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Another Update on My Boy Benedict February 8, 2017

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin.
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First of all, thank all of you SO MUCH for the enormous outpouring of prayers, Masses, meals, offers of assistance, and many other forms of kindness.  We have been overwhelmed by all the love that has been shown.  Truly this is what defines the sublime, often misunderstood word, Catholic.

My boy is doing quite well at present.  When I walked into the ER yesterday after his seizure he did not know who I was.  He has regained probably 90% of his mental faculties but still has a little way to go.  He’s up and about though, has no more headache, ate a ton…..he’s feeling pretty good at present.

Having said that he has been diagnosed with a brain tumor.  It is still being characterized but signs to date indicate it is most likely not malignant.  He has probably had it for some time, possibly even since birth.  It is also likely the cause for his problems with reading, even though he is an ace at math, science, and religion.

At any rate another night in the hospital with introduction of anti- seizure meds.  Surgery is not thought necessary at this point.  The tumor will be monitored and decisions on surgical intervention made based on how he does and whether it starts to grow or otherwise changes behavior.  It is possible surgery may never be required, but the probability is that it will someday but hopefully not for years.  Till then we’ll just have to trust in God and take it day by day.

Thank you so much for your prayers!  I know you will keep them up, and please do!  This is going to be a long effort.  Only God’s Grace will sustain us through it, and your prayers are a huge part of that.  Thank God that my boy survived a bad seizure and is steadily improving.  Every day, even every hour, is such a blessing. Racing to the hospital 30 miles away Monday morning……..well, I’m sure you can imagine my thoughts.  I have seen so much suffering at the only Level 1 trauma center for children serving a population of 12 million that I know both how blessed I am and how tenuous life is.

I’m happy I could share these updates with my online family.  May God bless and reward you all for your kindness.

My blessing, my boy:

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Update on my boy February 7, 2017

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, family.
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My boy is doing better but he’s far from out of the woods.  Still not entirely himself.

We’re going to be in hospital for some time.  Meningitis has been ruled out, Deo gratias.  But there is something potentially more serious.  We will know more tomorrow.  I thank you so much for your prayers.  Please, in your charity, continue them.

Please pray for my little boy February 6, 2017

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin.
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My boy Benedict had a seizure this morning.  Cause undetermined.  Will be in hospital for some time.  Please pray for him.  I love him so much.

If any priest readers would offer Mass for this intention it would be greatly appreciated.

God bless you all.

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.

Thanks to Reader TT for the Kind Gifts February 1, 2017

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, awesomeness, fun, non squitur, reading, thanksgiving.
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I wanted to give a special shout to reader TT who went through some shipping hassle to send me a very nice gift of all five volumes of The Catechism in Examples off my Amazon wishlist.  That was really generous and unexpected.   Thanks, TT!

I’ve also received some other items from folks who wish to remain anonymous.  I thank you all for everything you have taken the time to send.  My hope is to draw fruitful material from whatever I am sent off the wishlist and share it with readers in posts.  It may take me some time to get around to a particular book, but I will eventually get to it.

It means a great deal to me that people think enough of my prattlings to go to the time and expense to buy me a little something (or a big something).  I do appreciate it!

 

Confession is A Most Vital Sacrament in this Age of Mass Sin and Grievous Error January 30, 2017

Posted by Tantumblogo in abdication of duty, Admin, Basics, Dallas Diocese, different religion, episcopate, General Catholic, priests, Sacraments, self-serving, Spiritual Warfare, the struggle for the Church.
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A few weeks ago, I  did a post announcing Cardinal Burke coming to the Diocese of Dallas to offer Mass on 01/22.  I received some hot criticism of this post, offline.  Those upset over the post were either involved in bringing Cardinal Burke in, or were particular admirers of the pastor of the parish that hosted him.

So, what is at issue in this little local imbroglio?  Confession, and whether I was unfairly harsh towards a local priest my local correspondents feel is very good.  Admittedly, I was pointedly critical in a post that perhaps should have been both happier and more bland, simply announcing the good Cardinal’s upcoming arrival and congratulating those who arranged for his visit (both were in the post, along with some other more critical thoughts).

