Air Disaster

Daddy, daddy, did you see the plane in the video? It was sooo big.

Yes, honey, I did.

Did you see how it blew up and fell to the ground, how did they film that daddy?

They have their ways, honey.

What did they mean by “dereliction of duty”?

That’s when someone doesn’t do what they’ve been told to do.

Like when I don’t want to go to bed? Is that “dereliction”?

Well, honey, it’s when someone doesn’t do something really important for the Air Force.

You mean like when Captain Davi didn’t salute during the parade last year?

Yes, just like that, Nomi.

What are those stairs for daddy?

Would you take her out of the room now, Ramsha?

Yes, son, don’t worry, we’ll raise her as our own.

Thank you mother, as we planned.

Yes, dear. Say good-bye to daddy Nomi.

Good-bye daddy, will I see you again soon?

Not soon, honey, but someday, you listen to grandmamma and do what she says like a good girl.

I will daddy… I want to go with you…

Ramsha, take her now.

Yes, Vijay, come Nomi…


Air Vice Marshall Vijay Tareen, you’ve been found guilty by a jury of your peers. You will be hanged by the neck until you are dead. Have you any last words?

Yes, I stand fast in my convictions and you know what they are. The Airbus 380 had hundreds of our kinsmen on board and I would not sacrifice the many to kill one man. That you did it anyway is upon you and your houses… God is Great and I will meet Him shortly. Look to yourselves for your judgment swiftly approaches.

Wonder Why?

Have you ever wondered why folks so vehemently deny the existence of a God who is involved in our personal history? I have heard from those more competent than myself that it is because folks wish not to be accountable for their actions. I tend to agree with that assessment. That is why I bar my doors to the contingent many (even while I am disarming my heart to the Necessary One; and I am very far from finished).

Aldous Huxley: “I had motives for not wanting the world to have a meaning; consequently assumed that it had none, and was able without any difficulty to find satisfying reasons for this assumption… The philosopher who finds no meaning in the world is not concerned exclusively with a problem in metaphysics, he is also concerned to prove that there is no valid reason why he personally should not do as he wants to do, or why his friends should not seize political power and govern in the way that they find most advantageous to themselves…

For myself, as, no doubt, for most of my contemporaries, the philosophy of meaningless was essentially an instrument of liberation. The liberation we desired was simultaneously liberation from a certain political and economic system and liberation from a certain system of morality. We objected to the morality because it interfered with our sexual freedom; we objected to the political and economic system because it was unjust. The supporters of this system claimed that it embodied the meaning – the Christian meaning, they insisted – of the world. There was one admirably simple method of confuting these people and justifying ourselves in our political and erotical revolt: we would deny that the world had any meaning whatever…

Most ignorance is vincible ignorance. We don’t know because we don’t want to know. It is our will that decides how and upon what subjects we shall use our intelligence… No philosophy is completely disinterested. The pure love of truth is always mingled to some extent with the need, consciously or unconsciously felt by even the noblest and the most intelligent philosophers”

Ends and Means: An Inquiry into the Nature of Ideals and into the Methods Employed for Their Realization (New York: Harper & Bros., 1937), (an amalgam from pages 270 – 273)

Orwell’s O’Brien Sums It Up

This is one of the most honest expressions of an end for ‘man’s degradation of man’ that I’ve read so far. Although originally framed in the context of “collectivist oligarchy“, it pertains to all units of societal organization whatever their politics, philosophy, eschatology or lack thereof. From the family, to the workplace and to the nations.

Unfortunately, this is not the entire extent of man’s degradation of man (more unfortunate is that it happens at all). How can we ever say that we are inherently good (i.e., only one is good) when we do not blanche at O’Brien’s statement and, called to action, try to right these injustices without participating in their methods. Our hands are covered blood-red.

“[We] seek power entirely for its own sake. We are not interested in the good of others; we are interested solely in power. We are different from all the [rulers] of the past in that we know what we are doing. All the others were cowards and hypocrites. They never had the courage to recognize their motives.

We know that no one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it. Power is not a means; it is an end. The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power.

How does one man assert his power over another? By making him suffer. Unless he is suffering, how can you be sure that he is obeying your will and not his own? Power is in inflicting pain and humiliation. Power is in tearing human minds to pieces and putting them together again in new shapes of your own choosing.

In our world, there will be no emotions except fear, rage, triumph, and self-abasement; a world of fear and treachery and torment. If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face forever.”

