What Happened to Air France Flight 447?

June 10, 2009 by  
Filed under Patrick's Blog

UPDATE (06-10-09): Terror Names Linked To Doomed Flight AF 447  Two passengers with names linked to Islamic terrorism were on the Air France flight which crashed with the loss of 228 lives, it has emerged.




Since, at this point, we still do not know specifically what happened to the Air France passenger jet that simply disappeared over the Atlantic today, en route from Rio de Janeiro to Paris, I will venture a few thoughts about what could have happened. 

First, having flown as a commercial airline passenger over a million-and-a-half miles in the last 20 years (probably closer to 2 million miles, when you add it all up), I can vouch for the fact that turbulence and lightning, however it bad either might get — and (very rarely, thank the Lord) I have experienced some truly hair-raising, white-knuckle incidents of both while flying — are not likely to, in themselves, sufficiently damage a modern passenger jet enough to make it crash. That scenario is possible, of course, but things I have read today seem to support my opinion that modern aircraft, such as the doomed Air France Airbus, are sufficiently resilient to survive passing through severe weather, all things being equal.

This is why I question the likelihood of a lightning strike or turbulence being the cause of bringing down that 4-year old Airbus — equipped, as it was, with the very latest in avionics and bad-weather avoidance technology. While that’s certainly a possible scenario — I do not deny it — at this point it seems less likely.

Second, all the reports I have read thus far about this disaster, especially those  in the French-language press, lead me to assume that this accident (or whatever it was) must have occurred at cruising altitude which, for this plane on this route, would have been about 35,000 feet (+/-).  Keep in mind that Air France Flight 447 was already four hours into its transit from Rio to Paris.

News reports thus far have emphasized that the crew “did not have any time” to transmit a mayday signal as the plane was going down. Apparently, whatever happened on that plane happened so quickly that there was no time for any emergency message from the crew. 

Third, if there had been some kind of electrical malfunction or catastrophic systems failure at around 35,000 feet, the crew would certainly have had ample time to transmit some kind of mayday communication, however brief.  But the news reports I’ve read thus far indicate that the catastrophe happened too fast for them to broadcast any emergency messages.

So I ask myself, how could that be? What could have happened so suddenly at that altitude that would preclude any chance of the crew sounding an alarm?

Two grim possibilities come to mind.

1) Some kind of sudden structural failure crippled the jet at high altitude, leading to an immediate, explosive decompression and disintegration of the airframe.  While rare, this kind of freak accident has happened before, more than once

2) Terrorists on the flight itself detonated a bomb that brought the plane down.

Le Monde has reported that up to five middle-eastern passengers (three Moroccans and two Lebanese) were on board.

It may well be that severe weather or some type of freak structural failure brought that plane down, killing everyone.

Or, maybe it was . . . something else.

I hope we find the black boxes.

(NB: This entry was originally posted on June 1, 2009; updates were added subsequently.)

Related: Communiqué d’Air France suite à la disparition du vol Rio-Paris (current as of 9:00 p.m. ET, June 1, 2009).

UPDATES:

Behold the New GM! (An Amerikan Revolution)

June 8, 2009 by  
Filed under Patrick's Blog

Newsweek Editor: Obama Is "Sort Of God"

June 8, 2009 by  
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Evan Thomas said, “Well, we were the good guys in 1984, it felt that way. It hasn’t felt that way in recent years. So Obama’s had, really, a different task. We’re seen too often as the “bad guys.” And he, he has a very different job from . . . Reagan was all about America, and you talked about it. Obama is — we are above that now. We’re not just parochial, we’re not just chauvinistic, we’re not just provincial. We stand for something, I mean in a way Obama’s standing above the country, above above the world, he’s sort of God.”

Catholic mother launches legal battle after son placed with gay foster parents

June 8, 2009 by  
Filed under Patrick's Blog

The mother of a 10-year-old Catholic boy has launched a legal battle after a council placed him with homosexual foster carers.


The woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, has told friends she is worried about the environment in which her son will grow up in, and would rather see him fostered by a man and a woman.

The child, who attends a faith school and is due to take his First Communion soon, is due to arrive tomorrow at his new foster home, a hotel in Brighton run by a middle-aged male couple.

Described as “bright and lively”, he was placed in care a year ago by Brighton and Hove Council after his mother had a mental breakdown, suffering from an abusive marriage.

The Thomas More Legal Centre, a Catholic legal charity, are representing the mother, who wants to see him placed with a family that reflects traditional Catholic values. . . . (continue reading)

Gerald Celente: TEOTWAWKI Coming Soon

June 8, 2009 by  
Filed under Patrick's Blog

Human Events had the opportunity to interview forecaster extraordinaire Gerald Celente, President of Trends Research Institute, several days ago — and the future he predicts looks bleak indeed.  In fact, as Mr. Celente sees it, the Great Depression will seem like a mild recession as what waits for us in 2011 hits with the force of a Katrina financial hurricane.

