Re: Seoul: Another Enemy Capital (9/16)
OK, but which one has the mail-order brides?
While it's always fun to have sport with the idea that many Americans are woefully uninformed, I was a little disappointed in your column when I went and checked out the Harris poll you cited. You had noted that many respondents identified South Korea as an enemy.
While this is accurate, it seems to me that this result is very likely an artifact of the poll's failure to include North Korea as a county to rate. I would hazard a guess that many respondents, not seeing North Korea, assumed there was ONLY a South Korea. But whatever the reason, the absence of North Korea as an option makes it very likely that, one way or the other, South Korea was chosen as a proxy.
Maybe you don't know the answer to this, but why the he!! wasn't North Korea one of the countries rated? Its omission is so glaring that it's not unreasonable to question how much skill and care was taken by this group in doing this poll, or in doing any poll, for that matter.
Re: Call to Arms (9/13)
Creating facts on the ground
This isn't like bar owners having the right to decide whether or not to allow smoking. If an airline adopts policies that increase the risk of people on the ground getting kamikazeed, then those people should perhaps have some say in restricting those policies. There is no marketplace choice for the incinerated denizens of office buildings. One could argue that this could all be handled through tort liability, which would realign the incentives, but I think the usual problems with the tort system, combined with the difficulty of proving a counterfactual about what would have happened with armed pilots, makes this a tenuous prospect.
Let pilots use the toilet
Dear Mr. Sullum,
I just read your article"Call to Arms" on Worldnet, and you are totally correct. I am a commercial pilot flying 737's for a Dallas based airline. I am sick of Congressmen pontificating the various responsibilities I have as a flight officer. They say how I should concentrate on "flying the aircraft",and leave the security to skymarshalls. Well, I've got news for them. Since 9/11 of LAST year, I've had 6(3 pairs) skymarshalls on board!!
The sad thing is, is that the same politicians that are telling me how to do my job, have had NO experience on a flight deck. Hell, It'd take one of these morons 30 minutes just to figure out how to lock the door! Probably the biggest offender is my state senator Fritz "Foghorn Leghorn" Hollings. He said that the way to solve the problem is to not let the pilots come out during a flight. Right. I would love to see how long he could last on one of our nonstops from BWI to LAX before his bladder exploded. I certainly don't have to convince you of the argument for arming us...why is it so hard to convince them?
The Pilot Who Requested His Name Be Withheld
Dear Jacob Sullum,
Great piece on the arming pilots legislation. My boss, Rep. Pete Hoekstra, R-MI, viewed this issue the same way as you articlulated in the article. He is a supporter of gun rights, but forcing an employer to let their employees carry guns is a government mandate, not a gun rights issue. Thanks for being a voice of reason.
Rep. Pete Hoekstra, R-MI
There is an additional reason to not fear the firing of handguns on board airliners, there are commercially sold cartridges with fragiable bullets. That is to say bullets which function just as ordinary ones do when hitting a soft target, such as the human body, but which will scattered harmlessly upon striking a hard surface, such as plastic or the interior metal of an aircraft. Those could be mandated for the pilots' sidearms, but if some dummy subsituted ordinary ammunition then what you had to say in your essay about a tiny hole or two punched through an airliner's cabin wall applies, it would have nearly no effect on the airworthiness of the aircraft. The real objection to arming pilots comes from airline industry executives apprehensive of possible lawsuits if a pilot's handgun round strikes someone who will sue the airline. The executives do not care a wit if highjackers highjack and murder the passengers & crew of an aircraft because no-one is going to successfully sue the airline because of an act of war. Bush Administration bureaucrats, equally callous, have supported the executives' position. In short, today's airline executives are among the most callous people alive.
Re: Who Am I? (9/12)
The power of Christ compels you!
I just read the "Who Am I" article on Noelle Bush. She may have gotten off lightly until now and I agree that drugs should be legalized, but this is a bit cruel.
The photo makes her look like she's in urgent need of an exorcism, she does not need you to make fun of her on top of that.
No fair kicking a stoned-to-the-gills woman when she's down!
Obligatory Clinton reference
It just goes to show ya...we're all human...unlike I Didnt inhale-Man (1992-2000)
Re: We're Not Winning the War On Terrorism (9/11)
The #1 selling class of books in Islamists Mosques in America is how to keep the kids from joining the infidels. Reports are that 40% of the second generation says: "Islam? That is for old people."
MTV in some respects is a more potent weapon than the 101st.
Consider the military action defensive. Consider MTV offensive. Not a bad balance.
BTW people on the run must focus on running. There is less time to plan spectacular attacks. Which may explain why that despite the will there has been (so far) no way.
Dispersing the enemy in a guerilla war is always a danger. So is leaving them alone.