Now, everyone’s definition of good is relative.  My definition of a good priest in these days starts with offering the TLM, or at least the Novus Ordo in Latin, or having serious aspirations to do either but being frustrated by episcopal obstinance/malfeasance.  Frankly, a handful of exceptions aside, all the extraordinary priests I know are members of explicitly traditional orders.

Taking Confession extremely seriously is requirement #2.  This is what separates the men from the boys in my mind.  Confession is the great ignored, even inconvenient Sacrament of our time.  It is inconvenient because it is a standing rebuke to much of the new theology and ecclesiology that has been imposed on the Church in the past several decades, beliefs that say that whether one is Catholic or not doesn’t count for much, that basically all men are saved, that virtually no one ever commits a mortal sin, etc.  These kinds of beliefs are the primary reason why Confession is so little available.

There used to be a sort of rule of thumb in the Church, back in those dark unreconstructed manualist days before the “sainted” Council, that for every hour of Mass, there should be at least an equal number of hours of Confession.  In fact, most pre-conciliar parishes had priests (plural) in the Confessional before, during, and after virtually every Mass, along with other set times.  This was when the Church, and the souls within, took things like sin and Grace and damnation and redemption very seriously.

But today, in this Diocese as in almost every other, Confession is limited to perhaps an hour a week, if one is lucky, or “by appointment only,” if one is not.  This in spite of the fact that our former Bishop, now Cardinal, Kevin Farrell, repeatedly (and a bit uncharacteristically) exhorted his priests and especially pastors to have more REGULAR hours of Confession.  Many pastors responded to these exhortations, by adding one more hour weekly to the one they already had (such generosity!), while some did not. A few relative heroes did even more, adding maybe 2 or 3 hours more Confession, and staffing those hours with more than one priest.

In the dearth of Confession, the tyranny is in the numbers.  If there is only one priest hearing confessions for one hour a week, and each soul has only 3 minutes with the confessor and there are no gaps in people in the confessional, that one priest can hear 20 confessions a week or 1040  a year.  That may sound like quite a lot, but when you have numerous parishes with 7,000, 8,000, 10,000 souls ostensibly belonging, one can instantly see the problem.  Of course, the reality is different.  What tends to happen is that the same handful of relatively serious souls go to Confession with at least some regularity, while the great mass never go at all.

Couple this with what is known of Catholic belief, even among self-described regular Mass attendees, and the crisis grows into stark relief.  The vast majority of Catholics, regular Mass-goers or not, find nothing immoral in contraceptive use or fornication.  A near majority even think abortion is morally permissible in at least some cases. The large majority are fine with pseudo-sodo-marriage and think divorce and remarriage are perfectly acceptable.  The vast majority believe the Blessed Sacrament to be nothing more than a symbol.  The former, if engaged in personally, constitute grave sins requiring sacramental Confession before the Blessed Sacrament is received (recent emanations from Rome notwithstanding).  The latter places one outside the community of the faithful; reception of the Blessed Sacrament in this state constitutes the horrible sin of sacrilege and again immediate recourse to Confession is vitally necessary.

Taken together, what we have in the Church today is a great mass of people regularly receiving the Blessed Sacrament in a state that St. Paul decried perfectly in 1 Corinthians 11:27-29 (a bit of Scripture infamously and deliberately excluded from the readings of the Novus Ordo Mass), and with little to no means to correct this dire condition.  Adding to that, the very lack of Confession time communicates to the faithful that this is something that isn’t to be taken very seriously.  Writ large, this is very close to what Pope Saint John Paul II decried as the “fundamental option,” the idea that God is infinitely loving (and apparently no longer just) and that virtually no one, if anyone (short of evil right wingers like me) is damned.  That this is utterly contrary to our Blessed Lord’s clear Word as revealed repeatedly in Sacred Scripture and the guidance of vast numbers of Saints and Fathers seems to count for very little these days.  Confession remains generally  unavailable.

