Commentary: A missing plane and flights of foolishness


By John Krull

INDIANAPOLIS – Francois Rabelais said it best

“Nature abhors a vacuum.”

John Krull, publisher,

John Krull, publisher,

So, apparently, do the political and news cultures of the Western world. Even when pundits and politicians don’t know what’s going on – even when they acknowledge that they don’t know – that doesn’t stop them from speculating and talking, talking, talking even when they have nothing to say.

Consider the strange case of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370, which vanished an hour after it took off for a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. There were roughly 240 people on board and not a peep has been heard from any of them since the plane disappeared.

Commentary button in JPG - no shadowThe only things that are “known” about the disappearance – and those things aren’t known with sufficient firmness to call them facts – include some inconclusive and not well confirmed pieces of evidence that the plane altered course and that its automated communications and tracking systems either were turned off or seriously malfunctioned.

In fact, the things we don’t know far outweigh the things we do know.

We don’t have a plane, a crew, a passenger, a black box or any other person or piece of that flight, so we don’t really know what we’re looking for or even where we should be looking for it.

We don’t have a crash site because we don’t even know for sure that there was a crash.

We don’t have a landing site because we don’t even know for sure where or if the plane landed somewhere.

We don’t have a crime scene because we don’t know for sure that there was a crime.

The paucity of concrete evidence, though, hasn’t stopped the major news networks from exploring at endless length the possible outcomes or storylines. Nor has it stopped a steady stream of public officials and other “experts” who spin speculative tales about possible scenarios, as if they were pitching ideas for made-for-television movies.

I understand and to some degree accept that these forays into fantasy inadequately disguised as analysis are products of two ravenous appetites.

The first of those appetites is the hunger many political figures, consultants and hangers-on in the political world have for exposure. In a culture in which both clout and cash often are measured by face time on camera, many people are eager to speak at length when the red light goes on, even when doing so requires them to blather like the village idiot.

The other hunger is more basic – and more understandable. We try out answers even when we don’t have enough information to supply proper questions much less answers because not knowing scares us. If we don’t know enough to know how something happened, then we also don’t know enough to stop it – whether it is an accident or an attack – the next time it might occur.

No one likes to feel that vulnerable.

And in this era in which information that in years past would have taken months, years or even decades to compile now can be assembled with a few key strokes and about as many seconds, we tend to think that all matters of interest should yield themselves to our curiosity.

But they don’t.

There are some things we don’t get to understand, some mysteries we never unravel. We still don’t know where Jimmy Hoffa is buried or where Amelia Earhart died.

Speculating about what happened to them and why can be satisfying parlor games but that speculation shouldn’t be confused with newsgathering, scholarship or honest-to-goodness analysis.

It’s guessing and nothing more, but we try to use those guesses to fill the vacuum because the vacuum frightens us.

The famed journalist H.L. Mencken tried to rebut Rabelais. Mencken said, “Nature abhors a moron.”

That statement is demonstrably not true, because nature has created so many morons.

And, right now, a lot of them are fighting for air time.

John Krull is director of Franklin College’s Pulliam School of Journalism, host of “No Limits” WFYI 90.1 Indianapolis and publisher of, a news website powered by Franklin College journalism students.


  1. We live in a time of an awaking giant; Islam. The pilot was not only capable of hijacking the airliner, but likely to have done so for political/theological reasons.

    And the idea of giving Israel a 9/11 of it’s own must be so inviting to them. Imagine: a coat of paint, and modified transponders and they can act like El-Al-103 returning to Tel-Aviv. And there’s always room for 200+ more Muslim slaves. Win-win.

    Keep in mind the 22,000+ attacks world-wide since 9/11 assures us that, without a debris field, the old ideology of hate is back in action again.

    It’s not dogma or fanciful mental meanderings; it’s observation.

    • I understand that Israel has stepped up security in light of this plane’s disappearance.

      • Israel would be insane not to when with perhaps few exceptions nearly all Muslim nations, especially those in the middle east have called for their eradication as a State and peoples.

