Archive for Film/Television

Some Pilots’ Pilots…

John Glenn died on December 8, 2016 – four years ago today – at age 95. Chuck Yeager died yesterday at age 97. I didn’t know either of them, but they were models for the kind of pilot and person I aspired to be. Extraordinary men who led remarkable lives and became legends in their own lifetimes.

It’s difficult to write anything original about them. Their biographies are exemplary and posted everywhere, but what strikes me today is the contrast between these citizen heroes and the cowards currently serving in Congress and the White House. These two giants were courageous, quiet, hard-working Americans who answered the call to service, delivered in multiple wars and later in peacetime. John Glenn served 24 years as a US Senator from Ohio following his career as a Marine Corps fighter pilot and astronaut. read more

Doing God’s Work…

Yesterday was the 110th anniversary of Mother Teresa’s birth. Reading a short biographical essay about her I was reminded of her remarkable life and life’s work – a life we should be celebrating. Born with a club foot into a poor Albanian family, she joined the Sisters of Loreto order in Ireland at age 18 taking vows of obedience, chastity, and poverty, promising to give “wholehearted free service to the poorest of the poor.” While teaching at a school outside of Calcutta she learned nursing and began ministering to the poor, sick, and hungry on the gritty streets of Calcutta. read more

Who Gets the Last Word?

America is exhausted…

In the middle of the most devastating pandemic in 102 years, Americans watched the murder of George Floyd, an unarmed black man, by a white police officer in Minneapolis. They learned of the police break-in and murder of an innocent black woman, Breonna Taylor, in Louisville. They watched as police used tear-gas and flashbangs to break up a peaceful protest in Washington in order to give the president a Biblical photo op. They saw unidentified federal troops dispatched to Portland and Seattle to quell “violent left wing” Black Lives Matter protests .  read more

Remembering Wake Island…

“When we got up, a wind of between 20 and 25 miles was blowing from the north. We got the machine out early and put up the signal for the men at the station.”  Orville Wright’s Diary, December 17, 1903

That was the day of the Wright brothers first flight at Kitty Hawk. I was born the same day (December 17) thirty-four years later, and in 1960 the Chance-Vought Aerospace Company gave me a pin for flying one of their F8 Crusaders 1000 mph. It seems impossible that time could collapse so dramatically in 57 years. read more

Can We Stand Together?

M and I live in an autonomous zone, not the CHAZ (Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone) you’ve read about – where Black Lives Matter protestors are occupying six city blocks and a park in Seattle – but our own Covid-19 autonomous zone ten miles north of the CHAZ.

The Oxford English Dictionary defines autonomous, an adjective, as meaning:

  1. (Of a country or region) having the freedom to govern itself or control its own affairs (self-governing, independent, sovereign, free, self-ruling, self-sufficient)
  2. The freedom to act independently 
  3. (In Kantian moral philosophy) acting in accordance with one’s moral duty rather than one’s desires.

I’m not being flippant; M and I are locked down in our own “zone” to protect ourselves from the death-dealing virus but equally concerned – not about protests in the CHAZ – but over the mounting crisis in America. What can we do about it? This is about more than Covid-19. This is a global crisis with America is its epicenter. We sit in the throes of a viral pandemic with a surfeit of African-Americans dying at the hands (or knees) of white police officers and a White House willing to use pepper spray, flash bangs, and rubber bullets against peaceful protestors to clear a path for the president to stand awkwardly holding a Bible in front of a church. read more