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Location: Montgomery Area, Alabama, United States

Former BUFF driver; self-styled military historian; paid (a lot) to write about beating plowshares into swords; NOT Foamy the Squirrel, contrary to all appearances. Wesleyan Jihadi Name: Sibling Railgun of Reasoned Discourse

Thursday, March 29, 2007

God on God's Side

Apologies for having abandoned the Blog for over three weeks. I know I have disappointed my readers (both of you), but I am a chapter away from completing a book and, unlike James Lileks, I cannot blog and write books (and chew gum) at the same time.

My apologies also to new commenter, Paul of Suffolk (no relation to Paul of Tarsus), who left the following comment on my last post:

Not sure guns and pressurised cabins really mix well !

Anyway I'd be genuinely interested in your comments on [his blog]:

I won't go into the details concerning types of ammo that mix well enough with cabins while not mixing well with the human body, except to say that some pilots and all air marshalls have carried guns for years. There are ways, as they say, to do these things.

Paul's blog is interesting; he seems a rather typical sort of skeptic -- I don't expect believers in Europe or Britain. (And yes, I distinguish the two. The UK is part of the Anglosphere; The Continent is not. Despite both bodies sharing a gernally post-Christian secularist culture, they're not the same beast.)

Paul says that is Jesus did exist, he was a socialist. Strictly speaking, I disagree. since "socialist" carries inappropriate political baggage; but I do believe he preached a form of socialism (yes, he was a long-haired, radical, socialist Jew...) Unfortunately, it will only work in a benevolent absolute dictatorship among an infinitely benevolent citizenry. Since we won't see such a thing until Christ returns, "socialism" in any other form eventually equals, at best tyrrany; at worst, mass starvation and/or genocide. Ask Robert Mugabe's subjects.

Paul categorizes believers as, one, those who wish to lord it over others using the Almighty as an excuse and, two, the irredeemably thick who want a certainty about life that doesn't exist.

Remarkably, it seems he's never encountered an intelligent person of serious belief. I suppose the last such people in his nation passed with C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien. (Although Polkinghorne is still around, unless he's moved to Missouri or something). I know many who fit in one or both of Paul's categories, but I am surrounded by serious people who lead examined lives and yet believe in a literal and personal God.

As to God being on "our side" (as his title puts it), He is, but on everyone's equally; He is beyond our petty squabbles. An infinite being loves infinitely and equitably.

Maybe Paul is our archetypal modern citizen; the model denizen of the Age of Hooper. I don't know. I do know, however, that he used to blog under the title of "Ale Fan," and that means a) we have something in common, and b) he can't be all bad.


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Monday, March 05, 2007

Another Dry Run

Here's one you won't hear about in the MSM, via LGF:

“This is not meant to scare, but it probably will. Consider yourself informed and warned that the threat is real. This crew reported that they were not prepared that something of this nature could be happening to them.

Flt 62, Paris to MIA [Miami], a few weeks ago. 2 maybe 4 mid-eastern types causing minor disturbance from the get-go. Nothing that the FAs [flight attendants] couldn’t deal with, but, in hindsight, they seemed to be pushing the envelope. Cross-cabin activity, hanging out in the forward galley, complaining about everything, etc. Mid-Atlantic, the FO [First Officer, or Co-Pilot] called to return to the cockpit after his crew-rest break. One of the perps [perpetrators] was in the forward galley, was instructed by a FA to go aft, but didn’t. As the cockpit door opened, another perp suddenly appeared from around the galley, dropped his shoulder into FO while the first one got in the way of the FO’s attempt to block the other…here I’m not certain…so….wait for the movie.

FO (one of our first FFDO’s [Federal Flight Deck Officers*]) was about to pull his flashlight to use as a weapon in a counter attack, but thought better of it not knowing how many more perps he might have to fight, called “lockdown” to the FB [secondary “B” First Officer], inside the cockpit, who slammed the door. As soon as the perps heard the word lockdown, they retreated to their seats.

I’m not doing justice to the story, but, if not an attempt on the cockpit, this was a serious probe.

Crew considered divert, but since the threat diminished and seemed to be contained, they pressed on towards MIA. Flight was met in MIA by FBI, FAMS [Federal Air Marshal Service] (none aboard, by the way), AA [American Airlines] Security suits, etc. During the de-brief, which lasted several hours, the FAMs told the pilots that they would have “dropped” both of the perps with the first shove near the cockpit door. Perps claimed to not understand English, were detained for 4 days and deported, back to Paris, when they are free to attend Sunday school, tell their buddies of their Adventure and plan their next move.

Enjoying the story so far? It’s good we can’t carry guns on Int’l [International] trips, eh?

Upsetting is that we all have to learn of this, by happenstance. Why didn’t you and your last crew know of this? We took a delay yesterday while this FB detailed the entire event to my crew. Believe me, there were no disbelievers that the terrorist threat is real in my crew by the time we boarded.

I’m more than upset that this is still a secret! The FB is a man I’ve flown with often, trust completely and attended FFDO (Federal Flight Deck Officer) training with a year ago January. I hope I’ve presented his story accurately, but am certain that the basic details are very close.

More reason to give every airline pilot a sidearm.


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