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Flightline Friday: The Best Book on the ATF Program and YF-23, Ever February 24, 2017

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Flightline Friday, foolishness, fun, history, reading, sickness, technology.
10 comments

I did a Flightline Friday about a year and a half ago discussing, among other things, the YF-23 Advanced Tactical Fighter prototype produced by Northrop.  The Advanced Tactical Fighter (ATF) program was initiated in the 1980s by the USAF to produce not just an F-15 replacement, but a fighter that could finally and decisively sweep the skies over Central Europe during an all-out conflict with the Soviet Union.  It was designed to be the most comprehensively advanced and dominant air combat aircraft ever produced.

The program evolved over the course of the 80s.  From many disparate concepts from a whole lot of companies – very few of which exist anymore – the program was eventually narrowed down to a competition between a team led by Northrop (with McDonnell Douglas) and Lockheed (with General Dynamics and Boeing).  Northrop produced the YF-23 (and this was ALL Northrop, McAir had almost nothing to do except some cockpit layout and providing the landing gear from an F-15), and Lockheed the YF-22 (here the situation was entirely different, GD contributed TONS to the Lockheed design and may have saved their bacon.  Lockheed massively redesigned their aircraft proposal in 1987-8, requesting 6 additional months from USAF to do so, because the original concept had so many problems).

At any rate, history shows, for reasons that are still inexplicable to some, that USAF preferred the ugly, block-like YF-22 to the graceful YF-23. Both aircraft had advantages over the other – the YF-23 was faster, in most respects stealthier and had superior supersonic maneuverability, while the YF-22 was better in the close-in, subsonic fight and carried substantially more missiles internally.

Even though the aircraft were designed nearly 30 years ago, much data on them has remained classified.  Particularly classified has been concrete data on the production aircraft proposed by Northrop for the F-23.  The actual production F-23 would have differed significantly from the YF-23, for a variety of reasons, though not nearly so much as the F-22 has wound up differing from the YF-22 (of course, USAF had a great deal to do with that, and details on Lockheed’s original engineering and manufacturing development version of the YF-22 – basically their vision of the production aircraft – have been even harder to find than those of the F-23).

Also somewhat limited has been extensive detail on the numerous other submissions made over the early phase of the ATF program from companies like Grumman, North American (Rockwell), McDonnell Douglas, Boeing, etc.

Well all that has ended, as former Northrop Chief Test Pilot and YF-23 lead pilot Paul Metz has now, in conjunction with Steve Ginter, produced THE seminal book on not only the F-23 but the entire ATF program. And this thing is an absolute gem. I was up way past 1 last night because I could not put the book down.

Just a few of the highlights:

  • Loads of never-before seen photos of ATF submittals and YF-23
  • Incredibly detailed construction drawings of YF-23
  • Extensive sections of the F-23 EMD submittal (upon which the USAF judged the winner of the competition – again, this was the manufacturer’s plan for final production design, maintenance, operations, etc) are repeated
  • Incredibly detailed construction drawings of the F-23 EMD design.  There has been one of these outted before but Metz adds several more
  • Detailed history of YF-23 development including key players involved, like Yu Ping Liu, who designed the aircraft’s stealth characteristics
  • Detailed history of Northrop’s internal design progression towards a stealthy air combat fighter over the years 1971-1986. The YF-23 design was basically fixed by late 1985 (!!)
  • An unprecedented amount of material on the Naval ATF version.  During the late 80s, it was planned that the Navy would buy a navalized version of the ATF winner to replace the F-14.  The end of the Cold War killed that idea.

The book is brand new (hit shelves Christmas last year) and a bit high (~$38).  It’s not real long but it is jam packed with information.  One of the things I have noted from those involved in the YF-23 program is the fact that it was a labor of love, the people working on it really loved each other and the amazing product.  That really shows through in this book, even though Metz eventually went to work for Lockheed and became chief test pilot on the rival F-22 team (after Lockheed won the competition), I get the sense from this book that his heart was always with the F-23.  As well it should have been.  It is still, as of this writing, conceptually the most advanced and capable aircraft ever produced.

