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Good Morning Nanty Glo!
              Friday, September 28 2001 

20/20 Hindsight

When a young man staged what apparently he considered a "joke" on my trans-Atlantic flight last month (as described on Wednesday) by putting on a ski mask to scare his acquaintances in another section of the plane, there wasn't the slightest thought in my mind of taking action. If I had any outrage, it was along the lines of being appalled at his audacity, Yes, I thought, "how dare he," but not because he might be endangering us, but rather that he could dare risk the wrath of the plane's flight crew. Though in retrospect it was a scary scenario, in the moment the idea that the plane could really be in danger didn't compute. So it's not hard for me to imagine how a plane could be commandeered with four or five hijackers and not be seriously challenged by their dozens of victims.

And by the same token, I believe that knowledge that three other planes had already been crashed into the World Trade Center and Pentagon probably inspired some passengers on Flight 93 to rise up and thwart the plans of their captors. I also believe a speech like the one attributed to the pilot of a later flight that week as reported here yesterday could make the difference between passivity and proactive intervention. And of course, now that we're all, as the networks say, "on alert," any activity like that on my London to Los Angeles flight would be dealt with quickly by fellow passengers and flight crew members, I'm sure.

But hindsight is 20/20; as I said, at the time I didn't even form the thought that I should or even could do anything, and I was embarassed and a little worried on behalf of the older man nearby who dared speak out. The young offender proved to be unaggressive in that situation, but I feared a harsher remonstrance and possible reprisal.

Webmaster Jon Kennedy

Three Pearls of Wisdom

Never, under any circumstances, take a sleeping pill and a laxative on the same night.

You should never say anything to a woman that even remotely suggests that you think she's pregnant unless you can see an actual baby emerging from her at that moment.

The one thing that unites all human beings, regardless of age, gender, religion, economic status, or ethnic background, is that, deep down inside, we all believe that we are above average drivers.

Sent by Mike Harrison

The true country

I must keep alive in myself the desire for my true country, which I shall not find till after death; I must never let it get snowed under or turned aside; I must make it the main object of my life to press on to that other country and to help others do the same.

—C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

Sent by Rdr. Andrew

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