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The Factual Case for Christ’s Crucifixion, Death, and Resurrection April 17, 2017

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, catachesis, Christendom, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, history, Latin Mass, priests, sanctity, Society, the struggle for the Church, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
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Great sermon below.  I have a vague sense of posting this some years ago when I first heard it, but I can’t find it now.  Most likely, it will be new to you.

I really like how the priest points out the constant errors and failed declarations of modern science, which Dr. Edward Feser proved quite convincingly has evolved into a false religion of its own in his great book The Last Superstition.  Not only that, but Descartes, Bacon, and others, filled with rationalist hubris, deliberately contrived “science” as something which would always war against religion, since they posited, and managed to convince great scads of people with, the notion that “science” would, and could, only be concerned with the material, what could be weighed, measured, and/or directly observed.  In doing so, they set science on a radically different course from what it had held since ancient times, where theology was always regarded as the highest, or sacred, science.  Not only was this a radically different course, but one that would inevitably become hostile, and develop a cultus of its own that would demand acceptance of claims on faith from the vast, vast majority of people, including the scientists themselves.

Thus, while no one has ever come close to observing the “big bang,” it is held as a dogma today.  Evidence in support of the evolution of species is almost entirely inferential and open to argument, but argument is not permitted, lest one be called a science denier, or in a more ancient parlance, a heretic.  The almost constant failures of science, such as those described below, are conveniently forgotten, while evidence from thousands regarding religious events like the apparitions at Fatima are derided as mass hysteria or a pious hoax.

But the evidence, even in this proud, skeptical scientific age, for Christ’s life, death, and resurrection are overwhelming, as this priest notes below.  The vast preponderance of the evidence confirms that Christ lived, that He was crucified, that He was buried, and then rose again in spectacularly mysterious circumstances.  The Shroud of Turin continues to this day to be scientifically inexplicable, as no known technology today could have created the image of the Shroud, let alone that of 2000 years ago.  There is much, much more besides, in this excellent sermon which I believe dates (or is a repeat) from 2012 or 13:

Of course the tragedy of the Church today is that, to a degree never before seen in her history, the vast majority of self-described Catholics, whether lay, priest, or episcopate, doubt much or all of the Gospel account of Christ’s life, death, and resurrection.  Most, no matter how scientifically illiterate, accept the claims of science as a matter of faith, but have severe doubts as to whether Christ instituted the Eucharist in a literal sense, commands obedience to the Doctrine He has given us, fed the 5000, was resurrected, or even lived.  I have heard or read “priests in good standing” in Holy Mother Church express their disbelief on all of those realities, and many more besides.  I could easily segue to another subject, but I won’t go down that rabbit hole today.

The Church has weathered innumerable crises in her long history, but never before has she been so afflicted with such an enormous lack of faith, and lack of belief in core matters of Doctrine, as she is today.  It is a crisis of limitless proportions and shows little sign of abating, let alone resolving.  But God has worked miraculous recoveries in the past.  May He have the mercy on us to do so again.

After 200 Years of Steady Shrinkage, Slavery is Growing Again – Thanks to Islam April 17, 2017

Posted by Tantumblogo in asshatery, disaster, Ecumenism, error, General Catholic, history, horror, It's all about the $$$, paganism, scandals, secularism, self-serving, sickness, Society, unadulterated evil.
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History takes many strange turns.  A relatively poor circa 1580 Elizabethan England, casting about for means to compete with Spain’s enormous wealth mined out of massive New World colonies, seized upon what seemed like a hideous get rich quick scheme put forth by the amoral pirates Drake and Hawkins – capturing natives along the west coast of Africa, hauling them in hellish conditions across the Atlantic to the New World colonies, and selling them at a tidy profit.  On the return trip, they would bring valuable commodities from the West Indies and other western hemisphere locales for sale at lucrative prices in English and Dutch markets, before heading south to gather more slaves.  Even though local Spanish authorities took a very dim view of this practice initially, capturing and executing the crews of several English pirate-slave ships, the terrible practice eventually took hold and spread throughout the new world (and was taken up by other nations, especially the Portuguese).  In fact, the practice grew so lucrative that it played a major role in encouraging English settlement of North America, since it was thought that extremely cheap labor to grow cash crops like sugar and tobacco would be easily available through the North Atlantic slave trade.  The Europeans bought their slaves from West African slave dealers who were as often as not muslim.

Of course, there were always opponents to this barbarous practice, in England and elsewhere.  Spain’s kings and the Holy See fought against the practice with varying degrees of intensity and varying degrees of success over the next 200 years.  But it was in England, gripped by one of its periodic bouts of (most often) disordered religious fervor, that eventually became the prime champion of abolition of the international slave trade.  Even disorders can produce happy outcomes, at times.  In 1807, after years of effort by Wilberforce and others, Parliament passed the Abolishment of the Slave Trade act.  Fortuitously for the world, England was approaching the zenith of her power, especially in the Royal Navy, which served as might and main to interdict the slave trade throughout the world and drastically reduce this practice.  Thus those who had done the most to help popularize mass enslavement across continents, did the most to eradicate the practice.

