Friday, December 20, 2013


This is my son David taking a friend up for a helicopter ride.  I have never been in a helicopter and am impatient for my turn.  Soon I will go to Florida so Dave can take me up.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Automation vs. Pilots (An Anecdote)

This past Wednesday, December 4, 2013, we were flying several flights to and from Chicago O'Hare airport.  The weather was wintry with low clouds, gusty winds and somewhat reduced visibility.  These are the days when pilots sit up straight and focus, like a driver does when driving in similar conditions.  Let's admit it, when the weather is beautiful we relax whether driving a car or flying an airplane; but not this day.

My First officer was the flying pilot on this leg into Chicago.  For reasons of proficiency and sharing the work we typically alternate the flying duties from flight to flight.  He is a good pilot, as pilots go these days.  That is, he is proficient at operating the airplane with the auto-pilot.  I do not know how well he operates without an auto-pilot because I have never seen him try.

As we were being vectored onto the runway 9L instrument approach the first officer armed the flight control system and watched as it captured the electronic course and aligned the airplane with the still invisible runway.  At this point, as he watched the aircraft making constant pitch and bank corrections to wind gust displacements, he uttered what I think is a telling comment concerning our modern pilot's reliance on automation, "Man, I hope it does a good job."

Constitution Free Zone

Things are getting extreme when the ACLU and I agree on anything.  They are sounding an alarm on the illegal searches and increased federal surveillance associated with our borders.  They have created this Constitution Free Zone map to illustrate the problem.  They estimate that 66% of our citizens live within 100 miles of a national border and are subject to these infringements.  That zone includes my hometown of Richmond, VA.  To learn of the ACLU's concerns one can read their posting at

If video is more fun here is one showing push back at a border patrol and produce checkpoints.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Self Imprisionment

Have you ever heard of a tragic case of the occupants of a house fire who are unable to escape and perish due to their burglar bars preventing egress?  I am sure those poor people expected an increase in personal safety when they installed those bars.  They were anticipating the hindrance of external threats  and failed to consider the internal ones.  This illustrates our efforts to secure safety by implementing numerous laws in an effort to curtail perceived threats; laws such as promoting increased gun control, increased border security, enhanced government surveillance and more security check-points.

Laws, like burglar bars work both ways.  If we anticipate making life harder for "bad guys" by putting up legal barriers, outfitting large, well equipped police forces we must expect to find ourselves under their scrutiny and domination.  Think about it.  Police forces cannot, by law, discriminate.  They must treat everyone they come in contact with in the same manner.  To them, we are all suspects and must satisfactorily answer their questions.  This is why a state like New York, Connecticut, or Massachusetts prohibit anyone from carrying firearms in public.  They cannot write a gun control law that only applies to "people who have the intention of committing a crime".  They have to write it for everyone in the hope that it will deter those few people with criminal intent.  In the meantime people who have no intention of committing a crime, including violation of gun control laws, find themselves helpless against thugs while trying to avoid trouble with the police.  See how silly this all is?

The Supreme Court of the United States has made quite a few decisions which should be considered.  These decisions were made to protect our liberty and to insure our peaceful co-existence with law enforcement.  Several cases have been decided which plainly state that the police have no duty to come to our rescue.  This makes sense.  There is no possible way the police could be in position to save all people at all times and places.  This is why it is the height of foolishness to support gun control.  It makes our citizens helpless against attack while our police are not obligated to come to our aid.

The police cannot arbitrarily ask you for your identification.  They cannot assume you are a felon, if you are carrying a gun.  They cannot "check you out" with out being able to articulate a specific and creditable suspicion.  In short, they are supposed to give us the benefit of the doubt and allow us to proceed without hindrance or molestation.  These are all good rules for a society wishing to enjoy the fruits of liberty.  However they are an obstruction to law enforcement who are charged by their voters to, "secure the borders!, "enforce immigration laws!, "get guns out of the hands of criminals!"  With these demands we will only bring restrictions and barriers upon ourselves.  As it happens in our airports everyday, we will find ourselves "proving" that we are law abiding more and more often.  We will barricade ourselves inside our own nation.

This video shows these constitutional restrictions at work.  This driver wishes to be free to travel through an unconstitutional checkpoint .  In the end they let him pass without having to prove his citizenship.  However, if we do not start reining in these many agencies and police departments it will be the rules changing in their favor and our liberty will fade.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Criminals Are People Too

Here is where I will lose friends.  In this emotional debate on "reasonable" gun laws there is one issue neither side looks deeply into; the rights of a criminal.  Bear with me here.  For many years I have been very uncomfortable with our criminal justice system which brands a convicted criminal for life, regulates him to a lower class strata for life and prohibits him from ever owning a firearm for self protection.  Is anyone ready to stand up and declare that we never convict an innocent man?  Are we to dispense with Christ's admonition to forgive seven times seventy times?  Are we comfortable with the reality that by permanently branding a man as a felon we will subjugate him to the status of an angry bum, a sure recipe to create a repeat offender, thus another victim?  Chris Matthews referred to these human beings several times in the video I posted (Sputterings).  He called them, "Criminal...Nut...Addict...Wife Beater" at one point and "Nut...Crazy Person"; "Criminal...Wife Beater...Addicts...Dregs"; "Felon...Nut...Criminal...Wife Beater" subsequently.   Having written them off as permanently undesirable, he directly asked Mr, Pratt if he would be willing to sell a gun to such a person.  Mr. Pratt replied "Of course not.", but I would like to look closer.  A criminal goes through three distinct legal conditions.

The first condition is prior to committing a crime.  Here he is still innocent.  This is where Aaron Alexis was when he legally bought that shotgun he planned to use at the Navy Yard.  There is no possible way the government can discern anyone's intent when buying a gun.  This is why the background checks do not work.  Most of the shooters got their guns elsewhere or were "clean" when checked.  This is also the condition a person who will never commit a crime is in.  He is identical to the planning criminal except rather than being a future criminal he is merely a potential victim.  Restricting firearm sales will only make our society a more victim rich one.  If we create a system that filters potential criminals then we violate their rights as well as our own.