  2. They’ve created this boogey man that supposedly knows where you are at any given second. GPS can pinpoint exactly where I am. And you’re telling me a commercial jet can just vanish into thin air? Somebody knows something.

      • IE,Ghost; Good grief Krull,quote Rabelais “Nature abhors a vacuum” then go on to close your given mind to science. The more I read this guy the more he just looks like a hack.
        On this small planet nature does abhor vacuum,however to most observed indications the rest of the entire cosmos/universe thrives in it.

        My speculation on the mystery of the missing flight might lean towards a lead cause determined or “dot connected” by the on-line flight simulation gaming the Captain partook in from his home.
        That’s only, speculation,however it seems a feasible source of access to the aircraft command pilots flight planning methodology.
        If the African Coast was in fuel range at low altitude an abandoned facility in Somalia would not be out of my speculation,as well.
        Hey, they pirate merchant marine shipping why not commercial aircraft with fly by wire communication. “Big drone syndrome”

        Mr. Krull mundi vocat…via?

        cosmos calling Mr.Krull…over?

    • The search field is so huge that it is possible that the plane crashed and has not yet been found, but I also heard this morning that there are 220 airstrips capable of landing a 777 within the flight radius. I can’t help but wonder how many of those are located in countries that may feel they have an “ax to grind” with another country.
      Malaysia has certainly not been forthcoming with information, and seems to offer contradictory statements constantly. The possibility of some sort of plot is not outside the realm of possibility.
      If not a plot, it could be suicide by pilot, a truly unusual crash, or the plane and its passengers were “raptured.”

      • I dunno about suicide, don’t they usually want so form of notoriety? What would be the point if no one knows about it with certainty? An unusual crash doesn’t seem to fit what little is known and if it was so there would have to be some serious electrical and mechanical failures, which again doesn’t seem to fit.

        Your the first person I have read to include rapture as a possibility. I would be surprised if you meant it in the Christian eschatology sense. If that was your meaning I have no idea what God would want with an airplane.

        Personally I am leaning towards a plot.

    • People not in the business don’t realize: even AIRCRAFT are repo’ed. And these people trying to get their money back have a REALLY hard time tracking their property.

      See also: Airplane Repo, a reality series currently airing.

      Tracking an airplane is not as easy as it looks. You have to understand that an airplane without a transponder is a BLIP, with no accompanying information.

      And in the third world? That radar is even less prevelant.

      Now, if you started watching a plane, from a satellite, from take-off to landing, you could see and maybe count the number of people getting on/off a plane.

      …but you have to know which of 8,000 planes currently in the air you want to watch.

      It’s not as easy as tracking phone calls…but you’re right: someone in the military or government knows more than they’re telling.

  3. …..the nature of talk-oriented content demands you have to talk about something.

    There is a show to put on. It’s not what is important.

    Obese, insecure, drug addict, married four-time-and-NOT A FAMILY MAN, Tea Party idiot Rush Limbaugh devotes 2/3 of his show, every single day for the last five years talking about the ACA. Two hours a day saying the exact same thing, over and over, same talking points, same whining, same content, day in and day out…two hours a day.

    Krull writes an opinion column. Twice a week, two minutes of reading. His forte appears to be pointing out the fools and bigots who try to advocate and legislate their twisted version of civil society and morality from their church and their copy of the bible into State Law and the Constitution. Conservative means pro-business, low taxes, government efficiency and leaving a man’s way of raising his family and private life alone, not legislating morality. Those days for those POS are past (I love that).

    Some of the posters here don’t like being exposed like that.

    • For someone professing to really dislike Rush, you have to listen to him nearly everyday to state how much air time he devotes to a particular subject. So I have to take you as actually being a Rush fan or your just pulling two thirds out of your neither regions. So are you just upset that he spends in your view an inordinate amount of time on one subject or that he tries to be complete in his views about a subject.

      I have an idea, do your own radio show and talk about to whatever depth of any subject you want. Just like Krull is free to talk about anything he wants. By the way I think you are off topic since Krull is talking about the speculation of a missing aircraft and you took the opportunity to bash people with a sense of morality, an appreciation of the Constitution, etc, etc.

