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The USS Liberty Incident as a Basis for anti-Israel US Policy November 8, 2019

Posted by Tantumblogo in fightback, General Catholic, pr stunts, secularism, sickness, Society, the struggle for the Church.
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This post both got too long and is some deep-inside baseball stuff on small aspects of the conservative movement.  But, I’m a Youtube addict and this is a matter that is attracting much attention, there.  It has to do with fringe elements of the conservative movement among younger millenials and Zoomers and their criticisms of more mainstream conservatism. I agree with much of what they have to say but disagree on one particular element.  That’s not even true, I don’t mind changing US policy towards Israel, but I just don’t see how it’s germane to the other topics, or why it needs to be such a huge focus of their attention, and I think it is a very dangerous game that could lead to severe damage not just to these youngsters but the entire conservative agenda and even the re-election chances of Donald Trump. At any rate, the part on the Liberty is in italics, you can read just that if you want.  The whole thing is probably TL;DR.

I have seen a growing movement online among primarily young men – many of them under the influence of E. Michael Jones and also the  Youtube personality Nick Fuentes (who presents as an orthodox if not traditional Catholic) – who are vociferously criticizing slightly more mainstream conservatives such as Matt Walsh, Ben Shapiro, Charlie Kirk, and others at various public events.  They call themselves “groypers” and they advocate an “America First” vision of conservatism which is very similar to certain strains of pre-WWII conservatism in the US.  That is, they advocate for a much more isolationist foreign policy, they are extremely concerned over the threat posed to this nation’s culture (such as it is) and government by unconstrained immigration, legal and illegal, and they have very strong criticisms towards Israel that, at times, seem to tip into anti-semitism, though the “groypers” deny the charge.  While there is much to admire in this movement, I believe this anti-Israel stand is ultimately going to prove counterproductive and even destructive of their aims.

Tactically speaking, there is no way to get labeled an “alt-right” fascist quicker than to start throwing rhetorical bombs at Israel.  There is certainly room for criticism of US policy towards Israel, but given the bias in the media, the historical past, and the, how shall I say, extreme friendliness of the political/cultural elite in the current culture towards Israel and Zionism generally, making loud and very brash and broad criticisms of Israel is a very short path towards getting your movement labeled extremist, fascist, Nazi-like, etc.  That may not be fair, but it’s the reality.

As I said, there is much to admire in these “groypers.”  They are well organized, dedicated, and largely coherent.  I have no problems with, and indeed strongly concur on a number of the policy positions they advocate, especially those related to immigration.  I believe at this time and place in American history, we need to not only control illegal immigration but put in place a practical moratorium on legal immigration for a period of 20 or 30 years, to allow for assimilation of those teeming millions who have flooded our country over the past 50 years.  I also have no problem with a more coherent and thoughtful foreign policy that gets away from the “troops first, ask questions later” mentality of the past 18 years.  That has gotten us nowhere in terms of advancing American interests and has indeed led to the needless expenditure of trillions of dollars and thousands of lives.  It has left the Mideast much worse off, from a geopolitical standpoint, than it was 20 years ago.

But many Americans, myself included, are probably more than a little confused what Israel has to do with any of this.  The “groypers” claim that the US involvement in the Mideast has been done at Israel’s behest, but this is a case they are far from proving, and in fact they tend to resort to hand-waving very quickly when questioned.  When asked why the US should stop supporting Israel with – frankly speaking, relative to the federal budget – paltry sums of a few billions dollars a year (about $4 billion).  Most of that money winds up coming back to the US in the form of the purchase of defense hardware.

The ”groypers” frequently insist that Israel is not the US’ friend and that we have no business supporting them.  While this is a highly debated question and one I don’t need to go into now, one of their primary justifications for this claim is the USS Liberty incident.  In this, I’m afraid they err, and quite possibly, tip their hand more than they intend to.

The attack on the USS Liberty on June 8, 1967, is one of those incidents in history that has attracted far more attention and controversy than it has any right to.  A US surveillance ship in international waters was attacked by Isreali fighter aircraft on the 4th day of the Six Day War.  Israeli aircraft were constantly traversing this region of the Mediterranean going to and from targets in Egypt, whose military they obliterated in the course of a few days.  The USS Liberty was in the area under NSA orders to gather intelligence on both sides, but particularly the Egyptians, who used mostly Soviet hardware.  The ship was strafed and torpedoed repeatedly, with 34 men killed, 171 wounded, and the ship almost sunk.

Israel quickly apologized for the attack and paid some degree of compensation, but ever since, many people, including a number of the Liberty’s survivors, have claimed that the vessel was deliberately attacked by Israel, for what reason is never quite made clear, or makes much sense.  The US was at that time Israel’s largest and just about only ally.  How Israel would benefit from this attack is also far from clear. 

But, some survivors and those who feel the attack was deliberately made claim, Israel had to know it was a US ship!  It was flying an American flag!  Israel had been notified of the ship’s presence!  Unfortunately, the notification of the ship’s presence never made it to the Israeli Air Force and the squadron involved in the attack.  False reports of Egyptian ships shelling Israeli units in Sinai caused alarm in Israel’s chain of command.  Aircraft were dispatched to investigate.  They found the Liberty, and attacked.