The second condition is when he commits the crime and is guilty.  Here, he has no right to remain free.  Here is where the police are serving their purpose in investigation, arrest and conviction.  This is the condition in which our system must separate such a man from the general public.  I pray that our courts and officers work diligently to convict the truly guilty and accurately avoid convicting the innocent.  Unfortunately, there are numerous examples of this not being the case.  Regardless, a convicted felon must be incarcerated and is not a threat to innocent people.

The third condition is after serving his time and having paid his debt to society.  Here is where the debate heats up.  If we are to have any hope of avoiding recidivism we must give the convicted felon the hope of returning to the normal legal condition.  We must give him that goal of wiping out his past mistakes, learning a better way and living the rest of his life well.  Today, we do not do that.  Today we convict him for life of any crime.  Today we take Chris Matthews position and consider them eternally sub-human.  If I had my way, once the state releases a convicted felon back onto the street, they destroy his records and release him from his prior life.  This would not put us in greater danger because as Mr. Pratt tried to point out, a unrepentant, hardened criminal who intends to harm again will get a gun regardless of our best efforts to prevent his acquiring one.  However, by giving a released felon a second chance he may re-think such a path and fly straight.  Either way, now that he is back to condition "one", he is a human and he deserves that much respect, that much benefit of the doubt and the right to protect himself.  We must always keep in mind the "deal" we ask of God, "...forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us."  Further, is anyone willing to defend the position that by permanently labeling and restricting a convicted felon we are preventing crime?

Again, this is why background checks and registration manifestly do not work, cost millions of vainly wasted dollars and cause harm.  This is why Mr. Larry Pratt and the Gun Owners of America continue to oppose them.  They do not prevent crime and they restrict our ability to keep ourselves safe from the indiscernible - the plotting criminal.

Friday, November 29, 2013


Liberals who truly believe that government action can solve society's moral problems cannot comprehend the positions held by conservatives, who seek a more individual response.  Case in point, if you can stand it, is to watch Chris Matthews attempt to brow beat Larry Pratt, the head of Gun Owners of America on the issue of universal gun registration.

Mr. Matthews point which Mr. Pratt tried to respond to but was continuously interrupted, needs to be countered.  Before that, there is one argument that comes up regularly and drives me crazy every time I hear it.  "The First Amendment on freedom of speech even has reasonable limits. You cannot shout "FIRE!" in a movie theater."  The fallacy of logic here deals with restricting the ability to do an action versus the wrong of doing it.  If we were to equate gun registration and restriction to the shouting a false warning in a theater, we would make it law that everyone entering a theater would have their mouths taped shut so as to prevent some one evil person from shouting.  We must lower the entirety of the population to the trustworthiness of a psychopath.  Now we are safe from that malicious shout, however what happens when a fire truly does break out in that theater?  No one is able to shout a warning and all die.  This analogy cross references perfectly with the "Gun Free" zones.  Notice that our most notorious "Gun Free" zones (Virginia Tech, Newtown, Navy Yard, L.A. International Airport...just to mention the recent few) were not free of guns after all.

Mr. Matthews put great faith in the government's ability to sort through our citizens and find the bad guys with precision, keep track of them and keep guns out of their hands.  Wow!  Mr. Pratt was trying to counter with the obvious fact that these bad guys get guns regardless of the government's efforts and that the only effect of these registration schemes is unarmed victims of mass shootings in "Gun Free" zones.  Consider the performance of the government in anticipating the murderous actions of Aaron Alexis, the mass murderer of twelve legally disarmed victims inside a heavily secured "Gun Free" military installation, the Navy Yard.  Mr. Alexis had a security clearance along with an ID badge which gave him access to the Navy Yard.  I strongly suspect that ID badge came with a background check.  Mr. Alexis legally bought that Remington 870 shotgun from a reputable gun store in Virginia within a week of his rampage.  I know for a fact that he was subjected to the Brady Background check on that occasion.  Here is the huge problem with the Universal Gun Registration / Background Check idea.  There is no way we can predict anyone's actions.  Mr. Alexis was clean as a whistle.  If we were to create a filter sufficiently tight to have barred Mr. Alexis from buying that shotgun it would have to bar anyone from ever buying a shotgun - the exact place Mr. Matthews wishes us to be.  Remember this the next time you travel through an airport screening station.  Suffering the indignity of a pat-down or subjecting your body to radiation rich full body x-rays while meekly allowing TSA goons to riffle through your personal belongings as you try to "prove" your innocent intent, is the "safe" world of Mr. Matthew's dreams.  Again, it is a world wherein we lower everyone to the common denominator, that of a psychopath.

How do we prove a negative?  We can all wring our hands and demand government action as we count the dead.  But before you urge such action consider the millions of people who are not dead simply because they had ready access to a gun when the unthinkable started to happen.  This is Mr. Pratt's position.  Support him!  Join Gun Owners of America today! Or, support Mr. is your choice.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

The Coming Resolution

The following note was sent to Miss. Ann Barnhardt.  I copy it here, for it echos my sentiments.