150 years later, as Western Civilization, uncoupled from the Christian moorings which helped precipitate two of the most horrific wars the world had ever seen, passed from zenith into rapid decline, the practice of slavery had been all but extinguished.  It still existed somewhat in Africa, particularly among some of the most backwards and isolated muslim sects along the transitional zone between Saharan Africa and tropical Africa.  Slaves were mostly acquired through tribal warfare in small numbers, and shipped in small numbers to the Arabian peninsula. The African muslim slave trade merely continued a practice that had been maintained, uninterrupted, for 3000 years or more. Contrary to Christendom, islam had never formally forsaken slavery as contrary to the dignity of the human person created in God’s image, because islam has no comprehension of that image.

But that was 60 years ago.  That was before the de-Christianized West, morally lost and full of self-loathing, withdrew its moral authority from the world stage, replacing moral substance with amoral harlotry exported via satellite dish and internet.  Islam has, in much of the world, rushed in to fill this vacuum.  The most radical forms of islam are growing the fastest, and these are the most comfortable with reducing other people to chattel and using them for the satisfaction of all manner of prurient desires.  In doing this, islam is only repeating what it has always done. Indeed, for much of its history, from its satanic birth in the 630s up until well into the 19th century of Grace, islam primarily preyed upon Christian regions as its source of slaves.  Barbary pirates were making slave raids on Cornwall as late as the 1710s.

And so today, thanks to the western intervention that ousted Gaddafi in 2011, the slave markets in Libya, under ISIS watchful eye, are booming again.  Indeed, there is more slavery afoot in the world than at anytime since the late 19th century, and all the trends are headed in the wrong direction, and it has almost entirely to do with the trademarked “religion of peace,” islam:

The US has engaged in regime change in at least 4 Mideast countries going back to 1979.  In every single case, what came out of the US intervention was drastically worse than what came before, especially for the local Christian minorities.  Carter’s weakness and waffling paved the way for regime change in Iran, and we’ve had nearly 40 years of terror and extremism as a result.  Iraq is a battleground, a made up nation with no real reason to exist anymore, and its ancient Christian populations have been decimated.  Libya is now dominated by ISIS and is a completely failed state.  We’re doing our best to drive Assad out of Syria and lay the groundwork for a new Caliphate, apparently, with millions more Christians, at least half of them Catholic, at dire risk.  Even Trump now seems to have fallen into this neo-con world government mindset with regard to Assad, all on the basis of a chemical attack that either never happened, or was committed by the radical islamist rebels themselves.

Where we have absolutely no idea what we’re doing, I think it best we stay the heck out.

 

The 16th Century Protestant Revolt And the Current Crisis in the Church April 3, 2017

Posted by Tantumblogo in abdication of duty, catachesis, Ecumenism, episcopate, error, foolishness, General Catholic, history, persecution, reading, Revolution, scandals, secularism, self-serving, Society, the struggle for the Church, Tradition.
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History may or may not repeat itself, but historical situations do recur.  In this time of incredible crisis in the Church, it is helpful sometimes to review the history of previous crises.  The protestant revolt in the 16th century was a time when it appeared all of Christendom might fall into error.  The parallels between that disastrous period of time and our own are perhaps greater than many realize.  Whether the condition of the Church today is better or worse than that of, say, the dark year of 1560, when Calvinists very nearly gained France to their side through a narrowly foiled secret plot (endorsed by Calvin himself) to murder not only the French king but dozens of Catholic nobles, is difficult to say.  What has remained constant between that time and this is the tendency for bad Catholics to make up the lead ranks of the revolutionaries.  I guess the primary difference is that in the current disastrous state of the Church, as in the Arian crisis, the revolutionaries lack the honesty and decency to formally separate themselves from union with the Church, instead pretending they represent a “truer,” “purer,” “reformed” Faith.  Of course, much of the reason for that has been the fault of numerous timorous pontiffs, who have lacked the nerve to openly challenge the modernist-progressive cabal by excommunicating them as they, and the faithful, so richly deserve.

At any rate, in keeping with today’s focus on the current religion of leftist secular paganism and it’s historical antecedents, this excerpt from pp. 285-6 of William Thomas Walsh’s Philip II:

One of the biggest factors in causing all this corruption was the interference of the State, newly conscious of its unity and power, in the affairs of the Church.  Priests were badly disciplined because there were too many political bishops.  There were political bishops because kings, even in Spain, had seldom missed an opportunity to wring privileges from unwilling Popes when they had them in their power.  Often the Pope had to allow the King to name the bishops, as the price of having Christianity preached at all, and he chose the lesser of the two evils.  In view of all this, it is strange that men go on repeating cant phrases about the interference of the Church in the State in the Middle Ages.  Sometimes, yes; but more often the other way around. Philip took it as a matter of course that he was to be consulted before the Pope nominated a bishop in any of his dominions.  If any Pope had dared to dictate Philips appointments……..!!!!!!!

