? The number of lawyers in America has risen to a record high. In just the last decade, the ranks of the defenders of Justice, Equity, and Truth have ballooned 50 percent. There is now one attorney at liberty for every 410 Americans, up from one per each 700 citizens in 1960. The greatest single concentration of lawyers in the world occurs in the District of Columbia, where there lurks one barrister for every 64 people—excluding government attorneys-outlaw. (This high ratio is thought to be unconnected to the city's fearsome crime rate.) Experts on jurisprudence are unanimous in their opinion that the massive increase in the legal profession is responsible for the phenomenal increase in justice witnessed in America in recent years.
? A judge in Dallas, Texas, one Patrick E. Higgenbotham, has taken a great step to relieve the worst fears of both the women's lobby and the flesh-haters of America by outlawing as discriminatory the hiring practices of Southwest Airlines. The Dallas-based air carrier advertised its products with such titillating promos as "Here's to a perfect '10′" and calls for travelers to enjoy its "in-flight love." Ads on the telly featured hot pants-clad stewardesses distributing almonds ("love bites") and cocktails ("love potions"). A recent commercial spotlighted six flight attendants, all "10s," around a cake celebrating the line's 10th birthday; the slogan: "You ain't seen nothin' yet."
But 29-year-old Gregory R. Wilson had apparently always dreamed of dishing out the Southwest Air headsets, so he went to federal court to bully the bad boys into letting him don the fashionable hot pants outfit. The Honorable Higgenbotham held that sexual discrimination is not a "business necessity" for Southwest and rejected Southwest's plea that the spectacle of Mr. Wilson prancing down the aisle would be bad for business. It seems strange that this practitioner of juris-prudence would know so easily how best to satisfy the consumer demand for air transportation, particularly when Southwest Airlines has, according to the Wall St. Journal, "the highest operating margin of any U.S. airline." Had, that is.
? The Islamic Republic of Iran has innovated yet another advance in the science of theocratic despotism: musical presidents. Iran's "supreme leader," the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, announced the unusual new government experiment in a fiery challenge to his opponents, much in the style of the charges used to hype a heavyweight championship bout. "If the president, God forbids, vanishes, you can replace him with another," boasted the Ayatollah. "There will be no disruption." And right he was, for when the president and prime minister of the ancient Persian paradise were dusted by a very modern explosive device just days later, the High Holiness who takes memos from God lost not a step. His State of Iran ploughed forth into another momentous week of mass demonstrations, crippling shortages, and embarrassing military defeats, just as it had been engaged even before the latest knock-out punch.
Some critics have described the scene in Tehran as chaotic, but they fail to see the genius of the Ayatollah at work. While issuing a brave dare to those who would oppose his rule, Khomeini cleverly pointed out: "What meaning does a coup d'état have in Iran?" Good question, ayatollah—but easy enough to answer. Think of all the fun it would be to run that exotic Middle-Eastern vacation playground with all those marvelous politically active citizens. Here in America, hardly anybody even votes. Over there, there isn't a soul left at work in the entire nation when the Wednesday afternoon rally gets rolling! Now that's caring! That's involvement!
? Watch with whom you climb. In another Great Step Up, the Iranian High Command has banned "mixed mountain climbing." (This refers to the practice, not of climbing mixed mountains, but of scaling peaks with a member of the opposite you-know-what.) "Because of numerous complaints," the regime announced, "the sport of mountain climbing is to be segregated soon between men and women." The sport of boxing was also put on the criminal list; but, presumably, this ban applies only to segregated boxing. Punching women remains graceful with God.
? After the style of the Irish hunger strikers, the American rock activist Mark David Chapman staged a hunger strike in his prison cell. The convicted killer of Beatle John Lennon, 26-year-old Chapman decided to refuse any food for two whole days, also refusing to make any demands. Not knowing the reason for the food strike, prison officials informed Mr. Chapman that he would not be permitted to starve himself to death. Upon hearing this news, according to the Associated Press, "officials persuaded him to eat a cheese sandwich." The strike was over.
This article originally appeared in print under the headline "Brickbats".