Flightline Friday EXTRA! “Operation Black Dart” September 2, 2015Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, awesomeness, Flightline Friday, foolishness, fun, non squitur, silliness, Society, technology.
Operation Black Dart featured live fire training of MH-60R Seahawk helicopters of helicopter maritime strike squadron HSM-75 from NAS North Island, San Diego. The training involved something I’ve never seen before, air-to-air gunnery between Seahawk door gunners and UAV targets. Looks like two were shot down below. Maybe Blaine, who flies the MH-60S model, can provide some commentary. For those who don’t know, the MH-60R replaces the previous SH-60B and SH-60F helos in the anti-submarine warfare (ASW), anti-surface warfare (ASuW), sea control and special ops roles. The MH-60S flies vertical replenishment (VERTREP), medical evacuation (MEDEVAC), combat search and rescue (CSAR), and ASuW, and mine countermeasures (MCM). The MH-60S is unofficially known as the “Knighthawk.”
Again, the is the maritime strike “R” version below. Video by Petty Officer 2nd Class Antonio Turretto Ramos | Navy Public Affairs Support Element West | Date: 08.06.2015
See how squeaky wheels get the grease! You just keep it up, Woody. I’ll have you so tired of Flightline Friday you’ll be begging for some endless SSPX fights.
Actually, when I watched this on my phone last night with a tiny screen it looked a lot more dramatic than it did in high def on a large monitor. It looked a bit lame. I was reminded of WWI biplanes with a rear gunner on a flexible mount. Pretty much the same speed range as WWI fighters, too (slow). Shooting down a maneuvering target with a pintle-mounted gun being next to impossible (all those WWII movies you’ve seen of B-17 waist gunners shooting down Me109s or FW190s……..rarely, if ever, happened. Pintle mounted guns are not known for their terrific accuracy, especially against swiftly moving targets. So it was actually a pretty good bit of marksmanship to shoot down that small drone conveniently flying directly abreast the helo at the same speed and maybe 100 yds away.
Here’s Blaine’s bird doing what it does a lot of the time, if the military coverage is any indicator. It may not be glamorous but hauling stuff from one ship to another is a pretty mean feat in itself. It ain’t easy to hover above a moving, bobbing ship, picking up loads, setting them down right where needed, without hurting anyone or crashing the bird. Then there’s the fun of load shifts, wind, and all that. So good job!
Not sure where the Puma’s from. It’s got a US civil registry, so maybe contractor? I didn’t know there were (m)any SA-330s flying in the US?
Oh goodness, this is even better, but the language is very, uh……..military. As in salty. The pilot of #2 seems aggrieved at his flight lead’s maneuvers. But it’s awesome Gopro helmet cam footage:
This guy’s got a lot of MH-60S footage. I wonder if our reader knows him? HSC-25 and HSC-14, apparently.
REMINDER- THERE IS NO MEN’S PRAYER VIGIL TONIGHT 09/02/15! September 2, 2015Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin.
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Actually, if you want to go pray outside the strip joint, please, go ahead. I cannot go, and most other regulars have a conflict. But at some point I hope this effort starts to take a life of its own where I’m a coordinator at most. I’d love to see other men offer to lead and pray outside on nights that are convenient for them.
I won’t be there tonight, however. Next vigil I plan on doing is next Wednesday 090915 @ 8pm.
Mild suggestion on how to celebrate the World Day of Prayer for the Care of the Earth September 1, 2015Posted by Tantumblogo in General Catholic, Society, Admin, foolishness, silliness, Papa, episcopate, pr stunts.
I don’think anything demonstrates your heroic concern for the sweet, sweet earth than a roaring huge displacement V8, at least 37″ tires, a huge lift, and wasting vast quantities of fossil fuels to no particular end other than having fun.
Note the only guy to complete the course had the freshest tires. Tires make all the difference. I had Super Swampers like that at one point they are no good at all on the hard top. They didn’t last 15,000 miles. My Nittos have done much better.