Three other facts about the corruption of the clergy are often forgotten: 1) Many of the accounts of church scandals originated with the enemies of the Church, who have been proved guilty of gross exaggerations or of downright lying.  Sometimes the scandalmonger is an exposed cheat, like Llorente; sometimes a scribbler in the pay of one of the Pope’s political enemies, like the lewd neo-pagan Pontano; or a credulous retailer of indiscriminate gossip or a disappointed office-seeker. Being contemporary does not make a man truthful or reliable.  In all ages there has been a continuous and curiously uniform propaganda to discredit the Church and all connected with her.   Documents of the Alta Vendita, made public by the papal government of 1846, disclosed a systematic and deliberate campaign of slander.  One letter said:

“Our ultimate end is that of Voltaire and of the French Revolution – the final destruction of Catholicism, and even of the Christian idea.  The work which we have undertaken is not the work of a day, nor of a month, nor of a year.  It may last many years, a century perhaps……….Crush the enemy whoever he may be; crush the powerful by means of lies and calumny………If a prelate comes to Rome from the provinces to exercise some public function, learn immediately his character, his antecedents, above all, his defects.  If he is already a declared enemy…..envelop him in all the snares you can lay under his feet; create for him one of those reputations which will frighten little children and old women…….paint him cruel and sanguinary: recount regarding him some trait of cruelty which can easily be engraved in the minds of the people.

If this was never formulated so concretely until the nineteenth century, it describes, with startling accuracy, what the enemies of the Church had been doing for centuries.  It describes what they did to the reputation of Philip II.

2) It is to be noticed that when the breach occurred, it was the ignorant and corrupt priest, monk, or nun who rushed forth to join Luther and Calvin in the liberty of the new dispensation.  Theodore Beza, as a Roman Catholic, is a glaring example of the too common corruption.  Though not even a priest, he enjoys the incomes of two benefices, through political influence, lavishes the Church’s money on his concubine, and generally leads a vicious and dissolute life.  When the Church is under attack, he hastens to join the enemy.  As Calvin’s lieutenant, this “righteous” man thunders against the corruption of the Old Church, of which he was partly the cause.  There is no doubt about the laxity of the monasteries of Sevilla and Valladolid, whose members embraced protestantism; nor of the degeneracy of the Augustinians in Saxony, who broke away from the Church almost to a man in 1521 (so much so that they may as well be called “Luther’s Own”).  In England it was the reformed Observantine Franciscans who withstood Henry VIII even to death, while the relaxed Conventuals and other badly disciplined monks and priests formed the nucleus of the Church of England.  The first protestants, as a rule, were bad Catholics. [very much as we have seen in the Church since the crisis exploded at and after Vatican II, the already soft and corrupted orders have fallen into total dissolution, while a few observant orders – and a number of new ones, clinging to the disciplines of the past – have maintained their own, or grown substantially.]

———–End Quote———-

So, contrary to what you have almost certainly been taught from both teacher and toob, the pre-Reformation Catholic Church was not simply a corrupt, effete, cynical, self-serving institution enriching itself off the enforced donations o f a benighted peasantry desperate to believe in any kind of Good News, no matter how falsely presented it may have been.  Or more accurately, to the extent that description was ever true, the Church was very often not to blame for that state of things.  The State had a great deal to answer for in whatever deficiencies were present in Christendom on the eve of the protestant revolt.

The campaign of deliberate smear by vituperation practiced by protestant-leftists then……is it much different from the epithets of “Nazi,” “racist,” “islamophobe,” “sexist,” etc., we hear now?  It seems Alinsky was far from the first Alinskyite – the protestants and masons of the Alta Vendita had him beat by centuries.

Walsh’s history is heavy, at times ponderous, and a bit too focused on minute details (do I really need 1 ½ pages – 700 words – on the exotic gowns worn by Philip II, his third wife Isabel, and their entourage at their wedding?) but it is undeniably Catholic in outlook.  He is very similar to Warren Carroll in that respect, but did not have some of the small, but still noticeable, baggage that Carroll carried with him (a too great deference to the post-conciliar ethos,  and a tendency to gloss over certain topics).  Philip II is Walsh’s magnum opus, but I look forward to reading other books by the author.  History has always been my first love, and even though this is a trying read at times, I am learning a great deal.  I plan on reading the rest of this author’s oeuvre as I can.

A Little Peak at Why Texans Love Their State So Much March 10, 2017

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, Art and Architecture, awesomeness, family, foolishness, fun, General Catholic, history, Latin Mass, silliness, Society, Victory.
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I lived in Idaho for a year and worked at a place that, because it was such a craptastic nightmare of pollution and amazing danger, had to recruit across the entire nation to bring in a flood of new engineers to replace those who constantly left.  So I wound up being a new hire working with people from Arizona, California, Michigan, etc.

Now I was actually replacing a previous UT grad who just bled “Texas is Awesome” all over the place.  He DROVE 24 hours or so back home at least every 2 or 3 months.  He bragged Texas up one side and down the other.  After he left and they hired me, I was fairly homesick.  I, too, lamented having to leave Texas and especially Austin (OK, a, it was different then, and b, I was all of 22), and probably described how awesome it was.  And it drove my co-workers nuts.  They kept asking me, “what’s so great about it, what’s so great about it?”  I had a hard time describing it.

I think those who haven’t lived here for an appreciable length of time can comprehend the extent of the love affair many Texans – natives or transplants – have for this place.  As to the why…….it’s hard to explain.  Texas has its own, very dramatic, history. It was an independent nation.  It is huge.  The food is varied and awesome (Whataburger!).  The women are gorgeous, prettier than any other state I’ve been to, though some other southern states come close.  Cowboys, the oil industry, the ranching, Hispanics that have been in Texas longer than Mexico has been a nation, the huge wide open sky which some easterners used to tall trees and narrow vistas find oppressive.