But still, the flag!  They should have known it was a US ship!  Also, the Liberty was a converted freighter, which looks nothing like a warship.  They should have, they must have known. 

This is where a little knowledge of military history enters in.  In fact, misidentification of ships by aircraft is a constant, severe, and ongoing problem.  Air force pilots are rarely well trained in ship identification.  Even naval aviation pilots often make severe mistakes.  How severe? A few examples:

  1. British pilots attacked US ships in several of the Malta convoys during WWII in the same region – the Mediterranean.
  2. US pilots at Coral Sea, the Eastern Solomons, Santa Cruz, and the Philippine Sea constantly misreported attacks. The Japanese did the same in all these battles, and more.  The Japs sank USS Neosho, an 8000 ton oiler, at the Coral Sea, and thought they had sunk the USS Lexington, a 40,000 ton, 900 foot long aircraft carrier (they did, later).  US pilots reported sinking battleships and aircraft carriers when they had actually slightly damaged a freighter or a destroyer.  US pilots attacked US ships.  German pilots attacked Italian ships.  This kind of thing happened all the time.  There were literally dozens of such incidents. 
  3. At the invasion of Sicily, Allied warplanes attacked allied ships of the invasion fleet right off the coast, in spite being briefed that is exactly where they would be!

And these were largely aircraft piloted by very experienced men who were experts in identifying ships!  It goes to show how incredibly difficult it is to ID a ship from a fast moving aircraft.  And fast moving is very relative.  Those mistakes in WWII were made by men flying aircraft at perhaps 250 kts.  A jet fighter will be going twice that speed, making identification all the more difficult. During the infamous Gulf of Tonkin incident, Vice Admiral and later Vice Presidential candidate James Stockdale came within an ace of unloading his ordinance on a US destroyer, mistaking it for a North Vietnamese PT boat, which is about 1/6th the size of a destroyer. 

The same applies to the torpedo boats which attacked the Liberty.  While not as common as aircraft friendly fire attacks on ships, in the fog of war instances of “blue on blue” or accidental attacks by surface ships are still quite frequent.  During WWII, the motor torpedo boats – PT boats in US parlance – were a frequent source of accidental, US-on-US attacks.  One particularly famous incident was during the 2nd Naval Battle of Guadalcanal, when the US’ best battleship admiral in history, Willis Augustus Lee, had to make an emergency, plain-language, unencrypted call to the nearby PT boat squadron base to keep them from attacking his ships.  And that, too, was a close run thing.  Now, most of these same side surface ship attacks occurred at night, when visibility is of course much worse, but they have been known to happen at day.  So, what happened with the Liberty is not all that surprising.

And I think that’s one of the reasons this has become such a persistent conspiracy theory, one maintained, to a large degree, by some of the Liberty’s survivors.  If I’m right, their suffering and the deaths of their friends were the result of an accident, and thus devoid of meaning.  That’s a hard thing to take.  It’s too much for some people.  So, instead of accepting this likelihood, they have created a mythos that the attack was deliberate.

The “groypers”, almost every time they bring up Israel, have referenced this attack as a reason why the US should have a neutral, if not hostile, attitude towards that nation.  The Liberty incident seems to play a major role in their ideology regarding Israel.  But I think the evidence overwhelmingly indicates this an entirely false premise.

And, as I said, I think it’s a serious mistake tactically, and I think it points to some unfortunate biases that have crept into their thinking.  It is not an understatement to note that E. Michael Jones has laid much, if not almost all, of the blame for the current collapse of Christendom at the feet of the perfidious Jews.  Much of his analysis is based on conspiratorial reads of historical and cultural developments and points towards a deliberate destruction of that culture perpetrated by one group of people.  As I indicated above, many of these “groypers,” including two of their leaders, are very open about the degree to which they are influenced by Jones, which is far more than slightly.  Thus, it is perhaps not entirely surprising that some of those they are attacking react by calling them anti-semites. At least some of the “groypers” were previously involved in the increasingly marginalized “alt-right” of extreme racist and anti-Semite Richard Spencer.  The “groypers” purported outrage, then, at being called anti-semitic is perhaps at least somewhat disingenuous.

Again, this is not to say that all criticism of Israel is out of bounds, nor that it is unacceptable to suggest completely changing US policy with regard to that nation.  It’s more  how they’ve done it, and the degree to which they have made it such a focus of their rhetoric, exclaiming that those who support Israel are guilty of “dual loyalty” (a very old anti-semitic trope), etc.

I also have a problem with another aspect of their tactics, which is the zero-sum game mentality, which holds that in order for them to rise, they must tear others down.  Number 1 “groyper” Fuentes goes on for hours almost nightly about how they must essentially destroy the reputations and influence of the likes of Charlie Kirk, Ben Shapiro, Steven Crowder, Matt Walsh, Dan Crenshaw, etc., in order to “get a seat at the table” and advance this supposed “America-first” agenda.  Now, I can understand on some level this desire, as conservatism has been cursed for decades with leadership that is full of lying, self-serving fools who disdain the base and their views and only play at being conservative for long enough to get elected or their cushy, “Conservative, Inc”  jobs. Indeed, Fuentes does make some distinctions, and seems to recognize that some people are much more honest and convicted conservatives than others.  He seems to have particular ire for Charlie Kirk/Turning Point USA and Dan Crenshaw, who he thinks are RINO shills with no real conservative principles.  So, some of these people may need to be exposed.