Thank you Ann for having the courage to stand fast in the face of evil.  
Since I am adding my name to the list of .gov scrutiny (pretty sure I was already on it but certitude is a wonderful thing) I thought I would say hello to my little friends:  
To all commies, marxists, crony capitalists, fascists etc reading this email please know that we will never allow you to continue to destroy the flock.  You should know that attempting to kill God will only result in deeper and abiding faith within our hearts.  
Please know that we hear the screaming of the unborn and do not weep but rather sharpen our swords for we know that we are already God’s children and should you somehow miraculously manage to kill us, we will only serve to inspire more faithful to destroy you.  
Let no one mistake our intention, we will not precipitate violence but you already know that you have pulled the pin on the economy and its collapse will bring the fight  you have been prodding for months and months.  Somewhere in the back of your wretched, sickened minds you know there will be judgement for you.  It’s coming. 
James (Son of Zebedee) 

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Those "Safe" "Gun free" Zones

Those safe gun free zones are neither safe or gun free.  Does this symbol give you the warm and

fuzzies?  Do you feel safe when inside posted gun free zones?  If so, why?  Why would anyone feel safer surrendering their ability to defend themselves based on the naive idea that the lunatic will respect the gun free zone?  The idea was originally designed to protect school children and we have seen the tragic results of that.

Following a couple of bad school shootings the security was beefed up by spending a lot more money, installing metal detectors and hiring "security guards" to operate them.  Feel better now?  Now we have seen massive shooting tragedies on military bases and even at a major airport.  The LAX shooter simply walked up to the million dollar security portal, pulled out his rifle, shot a Transportation Security Agency guard and walked through the metal detector.  Dutifully, the metal detector beeped as he walked through.  Then the dying really started.

I was once ranting with a friend of mine about the ridiculous waste of money and the commensurate loss of liberty that the TSA was forcing upon our airline passengers.  Knowing that I am a pilot for a regional airline, he thought he had a trump card when he asked me if I would mind it if my passengers were armed.  He was shocked when I stated emphatically, "Of course not!"  There is nothing different about being defenseless on an airplane or in a retail shop.  If someone tries to kill you, you will want a gun.  The 911 disaster would never have happened if it was known around the world that those gun crazy Americans allow passengers to carry firearms.  Terrorist and crazy people look for the easy prey.  They look for the places where they will have the upper hand for that brief, victim-rich time before law enforcement can react.  That is why there are so many victims at these shootings.

Our country needs to get rid of all of these gun free zones, even at the airports, and allow our responsible citizens to defend themselves and those around them.  Short of that, I would recommend  that we stay away from gun free zones as much as possible.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Automation vs. Pilots II

This past August 23rd I published a post titled: Automation vs. Pilots.  In it I discussed some of the fundamental errors made by the crews of Birgenair Flight 301 and Air France Flight 447.  Those errors were, in my opinion, the direct result of the aviation industry's insistence that flight crews utilize the automation to the maximum extent possible.  This philosophy on the surface appears to reduce risk and improve safety.  After all, most accidents are the result of human errors and reducing their workload would have the benefit of allowing pilots to pay maximum attention to the aircraft performance parameters and to foresee hazards. I agree with this provided we do not sacrifice the basic pilot skills in the process.  As we all know human skills are perishable and those which we do not practice on a regular basis fade away. This happens so gradually that we consider ourselves proficient long after we have lost a given unpracticed skill.  Airplane pilots do not have the luxury of allowing skills to fade.  We must practice all of our skills across the spectrum from easy to complex and we must do it regularly.

This chart attempts to demonstrate the disconnect; how we are using automation to erode pilot skills rather than reinforcing them.  The enclosed area represents the relationship between skill sets and practice (skill maintenance).  On the bottom the line moves from the easy spectrum to the difficult.  Start anywhere along that line and go up to the line sloping upward to the right.  Now move directly across to the right border to the line representing practice and effort.  You can see that for an easy task less practice is necessary for maintaining proficiency, while a more complex task requires more practice.  If all of our pilots operated within this envelope we would perform in the safest way.  Unfortunately, the industry accepted standard of maximizing the use of automation in all flight conditions works counter to skill maintenance.  That line sloping down to the right represents the actual manner in which our pilots are practicing skills.  Go up from the easy range to that automation line and across to the proficiency line and you see that the easiest skills get the majority of practice while the difficult skills almost never get practiced.  That area above the envelope and below the automation line is where we spend 99% of our time.  This is the area when we are watching the autopilot fly and we are bored stiff.  Here is where pilots look for distractions such as reading newspapers and magazines, playing with their smart phones, crossword puzzles.  I had one first officer ask me if he could address his Christmas cards while he was the pilot flying.  We should remember Northwest Airlines Flight 188 of October 21, 2009 which overflew Minneapolis, MN while the pilots were using personal laptops and oblivious of the time.  I once rode in the cockpit of a major airline, a Boeing-757, from Los Angeles, CA to Dallas/Fort Worth, TX.  Almost from the moment the landing gear came up to the moment the landing gear came down, the magazines were out.  It was interesting to watch that flight crew overshoot the turn to the final approach of DFWs runway 18R and blunder into the approach corridor of 18L after a few hours of mental detachment and attempting to use the autopilot to fly a visual approach in clear conditions.  This is the effect of workload reduction, a most predicable result of human nature.

Now look at that zone on the graph on the difficult side, the zone above the automation line and below the top of the envelope.  This is the dangerous shortfall area where we are banking on unpracticed skill sets to cope with difficult and even routine situations.  Like Birgenair 301 and Air France 447 we now can add Atlantic Coast Airlines Flight 6291 who crashed short of the Columbus, OH airport on a routine approach to landing on January 7, 1994, Colgan Air Flight 3407 which entered a fatal stall/spin while maneuvering for landing at Buffalo, NY on February 12, 2009 and Asiana Flight 214 who crashed short of the runway at San Francisco, CA on a normal, clear day approach on July 6, 2013.  Every one of these examples are crashes wherein flight crews lost control or misjudged their situation while attempting to rely on automation or poorly adjusting without.  Every one of these crashes involved wing stalls.

One other point: This high level of automation came to the largest airliners in the 1980s and the smaller ones in the 1990s.  Our older pilots transitioned from the earlier airplanes into these automated ones and have an experience background, while unpracticed and certainly rusty, which includes basic skill sets.  Our younger pilots only know the automated way.  They do not even know what they do not know.  As our old guys retire, and that is happening now, these foundational skills will fade even more drastically unless we change our habits.