I like this one because it’s kind of close to home:
Too bad I haven’t the time or the tires right now to do this.
OK, I’m being a bit subversive. Maybe this is one of those surprises of the Holy Ghost.
NO prayer vigil this week and another important update! August 31, 2015Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, Dallas Diocese, Domestic Church, family, General Catholic, Interior Life, Society.
Men, there will be no prayer vigil outside the “Men’s Club” this week. There is another event scheduled that some participant (including me) would like to attend on Wednesday. I originally planned to move the vigil to Friday, but given the holiday weekend many may be out, so I am deferring the vigil to Wednesday September 9th. I will try to send a group e-mail to this effect.
Secondly, I’ve received a number of requests for updates on how my wife is doing with her pregnancy. The answer is we’ve had a couple of scares but she’s still pregnant and the baby seems OK. We’re really missing her former OB who retired after our son was born. Please continue your prayers, we are convinced they are making all the difference! I am very gratified I chose to enlist your aid, in the past I was more reserved.
Late Flightline Friday: Dangerous lapse in OPSEC allows ISIS to track coalition flights August 31, 2015Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, error, Flightline Friday, foolishness, fun, huh?, non squitur, silliness, Society, technology.
Just for Woody, who I never knew has such an attachment to Flightline Friday, a brief post looking at another serious failing of the politically-limited and highly ineffectual US/Western intervention against ISIS in Iraq and Syria. It appears many combat aircraft are flying missions without turning off their transponders, which means they can be tracked by flight tracking software. Thus, all ISIS would have to do to put, say, a battery of SAMs or AAA directly under the flight path of an Air Force tanker or intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance aircraft is to pull up the internet and see who’s flying where:
In October 2014 we highlighted the risk of Internet-based flight tracking of aircraft flying war missions after we discovered that a U.S. plane possibly supporting ground troops in Afghanistan acting as an advanced communication relay can be regularly tracked as it circles over the Ghazni Province.
The only presence of the aircraft over a sensitive target could expose an imminent air strike, jeopardizing an entire operations.
Although such risk was already exposed during opening stages of the Libya Air War, when some of the aircraft involved in the air campaign forgot/failed to switch off their mode-S or ADS-B transponder, and were clearlytrackable on FR.24 or PF.net and despite pilots all around the world know the above mentioned websites very well, transponders remain turned on during real operations making the aircraft clearly visible to anyone with a browser and an Internet connection.
During the last few months many readers have sent us screenshots they took on FR24.com or PF.net (that only collect ADS-B broadcast by aircraft in the clear) showing military planes belonging to different air forces over Iraq or Afghanistan: mainly tankers and some special operations planes.
We have informed the U.S. Air Force and other air forces that their planes could be tracked online, live, several times, but our Tweets (and those of our Tweeps who retweeted us) or emails have not had any effect as little has changed. Maybe they don’t consider their tankers’ racetrack position or the area of operations of an MC-12 ISR (Intelligence Surveillance Reconnaissance) aircraft a sensitive information…
Pics of military flights being tracked in combat zones below.
There are potential operational explanations for this, but I don’t think many of them would redound to the credit of the military effort against ISIS. For one thing, non-tactical aircraft (cargo aircraft, recce, tankers, etc) may be squawking Mode C because there is no AWACS coverage over much of the battlefield and it is felt necessary to run with transponders on to reduce chances of midairs. A second allied explanation would be to held civilian air traffic control de-conflict airspace containing both military and commercial flights. But that again is a function AWACS can perform. There certainly are AWACS deployed in the theater, there have been for 25 years continuously now, but there may not be enough of them to cover the large region from the Med to Iran, Turkey to Jordan/Saudi.