It has the most varied geography of pretty much any state in the union including maybe even Alaska and California.  You can be in deep East Texas piney woods that look like Alabama, the Rocky Mountains, or flat unbroken scrub brush desert.  But the heart of it all, the prettiest, best part, to me, anyway, is the Hill Country.  I fell in love with the Hill Country in college and have adored it ever since.

The people are generally awesome, too, but we are getting too many and the urban areas have become more and more generic Top 10 market type places. So don’t think about moving here!  There’s snakes everywhere and black widows and you have to rinse the sand out of your coffee cup every morning and its hotter n’ blazes n……..

Seriously, Texas also has a deep Catholic heritage that the fading protestant majority has tried to minimize but which this video gives at least some recognition to.  It’s from the early 60s and is in good color.  You can see the fields of wild bluebonnets that are just about to start blooming, among the Indian Paintbrush and the Firewheel and Mexican Hat and others. There is even a brief shot of a TLM at an ancient mission in South Texas.  German immigrants, of which my wife is a pureblood descendant, get a mention.  Her father is one of the dwindling speakers of Texas German.

Texans I think will really enjoy this video, even though it is possibly a bit hokey and juvenile.  Outsiders will lament and gnash their teeth in great jealousy.  Clear streams with white limestone bottoms, oak and cedar trees, white rock cliffs and rolling coastal pastures, mountain laurels…….my wife and kids are going to Pipe Creek next week, and I have to stay and work. I know everything will be wonderfully in bloom. Waaaahhhhh!

A Highly Illuminating Blast from the Past February 28, 2017

Posted by Tantumblogo in fun, General Catholic, history, huh?, Revolution, secularism, sickness, Society, the enemy.
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Wow.  You might find the video below as intriguing as I did.  It covers the early part of George Wallace’s 1968 election campaign as a third party candidate. Later he chose the often unfairly maligned Curtis E. LeMay for his running mate.

It’s interesting what is and isn’t discussed in the video, which I believe was produced by a friendly Alabama TV station.  Segregation is never directly addressed – which of course had been a huge part of Wallace’s political past (though leftists might hear a “dog whistle” in repeated appeals to law and order) – but then neither is Vietnam.  What is discussed may sound eerily familiar to you, as it did to me.  Many of the same concerns that resulted in Trump’s election were being voiced by millions of Americans (Wallace got 14% of the vote and won several southern states) fifty years ago: horror at liberal overreach, grave concern over an increasingly totalitarian judiciary pushing an always leftist agenda, an increasing sense that individual liberties were being steadily curtailed.  Hey, 60s people, wait till you get a load of cultural marxism/political correctness!  Are any of you Wallace supporters still around?!

May dad had an AuH20 (Goldwater in that very atomic time) sticker on his car in ’64, but voted for Nixon in ’68.  West Texas used to be covered in billboards demanding the impeachment of both Johnson and Earl Warren.  Those early efforts were sadly unsuccessful, and now we’re much further down the line of leftist totalitarianism, being perhaps one presidential administration away from the final demise of the “American experiment.”  Fortunately, that did not come to pass, at least, in 2016.  But it might in 2020, if Trump cannot roll much of this leftist agenda back.

Wallace, of course, did not earn much Catholic support.  Jim Crow segregationists -and he had definitely been one – had little more love for Catholics than they did for blacks.  Catholics returned the sentiment, in general.  It is surprising that Wallace did attract quite a bit of support outside the South, as the video makes clear.  Numerous Americans were disgusted by Johnson and exceedingly concerned over what was then the still quite nascent advance of cultural marxism and leftism in our country.  Whatever Wallace was, and I’m certainly no big student of him, he seemed to appeal to developing and broad-ranging concern that America had gotten badly off-track and was in danger of becoming lost.  Reagan would tap into this same sentiment to great success in 1980, finally gaining wide crossover support from Catholics for a Republican nominee.

No I am not endorsing Wallace or some of his more unfortunate views in posting this.  It is to me a highly revealing time capsule of an America that was, which ain’t nearly so different as we might have thought it would be from today.  If you’ve got 30 or 60 minutes to invest, I think it’s worth your time. Wallace certainly did recognize some of the gravest threats this republic faced then and now, and articulated them quite well.  Of course, a few years later, after being shot in 1972, he would reverse many of these opinions and become much more liberal.  Nevertheless I think this has some value from both the historical perspective and from a sociological point of view, in terms of comprehending just how long and deep the same concerns that led to Trump’s media-aided emergence in 2016 have existed.  I tell you what, it is almost mind-blowing to see George Wallace packing halls in, of all places, San Francisco!! – California used to be a fairly conservative state until the invasion of illegal immigrants and burned out hippy summer of love leftovers totally remade that state’s demographics.

If you want to save time I think  you can get a good feel for the whole by just watching the first 10 or 15 minutes. After that it does become a bit more repetitive.

UPDATE: Wallace took some stands that most people today find appalling.  His “segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever” seems unfathomable.  Of course, he was always more a populist than a true segregationist – that portion of the Alabama white populace that elected him in ’64 wanted segregation to persist, so Wallace became that group’s champion.  As desegregation became inevitable Wallace jettisoned that rhetoric quickly, and as I noted, in later life wholly repudiated those policy positions.