In case you’re wondering who Mr. Celente is (if this is still possible), he’s appeared — along with his predictions — on Oprah, CNBC, Reuters, NBC, PBS, BBC, the Glenn Beck Show — the list goes on an on.  His Trends Report has been successfully predicting the major future trends impacting our lives for 3 decades, including calling the dot com crash back in the 1990′s.


Mr. Celente’s forecast on our impending future is based on his study of history.  He says we are bent on destroying our currency, bankrupting our government, and unleashing a violent citizen-against-citizen eruption as the economy collapses into chaos and martial law fascism.  

Quite a claim.  And God help us if he is right — again.

“We’re sounding the alarm about the ongoing downward economic cycle”, Gerald told Human Events.  “In 2002, we predicted that the collapse of the American empire would fall like the World Trade Center in a thunderous crash — in slow motion before our eyes.  And now it’s happening.”

Mr. Celente follows over 300 trends:  family, crime, war, education, consumer & business patterns which TRI synthesizes to predict the future.

“The US is becoming a shadow of what it used to be.  Take education for example.  The OECD group of developed countries ranks quality of life, education, health care of its member nations.  The US is now falling down the table as one piece of data after another shows America is in decline.  We’re no longer Win, Place or Show in quality of life, education, longevity… all the essentials where we used to be #1.  And our economic underpinnings are failing.” . . .


[ . . . ]

“How will it all end?,” we queried.  Will the dollar survive?

“The dot com bubble should have burst and gone away in a short sharp recession.  But the boys at the Fed re-inflated the economy by lowering interest rates to a 46 year low — and in turn created the real estate bubble — much bigger than the dot com bubble. “

“Now they’re creating the bailout bubble — which will ultimately dwarf the real estate bubble.  It will cause the implosion of the global economy world wide — which will not be able to be repaired by creating yet another bubble.  Every time the government fails, it tells a bigger lie and then a still bigger lie.”

“These previous bubbles were not allowed to pop — but they didn’t destroy the infrastructure of the country.  This bailout bubble will.”

“But this bubble will be the last one.  After the final blowout of the bailout bubble, we are concerned that the government will take the nation into war.   This is a historical precedent that’s been done over and over again.”

“So, it’s not that the dollar will survive.  We may not even survive.  Look at the German mess after WWI.  It gave rise to Fascism and WWII. 


The next war will be fought with weapons of mass destruction.” (source)

Gerald Celente: TEOTWAWKI Coming Soon

June 8, 2009 by  
Filed under Patrick's Blog

Human Events had the opportunity to interview forecaster extraordinaire Gerald Celente, President of Trends Research Institute, several days ago — and the future he predicts looks bleak indeed.  In fact, as Mr. Celente sees it, the Great Depression will seem like a mild recession as what waits for us in 2011 hits with the force of a Katrina financial hurricane.

In case you’re wondering who Mr. Celente is (if this is still possible), he’s appeared — along with his predictions — on Oprah, CNBC, Reuters, NBC, PBS, BBC, the Glenn Beck Show — the list goes on an on.  His Trends Report has been successfully predicting the major future trends impacting our lives for 3 decades, including calling the dot com crash back in the 1990′s.


Mr. Celente’s forecast on our impending future is based on his study of history.  He says we are bent on destroying our currency, bankrupting our government, and unleashing a violent citizen-against-citizen eruption as the economy collapses into chaos and martial law fascism.  

Quite a claim.  And God help us if he is right — again.

“We’re sounding the alarm about the ongoing downward economic cycle”, Gerald told Human Events.  “In 2002, we predicted that the collapse of the American empire would fall like the World Trade Center in a thunderous crash — in slow motion before our eyes.  And now it’s happening.”

Mr. Celente follows over 300 trends:  family, crime, war, education, consumer & business patterns which TRI synthesizes to predict the future.

“The US is becoming a shadow of what it used to be.  Take education for example.  The OECD group of developed countries ranks quality of life, education, health care of its member nations.  The US is now falling down the table as one piece of data after another shows America is in decline.  We’re no longer Win, Place or Show in quality of life, education, longevity… all the essentials where we used to be #1.  And our economic underpinnings are failing.” . . .


[ . . . ]

“How will it all end?,” we queried.  Will the dollar survive?

“The dot com bubble should have burst and gone away in a short sharp recession.  But the boys at the Fed re-inflated the economy by lowering interest rates to a 46 year low — and in turn created the real estate bubble — much bigger than the dot com bubble. “

“Now they’re creating the bailout bubble — which will ultimately dwarf the real estate bubble.  It will cause the implosion of the global economy world wide — which will not be able to be repaired by creating yet another bubble.  Every time the government fails, it tells a bigger lie and then a still bigger lie.”

“These previous bubbles were not allowed to pop — but they didn’t destroy the infrastructure of the country.  This bailout bubble will.”

“But this bubble will be the last one.  After the final blowout of the bailout bubble, we are concerned that the government will take the nation into war.   This is a historical precedent that’s been done over and over again.”

“So, it’s not that the dollar will survive.  We may not even survive.  Look at the German mess after WWI.  It gave rise to Fascism and WWII. 


