Tags: Time | for | Little | Confidence | America

Time for a Little Confidence in America

Wednesday, 26 September 2001 12:00 AM

I read this morning that some expect to see a real turnaround in consumer confidence once America makes its first strike against the terrorists. I can understand that. All Americans seem to love action. Not all Americans understand the strength that lies in determination and thorough planning.

I'm like you. Once again I woke up this morning and was somewhat disappointed to see that nothing had happened – nothing spectacular. No bombs, cruise missiles. No Osama bin Laden in a body bag. No Osama Yomama body parts mixed in with the pig slop.

If we let the intellectual override the emotional for just a moment we can see that Bush is – from all outward appearances – pursuing this the right way. Identify the targets and develop a comprehensive plan to strike those targets and eliminate them. This takes time. The real question is whether or not Americans will give Bush that time – whether or not we can show some maturity and patience.

Meanwhile, it's time for us to get back to some sense of a normal life. Don't you realize that this is the greatest defeat that can be delivered to the bin Ladens of this world right now? Americans in restaurants, at shopping malls, traveling on vacations, and sitting in airline seats. This is the quickest way we can show the strength of America to those who would destroy us.

Delta Airlines is going to announce a workforce reduction of 13,000 today. This airline has lost $1 billion since the WTC attack. These employees are just additional terrorist victims. You want to help them and thwart the terrorists? Resume your normal life. Get on those airplanes. Go on your business trips. Visit Grandma. Take your niece to Las Vegas.

Several years ago someone spray-painted the entrance sign to my subdivision. I saw it on my way to work at 4:00 in the morning. I went back home and got a can of paint and repaired the sign before the sun came up. By the time the high school idiots who had painted the sign came by to see and show off their handiwork their scrawlings were gone. The sign has not been vandalized since. We did not allow the vandalized sign to stand as a monument to the work of idiots. They were robbed of their pleasure and incentive to repeat their acts.

That's the way we have to treat bin Laden's and Saddam's terrorist freaks. Get America back to normal as quickly as possible. Resume normal behavior – watch our backs, but get back to our normal lives. Then, one day in the future, while we're pursuing our own dreams and goals in America, we'll read of some skirmish in a distant land and of an evil man and a dozen or so of his followers stacked in a neat row under a hot sun – in body bags.

*I actually take some pleasure in saying "President Bush." For eight years I just could not bring myself to put the words "President" and "Clinton" together in one sentence.

Now – having delivered my little daily sermon from the Church of the Painful Truth, let's deal a bit with this "coalition" thing. On the one hand, it's all well and good that President Bush wants to build an international coalition to combat world terrorism. We have to consider, though, whether this coalition makes us stronger – or weaker. Get a country like Iran in that coalition and it takes on a Keystone Kops appearance.

This actually happened once. Police got word of a bank robbery and surrounded the bank before the robber could escape – or so they thought. There they were, megaphones in hand, demanding that the robber walk out with his hands up. Suddenly one alert police officer realized that the man standing by him screaming for the robber to come out didn't look familiar. He wasn't a cop. Turns out he was the robber.

So, building a coalition is fine … but having a country like Iran standing beside us demanding an end to terrorism is going to look a bit absurd.

Enough coalition building. The terrorists didn't attack a coalition – they attacked US, dammit. Let's go get 'em.

This idea just came to me this morning when I was reading about the administration's plans for airport and airline security. Right now they aren't allowing people without tickets to go past security. They say this makes it easier to actually screen the passengers. Maybe so. But how do they know that the person going through security with that ticket is the person who actually checked in at the counter?

Has anyone considered the idea of wristbands? You know, those colored wrist bands like the ones they hand out at nightclubs. Check in, show your picture ID, get your wristband. No wristband, no board the aircraft. Security folks would have an easier time identifying who is actually going to fly and who is not.

Just an idea – an idea that might keep some of those businesses on the concourses that depend on passengers and passengers' families and friends alive.

"Public schools unify; vouchers divide." – Sandra Feldman, president of the American Federation of Teachers

That's funny ... I thought schools were supposed to educate, not "unify."

Just because we now face a foreign enemy doesn't mean we should ignore domestic enemies of liberty.

Janet Napolitano is the attorney general of the state of Arizona. In response to sporadic reports of racially motivated violence following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, she has worked with county, state and federal prosecutors to investigate "hate crimes." But it doesn't stop there. She wants Arizonans to report anyone who utters a racial slur.

Last week, Napolitano said, "If you hear someone using epithets, we want to know who that person is. There are some people who need to be watched to prevent an act of violence, and we want to be able to do that." She added that it would be "perfectly legit" for police officers to visit people reported for using slurs.

Does this send a little chill down your spine? It should. Janet Napolitano's message is crystal clear: She wants to criminalize thought. This is also the motive behind "hate crime" legislation. It doesn't matter what you DO; what matters is what you THINK.

Let's think about this. Am I predisposed to violence if I use racial slurs? Richard Ruelas of the Arizona Republic makes a good point in his opinion column linked below. What about English teachers whose students read "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer" or "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn"? Mark Twain made frequent use of the N-word in those books.

Or how about the gangsta rap music coming from those booming car stereos? Or all those sports teams like the Washington Redskins and the Atlanta Braves? Some hypersensitive passerby could easily mistake a perfectly innocent conversation about literature or sports for a hate-filled sermon against people who don't look like you. They pick up the phone and call the Arizona attorney general's office – and boom, a couple of days later, two uniformed police officers are at your door to ask you a few questions.