A quick addendum: I noted in the post linked in the top some deficiencies with the YF-23 design that may have helped inform USAF’s decision to prefer the F-22 concept.  Because we knew so little about the F-23 EMD proposal, it was assumed some of those problematic features would have remained the same. No more.  The F-23 EMD corrected both the engine fan blade viewing problem and, for the most part, the shortfall of internal carriage of AMRAAMs compared to the F-22 (still would have been one short, but that’s a pretty small difference).  The F-23 EMD was MUCH different from what people thought based on the limited info that was out there.  If anything, it made the aircraft even more attractive.  If only they could have gotten rid of that canopy brace……

yf-23_black_widow_ii_sm

If you have anything more than a passing interest in the F-23 or F-22, get this book.

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Two Short Videos Exposing the Danger and Ignorance of the Left February 22, 2017

Posted by Tantumblogo in asshatery, awesomeness, cultural marxism, disaster, error, foolishness, General Catholic, huh?, rank stupidity, Revolution, secularism, silliness, Society.
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These are both great, and just what I need to kick out a post in 5 minutes!  First, Nigel Farage, key man in the drive towards Brexit in the UK, discusses the destructive influence leftist domination of the schools, where propaganda replaces traditional curricula, and the effect this has had on the “millennial” generation:

“This young generation, who scream words like ‘fascist,’ have actually themselves become the fascists.”

This was from an hour long speech he gave at Hillsdale College.

Next, and even more fun, the increasingly awesome Tucker Carlson utterly eviscerates a clueless and very confused young man who can’t provide a single, verifiable reason for his (and many other’s) unhinged opposition to Trump:

Stupidity like that actually makes me cringe. It’s like fingernails on a chalkboard to me, seeing someone so completely unable to form a rational argument or justify his very strident beliefs.  He is so propagandized he a) can’t think, and b) is only able to repeat the dumb, dense talking points he’s been spoon fed.  The terrifying thing about this is that there are millions, possibly tens of millions just like him, and many of them do not have the excuse of being young or formed in a corrupt, politicized educational establishment.

But that’s precisely the point of gaining control of the schools and indoctrinating children in cultural marxism.  Yuri Bezmenov, one of the architects of cultural marxism in the West and a former KGB agent, says the system is so pernicious those who become captured by it are never – barring some great act of Grace, I suppose – able to escape.  They are literally unable to think independently or critically.  This cultural marxist hold on the education system started in the 50s and 60s, gained firm hold by the late 80s, and has had total dominance since the 90s.  At least parts of three generations have been affected by it, with the latest generation seemingly dominated by this kind of thinking (there are, of course, exceptions).

Carlson has folks like this on about every night, it seems, and similarly crushes and embarrasses them.  Yet they keep coming.  What could motivate someone to do that?  What would cause a young leftist to think they’re the one who will finally give Carlson his comeuppance? Diabolical narcissism.

Powerful Sermon: Martyrdom on the Installment Plan February 22, 2017

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, catachesis, Domestic Church, General Catholic, Grace, Holy suffering, Interior Life, martyrdom, priests, sanctity, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
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Wonderful sermon below from that priest who, for nearly two years, was much missed online as his sermons were no longer posted, but who returned late last year with good, new, relevant catechesis.

Most of us will not “get” to be red martyrs like so many of the greats from the early Church.  Father relates the life and death of St. James Intercisus, a figure in the Zoroastrian court of Persia who became Catholic, apostasized under threat of loss of wealth and power, and then was martyred when he returned to the Church of Jesus Christ.  Few of us will face such a dramatic test (though, the way the world is going, who knows!).  One thing is for certain, those who have the strength of faith to be blood martyrs, almost universally were already experiencing many white martyrdoms in death to self as they grew in sanctity and self-denial on their path of sanctification through cooperation with God’s Grace.  For those of us who will never have the final test of a blood martyrdom, these white martyrdoms – smaller or larger acts of self-denial and overcoming of attachments on a daily basis (martyrdom on the installment plan) – are all we shall have to grow in virtue, reject sin and vice, and develop in sanctity.  They are thus everything for our salvation.

