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Texas Catholic Culture – El Cristo de los Pescadores December 6, 2017

Posted by Tantumblogo in Art and Architecture, awesomeness, Basics, catachesis, episcopate, fun, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Interior Life, Restoration, the struggle for the Church.
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“Christ of the Fishermen.”  Reader LaGallina sent me the following description of a beautiful bit of Catholic culture, placed where the Brownsville Ship Channel meets the Gulf of Mexico (roughly).

From La Gallina:

The statue is called “el Cristo de los Pescadores” and is turned slightly to face the channel and greet the shrimp boats when they are coming back to shore. A Brownsville family brought this from Italy back in the 90s (I think) after they won a settlement with the shrimp boat company after their two sons were killed on the boat. They also hold a huge party on the grounds around the statue which includes a public rosary (with a gigantic rosary made by an elderly gent from Port Isabel), catered food for everyone (invited or not), fireworks, and of course the ever-present “matachines.” (Do you think the bishops before Vatican 2 had matachines dancers at their Catholic events?)

No, I don’t think so.

LaGallina also apprised me of Francis’ elevation of a Father Mario Alberto Aviles to be auxiliary Bishop of Brownsville.  This is noteworthy for the fact that Fr. Aviles comes from the Oratory of St. Philip Neri, which operates one of the few “canonically regular” TLM in the Rio Grande Valley area (the only other one of which I am aware is at the Brownsville cathedral, if that one is still going.  Perhaps LaGallina can confirm).

Bishop Daniel Flores of Brownsville is reputed to be pretty solidly orthodox and relatively friendly to the TLM.  Coming from a branch of the Oratorians based mostly in northern Mexico which is widely known for its liturgical and doctrinal orthodoxy (though it is quite small), it may be hoped that Bishop-elect Aviles may increase this disposition even more. I know several readers who have assisted at the St. Jude Thaddeus parish in Pfarr administered by the Oratorians, and they all speak highly of the beautiful TLM and solid catechesis offered there.

However, it should be noted that Bishop-elect Aviles hasn’t been pastor of St. Jude Thaddeus for 15  years, so I cannot really speak to his personal qualities or adherence to tradition.  I am told he seems down to earth and pretty solid overall.

Now, El Cristo de los Pescadores.  Very nice:

Statues like this, and even entire parishes, have long been dedicated to Catholic mariners in major ports around the world. For my money, one of the most beautiful parishes in the world, Our Lady of Bon Succours in Montreal, has a heavy nautical emphasis and a close association with the maritime trades.  Why, several of the Apostles including St. Peter were, of course, pescadores, themselves.

It’s another aspect of the still heartbreakingly deteriorating Catholic culture that deserves widespread revival.  Good on the family for dedicating a lovely statue like this to the shrimpers and other seafarers of the south Texas coast.

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2nd Annual Virgin of Guadalupe Pilgrimage Tues Dec 12 @ 9a December 1, 2017

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, awesomeness, Basics, Dallas Diocese, Ecumenism, fun, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Our Lady, priests, sanctity, Society, Spiritual Warfare, the struggle for the Church, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
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My wife and kids were in the first one last year.  I’m sure they’ll be there again for this 3 mile pilgrimage across Irving to the campus of the University of Dallas:

Do call Julie if you can help with shuttle driving.  Bring your Marian flags, your banners, make this a work of witness!  i cannot attend, I will be at work and am using my last unused vacation day for the Immaculate Conception.

I’ve been intending to return this blog’s focus to the Dallas Diocese, more as it was in the beginning as I head toward the 8th anniversary of these little rants of mine, so here is another list of the many upcoming events this December at Mater Dei FSSP parish:

Since the Feast of the Immaculate Conception falls on a Friday and is a 1st Class Feast, eating meat is allowed, yes?

A Little Fun Video – I Like Guns November 15, 2017

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, awesomeness, firearms, fun, non squitur, silliness, Society.
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Man what a lucky guy.  I’ve never heard of this Steve Lee before, but he got access to a mighty collection of uncommon firearms to have a hand at.  Man I would LOVE to have an RPG-7 with real rounds.  I am not sure how one would even obtain the rounds, given that they are explosives.  I do know some guys who have had training RPGs that could not fire, but that’s no fun.  Of course, the machine guns would also be a blast.  And contra those who say automatic weapons have no usefulness, they absolutely do, suppressing fire can be hugely important and they are excellent at just that.  They are also excellent in a static defense role against large numbers and in scaring the jeebers out of the Feds when they come to take your guns away.  Heh.

Anyway, the song is fun and lighthearted and I found it quite entertaining.  Hopefully you will, as well.