Pilots, turn off the autopilot and the flight director regularly when you are below Flight Level 290.  Fly actual instrument approaches "raw data".  Use your minds and your hands.  Don't just go along for the ride, fly your airplanes.

Monday, October 21, 2013


Last October 5th I posted a piece labeled, Dear Congress.  In this posting I appealed to their rational sides and implored them to rein in this senseless, currency destroying spending spree which has symbolized our past three decades, especially the last five years, and threatens to ruin the next three decades.  It appeared that the Republicans were ready for the good fight, but alas, it was all showmanship and they acquiesced to their masters like the cheap whores they are.  They not only gave in, but they wrote BSBHO a blank check! There is no longer a limit to what he can borrow!  To add insult to injury, they also slammed the gate behind them by putting in a provision, that when the next "stop borrowing" deadline comes around, it will take a two-thirds majority in both houses to stop the monster.   My appeal has fallen on deaf ears.  So, what is the average Joe, who is on the hook for $53,125.00 of that debt today, to do?

Expect inflation...massive, mind boggling inflation.  This means that any money you have saved will become worthless.  All of those 401ks, government pension plans, health insurance plans, bond and stock portfolios...POOF! On the plus side, if you are saving cash, it will be good for one thing, paying off past debts.  It won't be much good for buying goods with, so stock up now.

Friday, October 11, 2013


It kills me the way our judges have deified “the law” all the while ignoring our actual all powerful God and that thing called Truth.

A short anecdote which illustrates this syndrome:  In Findlay, Ohio back in 1994 Mr. Donald Miller Jr. was declared legally dead.  We were not told the reason for that other than his people had no idea where he was for a very long time.  This month, Mr. Miller appealed to the court to reverse that previous declaration due to the salient fact that he remains very much alive.  Judge Allan Davis denied that request on the grounds that such an appeal must be made, according to the law, within three years of the declaration, and Mr. Miller is too late.  In other words, to heck with the truth of the matter, the law has spoken and must be honored!  So, alas, poor Mr. Donald Miller Jr. is still “dead”.

If only they were so scrupulous about birth certificates…

Monday, October 7, 2013

...and it comes to pass...

"I am worried by the Blessed Virgin's messages to Lucy of
Fatima. This persistence of Mary about the dangers which 
menace the Church is a divine warning against the suicide
 of altering the Faith, in Her liturgy, Her theology and Her 
soul. … I hear all around me innovators who wish to 
dismantle the Sacred Chapel, destroy the universal flame 
of the Church, reject Her ornaments and make Her feel 
remorse for Her historical past.

"A day will come when the civilized world will deny its God,
 when the Church will doubt as Peter doubted. She will be 
tempted to believe that man has become God. In our 
churches, Christians will search in vain for the red lamp 
where God awaits them. Like Mary Magdalene, weeping 
before the empty tomb, they will ask, 'Where have they 
taken Him?'"
Eugenio Pacelli, future Pius XII.
Roche, "Pie XII Devant L'Historie", p. 52-53

Sunday, October 6, 2013


One of the most remarkable stories of World War II is that of the De Havilland Mosquito Fighter-Bomber.  This little airplane was faster, smarter, more aggressive and useful than any other two types employed by the allied air forces.  This You-Tube segment tells the tale.  In the blistering technological pace of development during the war years the Mosquito spent five years as "the Best" and finished the war obsolete.  Today there are only around seven Mosquito airframes known to exist.

My father, my son and I visited the Military Aviation Museum in Virginia Beach this past weekend.  They have the only airworthy Mosquito in the world.  It was eight years in refurbishment and is beautiful.  I envy the pilots who are so privileged to fly it today. 

I hope you watch the video and come to admire the remarkable feats of airmanship that this wonderful airplane inspired in her short flight of glory.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Dear Congress:

Dear Congress:

Do not raise the debt.  Let it stop here, now.  Let us begin a period wherein we live within our means and responsibly pay our way.  Let it be said, two generations from now when the dollar is once again the strongest currency on the planet and the United States has the strongest economy; when the debt is once again a measly one trillion dollars, that we went through our selfish years but thankfully, we out grew those times.  Let it start now!  Today, let us resolve to never raise the debt ceiling again and to enact legislation to reduce our debt by five percent per year until it is at one trillion dollars.  Let this legislation stipulate that deficits can never be run again unless we are involved in a congressional declared war, and even then the debt is paid down following such war at five percent per year.

I understand that this is impossible when we consider the obligations we face as a country.  When I talk of the national debt most people roll their eyes and say something silly like, "We just owe it to ourselves.", as if this eliminates the seriousness of the situation.  It is true that the vast majority of the future obligations are to "ourselves" in such programs as Social Security, Medi-care, Obama-care, Pharma-care, welfare programs, on and on and on...  OK.  I'll go along with that thought.  Let us resolve not to pay "ourselves" anymore.  If we shut down all of those self-centered "gimme" programs we might have a slim chance of avoiding a catastrophic failure of the dollar.  If we don't, then we won't see those monies anyway due to the inevitable dollar melt-down.

If we eliminate the social programs we should be able to protect the bond holders, those who are owed the sixteen-trillion dollars.  If we protect them, we show the world that we are a nation who can be trusted, a nation who will not weasel out of an obligation.  If we demonstrate that kind of solvency the European Union and China will hear the "giant sucking sound of jobs" coming back to us, the newly great United States of America!

If we fail to do this, now, we will face ruin.  I will state for the record that I am solemnly resolved never to take any money from a federal government source other than a tax refund.  I will not collect Social Security, take advantage of any medical program, or any other social program.  My reason is simple.  If I collect from Social Security "the money I paid in" I am not getting the same money I paid in; I am taking it from my children and their children.  The money I paid is already gone, spent, vanished, poof!  To demand what is "mine" will only press our country into default and suffering.