Having said that, LBJ, often lauded as a civil rights pioneer, is widely reported to have said, regarding the 1964 Civil Rights Act, the Voting Rights Act of 1965, and the creation of the welfare state – “we’ll have the niggars voting for us (the democrats) for 200 years.” This was part and parcel with a racism inherent within much of the democrat party that I think, in much more subtle but possibly more destructive ways, persists to this day.  Of course, virtually everyone has forgotten that all of those measures required strong Republican support to pass Congress, as the democrat party was badly split on those issues.  Interesting how that works out, the democrats have always reaped the electoral rewards of these stands taken in the 60s today, to the extent that the entire Republican party, or merely to vote Republican, is considered irretrievably racist by the Black Lives Matters movement and others dedicated to the furtherance of Democrat political interests.  The current Republican president is being presented as history’s biggest monster simply because he exists, not because of anything he’s actually done, which isn’t much, yet.  This is the new normal for Republicans going forward.  The media-government complex  (those Wallace lambasted as “pseudo-intellectuals”) cannot be destroyed soon enough.

Meanwhile, democrats continue to cultivate a virtual plantation where they keep minorities voting reliably for them even as those same minorities cultural, moral, and even economic situation continues to horribly deteriorate as a deliberate result of democrat-leftist  policies.  Someone will write a great comic tragedy someday, some great masterpiece of literature, if such things still exist 100 years from now, covering exactly this comedy of errors.  It would be unbelievably if it were not true.

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.
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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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They May Not Have Known Each Other, But They Sure as Hell Chewed Some of the Same Dirt February 17, 2017

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, family, history, non squitur, silliness.
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My paternal grandparents met and married in Phillips County, Kansas in the 1920s.  They may have known each other well before that, but they married around 1930.  My grandfather’s surname was obviously Roach.  My grandmother’s was Pennington.  God rest both their souls.

150 years earlier, Francis Roach was a very early settler of Kentucky.  He arrived there perhaps 4 years after Daniel Boone led the first permanent party of white settlers across the Cumberland Gap in 1775 (an earlier attempt in 1773 had to be abandoned due to attacks by indians).  Francis served in the Revolutionary War under General George Rogers Clark.  A little bio on Francis:

Personal Information:
Born:  April 1739 in Fairfax Co., VA
Family: He was married.
Death:  9 Jul 1845 at his son David’s house at Lamb’s Point (Worden) [106 years old!]Military Record:  He enlisted in 1779 and again in 1780 when he served with Capt.Dougherty on the frontier. He went with his captain in the service of his country under the command of General George Rogers Clark in 1782, and in 1786 he fought the Indians under the command of General     Benjamin Logan. During the campaigns into the Indian country in the present state of Ohio, in one he helped cut up and destroy their corn at “Old Chillicothe of the Little Miami”. Mr. Roach had drawn a pension of $24.67 a year since 1832 (he was 93 when he applied).

Burial:  Hamel Tp.

Narrative:  Being an orphan boy, he was bound to a master, who removed with him to North Carolina in early life, where he married. In 1779 he emigrated to Kentucky, where he spent the first six years in a fort at Dougherty’s Station, near Danville in Mercer Co.; and after residing in several other parts of that state (he is on the 1799 tax list for Christian Co., KY – 299 acres), moved to Madison Co., Il living there till his death.

Francis was a man below the middling stature, of a swarthy complexion, gray eyes, and of active bodily faculties, which he retained to a remarkable degree till his last illness – was naturally of a cheerful disposition, rather weakly the first thirty-one years, which probably taught him how to be prudent in managing his health, having enjoyed, uniformly, (with the exception of two or three attacks of fever and ague) good health during that period. He was always an early riser – a day rarely dawned before he was out of bed – winter and summer.  [Well he certainly didn’t pass that trait on to me]

Mr. Roach was always a temperate man, using ardent spirits only in the shape of “morning bitters”, as was the custom of the day – ate meat generally at every meal – never liked or drank coffee [so that’s where it get it from!], but tea occasionally for the last ten years, and totally disused ardent spirits for the same period. He became a professor of religion, and joined the Methodist Episcopal Church in the year 1787, in which he remained a devout member the balance of his life. [as were at least some of his descendants 200 years later]

After he was 100 years old, his eyesight became so dim that he could with difficulty discern one person from another – being guided more by their voice than otherwise. He never had the benefit of an education, and consequently had not much need for spectacles.

Mr. Roach was a hatter by trade, but most of his labor was spent on the farm, which never ceased as long as his eyesight served him. He was seen cutting corn stalks in the field with a hoe after he became a centenarian.

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Daniel Boone had a sister named Hannah.  Hannah married another Revolutionary War soldier named Richard Pennington.  They, like Francis, moved from North Carolina to Kentucky in the late 1770s.  In fact, Hannah and Richard belonged to the first worship house set up in Kentucky, the Mulkey Meeting House, the later version of which still stands to this day, and outside of which Hannah’s earthly remains lie.