Put much more briefly, is something, like our faith, is worth dying for, is it not worth living for?

Men should pay particular attention to 20:30 – 23:40 where Father talks of common failures in virtue and attachments to sin, especially those men lost in addiction to porn.  Even numerous, regular Mass-going Catholic men have severe problems with impurity, self-abuse, and addiction to porn.  That addiction can be all but impossible to overcome if a man walks around with a little porn theater in his pocket (smart phone).  Far from fleeing it, he literally carries his near occasion of sin with him.

Father notes that such men, even if they go to Confession, likely do not receive absolution, because so long as he carries this deadly occasion of sin with him everywhere he goes, and sleeps with it next to his bed at night, perhaps, he is constantly involved in a near occasion of sin that, practically speaking, invalidates any act of contrition he attempts to make.

I should add, increasingly, this mass moral scandal afflicts not only men but even some women.  Exposure to porn and involvement in the moral sewer of the hookup culture and so much of today’s society has even reduced what was once the mighty bulwark of feminine propriety to the level of what would have been the most lust-addled, out of control man from a few decades ago.

As an aside, I think that is part of the reason why Trump’s “p*$$y” comment set so many women off it precipitated some of the largest demonstrations this nation has ever seen.  Trump did not say he does this, nor that he advocates others go about “grabbing” certain regions of the anatomy – he said women would even let him do that, because he is so rich and famous.  He was certainly bragging and probably exaggerating, but how many of those women out there demonstrating, if they found themselves alone with one of the richest, most powerful men in the world, would really reject his advances?  How many have already given themselves away at firesale prices (heck, often for free, nothing more than the cost of a brief phone call or a couple of texts) to just regular ol’ dudes, if not outright losers?  I think the reaction against that offhand, supposedly off-the-record comment reveals far more what women think of themselves, than it says of what they think of Trump. You could see this in the unhinged behavior at many of the protests and especially the proliferation of women, publicly, reducing themselves to nothing more than a small part of their anatomy.  But I digress.

Having said that, there is a line between a man struggling to come to terms with whether he has a porn addiction, or occasionally/rarely falling into the sin of porn viewing on his smart phone, and one who is so lost that he can no longer make a valid act of contrition so long as he keeps his smart phone.  There is a potential to err on the side of harshness, here, but I’m glad Father said what he did because very few men are aware of the fact that they could fall into a state this dire.

Also note, it is not simply sins against the 6th and 9th Commandments that create conditions where contrition is invalidated.  ANY severe attachment to a repetitive sin – drunkenness, contraceptive use, actual adultery, etc., – can involve such constant contact with sin/a near occasion of sin that it places great questions on having true contrition.  I wouldn’t freak out about this, but it’s something to be cognizant of and watch against.  Are our phones worth losing salvation? For many men, they may well be.

But it’s certainly not just the lay people with problems.  Priests, bishops, and most others with formal apostolates in the Church do not act as if they believe any substantial part of the Doctrine of the Faith.  They don’t act as if Christ is really present in the Eucharist, nor that damnation can happen to lots of people, that hell exists, that God is really concerned about all of our individual acts, etc.  They believe a politically correct, politically motivated, societally-acceptable version of the faith.  And they lead souls to hell by their millions through their failures.

There’s so much here that I could write several thousand words but hopefully you’ve gotten a flavor for what’s in the sermon.  Let me know what you think.

People always ask me what this priest’s name is.  I won’t tell you, but folks, if you’re really interested and you listen to more than a few of his sermons with any degree of attention, he pretty much ID’s himself.  Don’t write it here, but you’re smart, I’m sure you can figure it out.