But……….the “groypers” have laid traps for other, much more stalwart conservatives like Shapiro, Walsh, and Crowder.  I think this kind of internecine, destructive warfare is not helpful in the long run.

Which is why the thought has crossed my mind that some or much of this “groyper” movement might be plants – just as the leftists loved the “alt-right” and Richard Spencer and gave him a platform every chance they could, in order to try to discredit conservatives generally as hateful, fascist bigots.  I would not say I’m convinced of their being plants, not even close, really, but it is something I will continue to ponder as I observe the actions of the “groypers.”

Highlight from First Pontifical High Mass in Dallas Diocese in over 50 Years October 24, 2019

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, Dallas Diocese, episcopate, fightback, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, priests, Restoration, sanctity, Spiritual Warfare, thanksgiving, the struggle for the Church, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
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Probably quite well over.  I don’t know when Bishop Gorman offered the last Pontifical High Mass, but it had to be before 1969.

The Mass was wonderful.  I had never assisted at one before, and didn’t know quite what to expect, but it was essentially a Solemn High Mass with additional elements according the presence of a bishop.  It lasted about 2 1/2 hours including the introductory processing in of Bishop Schneider and the additional prayers he made before vesting.  It was very beautiful. We arrived an hour early and queued up to get seats in our too small parish church.  Even though there an hour early, there were easily 200 people in line in front of us.  So, we sat towards the back.

Unfortunately, I forgot my phone (after deliberately leaving it charging right by the door specifically so I would NOT forget it) and I had to use my wife’s, which……….is set up very different from mine, had no memory left, and was also low on power.  So, with the pics and video, you get what you get.  Complaining won’t solicit any more, though if you’re on Facebook I think the parish will have professionally shot photos and videos of the event there.  My rather poor stuff below:

Processing in:

Preliminaries, vesting:

Part of the sermon on the life of Blessed Karl:

Recessional 1:

Recessional 2:

A number of photos from the Mass:

WordPress seems to not be liking many of my pics and refuses to upload them.  I may try again later, but I only have so much time and have other topics I’d like to get to today.

Praise the Lord! Hardy Souls Toss Pagan Idol “Pachamama” Installed in Vatican Church into the Tiber – UPDATED October 21, 2019

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, error, fightback, Francis, General Catholic, manhood, Restoration, Revolution, the struggle for the Church, Tradition, true leadership, Victory, Virtue.
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[UPDATE at bottom.  The men who removed the offensive statues have issued a statement to Life Site News.

My only criticism, is that they should have smashed them first.  Those idols are long and thin, made of wood.  Even an exotic Amazonian hardwood like bloodwood should have been breakable, but, hey, I’ll shut up.  These two guys are heroes.  I don’t want to hear about theft or sin, this was an unbearable offense against God and Holy Mother Church and had to come to precisely this end, just as some good University of Dallas (UD) students stole a blasphemous depiction of Our Blessed Mother from a horrid art exhibit that occurred about a decade ago, when former diocesan and university administration tried turning UD from a generally solidly Catholic college – as intended and founded by good Bishop Gorman, RIP – into something much more worldly, leftist, and fallen.  Fortunately, they mostly failed, though some harm was done to the university and its reputation (full disclosure, my daughter attends UD).

But I demure.  First, the video of the heroic act, then, some commentary by Taylor Marshall, who I had the pleasure of speaking with yesterday after the beautiful Pontifical High Mass at Mater Dei:

Now, some commentary from Dr. Taylor Marshall, who gives some historical context for this act, which is in the tradition of many saintly defenders of the Faith.  In fact, destroying false idols has constantly been a hallmark of stalwart defenders of the Faith for centuries.  It is only of this time of unprecedented heresy, blasphemy, cultural rot and institutional decay within the Church that such ridiculous acts like installing pagan idols in Catholic parishes would not be met with an instant fury of righteous indignation and immediate concrete acts to remove the offending idols. An act like this required great resevoirs of the masculine virtues, and in spite of the calamitous collapse of such virtues among men particularly and all souls generally in the past 200 years or so, it is extremely gratifying to know that some men still possess them.  I am extremely heartened that, after 2 weeks, some hardy souls (finally?) acted:

Say a prayer for these good men, as Marshall did.  I have not seen a formal reaction from Rome, but I wouldn’t be surprised if there is not an ongoing attempt to identify them and perse-prosecute them.

David Rodriguez is in Rome right now for The Fatima Center, and I had actually suggested to him that he go and take care of this ugly business, but I don’t believe David was involved in any way.  I’m sure he wasn’t. Yep.  Absolutely sure.  No doubt about it.

Speaking of DR and The Fatima Center, Fr. Isaac Mary Relyea calls on Francis to convert and become Catholic below.  I can’t say I disagree with that in any way.  What that means, theologically and ecclesiastically, I have no idea, but I don’t disagree with the sentiment at all:

[UPDATE]: The statement from the heroes, via Life Site News:

“This was done for only one reason: Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, his Blessed Mother, and everybody who follows Christ, are being attacked by members of our own Church. We do not accept this! We do not longer stay silent! We start to act NOW!