The next war will be fought with weapons of mass destruction.” (source "font-style: italic;">)

What C.S. Lewis thought about Mormons

June 6, 2009 by  
Filed under Patrick's Blog


C.S. Lewis was not LDS. He may, in fact, not have even liked The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

But Mormons love C. S. Lewis.

Authors Marianna Richardson and Christine Thackeray looked at the famous Christian apologist in their book “C.S. Lewis: Latter-day Truths in Narnia.” They wrote about the letters Lewis sent to many of his readers.


“(T)here is no record that Lewis had any contact with the Church but he did correspond regularly with a woman who lived in Salt Lake City,” the authors write. “Although we do not have the original letter, Lewis’s reply to her inquiry was as follows, ‘I am afraid I am not going to be much help about all the religious bodies mentioned in your letter of March 2nd. I have always in my books been concerned simply to put forward “mere” Christianity, and am no guide on these (most regrettable) “interdenominational” questions. I do however strongly object to the tyrannic and unscriptural insolence of anything that calls itself a Church and makes teetotalism a condition of membership.’”

Lewis is apparently referring to the LDS Church and its “Word of Wisdom” prohibitions against drinking alcohol.

Richardson and Thackeray do not discuss another possible reference to Mormons in Lewis’ works. In his Narnian fantasy book “The Voyage of the Dawn Treader,” he writes about the family of a rather unpleasant character named Eustace Scrubb: “They were vegetarians, non-smokers and teetotalers and wore a special kind of underclothes.”

Because of this description, some have speculated that Lewis was saying that the Scrubbs were Mormons — although such a conclusion requires ignoring other descriptions of the character and his family. The adopted son of Lewis, Douglas Gresham, has also been quoted as saying the Scrubbs were “simply faddists.” . . . (Continue reading)

How Would You Introduce Christ to a Room Full of People?

June 6, 2009 by  
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Episcopal Diocese Elects Ex-Catholic turned Buddhist as Bishop?

June 6, 2009 by  
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Here’s one take on this very odd happenstance of a Catholic-turned-Episcopalian-turned-Buddhist “practicioner”-turned Episcopal “bishop.” Then, here’s the odd-as-a-three-dollar-bill background info, and then here’s the “official” version:


EPISCOPAL DIOCESE OF NORTHERN MICHIGAN
2-21-09 — For Immediate Release

(Escanaba, MI) –The Diocese of Northern Michigan created an Episcopal Ministry Support Team and elected Kevin Thew Forrester as bishop at a Special Diocesan Convention on Saturday, February 21, 2009 at St.Stephen’s Church, Escanaba. Thew Forrester was elected on the first ballot and satisfying the Diocesan Constitution and canons, received 88% of the delegate votes and 91% of the congregational votes. Thew Forrester has been serving the diocese since 2001, first as MinistryDevelopment Coordinator and later in 2007 as Rector/Ministry Developerof St. Paul’s Church in Marquette and St. John’s Church in Negaunee.


Following the death of Bishop Jim Kelsey in an automobile accident inJune 2007, an extended time of reflection and discernment ensued. As result, and after 27 years of living into “baptismal ministry,” theDiocese decided to apply its extensive experience of developing local,shared leadership to the ministry of episcopal oversight. Bishop Kelsey’s initial experiment with a “Core Team” paved the way for the concept of an Episcopal Ministry Support Team (EMST), in which the bishop will focus on pastoral, relational and canonical tasks while serving as one of twelve members, which also includes compensated ministry developers, a diocesan staff person and regional representatives.

The Discernment Team, composed of twenty-one members (representing 70%of the congregations of the diocese) worked closely with Jo Gantzer(Diocese of Michigan) as its Companion and three Reflectors from the wider church: Bishops Bruce Caldwell (Wyoming) and Tom Ely (Vermont) and Fredrica Harris Thompsett, recently retired professor at the Episcopal Divinity School. They worked for nearly a year before presenting a single name for bishop as well as identifying EMST members who where affirmed during the Special Convention.


Prior to the naming of the EMST and bishop-nominee, the Discernment Team presented its work-to-date and its proposed process to the Annual Diocesan Convention last October. It received an overwhelming vote of confidence, with 94% of the delegates voting to affirm. 
Upon the successful completion of the consent process, the Episcopal Ministry Support Team will be commissioned and the bishop ordained on October 17, 2009 in Marquette, Michigan.

"Answering Atheism and the Culture of Doubt" Summer Conference, July 10-12

June 5, 2009 by  
Filed under Patrick's Blog



Speakers List:

Who: Some of today’s top Catholic leaders, gathered together to help the Church build a culture of life.

What: A very special 3-day Catholic conference on answering atheism and the culture of doubt.

Where: Belmont Abbey College campus, 15 minutes from downtown Charlotte, NC.

When: Friday, July 10, through Sunday, July 12, 2009.

Schedule: The conference begins at 1:00 p.m. on Friday, July 10, and ends at 1:00 p.m. on Sunday, July 12.

Cost: (Register here)

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