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While these families crossed the Cumberland Gap almost contemporaneously and lived in relatively close proximity for some times, they rapidly scattered within a few years. The Roaches in particular seemed to have a serious case of wanderlust, picking up and moving every 20 years or so.  And not just across town, but to entirely different states, when to do so involved great danger and a journey of weeks or months. After Kentucky they went to Illinois, then Iowa, and finally Kansas.  Why those good Southerners went to Yankee land I have no idea………well, actually I do, they were not big on fighting for the right of a handful of very rich and decadent men to own slaves.  In fact all my forebears who fought in the Civil War – and there were quite a few – fought for the North.  I’d have to check, but every single one of them may have.

I don’t know if my dad has ever established that the Roaches and Penningtons knew each other at this early date, but given that there were probably not 500 whites in all of Kentucky at this early date it’s possible. It has been established via genealogy that these are the same Roaches and Penningtons. Amazing that descendants of these families would, 3 or 4 generations later, wind up marrying.  In the words of Gunny Highway, they may not have known each other, but they sure as hell chewed some of the same dirt.

So, yes, I am also distantly related to Daniel Boone.

A Beautiful, Edifying Episode from the Life of St. Simeon Stylite January 26, 2017

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, catachesis, episcopate, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, history, Interior Life, mortification, reading, Saints, sanctity, the struggle for the Church, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
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The man who stood upon ever-taller stone columns for decades, St. Simeon Stylite is probably better known among Eastern Christians than those in the West.  Fortunately, St. Francis de Sales included the following episode from the life of St. Simeon Stylite in some of his letters, letters which were compiled into a book called Finding God’s Will For You. There are serious lessons regarding obedience in this tale, too, but obedience is an issue so fraught with peril in today’s Church, where so much of the leadership has gone amok.  How to deal with authority that is demanding 135794-004-971f6b9eacceptance of grave sin and destructive error under threat of severe persecution?  There are writings from the Tradition that help guide us, but they are not terribly voluminous or comprehensive.

This situation we are going through is not entirely unique.  In the protestant revolt, whole bishops and princes tried to take dioceses and countries into error.  Did souls go along, under obedience or more prurient motives?  Most did.  But in almost every locale, some remained faithful.  Many of those are called Saints or Blesseds today.

I think the lesson, as it develops below, also serves as a guide to us.  Worthy shepherds will give broad latitude to subordinates who show a willingness to be obedient.  But those seeking to impose their will, and heterodox beliefs, on the Church, will always seek to impose their will in virtually every regard, and won’t grant such latitude.  Whenever it comes down to promotion of error, subordinates are freed from their duty of obedience.  Unfortunately, those seeking to impose a different religion often know how to mask their efforts to at least some degree, making the process of discernment a most difficult one.  Pray that God may enlighten you as to which matters require your obedience.

Anyway, from Finding God’s Will For You, pp. 61-2:

While the incomparable Simeon Stylites was still a novice at Telada (a monastery in Syria), he refused to respond to the advice of his superiors who wished to keep him from practicing the many strange forms of austerity he observed with inordinate severity.  For this reason he was expelled from the monastery as a man not very susceptible to mortification of heart and much given to that of the body.  Afterward he came to his senses, became more devout and wiser in the spiritual life, and behaved quite differently, as is proved by the following event.
download-15When the hermits who were scattered about the desert regions near Antioch learned of the extraordinary life he led on his pillar, where he seemed to be either an angel on earth or a man from Heaven, they sent him a representative whom they instructed to speak for them in the following fashion: “Simeon, why have you left the great path of the devout life, trodden by so many great and holy predecessors, and followed another path unknown to men and far distant from everything seen or heard of up to the present?  Simeon, get down from that pillar, and join the others in the way of life and method of serving God used by those good fathers who were our predecessors.”

In the event that Simeon agreed with their advice and showed himself ready and willing to descend from his pillar so as to condescend to their will, the  hermits had instructed their messenger to leave him free to persevere in the kind of life he had begun.  Bu such obedience, those good fathers said, they could easily recognize that he had entered this kind of life  under divine inspiration. On the contrary, if he resisted, despised their exhortation, and wished to follow his own will, then they resolved that it would be necessary to take him down by force and make him give up his pillar. [These were most wise shepherds with the love of Christ in their hearts.  They are happy to give wide space for novel forms of devotion, even when they do not fully understand them, provided sufficient submission to Christ and His Church is evident]

When the deputy had arrived at the pillar, he had no sooner announced his mission than the great Simeon without delay, without reservation, and without any reply, started to descend with obedience and humility worthy of his rare sanctity.  When the delegate saw this, he said, “Simeon, stop and stay there, persevere with constancy, and have saintsimongood courage.  Follow valiantly your enterprise. Your sojourn on that pillar is from God.”

….I implore you to observe carefully how those holy anchorites of old in general meeting found no surer mark of heavenly inspiration in a matter so extraordinary as the life of St. Stylites than to see that he was simple, gentle, and tractable under the laws of most holy obedience.  God blessed the submission of that great man and gave him the grace to persevere for thirty whole years upon a column more than fifty feet high….Thus this bird of paradise, living in air and not touching earth, was a spectacle of love for angels and of admiration for men.  In obedience, everything is safe, apart from obedience, all is subject to suspicion……..

……..A man who ways that he is inspired and then refuses to obey his superiors and follow their advice is an impostor.  All prophets and preachers inspired by God have always loved the Church, always adhered to Her Doctrine, and always had Her approval……… [When the superiors give evidence of being impostors by not adhering to Doctrine, the entire machine breaks down.  Especially when even the highest authority gives such evidence.  The great trouble is, after 50 years of successively advancing inculcation of error in souls, there are very few who don’t hold erroneous beliefs, who don’t support some form of abuse.  If it were not for her supernatural element, I daresay, the machine stops.]