Because we love humanity, we cannot accept that people of a certain region should not get baptized and therefore are being denied entrance into heaven. It is our duty to follow the words of God, like our holy Mother did. There is not second way of salvation.

Christus vincit, Christus regnat, Christus imperat!

Reads like this was a translation or that these guys are not native English speakers.  It makes no difference, may God be with them.  Dominus vobiscum!

Our Lady of Good Success Warned (and reassured) Us About This Sin-nod October 21, 2019

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, episcopate, fightback, Francis, General Catholic, history, Our Lady, Restoration, Revolution, Spiritual Warfare, the struggle for the Church, Tradition.
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A nice and brief cartoon via reader TT, which reminds us that Our Blessed Mother has prophesied and warned of these days, but also given us reassurance as to the ultimate outcome of this war for the soul of Holy Mother Church:

Good Fruit of Francis’ Revolution – TLM Attendance Skyrocketing in US October 21, 2019

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, Christendom, fightback, FSSP, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Latin Mass, Restoration, sanctity, the struggle for the Church, Tradition, Victory, Virtue.
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+JMJ

Finally some hard numbers to put with the numerous anecdotes about rapidly increasing TLM attendance over the past few years.  I know from surveys and speaking with many of the recent “converts” to the Traditional Latin Mass, many of these folks are seeking out sanity and good Catholic liturgy and doctrine directly as a result of the errors being taught in their former parishes, and the horrific example of Francis which is often cited in those former parishes as reasons for rejecting and contradicting the perennial belief and practice of the Church.  Thus, in spite of himself, Francis and his cohort of aging hippies and Peronists are accomplishing much good in helping strengthen the Catholic counter-revolution.

The Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter has put out some attendance numbers at a few representative parishes and they all show tremendous growth, whether very new or long and established.  I do not have attendance numbers for the other Ecclesia Dei communities or diocesan TLMs, nor the SSPX, though on the latter I have had discussions with a half dozen or more people who frequent SSPX chapels who say they have seen solid growth in the past year or two.

Halfway through the FSSP’s annual October census, Fraternity parishes and chapels around the country report major increases in Sunday Mass attendance compared with last year.

Newer apostolates have seen dramatic growth, some doubling their numbers over the last year, such as Los Angeles, which went from 250 per Sunday to 500. The apostolate did not even have its own church until 2018, so finally settling down in a small church in San Fernando provided needed stability, contributing to the significant increase it saw this past year.

“The main obstacle right now is a lack of space,” said Fr. Federico Masutti, assistant pastor of St. Vitus, talking to the Missive over the summer. His words echo the sentiment of so many other FSSP apostolates that find themselves outgrowing their buildings, but it’s really a great problem to have.

“When we were at 200 people,” said pastor Fr. James Fryar, “we decided to add the fourth Mass, and just adding that one Mass, from one week to the next, another 200 people came.”

“The growth was amazing,” confirmed Fr. Masutti.

In Naples, Florida, the FSSP has been operating for less than two years, and is at nearly 400 people per Sunday, up over 20 percent from last year.

“A plethora of young families are coming, attracted by the sacred beauty and reverence of the Mass, the traditional catechesis and true parish family life,” said pastor Fr. Jonathan Romanoski…………

“It’s more than just the Latin Mass—they’re coming for the community life and all of the groups we have—for adults, for kids, for catechesis,” he said. “They come because we are two priests, we are a small community where everybody can get to know each other and the families can truly bond.”

Two new apostolates established last year—in the dioceses of Philadelphia and Providence, Rhode Island—have started off strong and now have 400 and 300 parishioners, respectively. Both locations have inherited magnificent churches that should accommodate their communities for a long time………..

……….Even apostolates that have been established for a long time (by FSSP standards) have seen significant increases, but most report constraints of space that inhibit their growth and they look forward to building or buying new churches.

St. Anne Parish, our apostolate in San Diego, for example, was established in 2008, and despite having a small church that can seat approximately 200 adults, had reached more than 800 parishioners by 2018 with three priests offering five Sunday Masses. Now, they are averaging over 1,000.

“At some of our Masses we will have as many as maybe 350 people and so not everyone fits and so people are actually sitting outside the doors looking in through open doors,” said pastor Fr. John Lyons.

Other long-established FSSP parishes that have seen strong growth include our first North American apostolate, Mater Dei in Dallas, established in 1991, which has seen its Sunday congregation grow 24 percent from 1250 to 1550 in the last year. [It’s way north of 1600 now and touching on 1800 some Sundays.  It was about 200 in 2009.]

St. Joan of Arc Parish, our apostolate in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, has gone from 650 to 840 in the past two years, an increase of about 29 percent. Likewise, St. Francis de Sales in Atlanta, established in 1995, has grown 30 percent over the last year. In October of 2018, it averaged 460 people each Sunday; so far this month, it has over 600. +

Other established parishes like St. Rose Philippine in Kansas City have also grown a great deal.

Overall, it does seem the traditional Latin Mass continues to grow and thrive in virtually all locations where it has found a home.  If you have news of your local TLM parish or diocesan parish offering a TLM, please share.  This data is  very helpful, and encourages others to seek out and experience the Mass of all ages.  We’re not weird freaks!  We have many good and devout souls and lots of normal and fun people!  We’re all finding out way through this time of unprecedented darkness within and without Holy Mother Church as best we can.  Most of all, we need to all get together and support each other, whether SSPX or ICRSS or FSSP or CMRI or whatever.  Sure we may have differences, but what binds us together, and what threatens all of us, is much, much greater.