Fr. Rodriguez Gives Catechesis on the Message of Our Lady of Fatima February 22, 2017

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, catachesis, family, Father Rodriguez, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Holy suffering, Interior Life, Our Lady, persecution, priests, sanctity, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
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I’m seriously behind so I have not been able to watch more than a little of this, but it’s Father Rodriguez, so I have no compunction about giving this a clear endorsement even though acting a bit from ignorance at this point. I will listen to it sometime this week, God willing.

This is another lecture intended for children but judging from the comments I’ve seen adults derive as much or more value from it than the kids.  I wanted to get this out while it was new and before I forgot about it.  I’ve literally got about 20 pages open right now on stuff I’d like to post, plus a whole slew of excerpts from a book on the writings of Msgr. Joseph Clifford Fenton, probably the best theologian this nation has ever produced.

So forgive me if I don’t provide an encapsulation of this video, I simply haven’t the time right now.

If readers watch it please leave comments and let us know what you think!  I’ll try to update the post once I do get a chance to watch more than the first few minutes.

Great Rebuke of Hollyweird by One of Their Own February 17, 2017

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, cultural marxism, General Catholic, Immigration, pr stunts, scandals, secularism, sickness, silliness, Society.
5 comments

Robert Davi is a name many people may not remember, but his face would likely be immediately recognized by any who grew up in the 80s or 90s.  He played the bad guy or a character actor in a wide variety of movies from Goonies to License to Kill to Die Hard.  A man who had a bit of a troubled youth (hardly rare in this day), as he has aged he has become an increasingly devout Catholic and an outspoken conservative.

He gave the response below to Meryl Streep’s tirade against Trump’s limited travel ban (nearly identical to one Obama had implemented years ago), and it’s beautiful.  He’s exactly right, it’s time for Hollywood to stop with the words and make with the action, and start opening up their awards shows, banquets, private parties, and even homes to illegal immigrants and muslim “refugees:”

I have recently been pondering President Trump’s executive action with regard to our nation having extreme vetting and our immigration policy finally being enforced. It has pained me deeply to see such a violent reaction to something that, to my mind, makes absolute common sense.

Let me begin by saying that I am from a family of immigrants that came to this country for a better life. They came to the US “legally,” assimilated, integrated, and learned English to the best of their ability, and demanded we speak it. As we all know, we live in a time in which there are forces who wish to destroy our way of life…….

……..We have recently heard from a plethora of Hollywood stars on this issue — Meryl Streep, Robert DeNiro, Ashley Judd, Madonna, major agencies, musicians, singers and even the indomitable Shia LaBeouf. After much prayer on this issue, I must now stand in solidarity with all of my Hollywood elite brethren. They are right! The rest of you are wrong!

It is now in this spirit that I make an appeal to all in Hollywood and the media for us to use the Oscars to take a stand for the entire world to see and hear. It is time for Hollywood to lead the way.

I propose that Meryl Steep, Chelsea Handler, Richard Gere, Robert DeNiro, Christoph Waltz and others lead an Oscar first: let’s do away with the rules, barriers, and tickets to the Oscars and after-parties, such as the swanky Vanity Fair party or the Weinsteins’ star-studded affair. I ask all migrants, all illegal immigrant criminals and all un-vetted refugees to converge on Hollywood to come to the Oscars and all the after-parties, even those held at the mansions or the Chateau Marmont or anywhere else. After all, we in the Hollywood community want to show all Islamic extremists that we have love in our hearts — and what better way to do that than by inviting them along on our most important night?

