Sunday, February 27, 2011

Airlines Out of Control

I recently traveled internationally, and let me tell you, I may never fly again (well, at least until I have to go home.) Airline security in the US is as ridiculous as I ever want to experience it, and feels like a prison camp.

The first thing is the full body scan. Earlier, I had done a far amount of research (due to the fact that I am a Fact Finder as classified by the Kolbe test which has heretofore redefined my life. I like it so much, I'm now considering doing a post just to talk more about it). Anyway, I had read all these horrible things about it: like that it is dangerous for the elderly, children, and women who are pregnant. This is because of all the cancer-causing x-rays they shoot at you, and so I am an aspiring member to the latter category, I decided to opt out.

This created an interesting scene in the airport, but first I read all the rules on it. First, the only other option to the cancer box is a full body pat down (I saw one youtube video where the guy said, "If you weren't wearing your uniform this would be a molestation charge," which I think does well to create the general impression of what it's like. ) It must be done by a same-sex officer (is that what we're calling them?), they have to tell you exactly what they're going to do, and when they get to the 'sensitive' parts of your body, they have to use the back of their hand. There were other things, but I feel like those were the main three.

I went and opted out, and the whole scenario wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. But here's a play-by-play for those interested: First, the lady told me, "Get in the cancer box and put your hands in the air" or something like that. Then I said, "Yeah, I'm going to do the pat-down thing." She then corrected me and said, "Are you opting out?"


She then yelled, "We have an opt out, female!" And everyone looked at me. But I had long decided to shake them hater's off, so I played it cool and didn't notice, though I'm sure this is definitely meant to embarrass the individual. Then I was told to go to the side, with all my stuff that had been scanned, and wait. It took about 4 min or so, fast service, and then the same lady walked over and did everything right from what I remember. I then stood with my hands in a Tshape and stood with my legs wide so she could feel up my legs. I hadn't been working out, so I was a little self-conscious. Overall, I think it wasn't too invasive; she definitely felt around my breasts pretty thoroughly. I wanted to make a comment or laugh at the situation, but I was continually reminded over the loudspeaker that we're at threat level Orange (whatever the hell that means) and "any comment of joke about the security procedures may result in your arrest" (which I know that means 'create false sense of authority in TSA'). So I kept my mouth shut. She then said, you're free to go ma'am. Then I said thanks and immediately regretted it.

The next big ordeal was actually getting onto the plane. This was the worst and I've never felt so insulted in my life. Maybe that one time in middle school when my friend's dad made a racist comment to me, that was close, but this was worse. We were boarding, but we were first led into a hallway and told to put our carry on luggage on one side of the wall, and line up across from it on the other side. This was all yelled at us. A dog then sniffed all out stuff, then us, and the luggage that he lingered at was pulled aside, along with it's owner, and was searched. Some random searches were done too. The whole time though, this man kept yelling at us. To stay still, keep quiet, line up. It was awful. I kept thinking that I was an American citizen and not even Russia treats people this bad. Spain sure as heck didn't. It was patronizing and belittling.

I think the whole purpose of that ordeal was just to create this false sense of fear. All of that extra security is so freaking unnecessary, on top of the rudeness of this group's delusional sense of authority. Actually, I'm wrong. They only have as much authority as we give them, and we're just letting them treat us like that. On top of that, where did these body scanners come from? Were they asked for? I mean, when I went to get my teeth x-rayed last year, they put a giant lead coat on my body and hid behind a lead screen as they pushed the button. I don't think people want x-rays shot at their unprotected bodies but people are stupid enough to line up and take it. Ugh, this gets me so mad. Once they become mandatory, I'm never flying again.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Be Men and Women of Prayer

On your walls, O Jerusalem,
I have set watchmen;
all the day and all the night
they shall never be silent.
You who put the LORD in remembrance,
take no rest,
and give him no rest
until he establishes Jerusalem
and makes it a praise in the earth.
~Isaiah 62:6-7

will not God give justice to his elect, who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long over them? I tell you, he will give justice to them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?
~Luke 18:7-8

Monday, October 25, 2010

Who can ascend Your holy hill?

I'm having a hard time not completely going head over heels for paul washer - in a "my favorite person to youtube/podcast/internet search for" kind of way. This sermon titled "Regeneration" is a GREAT sermon on turning from sin to righteousness. I strongly believe the issue of walking righteously, and consequently running away from sin, is a topic that I wish was taught more (with a nazarene background, I know that what he says about wesley is true teaching at least in my church) . It was only until after much difficulty, stubborness, confusion and 'getting swept up with teachings' of every kind in this world, that the Lord has made clear to me that he desires holiness in His children. Washer, in this sermon, touches on this AND MORE (which is why i like it so much) because he kind of zeroes in on the power of regeneration and how as believers, we are no longer under the power of sin! We don't 'love sin' or have to just 'live with this issue of sin' in our lives - but that we are not slaves anymore. Not that we don't struggle with sin, citing 1 John, or free to run amok, but geez, he does such a great job of tying grace and a joyful, holy way of living together. I mostly just feel like praying more after I listen to this man preach - truly preaching Christ.

Verse - Romans 6:16: (Yes, I wish I could make that part stand out any further. Maybe flashing lights?)
Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness.

Straight from Martin Luther's mouth

I just finished this book on the life of Martin Luther and was that man spirited. I mean to say, not that he was full of the Spirit, which he was with what was revealed him, but have you read any of his stuff?? The guy had a vibrancy in writing, and had such mastery over humor, the english language, the scriptures and doctrine, that what he wrote to the catholic church was both challengingly and clever. I am sad I've never read his works before; and here I read only excerpts. Even so, here are some entertaining ones :)

On humbleness and when the Lord directed Peter to cast on the other side:
'I would have said, "Now look here, Master. You are a preacher, and I am not undertaking to tell you how to preach. And I am a fisherman, and you need not tell me how to fish.' But Peter was humble, and the Lord therefore made him a fisher of men.
On the monasteries/convents being incorrectly regarded as the highest christian life. The shepherds after the birth of Jesus:
Surely that must be wrong. We should correct the passage to read, 'They went and shaved their heads, fasted, told their rosaries and put on cowls.' Instead we read, 'The shepherds returned.' Where to? To their sheep. The sheep would have been in a sorry way if they had not.
On Christian duties:
If the burgomaster does his duty, there will scarcely be four who will like him. If the father disciplines his son, the lad will be ugly. It is true everywhere. The prince has nothing for his pains. One is tempted to say, 'Let the Devil be burogmaster. Let Lucifer preach. I will go to the desert and serve God there.' It is no light task to love your neighbor as yourself.
And a brief life history:
I am the son of a peasant...and the grandson and the great-grandson. My father wanted to make me into a bugomaster. He went to Mansfeld and became a miner. I became a baccalaureate and a a master. Then I became a monk and put off the brown beret. My father didn't like it, and then I got into the pope's hair and married an apostate nun. Who could have read that in the stars?

These are just some of what he said. Definitely wrote voraciously against the teachings of the catholic church (even called the pope the anichrist). I highly recommend reading about him. I read "Here I stand: A life of Martin Luther" by Roland Bainton which I thought VERY good. It was very comprehensive and covered so much historically, including the background with revolutions, princes, electors, and the different cities and countries involved and effected by the reformation. It's a complex account, but he does well in presenting it in chronological order, so that it's easy to see the logical flow of events (excepting when what happened made no sense) and it is filled with excerpts from Martin himself. So he doesn't so much tell you what he believed on certain points, but lets you read them yourself. A good first time ML book for me :)