      By the way, do you know how many times God is mentioned in the Declaration of Independence? Said document *is* the basis and the *why* for the creation of the Constitution and it (the Constitution) is the *how to go about it*. Matter of fact, every signer of the Constitution had a belief in God.

      • “Matter of fact, every signer of the Constitution had a belief in God.”

        You must have a BS in BS. Are you aware that George Washington refused the sacraments on his deathbed? Do you know what a Deist believes? You really believe that Jefferson and Franklin were believers?
        It would be more correct to say that all of the signers of the Constitution adhered to a code of ethics that were aligned with religious teachings.

        • Refusing “sacraments” does not preclude or negate that he was a religious man. I do know the meaning of the term deist and your attempt to bastardize its meaning is contrary to;

          1. belief in the existence of a God on the evidence of reason and nature only, with rejection of supernatural revelation (distinguished from theism ).

          So try again, it deals with more than just “ethics”. My original statement stands.

        • Oh Bovine scat LKB. Washington declining communion had more to do with doctrinal differences than any deistic views you attribute him The deistic beliefs of our founders were not the same as the humanistic agnosticism that passes as deism today.

          Clearly they identified with a creator God who was the God of nature. As a very wise friend told me, when you separate the God of our founders from His created nature, then all you have left is nature. Nature without its creator knows no morals and shows no mercy.

          Jefferson and Franklin were not believers as we traditionally hold, but they certainly more similar to Christianity than any believe by which the deistic secularist portray them.

      • OMG! The old and very tired, this is a christian nation meme.

        Every signer also believed in gravity too.

        They also lacked indoor plumbing so I guess this is an outhouse nation too?

        I think conservatives should be counted as 3/5ths of a person.

        • Where was Christian mentioned? By Weinzwestside? No, he mentioned the Bible. By me? No.

          We know you have a hatred for conservatives, religion in general and particularly with Christians. That’s OK until you come knocking at my door demanding I submit to your morality. I think at that point we will have a problem.

          Your arguments as time progresses becomes less and less coherent or at the very least not even tangential to a discussion. I know of no religion or country founded on the belief of gravity or indoor plumbing. Perhaps your enlightenment should be further expressed for our edification. By the way, while you do me the disservice to consider me three fifths a person I still consider you a whole person.

          Funny though with your clear disdain for God and religion in general you still invoke His name via “OMG”.

      • …..

        1. I read Rush Limbaugh…the obese, drug-addict, has no Parenting experience whatsoever in spite of a life of divorce and four marriages….online. It amuses me to see the posters here repeat his talking points…

        ….and I admire their choice of role models, a radio host with who was willing to lose his natural hearing because he is a drug addict. (And he is so miffed the NFL dropped him, he attacks it, oh, about every three days. Don’t tell me he’s not insecure.)

        2. You have a sense of morality? Great! Leave it at your home and church door. I DO. I am a moral, Jesus Christ following person, but that is my business and it has no place in the law. Morality politics is NOT conservative. Cretins who believe otherwise have no respect for an individual’s right to be left alone.

        3. God is mentioned in the Declaration? Ok. Belief in God? That’s legal and a Constitutional right. I will defend that. But legislating your (and their are some real Westboro Baptist christians who post here….) version of bible morality has no place in the law. (“God hates fags” and they have no right to be married. Yes, there are bigots who post here who believe that.)

        Those that believe they have that right? They’ve LOST the race…and they don’t know what to do w/ themselves. (I laugh about that. It’s fulfilling to know they have proved themselves fools.)

        • 1. As a rule I don’t listen to Rush so don’t know if I repeat his talking points and of the few times I have I have not agreed with everything he says.

          Umm, yes of course, a persons thoughts about football vis a vis the NFL should always be a high priority as judgement point on their credibility.

          2. Yes, I’ll just detach my sense of morality like an amputee removes an artificial limb. You are expressing your morality at this moment, I thought we were supposed to leave those things at home? Are you sure you know the meaning of morality? Doesn’t sound like it, just so we are on the same page;

          : beliefs about what is right behavior and what is wrong behavior

          : the degree to which something is right and good : the moral goodness or badness of something

          Reads to me you are now in violation of your own “morality”.