We always laud the "greatest generation" for their sacrifices in economic hardship and war.  Let us now rise to their example and stop this insanity now, so help us God!  NO MORE DEBT!

October 5, 2013 A.R.S.H.
Anno Reparatae Salutis Humanae

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

On It Goes...

An USA Today article published Friday September 13, 2013 titled Remarriage in an age of cohabitation, discussed at length the current trends demonstrating the erosion of any Christian understanding of what marriage is.

“Cohabitation has opened up options for people that weren’t there 20 years ago.  It affords the benefits of marriage without the legal constraints.”  (Susan Brown, Sociologist and lead author of an analysis of federal data by the National Center for Family and Marriage Research at Bowling Green State University in Ohio, as quoted by Sharon Jayson, USA Today)

A generation ago, cohabitation was often called ‘living in sin,” but that taboo has faded.  Unmarried couples of all ages are moving in together – 7.8 million, according to 2012 Census data… Between 1990 and 2012, the percentage of unmarried couples living together more than doubled, from 5.1% to 11.3% (Sharon Jayson, USA Today)

This is not progress and it is not good news.  What, exactly, are the “legal constraints” that it seems good to avoid; the promise of fidelity, the promise of support no matter what life throws out, the promise to help raise the children?  This attitude demonstrates the game changing effects of universal acceptance for contraception.  Would all of these couples, especially the women, be so cavalier if they knew that a significant part of the matrix would be children?  No!  They are calculating their future happiness on the premise that contraception will keep children, and the attendant responsibilities, at bay.

Even more grave is their failure to discern their responsibility to the natural law.  More specifically, they no longer believe in accountability to God’s authority; to the fact that while we do not call it “living in sin” anymore, it still is just that, living in sin and obstinate sin brings death.

I know that most people in the western world no longer believe in hell and damnation anymore, but that doesn't make it go away.  Truth doesn't change with the times and popular belief.  God gave us His teachings in Christ.  Christ declared what sexual morality required.  If we are to find happiness in this world and, more importantly, the next, we need to follow those teachings to the letter because they comply with the two greatest commandments, to love God with our whole heart, our whole soul and our whole mind; and to love our neighbor as our self.

Monday, September 16, 2013


One comment said it best, "There is something so German about a tank."

While war is the result of a complete breakdown of society, one must admire those who fight it so bravely.  If we get another war it is imperative that each one of us understands our duty to God first then country.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Contracepting Society and Life

The public perception of marriage today is so severely mutated from the truth of what it is; we cannot imagine the graces that a man and woman receive when they live a marriage in the manner God intended.  We cannot understand how drastically such a fundamental building block of the civil order has been altered and how that has produced such disastrous conditions in our society.

Firstly – in its basic and proper form, marriage is only between one man and one woman, for the natural life of the first to pass away, with no contraception of children for any reason, with each person loving the other without reservation or of the requirement of reciprocity.  There is no such thing as divorce.  This is indeed the basic building block of any rational and peaceful society.  This provides for the continuation of the human race and provides for the consistency of laws, skills and social responsibility over the ribbon of time.  Most importantly, this accords with the will of God.

While that is the standard of excellence, the standard set by our Lord Jesus Christ, we have strayed away from that.  It is likely that the most common error embraced by married people today is contraception.  Practicing contraception, by anyone, for any reason was universally prohibited by every Christian tradition, established church in the world until 1930.  The first organized church to crack open that door was the Anglican Church of England.  At their Lambeth Conference of 1930 their bishops ever so reluctantly, ever so restrictively prescribed very narrow conditions wherein a married couple could, for the gravest of reasons, contracept:

Resolutions from 1930
Resolution 15
The Life and Witness of the Christian Community - Marriage and Sex
Where there is clearly felt moral obligation to limit or avoid parenthood, the method must be decided on Christian principles. The primary and obvious method is complete abstinence from intercourse (as far as may be necessary) in a life of discipline and self-control lived in the power of the Holy Spirit. Nevertheless in those cases where there is such a clearly felt moral obligation to limit or avoid parenthood, and where there is a morally sound reason for avoiding complete abstinence, the Conference agrees that other methods may be used, provided that this is done in the light of the same Christian principles. The Conference records its strong condemnation of the use of any methods of conception control from motives of selfishness, luxury, or mere convenience.
Voting: For 193; Against 67. Lambeth Conference 1930

This resolution is flawed from the start due to the salient fact that you cannot commit any grave evil on “Christian principles”.  Notice how they condemn contraception for “motives of selfishness, luxury, or mere convenience”.  That describes perfectly the motives of everyone contracepting today.  Once this resolution was adopted, by the Anglicans it was a short run to acceptance by every “Christian” denomination except the Holy Roman Catholic Church.  While the entire world expected the Catholic Church to come along on this, in 1968 she issued the papal encyclical Humanae Vitae in which she correctly labels contraception a grave evil and declares to the entire world that no one may commit such an act for any reason.  Unfortunately, by that time, the cat was out of the bag and the vast majority of the peoples of the western world believed the lies and regarded the Catholic declaration to be irrelevant.

The great lie was, that allowing contraception, within marriages, would strengthen those marriages due to a lower “burden” of children.  In reality, contraception diminished the sacred and self-pledging bond that husbands and wives held and reduced them to a weird social contract which could be broken at will.  Reducing the marital embrace to recreation reduced the mutual esteem required to sustain marriage in this hard world.  Divorce rose drastically in the years following 1930.

Sex without consequences soon became the normal attitude.  Infidelity in marriage and singles “hooking up” is now expected.  Today there are more couples living together outside of marriage than within.  Now, many of the nations of the western world have reduced their birth rates to levels which cannot sustain their current populations.  But wait…there’s more.