More to post later as I have time.  Good news from Las Cruces which I hope to get to early this week, and a report on Bishop Athanasius Schneider’s spectacular Pontifical High Mass at Mater Dei in Irving on 19th Sunday after Pentecost, October 20 2019.

Notable Events: Blessed Karl Symposium in Dallas and Pontifical High Mass at Mater Dei October 15, 2019

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, Christendom, Dallas Diocese, episcopate, fightback, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Latin Mass, Restoration, Society, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
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The first Pontifical High Mass, of which I am aware, in Dallas for over 50 years is to be held this Sunday, October 20th at Mater Dei Latin Mass parish in Irving.  The Mass is at 9am.  The 11:30 high Mass is cancelled for this day.  Principal celebrant of the Mass will be His Excellency the Auxiliary Bishop of Astana in Kazakhstan, Athanasius Schneider.  Seating will be very limited.  Seating opens at the conclusion of the 7am Mass and will probably be filled within minutes.  There is spillover seating in the hall and cry room.  The Mass is projected to last approximately 3 hours.

The reason for Bishop Schneider’s visit is the Blessed Karl Symposium being held the previous day at St. Patrick Catholic Church in Dallas.  This is an annual symposium which began last year and is attracting significant personages of the Church and the former imperial family.  Bishop Schneider will be the keynote speaker at this symposium.  The local man who has gone to great effort to begin these symposiums last year and greatly expand the one this year is to be greatly commended.  This kind of work contributes significantly to the re-seeding of the great Catholic Tradition and the forgotten patrimony of the Church.  It appears that tickets for this year’s symposium, like last’s, are sold out.

Nevertheless, details below.

Finally, a brief talk from Bishop Schneider, given at Rome very recently, and attended by Cardinals Muller, Burke, Arinze, and others.  Michael Matt presents this as a budding “resistance movement” to the current pontificate.  If so, I’m afraid it may be several years late, but better now than never, I suppose.  The talk by Bishop Schneider makes clear that he, for one, sees grave theological delicts emanating from the current synod and rejects both its premises and its pre-determined outcomes (barring, of course, some dramatic divine intervention).

The Mass is likely to be crazy but I’ve never been to a pontifical high Mass and I wouldn’t miss this one!  I will try to record the sermon and share it with you if the quality is passable.  I have to think at least a little bit of Bishop Schneider’s talk below will wind up in the sermon we hear on Sunday, God willing.

Please Pray for the Repose of the Soul of Jim Middleton [UPDATED] September 18, 2019

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, Basics, Dallas Diocese, fightback, Four Last Things, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Interior Life, Tradition, Virtue.
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[UPDATE]: See the bottom of the post for an addendum from my dad. I very briefly glossed over Jim’s career at Arco and he beefed it up a bit, for all of those interested.  Yes, both of you]

Longtime readers may recall that I was once on a broadcast radio show with Jim and Vicki Middleton.  The show ended in 2012 when Vicki unfortunately passed away rather suddenly.  I think that was a grace of God, I don’t think she could stand to see what this country is becoming today.  She was right about so very much, including the endlessly voracious appetite of the Left for tyranny.  Equally sadly, Jim Middleton, her spouse of many years, passed away this past September 12.  Jim was a very strong and patriotic American, a rock-solid conservative, and a devout Catholic convert.  He was also a gifted engineer and high-level oil executive and played a vital role in opening up the North Slope of Alaska to large scale oil production and later served as President of Arco Oil and Gas.  My dad worked with Jim for 25 years and knew him quite well.

The funeral was held at the Carmelite Monastery in Dallas, the same monastery that served host as the site of the diocesan Mater Dei Traditional Latin Mass community for many years prior to Mater Dei getting its own parish (one of the few good acts of the previous bishop of this Diocese, now Cardinal Kevin Farrell. “allowing” Mater Dei to have its own church – such generosity).  Jim and Vicki gave extremely generously to the Carmelite Monastery over the years, and were extremely close with, and helpful towards, the Carmelite nuns.  As such, by a special bequest, the mortal remains of both Jim and Vicki will now repose on the grounds of the monastery.

I was fortunate to be able to attend the Novus Ordo funeral Mass yesterday.  Father Paul Weinberger, who has received a good deal of attention on this blog recently, and who was very close to the Middleton’s and played a great role in their becoming stalwart Catholics from episcopal converts, offered the Mass.  So, yes, it was a Novus Ordo, but it was offered with as much reverence and dignity as is possible with this creation of “modern” man.  The sermon was very solid as usual, as Father Weinberger devoted about half of the 15 minutes to ably destroy a number of protestant talking points against the Faith, such as, we do not worship images, works done in concert with Grace are necessary for salvation, the communion of saints and the existence of purgatory, and so forth.  Since the attendance was at least 50% protestant, that was no small act, but was conducted with such charity and finesse that rather than rankle his sermon elicited a number of laughs and smiles.

