Bush then resumed it again for his eight years in office.

Barack Obama did not declare National Sanctity of Human Life Day during the eight years of his administration.

Go figure.

Trump’s reinstated the “Mexico City” policy, forbidding federal funding of abortion overseas.  He nominated a solidly pro-life Supreme Court Justice.  He wants to defund Planned Barrenhood, if Congress can ever pass a new budget, instead of endless continuing resolutions.  These place him as equal the better Republican presidents since Reagan.  But by attending the March for Life, did Trump – whose personal life is a catalog of immorality – catapult himself into position as the most pro-life president ever?  Could it be, that contrary to his predecessors, he is less a politician than a man of some convictions, less likely to be bent by the polling or the political winds?

 

Quick Post – Was Marx Almost Right? January 24, 2018

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, catachesis, Christendom, Endless Corruption, General Catholic, Revolution, scandals, secularism, self-serving, sickness, Society, true leadership.
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A couple of videos from Tumblar House below, critiquing the modern “liberal” democratic state and pointing out its internal contradictions.  Indeed, I think a reasonable argument could be formed that the Catholic hating Karl Marx was somewhat on the right track in predicting that a then-emerging system would collapse of its own internal contradictions, but he was wrong to apply that reasoning to the economic sphere rather than the political.  That’s not to say that anything else was at all right, and in fact I am being a bit deliberately tongue in cheek and provocative in even relating this to Marx, but the point is, there are far, far more identifiable and correctable problems with the modern (cult like) understanding of “democracy” as the pinnacle of political evolution than there were, or are, with capitalism as an economic system. That is not, to say, the modern “capitalist” state with heavy socialistic government interference almost everywhere in the world, and certainly in the global mass economy, with the government picking winners and losers and stacking the deck heavily in favor of corporate titans, but with the essence of capitalism, which is eminently Catholic and essentially the natural economic system of humankind – the exchange of goods and services at agreed upon rates by free actors acting in their own perceived interest.

Having said that, the two vids are interesting and worthy of some reasonable discussion, though I deplore the production values in the first.  Being a host is harder than it looks!  I’ve never heard of this Christophe Buffin de Chosal before, but it seems Charles Coulombe admires his work.  Endorsements aside, I believe he does raise some valid and important points, that democracy, far from elevating the best of society to the top to serve as enlightened, dispassionate rulers, instead tends to advance the very worst – as the top political figures we’ve seen in this country over the past half-century, at least, have made abundantly clear.  What tends to emerge is that, by pandering to the lowest common denominator in a society (buying special interest votes), hidden, or not so hidden, actors behind the scene can gorge themselves on the taxpayer teat while more or less ignoring the will of the masses.  Goodness, to take one issue alone, there have been huge majorities (in the US, at least) in favor of drastically limiting LEGAL immigration in this country for decades, not to speak of illegal immigration, and yet the politicians, beholden to elites who desire cheap labor, continue to enact laws and policies that not only permit but encourage immigration at rates, and from cultures, that are demonstrably eating away at the fabric of not only the United States but the entire West.

Anyway, I am out of time, but discuss.  I know many trads and hardcore Catholics tend to be critical of the modern liberal erstwhile democratic state, anyway, and there are probably a number of monarchists among us, but is democracy doomed to fail? Will it take down the entire culture with us, as it practically did the great ancient civilization of the Mediterranean, collapsing into first despotic rule and then total civilizational implosion, at least in the West?  Are there ways out of this that are reasonably possible?

 

Debate on Francis Bishop of Rome in Dallas Wed 01/24/2018 January 23, 2018

Posted by Tantumblogo in catachesis, Dallas Diocese, different religion, disaster, Francis, General Catholic, horror, scandals, secularism, Society, the struggle for the Church.
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There will be a public discussion – a sort of debate, I guess – on the matter of how to respond to the current, absolutely unprecedented (in recorded history) Bishop of Rome we are confronted with sponsored by the University of Dallas  tomorrow, Wed Jan 24 at 7:30 pm.  The discussion is between Ross Douthat of the New York Slimes Times and extreme liberal Austin Ivereigh, and is moderated by journalist John Allen.  So, basically, two leftists against a moderately conservative neo – the Left never appreciates a fair fight (as Jordan Peterson’s utter destruction of a British feminist last week demonstrated).