Once the wives had fewer children they were not allowed to sit around and enjoy their more leisurely lives, they were sent to work.  The effect of that was to reduce the family wages by half so that today both spouses must work to support a family.  Rather than fulfilling her nature as a nurturing wife and mother the “liberated” woman of today is a field mule by day and a concubine by night.  Working mothers bring the need for the day care industry, which reduces the take home wages significantly, and shifts the training and nurturing of our children to strangers who have little interest in the outcome.

It gets worse.  Since sex is now simply a recreational activity, then women are treated with less respect than ever.  We have a huge abortion industry to support the “no consequences” philosophy and we run these poor used women through it every day to take care of “their” biological problem, with devastating damage to their psychological balance.

It goes on.  Same sex marriage makes sense if the real thing is no longer sacred or permanent.  Germany has petting zoos wherein visitors are allowed to go “all the way” with the animals.  Down, down, down we drive the boundaries of decency and morality.

Sex always has consequences.  Within a lawful, church sanctioned marriage, without contraception, the consequences are love, peace, children and stable societies.  Outside of such a marriage, the consequences are all of the above noted maladies with the worst consequence of all to come – you do not get to heaven, you do not feel the love of God, you suffer in hell.

We must fight this terrible lie.  Tell anyone who talks of “girlfriends” or “boyfriends” or expresses support for any of these gravely wrong sins, the truth.  Fight for these lost souls because you love them as Christ loves us all.

Saturday, August 31, 2013


Catholic Fr. Dawid Kwiatkowski wrote the following bulletin for his parish.  He is right on target and is that too rare voice of truth and frankness that this world craves.  WCH

“"Human life is sacred—all men must recognize that fact. Therefore, we base our words on the first principles of a human and Christian doctrine of marriage when we are obliged once more to declare that the direct interruption of the generative process has already begun and, above all, all direct abortion, even for therapeutic reasons, is to be absolutely excluded as lawful means of regulating the number of children. Equally to be condemned, as the magisterium of the Church has affirmed on many occasions, is direct sterilization, whether of the man or of the woman, whether permanent or temporary. Similarly excluded is any action which either before, at the moment of, or after sexual intercourse, is specifically intended to prevent procreation—whether as an end or as a means.
Consequently, it is a serious error to think that a whole married life of otherwise normal relations can justify sexual intercourse, which is deliberately contraceptive, and so intrinsically wrong.”

Just a little over a week ago the Encyclical Humane Vitae (Human Life) celebrated its
forty-fifth Birthday; therefore, I decided to bring back its very powerful message filled with trust and faith in the goodness of God’s teachings. The teaching was largely rejected by the Western world and, as some theologians say, the rejection was a sign of their disobedience to the commandment of God to love your neighbor, resulting in a weakened
family life. Marriage, as a divinely instituted entity and chastity, is our way of respecting the image of God we carry from the moment of our conception. After the teaching of the church was criticized, the Pope said:“It does not surprise the Church that she becomes, like her divine Founder, a ‘sign of contradiction’; yet she does not, because of this, cease to proclaim with humble firmness the entire moral law, both the natural law and the law
of the Gospel.” The teaching was reaffirmed by all Popes who succeeded Paul VI, including Pope John Paul II in Gaudium et Spes and Pope Benedict XVI who said:” The teaching expressed by Humanae Vitae is not easy, yet it conforms with the fundamental structure through which life has always been transmitted since the world's creation.''

Once again, I remind you that your membership in the Catholic Church is a privilege, and the only price we pay for it is our Love for God, which is expressed by trusting Him and being obedient to His Will. If you live in a
contraceptive marriage please stop receiving Communion. If you are 
confused and would like advice, please contact one of our priests. If you have been using contraception but would like to receive communion, 
come to the Sacrament of Confession. Jesus did not die so we could be “cafeteria Catholics” picking and choosing what we please, or what pleases us. The Lord is full of mercy and love, but to those who are
willing to change.

May the Lord who said:” "He who seeks his life will lose it, he who loses his life for my sake will find it" (Lk 9.24) help you to see His love for you.

Fr. Dawid

Friday, August 23, 2013

Automation vs. Pilots


Aviation is a young human activity.  The speed at which we progressed from open cockpit bi-planes to our current jetliners does make one marvel at human ingenuity.  Sometimes though I wonder if we are moving so fast that we are forgetting hard lessons learned along the way.  Specifically for this paper I wish to reemphasize the need of pilots to understand the relationship of aircraft control to Angle of Attack and how AoA is affected by pitch attitude and thrust.  Airspeed is an indirect indicator of AoA quality while in normal pitch attitude ranges.  As merely an indirect indicator, there should be no reason for loss of aircraft control and all souls due to pitot-static system failure.

Birgenair Flight 301 (February 6, 1996)
Birgenair Flight 301 was a Boeing 757 who crashed shortly after a night take-off.  This accident was caused by blockage of the number one pitot tube.  The captain’s lack of understanding of how airspeed indication is affected by such a blockage caused numerous decision errors and resulted in total loss of control.  He noticed his airspeed indication was still zero when the first officer called “80 knots” on take-off.  Failing to abort the take-off he then noticed, as they climbed, his ASI was registering again and made the assumption that all was normal and he engaged the auto-pilot to his side of the flight control system.  One of the old lessons hard learned in the days of “steam-gauges” instrumentation was that a typical pitot tube block issue would cause the airspeed indication to increase with altitude increases and to decrease with altitude loss.  This poor lost captain simply engaged his auto-pilot to an airspeed indicator which would keep increasing with the climb until the aircraft reached a dangerously high angle of attack.  This crew noticed the pitch attitude / airspeed discrepancy and discussed it at length, but never saw the core problem.  It is notable that even while the captain was aware of their increasing peril he was reluctant to disengage the auto-flight system.  It seems that he trusted the automation more than himself even while that same automation was obviously malfunctioning.  Adding to the confusion were numerous warnings and alert messages being generated by the ever widening airspeed indication error.  They crashed into the ocean shortly after entering the wing stall regime.