Flightline err Tuesday: Showing the Flag in the Sea of Japan November 14, 2017

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, Flightline Friday, foolishness, fun, non squitur, silliness, Society, technology.
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Every year, the RIMPAC exercise will feature some impressive shows of force, with as many as three US carriers, many US and allied escorts, and an occasional allied carrier or similar “capital” ship.

But RIMPAC is generally staged around Guam.  Last week, however, the following was recorded in the western Sea of Japan or East China Sea off the coast of North Korea:

That is USS Ronald Reagan (CVN-76), USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71), and USS Nimitz (CVN-68), along with what I believe is the Japanese JMSDF Izumo helicopter carrier.  There are a dozen odd escorts.

But the frankly cool part is looking down on the flyover by B-1Bs and Super Hornets.  That’s not a sight one sees everyday, a top-down aerial view of not only a large naval formation but also manned bombers and fighters.

Now the view from the carriers:

View from inside the Nimitz pilot house during the obvious PR event:

Amazingly, the USN managed not to have a collision in spite of all these ships being in such close proximity.  Top. Men.

Not sure how wise such a demonstration is in such close proximity to hostile shores.  That’s about $70 billion worth of hardware.

Since the USN only has 9 carriers, and typically two are in either refit (like USS George Washington right now, in refit for 2 years) or otherwise unavailable for every one deployed carrier, that’s basically the entire US carrier force right there.  I think there is one more in the Persian Gulf right now (Vinson?).  It is possible at times to take a force of 9 and have 5 deployed, but that’s about it, and only some of the time.  More than likely, only 3 are available on a day to day basis.

So the Brits with two Queen Elizabeth class ships basically have zero carriers, at least as a sort of worst case your enemy picks the day to start the war kind of scenario.

Anyhoo.   Love to see those Bones flying over the carriers, but the operational art the old SAC had……….I’m not sure it exists anymore:

Flightline Friday Extra: More Than Everything You Could Possibly Want to Know about APR-25/6 September 25, 2017

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, awesomeness, Flightline Friday, foolishness, fun, history, non squitur, silliness, Society, technology.
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Early in the Vietnam War, partly due to amazingly poor planning, but even more due to unbelievably onerous targeting restrictions, US tactical aircraft started racking up heavy losses to North Vietnamese Surface to Air Missiles (SAMs).  The SAM in question was the SA-2, which had been known about half a decade at that point, the SA-2 having played a role in the shoot down of Francis Gary Powers’ U-2 in 1960.

Since the rules of engagement imposed by the Johnson-McNamara Administration forbade attacks on SAM sites under construction, or even possibly under construction, for fear of “accidentally” killing any Soviet “advisors” present and thus potentially escalating the war, US airmen had to wait until positive proof that a SAM site was operational before they could attack it.  The only positive proof accepted was their being attacked by that very SAM site.  Obviously this gave enormous initiative to the enemy, and made attacking SAM sites when they were most vulnerable impossible.

Defensive measures were needed, and needed quickly.  But how to defend against a radar guided flying robot whose only purpose in life was the kill you?  Fortunately, the problem was well understood. Indeed, specialist aircraft like intelligence gathering types had been equipped with limited numbers of what were then called radar homing and warning receivers (RHAW) for years.  SAC’s big bombers also carried radar warning and electronic countermeasures (ECM) gear of varying degrees of effectiveness, but much of this was far too large and heavy to fit into a tactical aircraft.

Fortunately, a small company in northern California, Applied Technologies, Inc, later part of Litton, now part of Northrop Grumman, came rushing to the rescue, in late 1965, with their “Vector IV” product.  Consisting of 4 roughly equally spaced radio frequency receivers and some very basic analog processing equipment, Vector IV entered service as the AN/APR-25/6.  This equipment was first fitted to specialist “Wild Weasel” SAM hunter aircraft, and later, to almost every tactical aircraft in theater – certainly, every one that went up North.  It was fairly effective, but became much more so when coupled with the North American “SEE SAMS” (clever) system, which added capability to discriminate targeting and launch radar signals from regular radar tracking signals.

The equipment worked pretty well, and losses were reduced.  The seesaw battle of the electronic wizards on both defense and offense continues to this day, but, generally speaking, since the APR-25/6, the US has held the upper hand (we think/hope – we haven’t been seriously tested in 25 years).

The video below is an actual training film for USAF aircrew in APR-25/6 operation and tactics.  It gets way down into the nitty gritty, discussing import of length and intensity of strobe, billboard notifications and their meaning, and the varying sounds the equipment picks up when illuminated by various kinds of search, tracking, and fire control radars (a radar is like any other radio frequency device, and thus its signals can be interpreted as a sound).  Techniques used to spoof APR-25/6 are also discussed.  Very interesting if you are a slavishly devoted geek like me, all others will probably find it mind-numbingly boring.