———–End Quote———–

I get in “trouble,” sometimes, as I am viewed as not being sufficiently supportive, or critical, of groups like the SSPX.  But in this time of mass confusion and untold calamity, I have a difficult time telling someone “you err” in their differing responses to the crisis.  I do have some limits – I think sede vacantists go too far, and those who reject the Church altogether and leave for some other sect/church – but overall I have a hard time blaming someone, in this unending mass of confusion and conflict, from arriving at a little bit different conclusion than my own.  I think the key remains: “Love God, and do what you will.”  I pray He will be merciful and understanding with us all who are groping about in the dark in this time of so little light.

This Stinks: Gene Cernan dead at 82 January 16, 2017

Posted by Tantumblogo in Four Last Things, General Catholic, history, manhood, sadness, Society, technology, Victory.
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The old Apollo guys are going to their reward one by one.  Who is left at this point that walked on the moon?   Buzz Aldrin, Al Bean, Dave Scott, John Young, Charlie Duke, and Jack Schmitt.  All are in their 80s.

But today the last man to walk on the moon died.  Gene Cernan, who lived outside Kerrville, was 82:

Gene Cernan, an early NASA astronaut who was the last man to set foot on the moon, died Monday, NASA announced in a tweet. He was 82.

Cernan was the commander of Apollo 17 in December 1972 – the last lunar mission and one of the final Apollo flights. When Cernan stepped out from lunar module “Challenger” he became the 11th person to walk on the moon. His lunar module pilot, Jack Schmitt, was the 12th. But as commander, Cernan was the last to re-enter the module, making him the last person to walk on the lunar surface.

Cernan had previously served as the lunar module pilot on Apollo 10 and was a pilot on the Gemini IX mission.

Cernan logged 566 hours and 15 minutes in space, of which 73 hours were spent on the surface of the moon, according to NASA.

Cernan was one of only three men to travel to the moon twice.  The other two were Jim Lovell (still alive) and John Young.

There was a big row in NASA in the first half of 1970 when Nixon foolishly decided to gut the Apollo program (although, in his defense, most all of NASA management wanted it gutted, too).  After it was announced that Apollos 18-20 would be cancelled, even though the hardware was already almost entirely built (everything but the LMs for Apollo 19 and 20), the scientific community got all fired up because the then-current crew rotation would mean that no scientist would fly to the moon if Apollo 17 was the last mission.  The first scientist scheduled to go was Jack Schmitt to the Tycho Crater on Apollo 18 with Commander Dick Gordon.  No Apollo 18 meant no scientist on the moon.

But not so fast.  The science guys raised a big enough ruckus that NASA management was “encouraged” to change the crew rotation.  Gordon and Schmitt had been training together for 6 months at that point so Gordon hoped the entire crew for 18 would just replace Gene Cernan’s crew for 17.  That would have left Cernan out in the cold.  But instead, the awesomely skilled former X-15 pilot Joe Engle was bumped as LMP from Apollo 17 in favor of Schmitt, and Dick Gordon had to watch his chance to be the somewhat famous last man on the moon go up in smoke.

Gene Cernan was a bit of an anomaly among early Apollo astronauts in not being a test pilot.  He was an attack aviation guy in the Navy, flying Skyhawks, when he found out he had been accepted into the third round of astronaut selectees.  Cernan was generally viewed as a competent straight shooter who perhaps had the flaw of being a bit aggressive in his self-promotion.  There was quite a bit of that among the Apollo astronauts, of course.  After his time in NASA and almost de rigeuer collapse of his first marriage, Cernan became a bit of a sad creature, a sort of a caricature of his salad days version of himself, always Captain Cernan, always the former astronaut, not Geno or Gene anymore.

Still, they rarely make men like this anymore.  We’re much too soft to produce such steely eyed missile men as those who flew to the moon in a delicate, lowest-cost government-run contraption.  Engineering was done on slide rules back then, with no 3-D solid modeling and with less computing power in the entire NASA basement than one smart phone today.  And yet they did it, and the engineers of back then were probably far, far better than those of today, man for man.

Gene Cernan was at least a nominal Catholic most of his life.  Not sure if he died one.  I pray for the repose of his soul.

Few know Cernans’s most dangerous mission was not Apollo 17, was not on Apollo at all, but was on Gemini 9A.  During the mission he was to perform only America’s second spacewalk, the first since Ed White briefly flew outside Gemini 4.  What most people did not know at that time, is that White barely made it back inside the spacecraft.  His inflated pressure suit did not want to fit in the cramped capsule and he and commander Jim McDivitt struggled mightily to get it closed. As a result, White got quite severely overheated.

Well, White’s walk lasted perhaps 20 minutes, whereas Cernan’s was scheduled to last several hours.  However, he also ran into problems with inadequate cooling in his spacesuit, especially when in the 250 degree temperatures on the sunny side of the world.  Physical exertion, of which there was plenty, made him sweat profusely.  Then, when the capsule went around the night side of the earth, all that moisture inside his suit froze.  His visor was almost completely frosted over and Cernan was blind.  He barely managed to make it back inside the ship, and probably had a heat stroke trying to get the hatch shut.