It’s time the walls and electronic security gates come down. There are roughly 3,600 seats to the Oscars; we should have at least 2,500 seats reserved for illegal aliens, refugees and migrants, or maybe even more. [And bring ’em right in off the desert or aircraft.  No showers, no makeovers, show the world the reality of today’s burqa-clad Arabic screaming “refugee” and the man who spent 5 days crossing barren desert with only 8 women to rape along the way for relief.  Let him keep that knife he used for “hunting”, too] For those celebrities skipping the ceremony, each should invite at least 100 illegal aliens, refugees or migrants to come to their home to watch the Oscars with them. The Academy and the Vanity Fair people should also get the 150 criminals who have recently been deported from Los Angeles and bring them to the show as honored guests.

I find it curious that when President Obama did the same exact thing — and more — in terms of enforcing the law on illegal immigration, the Hollywood elite were silent. Why were they silent then, but are so vocal now when President Trump is doing basically the same thing? Is Hollywood racist? Why — when Christians are being slaughtered in Syria, Iraq, and other places in the Middle East — is Hollywood silent?

Of course, the people that wish death upon Christians, Jews, gay people and the West are greeted with open arms by the elite in Hollywood — so why can’t they come to our Oscar parties?

Additionally, I am now pleased to announce that Hollywood and the recording industry no longer require the protection of the Men in Blue at any of their events! We do not need a country of laws; only a country of illegal immigrants, refugees and migrants. How dare we ignore the words inscribed on the Statue of Liberty: “Give me your tired, your poor,
your huddled masses yearning to breathe free…”

So now, we ask you all: please come to the Oscars on February 26th at the Dolby Theater on Hollywood Boulevard. We welcome you to our homes with open arms and love in our hearts. Together, let us celebrate the Progressive left and its policies, which have helped make blue collar America Tired, Hungry, and Poor.

And the Oscar goes to…

 

With love in my heart,

Robert Davi

That was awesome.  Good for him.

 

Texas Lt. Gov. Tells NFL to Buzz Off Over Transgender Bathroom Interference February 17, 2017

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, It's all about the $$$, persecution, secularism, sexual depravity, sickness, Society, true leadership, Virtue.
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Many people, even Texans, are not be aware that by far the most influential/powerful office in Texas state government is that of Lieutenant Governor.  The Lieutenant Governor sets the legislative agenda and has a powerful rule-making position in the state senate.  The office of governor is much more of a figurehead position that holds only limited powers, the ability to veto legislation being probably the foremost of these.

With that in mind, it is significant that legislation was proposed last month for the upcoming legislative session that would allow private enterprises to set their own policies with regard to this insane “let’s let deranged grown men use the same bathroom as little girls” issue that came to the fore last year under heavy pressure from the Obama administration.  Schools and some other public entities would be required to maintain single-sex restrooms.

Shortly after the most recent Super Bowl, which took place in Texas, the NFL decided to huff and puff over this grievous offense to their increasingly radical left-wing sensibilities.  An NFL official threatened that should the bill pass, the NFL would block awarding future Super Bowls to the state.  Many noted the irony of the timing – they only spoke out after the Super Bowl occurred.

Was Lt. Governor, a stalwart pro-lifer, going to be swayed by this attempted influence?  No, no he was not:

Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick told the National Football League to “get out of politics” and “not tell states what their public policy is” Wednesday after the NFL warned the state about moving forward with a transgender bathroom bill.

Just one week after the NFL held the Super Bowl in Houston, league spokesman Brian McCarthy issued a statement advising the state of Texas to carefully consider whether or not to pass Senate Bill 6, also known as the Texas Privacy Act. The bill, which was proposed in January, allows businesses to choose their own bathroom policies while prohibiting schools from allowing students to use bathrooms or locker rooms whose specified gender does not match their biological sex.

“The NFL needs to get out of politics. They need to stick to their business,” Patrick said Wednesday on “The Laura Ingraham Show.” “Does [NFL Commissioner] Roger Goodell, who didn’t care about people not respecting the national anthem, who took a while to come down on domestic violence — does he support boys and girls showering together in the 10th grade? Is that what the NFL is for?”

Although the bill was proposed in January, the NFL conveniently waited until the Super Bowl occurred in Texas a month later before issuing its political statement……..

