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.
Not a Watchtower reader
I keep trying to tell myself that those two decapitated Jehovah's Witnesses in the Philippines really were a bad thing. Maybe they rang one doorbell too many.
Re: Can Kids Handle the Truth? (9/10)
Ancient Chinese secret, eh?
The healthiest means of dealing with unpleasant truths is to confront and illuminate them. This is, at least, as true for children as for adults. There is far too much assumption that people are incapable of absorbing and dealing with these blows. Our leaders presume it is their role to shield us. Shielding our children, in turn, is just as unnecessary and unhealthy. It creates an atmosphere of mistrust between parent, child, and teacher just as disinformation by government creates an atmosphere of mistrust among citizens.
This does not mean we should force information on our children unprepared. The right course for parents is to prepare kids in advance to deal with their emotions. We have been conducting a national dialog on this for over a year, yet spent little time listening to how kids are feeling about it. Are they getting the right sort of message from what they hear and see? Do they understand the self-justifications made by terrorist, hate groups, societies and governments alike; and recognize them for what they are? Do they know how to decide for themselves what is true and what is propaganda? Are they secure knowing they are protected, yet are also part of the system of self-defense? Are they learning how to stand-up to bullies without becoming one?
If they are having strong emotions, what message does it send them that even the First-lady of the nation thinks they can't handle it? These same children have seen the events of "Waco Texas", "Ruby Ridge", "Oklahoma City", and the "Colorado school shootings", as well as the "Twin Towers attack"; all in full-color, stereophonic, real-time coverage. The nightly TV news is strewn with stories of drive-by shootings, gang-wars, abductions, parents drowning children, children shooting parents, car crashes, houses burning, floods, drug-deaths and rape. Yet we must shield them from the current media flaunting and flogging of our national pain? Are they not to be allowed participation in the national longing to find meaning, healing and pride? It is considered ok to impart to them every noxious issue of sexuality, sex orientation, drug-use, divisional diversity, and mental deviation. It is ok to justify and encourage positions that are mentally uncomfortable and morally dishonest. Yet, it is not ok to help them make sense of horrors inflicted on us by twisted, evil people?
National leaders are not unlike parents in their motives for secrecy and protection. But this nation was established under the concept that people are resilient and capable of managing their own affairs. We take it as a given that governments are inferior to self-sufficiency. This applies to children also as they mature. I do not want my child robbed prematurely of his childhood, yet his own quick intelligence and questing for understanding easily outraces any shield I could deploy. I share the First-lady's belief that children should be preserved from artificial exposure to "adult matter". It should not be forced on them as it has been in the media and schools. They should come into such knowledge in the proper time and stage of development. But the larger events and issues, the ones that arrive unbidden, or beyond our control must be dealt with by talking with them positively, and by listening to them rather than ducking an issue.
Ultimately, a sense of self-sufficiency is the best (and probably only) protection we can impart to them. To paraphrase a chinese proverb: "shield your child from adversity and he'll be ok... for now. Teach him to handle adversity and you will shield him for life."
Have I mentioned that I don't watch television?
As a reader of Reason magazine I have come to appreciate the differing points of view presented by your magazine. I do not always agree with the writers, but respect the intelligent dialogue that your magazine represents.
I understand that your piece was editorial in nature, and a legitimate expression of your opinion. I am one of, what I would assume is, an excessively small percentage of Americans who choose to turn off the television and memorialize the events without the help of the national media.
My question about your article revolves around this statement:
But the first lady's anti-TV counsel is based on the notion that kids have especially delicate psyches, and need extra protection from the facts of reality when such facts are violent and unpleasant.
I admit I am a single person with no children, so my parenting skills are on the theoretical end of the spectrum. As I understand it the role of a parent is to guide and nurture a child to becoming a healthy and productive member of society. Protecting a child on an emotional level is as big apart of nurturing as protection from physical trauma. They do not have the life experience nor mental capacity to process images and information as adults. Children are not just short adults, they are more delicate, and they do need the protection afford to them by their caregivers.
In a time when children are growing up faster then seems possible, when they are confronted with social issues that were unimaginable thirty years ago, I think it is a wonderful idea to protect the remaining innocence of childhood, we can be assured that the harsh realities of the world will be waiting for them when they are ready to handle them.
Laura Bush, as a parent, an educator and intelligent human being offered reasonable advice to a nation of parents looking for ways to help their children understand a totally irrational act. If as you suggest " Kids should understand it, not hide from it." do you have the resources to explain the concept of death to a child who has not yet mastered the concept of forever, or national policy to a mind whose highest priority is figuring out a way to stay up past bed-time.