I post this mostly to keep a record of this highly esoteric material since this video was posted once before but pulled because someone asserted the data therein was still classified.  Of course, it is not.

A picture of what modern radar warning receiver (today’s term) displays looks like.  Gone is the analog signal intensity reading and guessing, replaced by digitally processed symbology indicating the type of threat, distance and bearing, with priority ranking, etc:

 

Flightline Friday: Early Vietnam Helo Operations September 22, 2017

Posted by Tantumblogo in Flightline Friday, fun, history, non squitur, silliness, Society, technology.
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This is a really excellent video find from December 1963, featuring very tired old Piasecki H-21 “Shawnee” (aka the Flying Banana) and brand new (if more than a bit underpowered) Hueys of the UH-1A and UH-1B models.

There is some excellent footage of very rare early Huey attack model setups, including fixed forward firing M1919 .30 cal machine guns of WWII vintage mounted on the landing skids, and the first attempts at mounting rockets on the Huey design.  The UH-1B came from the factory with the XM-6 armament subsystem, which included dual M-60 machine guns on each side of the aircraft in trainable mounts.  This was a vast improvement over the fixed machine guns of the UH-1A.  Also discussed is the original US Army air assault unit in South Vietnam, the Utility Tactical Transport Company.  At this time, Hueys were used entirely as attack birds or for medevac.  The stretched UH-1D capable of carrying 9-11 troops would not enter service in Vietnam until the 1st Air Cav arrived in numbers in mid-1965.

The UH-1A was always badly underpowered*, with an armament load of fixed gun and dual 8-shot rocket stacks, they could barely manage 80-85 mph, which allowed even the lumbering H-21s to “race” ahead of them.  This problem was solved by the UH-1B, which had a more powerful engine, allowing the Hueys much better speed to escort the Shawnees, but the problem repeated itself once the UH-1D and UH-1H entered service.  The slicks were again much faster than their escorts, weighted down with heavy loads of weapons and ammo in very draggy mounts.  This problem was initially solved by late B model and then Charlie model Hueys being equipped with still more powerful engines, but was ultimately dealt with by the introduction of the AH-1 Cobra in late 1967.

There is also demonstration of early tactics among both the troop carrying and the attack helos.  It is rather amusing to watch discussion of basic tactics which were described as being so effective the VC had no response to them – well, you could say, they figured out plenty of responses as the war went along.  The very simple tactics described in this video would be replaced by ever more sophisticated ones as the war went along, but the ever-resourceful Vietnamese were almost always a match for Yankee ingenuity, finding their own responses to evolving American methods.

There is a great deal of rare footage in this video, covering a critical phase of the War in Southeast Asia as combat became more and more Americanized – just as certain elements of the US military establishment desperately wanted:

 

*- UH-1A had a little more than half the horsepower of the later H, E, L, and M models.

Footage of AFRES PJs Rescuing Harvey Victims September 6, 2017

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, awesomeness, Flightline Friday, fun, non squitur, Society, Virtue.
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Yes this may be getting pretty dated, but the military moves slow.  Several Air Force Reserve Rescue Squadrons were deployed from around the country to help with rescues. Equipped with (now quite long in the tooth) HH-60G Pave Hawk helos and probably the most serious special operators USAF has to offer – Pararescue Jumpers (PJs) – there are many nice scenes of families being rescued.  In fact, I watched the first rescue on the video live streaming on the internet last week from the perspective of the ground.  Quite interesting to see it from the other end:

Were those New York guys from the 101st Rescue Squadron on Long Island being cheeky with their big NY letters on the side of the copter?

This unit has actually historically made some quite impressive at-sea rescues.  They conducted themselves with professional aplomb in everything I saw in the videos.

 

Start Novena to Our Lady of Dolours Today 09/06 September 6, 2017

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, Domestic Church, fun, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Interior Life, Novenas, Our Lady, sanctity, Tradition, Virtue.
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The Solemnity of the Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary is on September 15.  Start Novena today or tomorrow.

Most holy and afflicted Virgin, Queen of Martyrs, you stood
beneath the cross, witnessing the agony of your dying Son.quito
Look with a mother’s tenderness and pity on me, who kneel
before you. I venerate your sorrows and I place my requests
with filial confidence in the sanctuary of your wounded heart
.

 

Present them, I beseech you, on my behalf to Jesus Christ,
through the merits of His own most sacred passion and death,
together with your sufferings at the foot of the cross. Through the united efficacy of both, obtain the granting of my petition.
To whom shall I have recourse in my wants and miseries if not
to you, Mother of Mercy? You have drunk so deeply of the
chalice of your Son, you can compassionate our sorrows.

 

Holy Mother, your soul was pierced by a sword of sorrow at
the sight of the passion of your divine Son. Intercede for me
and obtain for me from our Lord {mention your petition}, if
it be for His honor and glory, and for my good. Amen.