          Regarding your “walk” with Christ, that is between you and Him. Not once did I mention anything about that subject so not sure why you bring it up but its good to know.

          3. So nothing about any of God’s laws has any place in any of our laws? I don’t know about you but his laws sound pretty moral to me, you know like the Ten Commandments. The murders, adulterers, thief’s and a whole host of criminals will be glad to hear that they have free rein.

          If your claim to follow Christ is real then you should know it was not the person (homosexual) he considered an abomination but *what they were doing*, else He would not have bothered to go to the places they, the harlots, etc were hanging out to tell them they were making a mistake. While on this subject, please show me anywhere in the Bible God changed his mind about what constitutes marriage.

          • 1. You like Rush. Ok. I think he’s an obese drug addict w/ a disastrous record on marriage who owns no parenting skills whatsoever because from four marriages, he has never had a family.

            2. I think morality is fine. I just don’t think Bible-dictated morality has ANY place in the law. You do? Let’s get the Westboro Baptist Christians in here and have them help. A civil society dictates the law. And civil societies existed well before there was a New Testament Bible which was created three hundred years after Jesus death on the cross. King James Bible? Not ’til 1600 years after Jesus died. The Constitution is the law of the land. Not your Bible.

            3. Let’s be clear. God does change his mind…destruction intent and Johah….Saul as King, etc. Absolutes are rare, usually limited to math.

            Marriage? That is a legal contract endowing the couple with legal rights. It’s not a Bible issue for the Constitution to consider. It’s a Constitutional, legal issue.

          • No. I did not say I like Rush, only there have been somethings he has said in the past I agreed with but not all things. I don’t like Putin but that does not mean he isn’t right about our President being a wimp. And no before anyone goes off in a tizzy I am not saying Putin is right to have invaded.

            Look, there are many people that have lousy marital histories, have been addicted to things, not be good stewards of their life, not treated their children as good as they should have, offered aid to a person in need and on and on, but that does not mean everything they have said is completely wrong. If that were the case then I would totally ignore you and just about every person on this planet.

            As much as you dislike it there is no way to get around Biblical morality in our laws and on the whole I don’t see anything wrong with that. Now pardon me but a vast majority of laws of today and in ancient times were written based on morality. No society can exist without a sense of right and wrong, and the real question is what is the origin of that sense. A good many societies especially in ancient times based their “morality” on some “kind” a god. Since the existence of our country the morality of Gods law has been the corner stone for our laws and now all of a sudden they aren’t? As for the Westboro church, they need much more help than I could possibly offer.

            Well I don’t know that all of the New Testament was written that late though for the sake of argument will accept (for the moment), assembled into one “book” in that time frame. But it is known the Disciples were writing a handful of years after His death and resurrection as they were communicating with other Christian groups which comprises much of the New Testament contents. So no, it was not written 1600 years after his death.

            No, I think you are severely mistaken to think God changes His mind. He has said He will not do certain things again like the flood, but I’ve not found anywhere in the Bible of changing his mind. Perhaps you should enlighten and no you are not allowed to take things out of context. There are instances of God saying He will do something and a person asking God not to, for example Abraham asks Him to spare Sodom which he doesn’t but does spare some of its people, namely Lot and his family but Sodom still meets its demise. Lot was a relative of Abraham but I think you know the story or maybe not, go look it up.

            To consider marriage nothing more than a legal contract is selling it short. In this day and age even “contracts” are looked at nothing more than a burden and mechanization’s of men are sought to break them. While you think it is nothing more than a contract God had bigger ideas about it, few today could care less about that, but its your choice.

    • Wein-er: You really need to see someone about your “hatred” issue. It’s not healthy and one of these days you are going to boil over and pay the consequences.