Or, it could simply be sloppy practice and further indication of the half-heartedness fo this “air campaign,” which is more a series of pinprick attacks than a real, concerted effort to destroy ISIS. It was reported over the weekend that US/Allied aircraft are not attacking ISIS’ dozens of training camps, which are turning out 1000 crazed islamist fighters a month, because of inordinate concern of collateral damage. This, when we already know that ISIS itself has slaughtered tens if not hundreds of thousands of innocents itself, far, far more than would be threatened by striking the training facilities.
My personal belief is that Obama doesn’t want ISIS destroyed and is only conducting this very limited campaign (the US is attacking only about 15 targets a day, many of them empty desert. Contrast that with Desert Storm, when a thousand or more targets were struck in the first 24 hours.
Obama cares not whether ISIS grows or dies, he only cares about his already tattered legacy. And, quite possibly, doing all he can to aid the ummah.
A little Friday humor August 28, 2015Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, Art and Architecture, foolishness, fun, General Catholic, silliness, Society.
I especially like the first one. The second is a bit coarse but appeals to my engineering side:
“He sleeps who drinks; he who sleeps does not sin; he who does not sin is a saint; therefore, he who drinks is a saint.”
Too bad telecom necessity has led to the virtual extinction of unicorns. Only place to get the fiber.
A cry of the heart towards my friends at CMTV – UPDATED August 28, 2015Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, blogfoolery, General Catholic, Latin Mass, manhood, sadness, the struggle for the Church, Tradition, Virtue, Voris.
Update: An important update added to the first post-script below. I also changed some verbiage in paras 3-6, particularly to shift emphasis from a certain third party that did not need to be mentioned. I altered greatly the last two sentences of paragraph 5 because it came out much rougher and with darker implications than I intended. I swore I changed that, and re-read this post several times before publishing, but apparently not. For that unnecessarily dark implication, I apologize.
The below is my own personal impression of the severe decay of a once most promising apostolate. They are strictly my own impressions and reminiscences.
It has been difficult for me to observe the changes that have afflicted Church Militant TV – formerly Real Catholic TV – over the past 2-3 years. During the period 2010-2012, I collaborated with Michael Voris a great deal. I, with Vicki Middleton’s (God rest her pious soul) gracious help, arranged to bring Michael Voris to Dallas for a talk in March of 2012. He stayed at our house for 3 days. We got along splendidly. He was honest, forthright, utterly sincere, and conveyed a clear understanding of the crisis that has afflicted the Church up to and including the role of the conciliar and post-conciliar popes in that crisis. I was thoroughly impressed and felt I was in the presence of a man who could really make a difference.
In fact, I would say that, until mid-2013, there was not a single topic on which we could be said to disagree. It was around this time however that the various reactions towards this pontificate began to manifest themselves. Some well-intentioned catechesis began to get around on the subject of souls, reacting to this pontificate, placing themselves under the care of the SSPX. Some of this catechesis was very strong. Be that as it may, the man who provides a great deal of CMTV’s funding and who seems to have had an increasing influence on editorial content in the past few years, in particular, took some of this catechesis and ran with it, so to speak, influencing, over time, CMTV’s approach to topics related to the SSPX, criticism of the pontificate, and some related matters.
I really believe I first began to witness a change infecting CMTV during the latter half of 2013. I believe it was this individual’s influence that served as a catalyst, at least, to later developments at CMTV regarding the SSPX, etc.
It was in the latter half of 2013 that this same individual began, privately, sending out a new, very negative position CMTV was going to stake out with regard to the SSPX. I’m not going to argue the merits of that position. However, he tried mightily to win me over to his very hostile view towards the Society. I simply don’t see the Society as being a major threat to souls today, certainly not anything that remotely compares to the dangers stemming from the modernists, the Synod, and this pontificate. When I refused to go along, it became apparent that a certain distance would open between myself and that organization, closing off most future avenues for future collaboration. There are other individuals who have experienced the same, that this issue regarding the SSPX and papal criticism was really a make or break one with respect to collaboration with CMTV.