Air France Flight 447 (June 1, 2009)
Air France flight 447 was an Airbus 300 which encountered clouds while cruising in level flight.  This cloud encounter caused some pitot tube ice crystal blockage in one or more of the pitot tubes.  The First Officer, the pilot flying, as the Birgenair captain before him, was confronted with many warnings and alert messages which induced confusion and an unnecessary urge for action, especially since the airspeed error caused the autopilot to disengage.  Unfortunately, his action was to grab the side control stick and sharply pitch up causing a dangerously high angle of attack.  This hapless pilot simply had no idea what he was trying to do.  Rather than simply holding the proper cruise pitch attitude he pulled up into a deep wing stall, which was held the entire three minutes it took to fall to the ocean below.  I have read many articles on this accident wherein writers and industry experts cite the “difficulty” in sorting through all the conflicting signals, warnings, and messages so as to understand this problem and they all make me sick.  How hard is it to see that the pitch attitude is high as hell, thrust is high as hell…aircraft is falling?!  How hard is that?  This is aviation 101.

Northwest Airlines Flight 6231, a Boeing 727, crashed shortly after departing the John F. Kennedy airport on December 1st, 1974.  The National Transportation Safety Board determined that the crew failed to turn on the pitot tube heaters which became blocked by ice crystals causing both airspeed indicators to show erroneous indications.  Almost twenty-two years prior to Birginair 301, this crew misunderstood the "increasing" airspeed indications as they climbed and pitched up into a stall.

The Age of EFIS
Our current generation of airline cockpits almost universally has the Electronic Flight Instrument Systems. (EFIS)   These systems integrate and share the raw instrument data so as to provide aircraft status information not only to the visual “instruments” but to other aircraft systems such as engine control computers (Full Authority Digital Engine Control - FADECs), aircraft pressurization systems, autopilots and ground proximity systems, to name just a few.   They also have Flight Directors, which are designed to simplify a pilot’s instrument scan in determining pitch and bank requirements. Rather than interpreting several basic instruments and mentally processing the data so as to determine the required pitch and bank for performance goals, the pilot simply places the aircraft into the attitude displayed by the Flight Director.  The advantage is a simpler scan and a lower mental effort level. Better yet, engage the autopilot to the Flight Director and the airplane does it all!  This is the normal operating mode which the Federal Aviation Agency and virtually every airline have stressed.  Full automation 99% of the time with the pilot hand flying and using basic instruments kept to a barest minimum.  Here is how my airline phrased this concept in our Standard Operating Procedures manual:

Where immediate, decisive, and correct control of aircraft path is required, the lowest level of automation (hand flying without flight director guidance) may be necessary. Such instances would include escape or avoidance maneuvers (except aircraft with flight director windshear guidance) and recovery from upset or unusual attitudes. With the exception of visual approaches and deliberate decisions to maintain flying proficiency, this is essentially a non-normal operation for flight guidance or FMS-generation aircraft. It should be considered a transitory mode used when the pilot perceives the aircraft is not responding to urgent aircraft demands. The pilot can establish a higher level of automation as soon as conditions permit.
Emphasis mine

However, here lies the problem.  The full automation condition is the lowest level of pilot mental engagement and now is prescribed to be the condition wherein our pilots will spend the vast majority of our time.  When the chips fall badly and decisive, correct control inputs are required the pilot is expected to suddenly ramp up his mental and stick & rudder skills to levels of which he has not practiced for a very long time.  Like our poor Birgenair, Northwest and Air France pilots they will find themselves confused and way out of their comfort zones.  They will wish to escape back into the warm and fuzzy world of automation.  I have personally encouraged my First Officers to revert to the basic instrument scan and hand flying for “deliberate decisions to maintain flying proficiency” only to find them very uncomfortable and greatly relieved when they reengaged the autopilot.  Others have hand flown the airplane, albeit with the aid of the Flight Director, for longer than usual following take-off, knowing my reputation of encouraging such behavior.  When they feel they have gone long enough, they engage the autopilot and sit back with a satisfied sigh as if they just completed a long and fruitful workout.  The sad part is those “long” workouts average about seven minutes on take-off and forty-five seconds on landing.

Back in the “steam gauge” days a pitot tube blockage would only effect the airspeed indicator to which it was routed.  However in our new days of automation and systems integration such a blockage causes many warnings in systems areas not typically associated with airspeed.  I believe it this plethora of warnings which are distracting these pilots from the basic task of maintaining aircraft control.  Rather than flying the pitch and thrust first and sorting out the rest, they react to remove the warnings first and forget about basic aircraft operation.

Trans World Express Flight 7604 (December 11, 2000)
Trans World Express Flight 7604 was en route to Greenville, SC on a night flight from St. Louis, MO in an Embraer-145 aircraft.  While climbing to a newly assigned altitude the crew alert system suddenly lit up with numerous messages and warnings.  There were messages announcing failure of all four FADECs.  There were several red messages, many amber messages and some blue ones as well.  There were so many messages on the panel that there was a number presented on the bottom of the screen to let the crew know that they could scroll down to read the extras.  Add to that bells and red lights and you get the idea of how disorienting such an event can be.  The First Officer immediately noticed the FADEC failure messages and said something about losing both engines.  The captain however noted that regardless of all the warnings, the airplane was still flying.  While maintaining a constant pitch attitude and thrust setting it only took him a few seconds to notice that the airspeed indicator on his side was increasing with the climb. With the conclusion that the number one pitot tube was blocked with ice he obtained a clearance from the traffic controller to level off at their present altitude so as to stop the increasing error and to prevent additional warnings from an imminent false over-speed indication.  The First Officer excitedly asked which of the Quick Reference emergency checklists he wanted run, since there were so many to choose from.  The answer to that was not to run any of them because the airplane was flying perfectly and the QRH wouldn’t solve the problem of a blocked pitot tube.  They obtained a descent clearance and the captain noted with satisfaction that the erroneous airspeed indication began decreasing with lower altitudes thus confirming his reasoning.  Soon the ice blockage cleared and all the warning messages disappeared as well.  This flight landed uneventfully.