Here’s a blurb on the discussion –

UD will be hosting a public discussion of the current papacy this Wednesday (the 24th) at 7:30 pm in the Moody Performance Hall in downtown Dallas. It will be between Ross Douthat of the NYT and British journalist Austen Ivereigh, moderated by John Allen. These are three of the most prominent Catholic journalists in the English-speaking world, and we are very excited to have them here in Dallas.  [Ivereigh is a close associate of the extremely progressive former Cardinal of Westminster Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, and basically gloated about the St. Gallen mafia and their role in enthroning Francis is a recent book]

This will be the first time in this country that one of Francis’s defenders (Ivereigh) and one of his critics (Douthat) have engaged each other face-to-face in public. Their moderator, John Allen, is probably the most well-known Vatican journalist in the world. [but definitely has a liberal bent, though less obvious than many of his confreres in the mainstream Catholic media.  So it’s basically two against one]

We promise a fascinating and enlightening discussion, and I encourage all ICONers to attend. Tickets are $10 (free to UD faculty/staff/students).

Here is a link to tickets:

https://www.udallas.edu/braniff/braniff_life/lectures.php

You’ll see there also a list of several other events the speakers will be putting on at UD campus next week, many of which may also interest ICONers.

Here is the press release:

https://udallas.edu/news/2018/ud-gathers-renowned-catholic-journalists-to-examine-the-modern-papacy

I’ve got a wife with strep and probably bronchitis after nearly two weeks of flu, and several sick kids.  So, no way I will attend.  Having said that, part of me is interested to see what Douthat has to say, though I suspect I already know it.  He is something of a critic of Francis, though hardly so thorough or penetrating as more traditional critics. Nevertheless, the interplay between the apologist Ivereigh and the critic Douthat could be interesting, though I doubt Allen provides anything like a level playing field, which will be maddening.

The thing is, what I think about this pope – Bishop of Rome, whatever – is pretty much settled.  He is what he is.  Goodness, as a man who understands the importance of gesture and media coverage, giving a pontifical medal to a rabid, murderous pro-abort the week of the March for Life in the US speaks for itself.  He is pope, somehow, though I don’t understand, and God has allowed this for some reason I don’t understand, but I cannot see how Francis can be described as Catholic.  He is a leftist ideologue with a wicked mean streak projecting an insincere joviality and the most publicity seeking “humility” in the history of ever.  Much of that could be forgiven, however, if he did not so obviously loathe both the Faith and those who hold it.  The problem is not with a pope with personal character failings.  There have been plenty of those, and the Church weathered them just fine. The problem is a pope who is patently at war with the Faith.

At any rate, the tix (general admission only) are $5, so it’s a fairly cheap night out.  Plan on another $10 or so for parking at least.  I hope some video is shot and it shows up on Youtube.  I am sort of interested in this debate to see where it goes, or rather, how far Douthat is willing to go in a hostile setting.  He’s OK on some topics.

If any readers attend, leave a comment on your impressions. I’d appreciate it.

I think kudos to UD, for having the guts to host this debate, and even permit some criticism of Francis, muted though it may be?  Of course, harsh criticism of popes from the Left has been not only permitted, but the central pillar of Catholic higher education around the world and especially in the West for decades, but this time it’s coming from the “wrong” side, the damnable right wingers.

Glories of the Church – the Beautiful Churches and Holy Sites of Ecuador January 23, 2018

Posted by Tantumblogo in Art and Architecture, awesomeness, Basics, different religion, Father Rodriguez, fun, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, priests, Restoration, sanctity, Spiritual Warfare, Tradition, true leadership, Victory, Virtue.
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I thank El Paso-based JMJHF Productions for all their work, especially their continued release of excellent catechesis material from Fr. Michael Rodriguez (on which, more later, God willing), but I really really appreciate their recent uploads of one of Fr. Rodriguez’ recent annual pilgrimages to Quito, Ecuador.  The churches of Quito and its environs are shockingly, amazingly beautiful, true glories for not only the Church but the entire human race.  This is the kind of heart that makes the soul sing and gives us creatures of mud and dust the slightest glimpses of heavenly glory.   It is also the polar opposite of the modernist, often intentionally soul-crushing trash that has passed for Church art and architecture of the past 60-70 years.  This damnable trend has been intentional, as fallen men sought to remake the Church in their own image, rather than aspire to follow the Truth of Jesus Christ.

The first video shows the Procession on the Feast Day of Our Lady of Good Success, February 2nd. The miraculous statue of Our Lady of Good Success is taken from the cloistered upper choir three times a year and placed above the main altar of the Convent Church to be venerated by the public. Fr. Michael Rodríguez offered the Traditional Latin Mass daily in the Conceptionist Church & Convent–home of Our Lady of Good Success (and look at how many souls assisted!  The church is packed for a TLM, probably the first most all of these people, aside from the pilgrims (who were a tiny part of the crowd) had attended in decades, if ever). The technical name of the Church is, “Iglesia de La Limpia Concepcion”. This first monastery in Quito was established in September of 1575. Fr. Rodriguez also led pilgrims daily in praying the Holy Rosary and Novena to Our Lady of Good Success in front of the miraculous statue and gave spiritual conferences every evening on the major themes of Grace, Jesus Christ, and the Blessed Virgin Mary. Blessed be Jesus Christ and His most pure Mother!