Cernan and Stafford repeated their two-man team on Apollo 10, when another accident could have killed them both.  An incorrect setting on a guidance computer caused their Lunar Module to tumble out of control while practicing the landing maneuvers that Apollo 11 would perform on the first lunar landing.  The telemetry showed the LM “Snoopy” doing three 360s before Stafford flipped the switch to go from backup abort guidance to the Apollo Guidance Computer.  That fixed it.

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So, While I Was Away, Dallas Got a New Bishop January 4, 2017

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, Dallas Diocese, episcopate, General Catholic, history, huh?, priests, secularism, Society.
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Edward Burns from, of all places, Juneau, AK, was named to replace departed <giggle> Cardinal <snort> Farrell about three weeks ago, while I was in beautiful but cold North Carolina.  This is a real under-the-radar kind of appointment.  Burns is not as young as I feared (59, meaning Dallas won’t be saddled with one man, great or disastrous, for thirty years, like Albany and Rochester have been), and he’s led a fairly low profile heretofore.  I’m not entirely certain, but there’s a good possibility that his former Diocese, Juneau, is the smallest in the nation.  Heck, it’s 6000 Catholics are smaller than probably 2/3 of the parishes in this diocese.

I’ll admit this appointment happened a great deal sooner than I thought.  Bishop Cardinal Farrell had said, before departing, that a replacement would be named within 2-3 months.  I scoffed at that, since other dioceses have waited 18-24 months to get replacements, but he was obviously better informed than I: the replacement was named just over 3 months after Farrell departed for his new sinecure in Rome.

New Bishop Burns hails originally from Pittsburgh, and got some love from Pope JPII (via Ratzinger) in being appointed one of the co-chairman of the apostolic investigation into the (deliberately engineered) vocations crisis in the US, and later was appointed to the Vatican review of US seminaries.  After that, however, he was sent back to Pittsburgh to the post he had held before he had been elevated to the USCCB in 1999, as rector of the diocesan seminary in Pittsburgh.  After an additional year in that role was apparently sufficient purgatory and he was then consecrated Bishop of Juneau by Benedict XVI in early 2009.  I don’t know if these moves signify a rising or falling star or are simply the vagaries of Church assignments for a man being groomed for the episcopate.  Beats me.

The Diocese of Pittsburgh under Bishop David Zubik is generally seen to be somewhat on the conservative side, I think, at least relatively speaking by 201X American standards.  What that means for our new Bishop Burns in Dallas is uncertain.  This guy does not have much of a paper trail, though he has been fairly reliably pro-life, at least in a few public pronouncements.  He doesn’t seem to be a screaming liberal, but I could be fooled.

I’m also uncertain what Burn’s appointment means for the Diocese.  It does seem something of a step down, from receiving the consummate insider (and clearly a man on the rise) in Farrell, who had been a protege of the notorious but highly influential Cardinal McCarrick, a big player in the politically important Archdiocese of Washington, DC, and a deeply committed USCCB apparatchik, to this guy, wonderful though he may be (or may not be) from the Diocese of North Pole.  Does that say something about how Dallas is perceived within the Church? Under Farrell, Dallas went from being something of a backwater with a scandalous recent past (the boy-rape scandals and decadent seminary situation being Farrell’s two biggest repair priorities in office) to being a destination, from being a place that received bishops from elsewhere to one that exported many into leadership positions in nearby dioceses.  Or is it a situation where a diocese in crisis merited an admittedly sharp administrator (if hardly an inspiring, doctrinally strong shepherd), and now that the crisis is supposedly past (though things continue to be buried), someone of a lower profile could be named as replacement?  I do not say any of this as a criticism of Burns, it’s simply comparing the very disparate past histories of two different men.

Some local pro-life folks have apparently met with Bishop-elect Burns and came away heartened.  So maybe he’ll be awesome.  My guess is that very little will change, practically speaking.  There isn’t anything in his background, that I have found, that indicates he might have a innate hostility towards Tradition, over and above what most men formed in his time and place have.  Of course, it’s difficult to say, most of this is just speculation off of a few thread of evidence.  If you have found documentation that indicates reasons for concern or elation, please share them.  My research has been limited to an afternoon and an evening during the break.  I admit I am mostly just spitballing in this post.

One thing that has changed, and I imagine this was planned under Farrell, is that the local pro-life Mass and march will be split into two days, and the march will be little more than a short stroll from the convention center to an empty parking lot on deserted, weekend downtown streets (the last bit being per usual, unfortunately).  This isn’t a major change, formerly held on one day with a Mass and a mile or so long march through downtown Dallas, the local pro-life March has, over the years, degenerated into a self-congratulatory spectacle garnering precious little media coverage and accomplishing mostly mutual back-patting. I don’t criticize those who participate, it’s certainly fine to get some reinforcement for one’s pro-life beliefs, but the March reaches basically no one who is not already converted and I don’t think it accomplishes a great deal in the defense of life in any concrete sense. As such, we’re going to just pray/counsel outside a mill, instead of participating in the March.  Unfortunately, in the wake of the court’s overturning of Texas HB2, mills that had closed down due to the bill are re-opening, like the notorious Northpark mill which is nearly complete.