O’Brien, 1984, G. Orwell

Perhaps a picture of Hell on Earth with which you no longer wish to participate?

What is this? It is what it is

What is this?  Qu’est que ce?   این چیست؟

It is what it is.  Elle est ce qu’elle est.  این است آنچه در آن است.  


What are you listening to so intently?

Are you cleared for ‘Halo Simplex’?

Sure, yeah…


The Professor himself read me in.

This is telemetry and comms from the Gulf.

Let me listen.

‘Phones, take the ‘phones.

Hey, this is data…what’s the channel?

می خوانیم شما پنج توسط پنج

[We read you five by five]

Executing pitch over maneuver

Roger, pitch over, telemetry is good

I can see the mark down range to port, executing yaw

Roger, executing yaw to port; our friends show good transfer

Coming back in yaw

Roger, coming back in yaw, friends show you leading mark

Adjusting pitch

Roger, adjusting pitch, friends show you in limits, 7000 meters

6700 meters

Roger, 5400 meters, 4500 meters, 3300 meters

Allahu Akbar

Allahu Akbar, my friend


We have confirmation, we have confirmation

What do you think just happened?

I dunno.

I think he is, er, was an onboard target director.

What do you think he just did?

 Hit the mark.

What mark?

This needs to go up fast.


This Day

Who did it?

Ones just like us, if we were brutally honest.

What happened?

The towers fell, those sworn to defend died and the 40 heroes struck back.

Where did it all start?

In a field east of Eden where the blood still cries out from the ground.

When does it end?

On The Day, from a tree on a hill facing Jerusalem.

Why would you die?

He has no pleasure in it, turn from your way and live.

How will it end for you?

Your surrender or your last day.

Surely, “it is much harder to believe than not to  believe”.

The General and the Lieutenant

 Glancing over at the mantelpiece, at the photograph in a gold frame, the General said:

“Lieutenant, did I ever tell you her story?”

“No Comrade General.”

“She was my first-born, back then we …”

“I know Comrade General.”

“No, not that, you can see she had a daughter of her own…

…She went out in the early morning of June 4, 1989. It was a heady few days. You could tell ‘freedom’ was in the air. Did you know that regimental troops marched with the people earlier in the week, Lieutenant?”

“No Comrade General.”

“Her husband and I were in the operations center. We had cameras all over the square. Wen saw her first and watched her for the rest of the night until….”

“Until, Sir?”

“I gave the order. All lights went off long enough to disorient the remaining crowds of people. Then the methodical pounding started. To frighten them, you know. They were warned to clear the square. They were warned… we had until 6 am to clear the square. Wen lost sight of his wife and child – my daughter and granddaughter – heading west when the lights went out….”

“What happened, Sir?”

The General stared the Lieutenant down.

“Lieutenant, did I ever tell you my daughter’s story?”

“No Comrade General.”

“Very well, that is all Lieutenant. Dismissed”

In the past, he would have sent the hapless Lieutenant to his death on some ‘important mission’ for such a lapse as he had just made in the Lieutenant’s presence. He thought better of his actions and did not do so, this time.

Mr. Sandusky and Big Al

 “So, lemme get this straight, you want that I should plug the leak?”

“What part of ‘plug the leak’ don’t you get?”

“Well, it’s gonna cost, big time.”

“Since when? You’ve been doing this for me since I moved into the neighborhood. What’s the problem?”

“No problem, Mister Sandusky, it’s just this time is more complicated. If you know what I mean.”

“I know what you mean.”

“So, you payin’ more?”

“I want to see the results first. Bring me the parts that are leftover.”

“You got it. And thanks for the automotive business.”

Mr. Sandusky grinned, turned and swaggered out of the shop knowing that the job he just contracted would be done right.

Joe and Grace

 “So, you think you’re right?”

“Of course I am. I observed his behavior, surveyed the area, decided what to do about it and acted before he could. What else is there?”

“The morals and ethics of the situation.”

“Oh that, you harping on that again?”

“Harping, harping, what do you mean by harping? Don’t you think we should be held to a higher standard?”

“Always can count on you to be my ‘Jiminy Cricket’”

“I resent that and I will not be your conscience. If you don’t toe the line, I’m not covering for you. Not again.”

“You always do”

“Well that’s going to change right now.”

“Where are you going?”

“To get some tea. You want something before bed?”

“Naw, thanks sweetie.”