Vicki and Jim were good souls and gave tremendously of their time, talent, and treasure for the good of the Church and souls.  They deserve a prayer or two, or many.  I pray I never forget them in my prayers for the souls of the deceased.

A few poor photos from the Mass.  I thank the good Carmelite sisters for again opening their chapel, as they regularly do.  I with them well and they may be assured of my prayers, too!

[Addendum]:

When the north slope was being developed, it was still a part of NAPD (North American Producing Division).  Billy Jack Lancaster headed NAPD.  Middleton was in charge of a special engineering group whose job was to fabricate the production modules and barge them from Ingleside to Point Barrow, and then offload them onto gravel causeways and roll them onto the slope.  Billy Jack smoked himself to death and died of lung cancer.  Bill Keeler head of Engineering for NAPD replaced Billy Jack.  Keeler’s 16 year old son killed Bill and his wife.  Ken Dickerson and Jim Coffee (lawyers) quickly popped the kid into Timberlawn and he never served a day in jail for the murders.  Dallas had no more men in the line of succession.  NAPD had always operated independently of Corporate (which was in LA), primarily because they generated 125% of the Corporations income.  Not no more. This opening gave LA a chance to put their own man in charge.  Then picked Glen Simpson who managed the Alaska operations – – he was a former Sinclair hand and followed orders well.  He was a rigid disaster.

Meanwhile, Middleton was placed in charge of Anaconda (a mining operation that was, unbeknownst to ARCO, badly losing money at the time they bought it), and he stopped it from hemorrhaging cash.  By that time NAPD had become Arco Oil and Gas, along with Arco Exploration and Arco Alaska.  When Simpson was forced out, Jim became President of AOGC.  He did a hell of a good job, and always backed me to the hilt.

I add, it was after Jim retired in 1994 that ARCO quickly went downhill, and its management sold out to BP in a panic in 2000.  The only remnant of ARCO today is its chain of gas stations on the West Coast and in Arizona.

Catholic Video Channels You Should be Perusing September 10, 2019

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, catachesis, episcopate, fightback, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Interior Life, Restoration, sanctity, Spiritual Warfare, the struggle for the Church, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
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This post may contain old news for many readers, but I thought it should be mentioned that the quality of Catholic commentary in video form continues to increase.  While Youtube may be a wholly owned subsidiary of a parent company staffed by many of the most despicable people on earth – Google – it does host some very good Catholic content, at least until Google decides these good people are gaining too much traction, and ban-hammers them off their platform (Bitchute is a good alternative, but  it does contain quite a bit of wacky and even dangerously immoral content, but so does most everything else these days).  Right now, for this particular blogger, probably the best traditional/tradition-leaning Catholic channel on  Youtube (overall) is that of Dr. Taylor Marshall.  I’m a bit surprised at coming to this conclusion, for while I have known Taylor and his family for years in passing through our local TLM parish, for many years I wasn’t a huge fan.  His content seemed to tend towards the conservative/neo-Catholic for quite some time.  So while he did do some great works like being a or the founder of the Troops of St. George, I found him a bit squishy on a number of topics, especially those closest to the core elements of the traditional critique of the post-conciliar Church.

But that was then.  Starting about 12-18 months ago, and especially in the wake of the Vigano expose and the Church’s “summer of shame” (hint: there will be worse to come, much worse), Taylor really got red-pilled and became quite a hard-hitting critic of the crisis in the Church.   His views generally align quite closely with my own, which of course means he is absolutely right about purt’ near everything.  Seriously, I don’t want to overplay my criticism of the Taylor of 5 years ago, he was generally solid all along, but over the past year he’s really been clobbering the evil forces acting within and against Holy Mother Church.   I now make a point of catching all of his videos as early as I can, and agree with most everything both Dr. Marshall and his co-host Dr. Tim Gordon have to say (but not quite – sadly, noone is quite so perfect as me).  They are addressing most all the major crisis issues in the Church today and doing so from a steadfastly traditional viewpoint, and not pulling any punches over sacred cows like the current occupant of the papacy, the heresies emanating from Rome in these dark days, and the root of the crisis beginning far before Vatican II.  I still hope to put together a real magnum opus (hah) podcast on that subject, but baby steps.

Another great source which I have highlighted before is the inestimable Charles Coulombe.  I love his weekly uploads at Tumblar House and find his talks, if possible, even more edifying than those of Taylor Marshall.  Charles is both a rock with regard to the Faith, and is especially strong on the absolutely vital issue of Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus (I cannot recommend his book on the subject enough, it is eye-opening, even for one well-versed in Trad literature), and is also a veritable fount of knowledge on matters related to Church history and Catholic culture (rather unlike the website of the same name).  It is well worth your time to dedicating an hour or so a week listening to his Youtube videos.  While Taylor’s viewership has exploded, Coulombe’s remains relatively static, which is a real shame, because his commentary is equally deserving of a far wider audience.

Next, there is another source I’ve recommended many times, but it bears repeating:  The Fatima Center.  Even with the untimely deaths of Fr. Nicholas Gruner and Mr. Charles Vennari, they regularly upload, almost weekly, very good catechetical materials from extremely traditional sources.  I find especially the videos from Fr. Isaac Mary Relyea edifying and entertaining.