Not only that, but we have numerous warnings from the Blessed Mother and many of these same Saints about the number of souls condemned to hell.  While such warnings are widely viewed as quaint relics from a benighted age to most priests and prelates in the Church today, they have been so numerous, so consistent, and so emphatic that to doubt or deny them is a fool’s errand. I certainly do not.  I take these warnings deadly seriously, as I take the biblical types that reveal to us the very small number of the elect, and the great number of the damned.

So, yes, I take Confession very seriously, and its lack of availability as one of the greatest scandals afflicting the Church today.  In fact, lack of Confession and unwillingness to take its vital necessity seriously constitute very large elements of the present crisis in the Faith.  Thus, the great number of souls falling to hell like so many snowflakes, to quote Our Lady of Fatima.

Several years ago, at the time when former Bishop Farrell was making his exhortations, I did a post that summarized the availability of Confession in the Diocese. I checked most every parish.  Some had zero regular hours for Confession.  Most had one.  A few had two.  A tiny handful had somewhat more.  Two parishes stood out as placing a great (or, one might say, adequate) emphasis on Confession.  I’m sure locals know which two those are (Mater Dei, and St. William in Greenville).

So, even as someone who has admitted mistakes and made public apologies in the past, I don’t feel particularly bad about the post announcing +Burke’s visit and Mass.  I didn’t criticize Cardinal Burke in the slightest (in fact I praised him quite a bit), all my critical comments were directed towards confession and the probability, the virtual certitude, that, on a daily basis, souls with unconfessed mortal sins receive the Blessed Sacrament – and the role the diminution of the importance of Confession plays in that.  Perhaps I erred in prudence in combining critical commentary in an announcement post for a happy event.  Perhaps I could have chosen more artful phrases. But if I erred in charity, it was for the souls of those in gravest risk of eternal damnation, preferring their eternal destiny over more human concerns like the feelings of my correspondents or the pastor of the parish I criticized.  Of course, even that may be argued as simply misplaced zeal, but that was my intent, nonetheless.

PS – There were claims I had erred in stating Mary Immaculate – the parish that hosted Cardinal Burke – had only one hour of Confession a week.  That was all that was listed on their website (in addition to “by appointment”). I also perused a few bulletins.  I saw no other times listed.  But apparently, there is a monthly meeting/confab called “Arise” (not entirely unproblematic in its own right) where priests hear Confession.  I have no details as to how many priests are present, or for how long Confession is available.  Whether this constitutes “regular” Confession or not is arguable.  But I thought I’d include this only substantive rebuttal of my arguments for completeness’ sake.

I certainly welcome your comments and appraisal of the matter, if you have any.  Thank you.

 

 

A little self-congratulation – my decade-plus Cowboys prediction remains intact January 18, 2017

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, asshatery, disaster, error, foolishness, It's all about the $$$, non squitur, silliness, Society.
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A brief descent into a non sequitur topic.

At least a decade ago, surveying the carnage Jerry Jones had wrought on my beloved, formerly high-class Dallas Cowboys organization, I made a prediction – so long as he owned the team, the Cowboys would never make another Super Bowl appearance, let alone win one.  I have been part of the anti-Cowboys faction since Jerry fired Jimmy and hired Switzer back in ’93.  That single decision almost certainly cost the franchise at least one Super Bowl win, if not two, and led directly to over a decade in the cellar.  Jerry’s principle sin is pride, he continues to assert that he is a “football guy” and knows talent as well as anyone.  The past 20 years-plus have proven that he’s wrong.

Nevertheless, in spite of being on the outs with the club for a very long time, I did get kind of sucked in this year with the charming stories surrounding Zeke Elliot and Dak Prescott.  But I should have known better.  So long as Jerry remains owner and GM, the Cowboys will be an also-ran.  One playoff win in the past 21 seasons.  Way to go champ!