The amazing thing is, privately, some folks at CMTV have, privately, inveighed quite harshly against Pope Franics. It is not a matter of not seeing the manifest problems. In fact I’ve heard some of the key players at CMTV say things regarding Pope Francis (privately) that go much beyond anything I or many others have written. But because they’ve gotten totally twisted off on this notion of “never criticize the pope publicly, no matter what,” and the complimentary notion that any criticism of the Pope will cause huge numbers of souls to “fly” to the SSPX, they refuse to broach this belief in public. Which, frankly, I’m fine with. If CMTV wants to privately counsel souls to avoid the SSPX and point out all the problems they perceive in that organization, fine. If they feel criticizing the Pope is not the right thing for them to do, fine. But they haven’t left it at that. They have waged unremitting war against those who feel differently and have spread ugliness and ill-will far and wide, including among many good people who have been in the struggle to restore the Church far, far longer than Michael Voris or “the funder” have been.
I don’t think I’m alone, but I have noticed a substantial change in demeanor at CMTV. There have been many examples posted of late of prior media content CMTV/RCTV produced that appears to disagree substantially with their current editorial stands. And so much of that prior material was really very, very good! Recently, the episode surrounding Bishop Schneider was frankly humiliating for CMTV. No one outside their most slavish devotees is buying what they’re selling in that bizarre exchange.
But when I say change, I’m referring to something more. I sense a negativity, a sort of dour imperiousness, that didn’t used to be so apparent, did it? I won’t say too much, but personnel is policy, and it could be this is the effect the influence of (a) certain individual(s). Even when castigating some grave scandal in the Church back in 2010 or 2011, Michael Voris had a certain……I’m not sure what the right word is, joyfulness, or a certain amount of levity…….that, to me, showed the love he had in his heart but also that he did not take himself too seriously, just yet. I don’t get that same vibe anymore, what I sense is something darker, more angry. Could it be self-interest? I pray not, and wouldn’t say so, either, just yet. Maybe it’s simply my imagination, but I have to wonder if this combat they’ve chosen to wage against “traditional Catholics” has not taken a huge toll. It is almost impossible to engage in bitter combat and harsh exchanges day in and day out and not be affected by it. I find it increasingly painful to watch a lot of their new content. I am heartbroken they haven’t had the wherewithal to step back, take a broader look at their policies and product, and contemplate taking a different course. That doesn’t have to mean surrender. But just let it drop, no one is convincing anyone of anything, that I can tell.
I’ve been watching their Youtube views, in a casual manner, for some time, and while I certainly could be wrong, their views appear to have dropped off substantially. That would make sense, given that they seem to have had an almost deliberate desire to offend a very large portion of their target audience. They have, to my mind, unnecessarily turned off a lot of people who wished them well and would have gladly been collaborators and supporters. Their content has become, to me, repetitive and increasingly off-target because they refuse to discuss the most pressing topic in the Church today. In fact, it seems increasingly hypocritical to just eviscerate bishops and cardinals, even to the point of declaring them excommunicate and demanding their resignations, while ignoring the man, or men, who put and keep those bishops and cardinals in their positions.
It’s all so sad. I’ve avoided writing on this subject for a long time. Maybe I’ll just spike this post, as I’ve trashed another half dozen like it over the past 12 monts. I’m going to post this time as a sort of cri de couer to CMTV to reexamine their editorial priorities, though, based on some inside experience of their decision-making, I’m skeptical it will do much good. I think their decision-making process is a big part of the problem.
The thing is, I know the staff at CMTV have always been very well-intentioned. In my experience dealing with them up to perhaps 18 months or so ago, they were totally focused on opposing the crisis in the Church, working towards a rightly-ordered restoration, and maintaining a constant focus on the good of souls. I’m sure that’s still the case, and certainly pray that is so. Unfortunately, this particular line of combat they’ve chosen to pursue seems to be increasingly undermining the very good they seek to do. That’s the main point of tragedy in it all.