      • ….brandon, I, and most everyone else here, laughs at your insignificance. (that’s funny…)

      • lolllllll……i love that little fuzzball el rushbo……if i may his tea is fabulous i really like the peach just ordered 4 cases for the summer sit out back listen to rush and drink two if by tea……little wein-er should try it it might help his blood pressure……..

    • You clearly don’t pay any attention to Rush. He’s not been obese for about a decade. He’s not half the things you think of him; you’ve let your other sources TELL you what to think about him.

      I’ve listened to him for decades, when I’m able. I know he’s as far from being racist as you can get; never giving you any reason for the claim. And he has several black fill-ins to whom he entrusts his show while he’s gone.

      The Left LOVES to berate him. He’s doing what they CAN’T do: attract listeners in the millions for hours every day. Not even Fox News gets as many viewers!

  4. The Tea Party again? OK, let’s all join the Weinzwestside party and live by your morals.

    BTW, you don’t have to listen to Rush everyday. I don’t listen to him at all.

    • Yes again. Guess they figured out the ol’ Bush saw was loosing it ‘omph”.

      Since he was very specific about some characteristics about Rush. It seems reasonable if Rush was *not* fat, insecure (not sure how he knows this), a drug addict (perhaps at one time but not sure if he still is) and married only one time that Weinzwestside would be OK with Rush. I pity any person Weinzwestside encounters possessing any of those characteristics.

      • I read our comments again and I don’t see where we mentioned our “churches” or “copy of our Bible.” In fact, where did we make a moral call on Krull, unless pointing out that he is making hay by being critical of others making the same hay. I guess freedom of speech to the neo-conservatives like Wienz and Krull is freedom to say what they want without explanation or disagreement.

        Well, it’s morning prays time and I must bow toward our mecca, Cape Girardeau, and prepare myself for this day’s teachings from our great one.

        Weinz, you’re so full of judging hate in others that you are blind to your own hate. Deal with your hate first, and you will find far less of it in others. and watch those Tea Party folk. you know how “those” people are.

  5. I will have to defer to Krull on this one. If anyone would know about the “desire for exposure” while having only a ” paucity of concrete evidence”, it would be Krull and his


  6. Hmm. Krull seems to be calling the calling the kettle black while looking in the mirror at the pot. My money is on the religion of peace regarding involvement. I’ll take all comers and all bets. How about it, pc’s?

    • No bets here since the media and governments are doing their best to avoid that possibility.

    • The religion of peace that drops bombs from 30,000ft on wedding parties and birthday parties for 12 year old boys leaving heads and limbs scattered for yards?

      The religion of peace that has pilots of Apache helicopters caught on tape that cackle with glee as they mow down civilians?

      The religion of peace that killed at least 100,000 Iraqi civilians?

      The religion of peace that runs over civilians with tanks on Baghdad streets?

      The religion of peace that used a 12 year old Afghan boy for grenade target practice?

      The religion of peace that enslaved millions of people for centuries?

      The religion of peace that committed Native American genocide?

      The religion of peace that hired mercenaries that called themselves “Blackwater” that filled cars stopped at American checkpoints full or Iraqi women with bullets?

      • The record for the worst atrocities against humanity are held by secular atheistic regimes, Stalin’s Russia and Mao’s Red China. Then of course there is North Korea’s ever 100% popular and Dennis Rodman fan “Lil Kim” who is well on his way to joining your atheistic mentors. Thank ceremonial deism that these atheistic humanist saw the intelligence in banning these anti-progressive religions. Maybe we will soon become like them. Yea!

        • Your honor please let me off the hook for murder and the theivery of trillions because that other guy was even worse!

          • Brains,

            You know full well that is not Indianaenoch’s intent and he certainly did not suggest the United States has a clean slate. But you are right about the thievery of trillions from our children, their children and on and on by Obama and Democrats now placing us some where in the neighborhood of 17 trillion dollars in debt (including unfunded dollars).

            But to get back on topic with this mini-thread started by apollos (see what you started apollos :)). Care to answer my question as to which religion apollos refers or is it your preference to stay off topic?

  7. Sometimes I have a tendency to stutter, but that could open the door for doubling down to those of confidence and liquidity.

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