 

LET US PRAY
Pour forth, we beseech Thee, O Lord, Thy grace into our
hearts; that, we to whom the Incarnation of Christ, Thy
Son, was made known by the message of an Angel, may by
His Passion and Cross, be brought to the glory of His
Resurrection. Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.Virgin Showing the Man of Sorrows_MEMLING, Hans

 

Litany of Our Lady of Seven Sorrows

 

Lord, have mercy on us
Christ have mercy on us
Lord have mercy on us
Christ hear us
Christ graciously hear us

God, the Father of heaven
Have mercy on us
God the Son, Redeemer of the world
Have mercy on us
God the Holy Ghost
Have mercy on us

Holy Mary, Mother of God pray for us
Holy Virgin of virgins pray for us
Mother of the Crucified pray for us
Sorrowful Mother pray for us
Mournful Mother pray for us
Sighing Mother pray for us
Afflicted Mother pray for us
Forsaken Mother pray for us
Desolate Mother pray for us
Mother most sad pray for us
Mother set around with anguish pray for us
Mother overwhelmed by grief pray for us
Mother transfixed by a sword pray for us
Mother crucified in thy heart pray for us
Mother bereaved of thy Son pray for us
Sighing Dove pray for us
Mother of Dolors pray for us
Fount of tears pray for us
Sea of bitterness pray for us
Field of tribulation pray for us
Mass of suffering pray for us
Mirror of patience pray for us
Rock of constancy pray for us
Remedy in perplexity pray for us
Joy of the afflicted pray for us
Ark of the desolate pray for us
Refuge of the abandoned pray for us
Shield of the oppressed pray for us
Conqueror of the incredulous pray for us
Solace of the wretched pray for us
Medicine of the sick pray for us
Help of the faint pray for us
Strength of the weak pray for usour_lady_of_sorrows
Protectress of those who fight pray for us
Haven of the shipwrecked pray for us
Calmer of tempests pray for us
Companion of the sorrowful pray for us
Retreat of those who groan pray for us
Terror of the treacherous pray for us
Standard-bearer of the Martyrs pray for us
Treasure of the Faithful pray for us
Light of Confessors pray for us
Pearl of Virgins pray for us
Comfort of Widows pray for us
Joy of all Saints pray for us
Queen of thy Servants pray for us
Holy Mary, who alone art unexampled pray for us.

Pray for us, most Sorrowful Virgin That we may be made
worthy of the promises of Christ

O God, in whose Passion, according to the prophecy of
Simeon, a sword of grief pierced through the most sweet
soul of Thy glorious Blessed Virgin Mother Mary, grant
that we, who celebrate the memory of her Seven Sorrows,
may obtain the happy effect of Thy Passion, Who lives
and reigns world without end. Amen

Finally! August 30, 2017

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, firearms, fun, non squitur, silliness.
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New plates, baby:

Multi-shot Level IV steel body armor.  Two plates plus sides.  Yikes is it heavy.  My plate carrier now weighs 32 pounds loaded, and that’s without magazines (it’s more than a carrier, more like a tactical vest/carrier combo).

So now my kids like to put it on and engage in punching contests.

I don’t know if I ever mentioned this in a post, but when I went to Kansas this summer I took some soft body armor along to target shoot.  It was all Level IIIA stuff, soft kevlar.  Nonetheless, I was impressed with how well it faired.  I had several pieces stop anywhere from 5-10 9mm rounds from about 25 feet.  I had one stop seven 9 mm and about 15 .22LR rounds.  It puffed up like mad but it did very well against the kinds of rounds it was designed to stop – handgun caliber.  I was surprised that this soft-armor was capable of stopping multiple rounds so long as they didn’t hit too close together (within maybe 2″ of a previous hit).

I also took some video of bottle shooting and what not but the end result was not so great.  So much for relying on a giddy 13 year old cameragirl.

White Rose Fundraising Dinner Moved to November 17! August 29, 2017

Posted by Tantumblogo in Abortion, awesomeness, Basics, contraception, Dallas Diocese, fightback, fun, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Restoration, sanctity, Virtue.
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A very important update to a previous post, the White Rose Women’s Center benefit dinner featuring Fr. Shannon Boquet of Human Life International has been moved from October 7 – where it was contemporaneous with the 100th Anniversary Fatima Conference in Irving – to November 17.

Location remains the same.  I am so glad to hear this and pray many souls will be able to attend the benefit for this most worthy organization, aiding women contemplating abortion.

Thank you to the kind soul who sent this update notice on to me.  I have idea who it was – I got it anonymously via mail – but thank you.

All other pertinent information about the benefit dinner is at my previous post.