……….But because the NFL is not a school, the Texas Privacy Act would allow the league to institute its own bathroom policies as it sees fit……

 ……”We’re a free enterprise state. If a business wants to be as stupid as Target and run off their business and see their stock drop 25 percent, let them do it,” Patrick said, referencing Target’s decision last year to announce that its patrons could use whichever restroom they wished. [Nice. Thank you.]
“We say that no school can have a policy that boys and girls share showers, locker rooms, and bathrooms. So the NFL thinks that’s discriminatory?” Patrick said. “If Roger Goodell is worried about our bill, then why doesn’t he announce that next season every stadium in the NFL is going to allow men in the ladies’ room? I don’t think that would fly with any of the NFL owners. The NFL needs to just stand on the sideline and not tell states what their public policy is.”
Well, should the legislature follow through and pass this bill as is generally expected, Texas can descend, along with North Carolina, even further into that basket of irredeemable deplorables that are so hated.
Here’s an idea – if we’re so rotten and evil, why not just let us leave and go our own way?

Start 90 Day Special Devotion for Fatima Apparition TODAY (02/13/17) February 13, 2017

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, Domestic Church, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Holy suffering, Interior Life, Latin Mass, mortification, Novenas, Restoration, sanctity, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
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This special Novena was put together by Fr. Richard Heilman of the Diocese of Madison, WI.  This is a 90 day Novena running from the start of Septuagesima to May 13, the 100th anniversary of the first apparition of Our Lady of Fatima.  Fr. Heilman has set up a special website for this effort (Nineveh 90), but, unfortunately, it seems to be down right now, at least for me.  However, much of the same content has gone up on his blog.  I’ll let Father explain the purpose of this special 90 day effort of prayer and mortification, which runs through Septuagesima and Lent and on into Easter:

Nineveh 90 – the 90 days from February 13 to May 13 – is inspired by the excellent program – Exodus 90 – designed exclusively for men by Fr. Brian Doerr and others. I strongly encourage men to sign-up for Exodus 90 (sign-up HERE), and use it for our 90-day journey.

For our Nineveh 90 journey, which includes both men and women, we are embracing the great values of mortification, a support system, and the research in the behavioral sciences that says 90 days is about the time needed to change bad habits. We will also be using some of the tried and true supernatural elements. Namely, the Brown Scapular, 54 Day Rosary Novena, and the 33 Day Preparation for Marian Consecration.

THE NINEVEH 90 CHALLENGE BEGINS FEBRUARY 13

“Consecration Day” will be on May 13, the 100th Anniversary of Our Lady of Fatima.

Nineveh 90 – Ten Elements

  1. For these 90 days, resolve to let go of repetitive sin you struggle with (e.g., masturbation, over-eating, alcohol, etc.)
  2. Wear Brown Scapular (Scapular Medal allowed) – Akin to Sackcloth
  3. Daily Mass (This is more of an encouragement, as many cannot do this)
  4. Confession (at least once a month … immediately following grave sin)
  5. Support System: Create or join a “Nineveh 90 Squad” of 3-8 people. Meet 1-3 times per week (in person or online). Join together with an “Accountability Buddy.” Meet daily or, at least, 3 times a week.  [That’s……..really frequent.  I don’t have a problem with having some accountability but I think this might be a bit aggressive for busy families]
  6. Daily Prayer
    • Morning Offering
    • Angelus (6,Noon,6)
    • Rosary
    • Holy Hour (or at least 20 minutes)
    • Bedtime Prayers
  7. For 90 Days, Commit to …
    • Regular and intense exercise (this may be one of the greater challenges for many)
    • Seven hours of sleep is essential
    • No alcohol
    • No desserts & sweets
    • No eating between meals
    • No soda or sweetened drinks
    • No television or movies (news allowed)
    • Only music that lifts the soul to God
    • No televised sports (one per week allowed)
    • Limit recreational computer time (only use for personal needs and fulfillment. May be needed for Nineveh 90 too)
  8. 54 Day Rosary Novena (Basic Training in Holiness) – February 13 to April 7
  9. 33 Day Preparation for Consecration – April 10 (Monday of Holy Week) to May 12
  10. Marian Consecration – May 13, 2017. 100th Anniversary of Our Lady of Fatima

Prayer Intention for 54 Day Rosary Novena: Personal Holiness and for the Roman Catholic Church.