PS – I have often defended Michael Voris against accusations he is a member of Opus Dei, and that it is his Opus Dei connection that drives his refusal to countenance papal criticism. His first major (or a major early) funder/collaborator, Marc Brammer, was certainly in Opus Dei. I used swear I recalled being told by MV that he is not in Opus Dei and has no affiliation with them
, but my certainty has waned over the past year. Some folks have brought forth a bit of evidence of a connection. At this point I’m still skeptical but who knows. UPDATE: So I went back over some communiques several years old and found what I’d describe as clear and convincing evidence from several years ago that Michael Voris has no connection whatsoever with Opus Dei. I found another defense from much more recently that I think also pretty clearly dispels this accusation. Those put the matter to rest in my mind.
PPS – Another thought. We have seen repeatedly in recent years the deleterious effect celebrity can have on pious Catholics. We all know the experience of Fr. Corapi. It is almost impossible – it takes truly saintly virtue – not to be affected by constant adulation, throngs of people hanging on your every word, tons of subscribers, and all the rest. That is one reason I have refused many, MANY offers to expand “my media presence” by being on more notable radio shows, tying in with much bigger, more widely read blogs, putting my name really out there in the open, etc. In fact, it’s probably THE major reason why I don’t, I know who I am and I would easily fall into that trap should I start to get lots of kudos and affection. The few people who know me, you’re fine, please don’t feel shy, but hopefully you get what I mean, it’s one thing to have 50 or 100 people who know who you are and like your stuff, and another to have 50,000 or 100,000, to be treated as a hero wherever you go.
PPPS – I’m probably going to regret this post. I am not posting this to make enemies, even if I know it is possible it will be viewed that way. I don’t view anyone as an enemy, though I know some who do. I want to repeat that I think everyone on every side in this fracas – Michael Voris, Terry Carroll, Matt, Ferrara, Vennari, the SSPX, the FSSP, etc., all are completely honest actors and doing what they think is absolutely vital according to virtue and what is best for souls. I hope this post will be taken in the same sense. May we all treat each other accordingly.
Ah, well……it’s past time I got this off my chest, anyway.
Sorry, it took me a very long time to write this. I’m out of time.
Which it’s our birthday, precious……. August 25, 2015Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, blogfoolery, fun, non squitur, silliness.
……..and now we are this many:
Flightline Friday – even more self-serving than usual! August 21, 2015Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, awesomeness, Flightline Friday, fun, history, non squitur, silliness, Society, technology.
But it’s my blog and I can do what I want to.
The 2 people who have read these Flightline Friday posts for a while may remember that I have a “thing” for cockpit instrumentation. Especially night shots of same showing all the cool lights and displays. I don’t, say, get excited about a P-51 Mustang cockpit, because there’s not much to see. But anything from the mid-60s on, when cockpits started to get “modern”……….oh yeah.
Yes, I do need a better hobby.
Anyway there has been an upgrade program ongoing for the backbone of the US bomber fleet, the B-1B “Lancer” or Bone. Designed in the late 70s and produced in the mid-80s, its once advanced cockpit instrumentation has become decidedly antiquated. Actually, in many ways its still very functional, but the problem is, nobody builds small monochrome cathode ray tube screens anymore, and it has become impossible to maintain those currently in service as a result So all the old monochrome CRT displays are being replaced with flat-panel active-matrix liquid crystal displays under a program called the Integrated Battle Station (IBS). The first birds arrived at Dyess near Abilene in early 2014 and I believe most of the fleet has now been upgraded.
So, cockpit pics below. The first two are the B-1 as it was, and the remainder are the new displays (all pics can be clicked for higher res):
Now for the upgrades:
Pretty cool stuff. A couple pics below of how the B-52 looks today for comparison. When the 193 B-52Gs were retired, all the avionics were pulled out of them, including the then-20 year old CRT displays. I guess that’s why the B-52 has not been similarly upgraded, at least at the pilot’s stations, they still have a lot of those old leftover G model displays left.
Catechesis against using the Lord’s Name vainly and cussing August 19, 2015Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, Art and Architecture.