Is this any way to fight crime? Harassing people who think poorly of other people?

Someone please tell me that there's a constitutional challenge to Janet Napolitano's anti-"hate crime" scheme. http://www.arizonarepublic.com/arizona/articles/0924ruelas24.html

In addition to all the leftist groups, government education associations and anti-airport people, the United Nations is using the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks to advance its own agenda.

Remember the International Criminal Court? The U.N. has floated the idea of this global court many times in the past few years. The ICC is designed to hear charges of atrocities committed around the world. Legal experts meeting at the U.N. this week said yesterday that the terrorist attacks demonstrate the need for the ICC.

Ever wondered why the U.S. has refused to ratify the treaty that would create the International Criminal Court? It has to do with American sovereignty.

The ICC claims "universal jurisdiction." The ICC would have the power to prosecute American citizens for the crime of "aggression," which can mean just about anything. That includes pre-emptive military strikes and naval blockades. Even if the U.S. doesn't agree to the ICC, the court would be able to prosecute Americans for war crimes, crimes against humanity, genocide, and "aggression" even if the country where these crimes allegedly occur is a member of the ICC.

The ICC's charter is also open to amendment. Other U.N. member nations have already tried to give the ICC the power to prosecute people for "serious threats to the environment" and "committing outrages on personal dignity."

Basically, the ICC is just another tool with which nations can gang up on the United States. And the United Nations is jumping on the bandwagon of self-promotion so it can get what it wants out of this crisis.

From Sacramento, Calif., comes the news that a (government) teacher at North Avenue Elementary School burned an American flag in front of his students. Then he asked the sixth-graders to keep quiet about it. One student later told the principal. The teacher is now on administrative leave.

What educational purpose did the flag-burning serve? Kids can go home and watch the evening news to see footage of the American flag being burned by protesters all over the world. Did the teacher want to give his students an in-class demonstration of the scientific principle of combustion?

The more likely explanation is that this teacher wanted to express some decidedly anti-American political views – and hoped to imprint them upon his students. Never mind that his job is to educate students. He couldn't let his career get in the way of his own personal protest.

These are the people who teach your children, my friends. They don't all burn flags, but they do spout nauseatingly illogical socialist ideals and present them as facts. How much longer will you allow your kid to be indoctrinated?

Here's a link to a strange little piece that appeared in yesterday's Washington Post. It was written by someone named Joseph Kinney, who claims to be a security consultant in Charlotte, N.C.

Kinney is calling for a "clamp down" on general aviation. So, does he really know what he's talking about? It really doesn't seem so. In his piece he writes, "General aviation, which serves business and recreational fliers, encompasses 7,120 jets and about 25,000 multi-engine aircraft flown by about 200,000 pilots who have instrument ratings." How could any person who claims to know something about which he writes get the facts so wrong?

Actually, general aviation encompasses about 206,503 airplanes, of which 6,400 are jets. Of the piston-power general aviation airplanes, 145,250 are single-engine. Only 18,750 (not 25,000) are multi-engine. So far Kinney isn't doing too well, is he?

Taking it further, these general aviation airplanes are actually flown by 635,000 pilots, not just the 309,000 (not 200,000 as Kinney says) with instrument ratings.

OK … why am I making such a big deal here? Because this clown is writing in an influential newspaper about clamping down on general aviation when it is absolutely clear that he hasn't bothered to research his subject! All of the numbers are readily available on the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association website [ www.aopa.org ] for anyone to peruse.

As you read on in Kinney's article, you see more and more errors. His bit on flight plans, for instance.

Now – here's a task for you. Try to find one instance where any general aviation aircraft has been used as a weapon in the hands of terrorists anywhere in the world. Can you? I can't. Now – see if you can think of an instance where a car or a truck has been used as a weapon in the hands of terrorists. The list is endless, isn't it?

How about that Ryder truck parked in front of that federal office building in Oklahoma City? Did we take Ryder rental trucks off the road? Is it any harder to rent a Ryder truck now than it was before Oklahoma City? No, on both questions. It's one helluva lot easier to load explosives into a car or truck and drive it into a city than it is to load a light aircraft and fly it into a building and do any real damage.

Yeah – this is a narrow interest. General aviation is my hobby and passion. You? You probably don't really give that big a damn, and that's understandable.

Right now I have an airplane (a Super Decathlon) sitting at an airport near Atlanta that I can't fly. The FAA won't let me. Security concerns, you know. I can only fly my other airplane (Mooney Ovation2) if I file an IFR flight plan. Yeah, big deal. Who cares? It doesn't affect you, does it? Well, if that was the approach we all took to freedom (hey, that's

If so-called security consultants like Joseph Kinney are going to write their little screeds, they need to do some research and get some real facts.

Some jerk in a single-engine low-wing airplane buzzed a county fair near Atlanta yesterday. Twice. Witnesses got part of his tail number. It begins with N57__.

There's a reward out for this moron. Please help. Let's find him and make sure his license is revoked forever – and give him a hefty fine to pay too.

General aviation doesn't need idiots like this running around making the rest of us look bad.

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I read this morning that some expect to see a real turnaround in consumer confidence once America makes its first strike against the terrorists.I can understand that.All Americans seem to love action.Not all Americans understand the strength that lies in determination...
Wednesday, 26 September 2001 12:00 AM
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