Then, there is Return to Tradition by Anthony Stine.  A bit like Taylor Marshall’s content, it is both contemporary and topical.  In fact, one might liken it sort of a pocket version of Taylor’s much longer broadcasts, covering many of the same topics from a generally similar view (though, of course, they differ in a number of details) but in a much shorter format.  It’s a worthy site, especially his excerpts from Church doctrinal documents in his weekend uploads, but in terms of preference is probably properly listed in terms of order in this post.  HIs production values are of a bit lower standard than the other three.

And, of course, there remains the grand-daddy of all Catholic Youtube channels of which I am aware, that of Sensus Fidelium and the daily uploads of sermons from very solidly orthodox and traditional priests.  I’m certain most all readers will be aware of this channel already.

And now, good listeners, I turn the floor over to you, to solicit other “channels” you may find worthwhile on Youtube or other, similar platforms.  One problem today is the veritable embarrassment of riches, it is difficult at times to keep up with more than a few channels, especially when they produce prodigious amounts of content like Dr. Marshall and Sensus Fidelium. I of course also enjoy the weekly commentaries from Michael Matt at The Remnant, and some other less explicitly Catholic but more historical efforts that still tie in with the Church’s proud history.  Nevertheless, I would appreciate any recommendations you have, especially for solid but lesser known channels.

I have another, far more obscure channel to bring to your attention at a later date, God willing, but that is such a different topic and requires an extensive introduction, and so it must  wait for another time.

 

Michael Matt – Unite the Traditional Clans! August 26, 2019

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, fightback, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Restoration, sanctity, SSPX, the struggle for the Church, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
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I have learned over the past few months that I have missed an incredible amount of infighting between traditional/orthdox Catholics.  In fact I haven’t missed it at all, I’m glad I haven’t had to witness all that.  With Francis continuing to try to change the Bride of Christ into a pathetic, modernist worldly construct, a creation not of God but of men,  never has there been a greater need for unity among the most devout, believing Catholics, whatever they call themselves.  I have long been of this opinion, which I share with such stalwart defenders of the Faith as Fathers Michael Rodriguez and Isaac Mary Relyea, two men who have suffered more than most of us will ever have to for their rejection of the post-conciliar construct.

There are legitimate criticisms of, or concerns regarding, all branches of traditional Catholicism in these days.  That is one of the chief  coups of the modernists dominating the hierarchy of the Church, to use Catholics own faith and fidelity to the Magisterium against them.  By corrupting that magisterium, they have managed to put Catholics in a “damned if they do, damned if they don’t situation.”  While the SSPX seems to be slowly leaning towards some kind of formal recognition from Rome (and some would argue it already exists), there remains great hostility in the institutional Church to them, and much fussiness over their purported canonical status.  The Ecclesia Dei communities and diocesan priests offering the TLM forever have to live with the taint of ostensible accommodation, and the constant threat that all they have achieved and built over the past several decades could be snatched away in an instant by a hostile pope.

Each of the traditional groups has their strengths and weaknesses.  Certainly there is room for legitimate expression of these differences, but the constant internecine struggles between these various groups has long passed the point of ceasing to be productive, and is most often positively destructive. It is so easy for all of us to fall into tribalism and the belief that “our side” is not just the right one, but the only good and decent one.  From that belief can spring all kinds of animus and destructiveness.  It is the ultimate circular firing squad, and could not be more ill-timed or counter-productive, given the collective threats we all face from the current pontificate and the upcoming Amazonian synod. This should be a time of conciliation, not ever-increasing conflict and strife.

Thus, I heartily support Michael Matt in attempting to bring collaboration and commonality of purpose among all those priests, religious, and lay people struggling to live out the Faith in this time of unprecedented crisis within the institutional Church.  Every single growing, vibrant traditional parish is a beacon of hope for millions of those who call themselves Catholic, whether they realize it or not.  They are a hope for the present and the future, and, in my mind, represent the only real future the Church has, by returning to her roots and her real self.  And, if we continue to work together, we can hope for the coming restoration of Holy Mother Church, as Mr. Matt in describing how the FSSP taking over a dying Minneapolis parish has now totally turned the parish around.  He then lists some criticisms of the FSSP, presumedly coming from the SSPX, and proceeds to refute those.  I’m not certain if his piece was in response to something in particular, but the article could just as easily have been framed in the opposite way, defending the SSPX from FSSP criticisms.  I don’t think the particular framing is most important, I think what is most important is the overall message of looking for the good in all the various branches of traditional Catholicism and working together to maximize their effect in terms of saving souls and, even more importantly, giving all glory and honor to God.

I did, however, want to address a few points Mr. Matt raises, which I will do below:

Yes, okay. Fine!  But the FSSP does not condemn Pope Francis on a daily basis.

Again, true enough. But neither did Edmund Campion run around publicly condemning the tyrant and heretics of his day.  Instead, he chose to dress as a layman—a jeweler—and to call himself ‘Mr. Edmunds’ so that he could avoid arrest and carry on with the important work of preserving the old Faith in Elizabethan England. He wasn’t a coward. He was a strategist, who would eventually be starved, beaten, disemboweled and drawn and quartered for his fidelity the old Faith.