Old town Quito is also beautiful in its own right, and also surprisingly well lit.  It looks to me like many hundreds, possibly thousands, took part in the procession.  How beautiful.  What a glorious site  Good Father Romanowski, formerly of the FSSP apostolate in Guadalajara and now pastor of a parish in Naples, FL, seems to have led the procession, in the traditional manner:

 

The next video is the one that really touches me – in both positive and negative ways.  Ecuador has never been a rich country.  Yet look at what pious souls built decades and centuries ago, out of their love for God and the Blessed Mother!  And it was only right they do so – indeed it was a positive duty –  to build the most beautiful, uplifting structures imaginable for the glory of God (which is His due) and for the good of souls. The modernist, concrete-and-sheetrock brutalist monstrosities that pass for Church construction in the past 70 years or so are the very antithesis of what is good for souls and properly due God.  Even worse, you might even say sinfully, was the willful destruction of so much beauty created in total faith by previous generations of Catholics out of a perverse desire to create a new and false religion.  Indeed, the profanation of Church art and architecture is a deliberate representation of the new religion promoted by modernist/leftists that must always stand in total opposition to the Faith of our Fathers.

There is a wide range of beauty below – parishes, basilica, cathedral, monasteries cum museums, etc.  I have always adored Spanish colonial Catholic art, and the works of Latin American devotion that flowed from it for  a century and a half after Spain lost her New World colonies.  It is beautiful, wonderful stuff, treasures for the whole human race to glory in.  These works also point to a time where the Faith was so utterly central to the lives of souls that I think we have a hard time even imagining it today, let alone emulating it in our own lives.  We are so distracted by our trinkets of technology and our unheard of riches that our comprehension of the eternal is paltry and distracted.  Perhaps I am speaking more for myself than for most of you, if so, I do not mean to cast aspersions.

I have exhausted my limited vocabulary in coming up with superlatives for this video and the Catholic treasures contained therein.  Lord, may I go to Quito or other Latin American places soon, places where the ravages of wreckovation did not occur, or were at least kept to an absolute minimum!  Look at all the altar rails!  Look at the high altars still extant, and the prie deuxs, and the wonderful elevated pulpits (use them!), and the gilt ceilings and incredible reredos and the polychrome statues and original, extremely high quality and eminently Catholic paintings and……..you get the point.  Thank you again to JMJHF Productions for putting these videos together.  I know it takes a great deal of time, and this is not their full time job.  Please consider helping them out, or the St. Vincent Ferrer Foundation, which also supports the work of good souls and Fr. Rodriguez!

The full list of sites in the video is below:

Conceptionist Monastery Church (Iglesia de La Limpia Concepcion), home of Our Lady of Good Success, in which Our Lady appeared to Mother Mariana.
Santo Domingo (St Dominic)
San Agustin (St Augustine)
Carmen del Atlo (Carmelite – where St Mariana, Lily of Quito used to live)
San Francisco
Santa Catalina
La Merced
La Compania (Jesuit, perhaps most glorious Church in the Americas…)
National Basilica to the Sacred Heart
(Cathedral Metropolitana)  Basilica of the National Vow
Santa Barbara
Carmen del Bajo
Santa Teresita in La Mariscal
Church & Monastery of Guapalo
The Jesuit School where miraculous image of Our Lady of Quito is kept.

For those materialists who say, oh, this money is wasted, think of the poor who suffered want and privation when all this money was poured into churches like this – wouldn’t this money better have been spent on them, on alleviating their sufferings? But the poor we will always have with us, and I do not mean that in a cavalier manner in the least.  Instead, think of how many souls happily gave of what little they had, which was infinitely less than any of us, to help render honor and glory to God and His Church to help build structures like this. Think of the grace that poured out on them and the world at large through such noble sacrifice.  It is simply a wholly different and utterly incompatible mindset – that of faith and not of this world.  Those who have it, have it, and  understand instantly the willingness to deny self to give right glory to God, and those who don’t, simply don’t.

When I see amazing structures like this, and the immense good they still do for souls, and I ponder the opportunity we have locally – probably the only such opportunity the vast majority of us will ever have – to build a church that can really make an artistic statement, can really contribute to the great artistic treasure of the Church (one of the few such contributions to have been made in our lifetimes), I just think, we cannot mess this up.  I would happily trade 500 seats for an amazing reredo, or a stupendous altar, or marble-covered walls, or original works of art.  Heck, there are warehouses full of the stuff in Europe and Mexico, removed from any of the several churches being torn down weekly.  It’s not even that expensive, much of it, certainly not compared to making it from scratch, if such can even be obtained.  Anyway, I won’t rant on that anymore.  This post is already much longer than I intended, and few outside this Diocese of Dallas care, and understandably so.