I’ll never doubt again.

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And it’s not being a fair-weather fan.  It’s having a fundamental hostility to a man who has taken a blowtorch to one of the classiest, best-run, most storied franchises in NFL history, and often behaved as a classless boor in the process.

On the plus side, I am convinced UT made the right move in firing Charlie Strong and bringing in Tom Hermann.  I think he’s going to be an ace.  I wouldn’t doubt if they go +5 or 6 next year compared to last.

Lazy Video Post, Hong Kong Flu Edition January 10, 2017

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, awesomeness, catachesis, Domestic Church, family, General Catholic, Interior Life, Latin Mass, priests, Restoration, the struggle for the Church, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
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I started with a little sore throat Friday, which transitioned to a cough yesterday, and today is full blown Hong Kong Phooey Flu. All you get today is two vids, but they’re both really good, one on the Jezebel spirit and wives rebellion from their husbands……….:

…….and the other from that priest many of us had missed so much these past 2-odd years, on Epiphany, the Holy Family, and the Errors of Russia.  I believe this is new content, from 2016:

There are so often really good book recommendations embedded in this priest’s sermons.

That will be all for today, barring a miraculous recovery, not sure about tomorrow, either.  When I get a high fever, I’m a wimpy as they come.

Any recommendations for home remedies? Pretty sure it is actual influenza, maybe with bronchitis on top.

Your prayers are most appreciated. God bless you!

Prayer Request and Thanks January 5, 2017

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, awesomeness, catachesis, Dallas Diocese, Domestic Church, family, General Catholic, Holy suffering, reading, sadness, Tradition, Virtue.
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A couple of “housekeeping” items, if you will – please pray for A, wife of longtime reader “ADG,” who gave birth to their 9th child a couple of months ago and shortly after developed some serious medical conditions.  She is still recovering and her health remains under 100%.  If you could please add her to your prayers, I know it would be greatly appreciated.

The thanks comes from me, to those who sent me items from my Amazon wishlist and/or a gift certificate.  I thank you very much and feel quite humbled by your generosity.  I have just come across some really good new sources of Catholic catechesis and have added a number of items to my wishlist.  If any feel called to buy something on there for me, all will be greatly appreciated.  Pretty much everything on the list is directly blog related, and if you do send me something, you can rest assured any good material I draw from it will show up on this blog at one time or other.

One of those new items of catechesis is The Catechism in Examples, a five volume set produced by Fr. D. Chisholm and published over 100 years ago in Britain.  Reader SL sent me a link to this massive tome (over 2000 pages!) and it looks really powerful.  Many find the 1990s Catechism painfully dry, and sometimes questionable doctrinally.  I tend to imagine the doctrine in this 100 year old set of volumes will be unimpeachable, while its format is easier to read since it gives concrete examples for each point of doctrine discussed, rather than relaying them in a purely theological way.  The Catechism in Examples is also available at The Internet Archive for free if you happen to read books online.

 

Milo Comes Out As Trad? December 16, 2016

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, awesomeness, General Catholic, Latin Mass, Liturgy, Tradition.
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Ok it’s late and I have 1200 miles to drive tomorrow so I haven’t watched all of it, but I believe noted alt-right counter-insurgent has come out……as a TRAD. Note the comment at 1:25, where he makes a joke of the banality of the Mass in vernacular.  THERE MAY BE FOUL LANGUAGE, BLUE HUMOR AND GAY INNUENDO IN THE BELOW. YOU ARE WARNED:

Note how he plays up Mass in English as a ludicrous proposition. I would not doubt if Milo, from pure aesthetics, if not Doctrine, prefers the TLM, but this possible admission makes me wonder again if he isn’t playing a flamboyantly gay character to give himself more room to maneuver against the totalitarian Left?
The clip overall is a pretty fair defense of the Faith against the pretensions of the diabolical culture and the wholly insane Left.
Please pray for me.  I have miles to go before I rest, and I miss my family and parish terribly.
Dominus vobiscum!