It’s called strategy. Maybe you’ve seen pictures. You know, Father Miguel Pro undercover, dressed in suit and tie, as he waged holy war in defense of the old Faith during the Cristero uprising. Dressed in disguise, was Father Pro afraid to ‘say it like it is’? Please!

There’s more than one way to get the job done, friends, and the job right now is to preserve the old Faith at all costs. ‘Sayin it like it is’ in times like these is sometimes just a really stupid thing to do! It’d be like Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg shouting condemnations of the psycho Nazis as he walked into the Wolf’s Lair with a bomb under his arm, preparing to assassinate Hitler. Not a good time for Claus to ‘say it like it is.’

Let’s not shoot ourselves (or the few good priests left) in the head by calling for recklessness when prudence and strategy are obviously working so well to save souls and to attach so many young people to the cause of Traditional Catholic restoration. [These are all fine points, but I will say that I have heard very strong condemnations of Francis from a number of FSSP priests.  And, I have heard similar condemnations from diocesan and other traditional or traditionally inclined priests.  I don’t know if condemnations of this kind are more frequent and severe from SSPX priests, but I will simply note that it would be a falsehood, in my experience, to declare Francis gets a pass from Ecclesia Dei priests.]

Yes, well, the FSSP priests don’t like the SSPX and vice versa.  Maybe that’s true in some cases, but so what!  The Dominicans and the Franciscans didn’t always get along, either……….. [This is the other point I wanted to touch on, it is true, there are some FSSP and other non-SSPX traditional priests who are extremely critical of the SSPX. Some of this criticism, to my mind, goes beyond the bounds of reason. I know the reverse is also widely true.  However,  many FSSP priests have quite warm attitudes towards the SSPX, and are well disposed towards them, generally speaking.  Like all organizations made up of hundreds of passionate, committed people, you’re going to see a variety of points of view.  That may be a milquetoast manner of speaking, but it’s true.  I wish all priests in all these groups were much more supportive and possessed of a common purpose, but at Mr. Matt notes immediately below, all priests are humans and as prone to human failings as the rest of us].

So, there are precedents. We’re all human…even priests.

Bottom line: When I was at Mass last Sunday at the local FSSP parish, I saw dozens of little children kneeling at the consecration, striking their breasts at the elevation, receiving Holy Communion on the tongue in the company of their mothers and fathers and rafts of siblings.

It reminded me of the little Japanese children I’d seen at the SSPX chapel in Tokyo the month before—kneeling at the consecration, striking their breasts at the elevation, receiving Holy Communion on the tongue in the company of their mothers and fathers and rafts of siblings………

…………I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Unite the clans! For God’s sake and the sake of those children facing the real possibility of the eradication of the old Faith from the face of the earth— unite the clans!

I couldn’t agree more, or close on a better note.  We have so much in common, and so much to fight for together, that the differences between us can really take a back seat for the foreseeable future.

By the way, Twitter drives people insaneJust sayin‘.  I can not advise anyone enough to stay off it.  None of my rapidly growing into adulthood kids are on it and, I pray, never will be.

 

Excellent Priest on the Fruits of Feminism – UPDATED July 7, 2019

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, catachesis, Domestic Church, family, fightback, General Catholic, Grace, Interior Life, priests, Restoration, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
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Not sure if I am allowed to ID this priest or not, but I can say he’s one of my two favorite, most rock-solid FSSP priests a priest who gave a great sermon but not the one I was thinking of!  He sure sounds like an FSSP priest I know.  Oh well, humans gonna err.

He has an excellent sermon on the evils of feminism.  The key point is that the radical, man-hating, Christ-despising feminism we see today is the inevitable end-point of this erroneous and frankly diabolical movement.  There was never a “good feminism.”  It was always ordered towards subverting the role of men and women and essentially having the two sexes flip those roles.  You could say that feminism has always been much more a female supremacy movement than one interested in any kind of true equality – as if the God-given and traditional Christian roles of the sexes were somehow unequal.  They were only “unequal” in a totally materialistic and power-dynamic obsessed sense, the kind marxists would tend to grab onto.

There are those who argue that while “some” feminists take the movement too far, feminism at its roots is a good thing, and something it is perfectly acceptable to subscribe to.  I believe Father demonstrates the falsity of this claim.  At any rate, even if there are still some who consider themselves “moderate feminists,” only interested in some self-defined notion of equality and not at all like the radical fringe, the point is immaterial from a practical standpoint.  For 50 years or more feminism as a movement has constantly been dominated by its most radical fringe, and those who pretend to subscribe to only its more moderate aspects are giving valuable aid and comfort to this radical fringe.  Thus, feminism is something that no well-ordered and virtuous Catholic woman or man can subscribe to.

And why would you want to?  How does feminism help you or anyone you love get to Heaven?  The traditional Christ-inspired roles for men and women are completely focused on just that end, men and women helping each other, in constant practice of virtue, to attain Heaven, especially within the confines of marriage but also without.  All the evidence I have seen indicates feminism can do nothing but frustrate the good and holy purpose of rightly-ordered male-female relationships.

Please pray for Father that he may not be persecuted for preaching the truth of Jesus Christ and His Church in this most diabolical time, and that many will not just hear, but listen, to his words:

Feminism’s fruits are not just widows and orphans, but also hundreds of millions of murdered babies worldwide, and God knows how many broken marriages and devastated homes.