It Really Is Bi-plane Simple
The new electronic instrumentation and flight control systems are a marvel and they do greatly aid pilots in situational awareness and aircraft control.  However, the downside has been a loss of the basic skills and knowledge which the technology has bridged over.  When the technology fails rather than landing on firm foundational footing, we are finding ourselves falling into a crevasse.  Do not let the startle factor override your basic aircraft control instincts.  Pitch and thrust make the airplane fly, not “airspeed” or quiet alert systems.  Continue to review the basic lessons learned over those past remarkable one hundred years.  Practice basic flying skills, everyday!  Fly safely.

Captain William C. Howe
Trans States Airlines

August 1, 2013

As The Wise Become Fools...

Germany, one of several formerly Christian nations of the European Union who have surrendered their Christian wisdom and have followed the Russians into socialist insanity, has added another, third, box to check on forms when declaring ones gender.

May our good Lord forgive us our willful arrogance.

Friday, July 26, 2013

A Tale of Two Crimes

A Tale of Two Crimes

First Crime:
Date: December 28, 2003
Place: Wilmette, Illinois.
Perpetrator: Unknown
Crime: Home Burglary

Hale DeMar was a 54 year old restaurateur living in Wilmette, a suburb of Chicago, Illinois.  While he was home, late at night, a burglar crawled through a pet door and stole a Sony PlayStation 2, a TV set, and with his keys, his BMWX5 sport utility vehicle.  Hale called the police via 911 and remained upstairs with his children.  The police arrived long after the burglar and his possessions were gone.  The police told Hale that he had done the right thing by calling them and not confronting the intruder.  However, they would probably never catch the thief.  Hale would probably never see his car again.  “Sorry, but we cannot patrol this street any more than usual just because he got away with your keys.  Better get your locks changed.  By the way, those bright lights that you have shining on all sides of the house are good.”

Open questions:  Who did the crime and when and where will there be another victim?

Second Crime:
Date: December 29, 2003
Place: Wilmette, Illinois.
Perpetrator: Morio L. Billings
Crime: Home Burglary

Morio L. Billings needed crack.  AWOL from the army and in violation of probation he had only one way to get it.  He coolly picked out a house in a quiet neighborhood and walked in.  He later told the police that he didn’t care if someone was home or not.   The homeowner did care, he cared a lot.  He came down stairs shooting.  Morio had a sudden and severe change of heart.  He wanted out of that house as badly as the homeowner wanted him out.  He was wounded in the upper left arm.  As he scrambled around trying to find a door, a window, any way out, he was shot in the left leg.  He finally dove through a living room window.  He was long gone by the time the police arrived.  The police were very put out with the homeowner.  He did everything wrong!  He never should have come down stairs.  Certainly, he never should have used a gun!  It was a man named Morio L. Billings who invaded your home.  We know this because he just checked himself into the hospital.  No, he won’t be back.

Answers to those questions:

Morio committed the first as well as the second crime.  Indeed, it was even the same house.  It was the BMWX5 sport utility vehicle that he used to drive himself to the hospital.  The folks in the house were so harmless on the first night why not go back?  Hale learned a lesson as well.  The police were virtually powerless and apathetic to his problems.  On the second night he assured his frightened children that the bad man wouldn’t come back; but if he did daddy would handle it.  He told the reporters that it was him who caught the burglar, not the police.  This time there are no questions.  Tonight they sleep in peace.

A Tale of Two Crimes – The Sequel

The City of Wilmette did not thank Hale DeMar for ending and solving the one man crime spree perpetrated by Morio L. Billings at no cost to the tax payers.  They did not name him citizen of the year.  Though the Cook County grand jury ruled his use of a firearm against Morio to be justified self-defense, they charged him on January 8, 2004 to be in violation of the Illinois firearm owners’ identification law.  Violation of that law was punishable by a fine up to $2,500.00 and/or one year in jail.  The public outcry was so resounding that a month later they dropped the charge saying that they did not want to “revictimize” DeMar for a “lapse”.  The City of Wilmette did charge him to be in violation of their permit system and fined him $750.00.  They too later dropped their charge in the face of heated public support for DeMar.

The Illinois state legislature by a wide margin wrote a new law that basically says that any Illinois citizen may ignore a local ordinance that demands a permit to own a firearm, for self-defense purposes, if actually used in self defense, otherwise they must comply with such ordinances.  Huh? The Democrat governor of Illinois Rod Blagojevich vetoed the law but nevertheless it was passed over his veto.

There was a challenge to the Wilmette handgun permit law filed in Cook County Circuit Court which failed to overturn the law.

The battle for “common sense” gun laws continues unabated.  10/31/2006
Source: Reason Magazine 06/2005 Vol.37, No. 2

A Tale of Two Crimes – Continues

In 2010 the United States Supreme Court ruled in McDonald vs. City of Chicago that the right to keep and bear arms is a civil right possessed by all citizens and declared the gun bans of Chicago to be unconstitutional.  The mayor of Chicago, Richard Daley, threw a fit and called on the city council to write more gun control laws with such severe compliance requirements that they effectively, once again, ban firearm ownership by the citizens of his city.  There has been another federal lawsuit filed against the city of Chicago.  By July of 2010 three Chicago police officers have been ambushed and shot to death in this war zone mayor Daley has created.

The battle for “common sense” gun laws continues unabated. 

Wait, there is more...

In 2013 the City of Chicago will be forced to accept the new concealed carry laws passed by the Illinois state legislature.  The state legislature was forced to write these concealed carry statutes after Illinois lost another federal case on the matter.  For the first time in decades honest, peaceful citizens will be able to carry firearms legally in Illinois.  Now we will see how the legendary crime rates of Chicago will be effected.