I grew up hearing a lot of bad language. It’s a bad habit I’ve always had a problem with. Generally I’m OK, but when I get excited the old ways tend to come back. In the internal forum there is much more cussing than there is in the external one. Fortunately, I have managed to almost totally eschew taking the Lord’s Name in a blasphemous or even vain way.
One time I had a blow up at work. I was really exasperated, and the queen mother of all cuss words flew out of my mouth. It wound up being funny, because my co-workers were all like “Oh no! Something really terrible must have happened, Larry never talks like that.” Unfortunately, they’re not quite right, I just tend to stay on my best behavior in public.
Yes, that’s me, Mr. Dudley Do-Right, a lonely beacon of restraint in a world full of car-crazies (if you can name the reference w/o looking it up, you win a free year’s subscription to this blog).
Now for the formal catechesis, from the Spirago-Clarke Catechism Explained. What some may not consider, is that even relatively innocent expressions like “Good Lord” can suffer abuse through overuse:
God prohibits everything which is a violation of the reverence due to His divine majesty; and in particular, taking the name of God in vain.
Many people have the habit of thoughtlessly exclaiming at every trifle that surprises them: “Good Lord! My God!” and the like. It is a bad habit; correct yourselves of it, and endeavor to correct others also, as it shows a want of due reverence for the name of God. Those who truly love God cannot stand by unmoved and hear His Holy Name profaned. This careless, flippant use of the Name of God or of any other sacred name is at least a venial sin. “Let not the naming of God be usual in thy mouth, for thou shalt not escape free from sin” (Eccl xxiii:10). “The Lord will not hold him guiltless that shall take the name of the Lord his God in vain” (Ex xx:7). “We take good care,” says St. John Chrysostom, “not to wear out our best clothes by putting them on every day; so we must beware lest we thoughtlessly utter the name of God, which is worthy of our profoundest reverence.”…….
Swearing. By this is meant the use of holy names in a moment of anger as an imprecation against certain persons or things.
Should the same mouth wherewith we pray, wherewith we receive the sacred Body of the Lord, be employed to curse our neighbor and offend against God?
A man who indulges in the bad habit of swearing commits many sins, and is in danger of eternal perdition.
The Fathers used to consider swearing as a sign of perdition. Those who curse shall perish (Ps xxxvi:22); they shall not possesss the Kingdom of God (1 Cor vi:10). Ordinary swearing is a venial sin, provided no serious evil is worked to one’s neighbor……..
Blasphemy. Of this sin those are guilty who revile God, His Saints, or speak contemptuously of objects connected with His worship.
Ungodly persons are often heard to utter bitter revilings against God, especially in time of suffering and affliction, as if they did not deserve the trials He sends them. It is blasphemy to speak scornfully of God, or of His actions; or to attribute to a creature what is the prerogative of the Creator……..God says by the mouth of the prophet: “My name is continually blasphemed all the day long” (Is lii:5). [What a terrible thought, but it is unfortunately all too true!] To speak contemptuously of holy places and things is a kind of blasphemy, as a reflection upon God, Whom we are told to praise in His holy places (Ps cl:1).
Sacrilege is another kind of blasphemy. This consists in putting to an improper and degrading use what pertains to the service of God.
The mutilation of statues or defacing of crucifixes is a sacrilege……..Again, those who receive the sacraments unworthily, who appropriate to themselves Church property, or who commit a theft in church, come under the same condemnations. It is said that Jews and freemasons have sometimes obtained consecrated Hosts, which they subjected to horrible profanations,. Such conduct is simply satanic. [Think of the iconoclastic wreckovation of so many parishes over the past several decades. How offensive to God the deliberate and wanton destruction of so many beautiful works of art and aspects of Church architecture all this was!]
Another bit on the masons: In the present day freemasons bind themselves by oath not to express any desire to receive the last sacraments on their death bed. Such oaths are sinful, and highly displeasing to God.