Sundays and Solemnities: may be a day of relaxed discipline, but not abandoned. (Sleep in an extra hour, cream in your coffee, a dessert, a beer, etc.)

Fasting: Wednesdays and Fridays (Water/Juice and bread only, if medically allowed, otherwise as is outlined by the USCCB)

Father Heilman claims 10,000!! have signed up to take part in this.  That’s some serious penance and prayer going on.  I didn’t officially sign up but plan on joining my wife in doing most all of the above.  Internet will be hard, along with the 2 days of old school fasting.  I will try one and see how it goes.  I’m soft, I know.  Actually in the past I’ve let myself do more “positive” penances – go and do a bunch of extra things, do good works, etc! – rather than “negative” ones in taking things away, though I’ve done my share of that, too, especially relative to the comfy chair Church of today.

Intentions behind this effort, apart from desperately needed personal sanctification, are the restoration of the Faith and the overcoming of the many threats which seem to be coming together in this most significant of years, 2017.  Join in these prayers and penances (many of which I know most of you already perform regularly, or would as part of Septuagesima and Lent) to offer up graces for the conversion of Church leadership and the reinstitution of sanity and piety at all levels of the Church.

I do know some may have concerns about continuing hard penances beyond Lent and into Easter.  I, too, have some trepidation over that, especially during the Octave itself, when every day is a literal continuation of the greatest, most glorious solemnity in the Church.  I think those who are troubled at the prospect of rigorous penance and self-denial during this holiest, most joyful season of the year could substitute more positive acts or switch over to more prayer and less penance.  This is perhaps something to review with your particular confessor/spiritual director as the time nears.  For now, all the activities listed above are eminently suited for Septuagesima and Lent and I highly encourage your partaking in them.

I may try to run the penance during Easter bit past Fr. Rodriguez to see what he counsels.  I’ll report back anything I learn.

 

My Son Is Home and Doing Well February 13, 2017

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, awesomeness, Domestic Church, family, Glory, Grace, thanksgiving.
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Miraculously well, in fact.  He appears perfectly normal now.  Such a miracle.  We have a very long road to travel but at this point it is smooth and happy.  May God be pleased to allow it to remain so.

Not much to update from my last one, Benedict has a tumor, it will be characterized and understood and checked for changes, but if nothing negative occurs no dramatic intervention will be undertaken.  For now just a whole bunch of tests and doctor’s visits and regular monitoring.  He experienced no problems at all with his anti-seizure meds, so Deo Gratias for that.  There have been no seizures since Monday.

We did have a scare shortly after coming home.  He ate some nuts, to which he has developed a really severe allergy, apparently, and he had severe stomach cramps and vomited.  Of course, we couldn’t know for certain at the time whether this sickness was due to the tumor, medication, or what he had eaten.  Turns out to have been the latter.

Since then, he’s been golden.  He had a great weekend playing with friends and siblings.  Doctors say he can be fully normal, no kid gloves required.  His feet, over which so many doctors and nurses remarked because they were so calloused, scarred, and dirty (something they don’t see so much anymore), went right back to being black.  IOW, normal for a 7 year old boy.

In short, he’s doing great, it’s a miracle, and your prayers and support have been more appreciated than I can possibly convey.  Please keep praying for my little buddy, as I know you will, this is not a situation that is likely to resolve itself quickly.  Right now we’re just trying to really enjoy every moment.  We’ve had some very good times the past few days.

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Some Nice Traditional Catholic Culture For You February 3, 2017

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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