An immodest proposal
There is much discussion of armed air marshals as an immediate answer to the question of air safety, and this sounds reassuring until I begin to picture myself on my next flight. I see Barney Fife guarding my life and those of 60 other passengers. I see four or five audacious, deranged fanatics rushing Barney, disarming and slaying him, and then commandeering the flight and doing God knows what. This scenario makes me think that it may not be so brilliant to introduce firearms into the arena of air safety.
I am an advocate of the other extreme. I think we should all start flying nude. No carry-on luggage, no clothes, nothing but our birthday suits. Once seated, flight attendants can distribute towels and even robes to those who request them. But until the plane is in the air and headed safely toward its destination, everybody stays naked. People want security.
I can't think of any state more conducive to this sense of security than everyone around me being naked, where all can be seen. Yes, some people will have to go on diets and watch what they eat more, but is that really a bad thing? A populace at war should be a fit and healthy populace. Think of the boost to the fitness industry we will see in health club memberships and in the purchase of exercise equipment. Flying will become exciting again, in a positive way, turning our fears to more healthy and positive distractions.
So, unless Osama and his minions come down out of the Afghan mountains with their hands held high, we are at war. If we are at war, we need a strong economy. To have a strong economy, we need people, lots of people, flying in the air. People in the air need to feel safe and invulnerable to others. Right now, nudity is the most expedient and practical answer to this need. It is the least we can do for our country.
-- Abe Dawson, Atlanta
Dogging his letter
Letter writer Robert Johns' submission to Going Postal ("That awful sucking rant," Oct. 3) had me howling with glee. Creative Loafing has a Republican agenda! Ha! It was very gratifying to read those words, even though anybody with more sense than a pet rock knows they are false (sorry, Mr. Johns). The letter suggested that readers on the left side of the political spectrum got a sampling of what political right siders deal with every day. Welcome to equality, children.
In his letter, Mr. Johns also said the reason the Bush administration didn't immediately do something to improve the FAA and the CIA is because "nobody in our government (Republican or Democrat) really ever thought that someone would be crazy enough to attack us." This is false, too. Democrats in Congress are stalling the president's appointment process, so he's having trouble just getting people on the job. It is more likely, however, that if President Bush had moved immediately to strengthen the CIA and increase the FAA's airport security measures, the media -- even hard-core conservative publications like Creative Loafing -- would have set aside their die-hard, right-wing agendas and set upon Mr. Bush like (how did Khrushchev put it?) "a pack of running dogs."
-- Andy Haraldson, Atlanta
Hold music from hell
Hobart Rowland: I laughed (with empathy) at your article on AT&T (Rant, "AT&Totaled," Oct. 3). As you know, you certainly aren't alone. I have had all your experiences, and then some. My situation is even more dramatic, since I also use them as my ISP. One time, I was without Internet access for nearly a month, and ran through the whole team of clueless customer no-service reps (thanks, Clark Howard), supervisors, technicians, etc.
If I ever hear the music again that I heard while on eternal hold with them, I might be triggered into insanity. Unlike you, though, I was able to get through to a dispatcher during my Internet ordeal, and told him that if my problem wasn't solved within the hour, I would cancel all my accounts. Twenty minutes later, the trucks showed up. So you had the right idea. -- Craig Dominey, Atlanta
Please pass the Hollis
Hollis Gillespie: Your article, "Falling," (Mood Swing, Sept. 26) was the first one I read in Creative Loafing. I just wanted to let you know that the article was so well written that it blew me away. I cried. Who am I kidding, I sobbed. I read it to my mother and she did the same. I took it back here to Pittsburgh with me and shared it with everyone I worked with, friends, etc. They all asked me for more copies in order to continue it on. I loved the way you wrote it. It started out completely off the subject, yet it all fit together. It was perfect. I just wanted to let you know that it touched me very deeply. I am still sharing it with everyone I meet. I am just passing it out everywhere, telling people they have to read it. You are an extraordinary writer. Keep up the good work.
-- Beth Anthony, Hookstown, Pa.
While I agree at least partially that "missile defense is a boondoggle" ("Fighting words," Sept. 26) I do think that linking it to terrorist attacks is, at least at present, flawed. If you are considering getting a gun because someone has threatened to kill your family, you do not stop thinking about it because a drunk picks a fight and gives you a bloody nose. I do think we should not deploy what we have available now, if ever, but I also think we should continue research for the possibility of changes in the world that might cause more belligerent government(s) to actually issue threats.
-- John Anderson, Providence, R.I.
The Diaspora responds
Neil Skene: Thank you for your article on the exiled Eritrean journalists (Soapbox, "E-mail from exile," Oct. 3). We heard that they made it OK to Sudan but we were not sure: this is the only tangible news we heard so far. I'm glad that they are OK.
We, Eritreans in the Diaspora, are equally outraged with the actions the government took to shut down the private press. It was the only hope the people had to express their opinion.
Eritreans paid a dear price in the last 30 years to deserve this. Hopefully, the end of the government is near enough so that journalists can go back home, do what they do best, keep us informed on what goes on in Eritrea.
-- Teddy Sium, Houston, Texas
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