Put your money where…: So

Put your money where…
: So Blogger has had a bad day and the world around, pundits are now grumpy, suffering verbal constipation. What can we do about it? We love Blogger. Blogger, however, rests on the back on one man, Ev.

I paid $12 a year — an incredible bargain — to get rid of the ad.

What would I pay to know that Blogger is going to be around (saving me the hell of installing CGIs and losing a weekend or a week)?

I start the bidding at $100/year. You vote in the poll at the right….

Fly high
: POWs are likely to be drugged for the flight to Cuba. Damned good idea. Maybe that’s an alternative to flying naked for the rest of us. Solves problems of jet lag and gabby neighbors.

Tacky Terror Tourism (con’t.)
: Yesterday, I complained about the ticket scheme at the World Trade Center observation platform — not about the tickets and the need to control the crowd but about putting the ticket booth across town at the tourist trap, the South Street Seaport, just to try to drive sales of tourist shlock. (They now protest that they just wanted to get people to a place where they could use the bathroom and have lunch.)

Today, the New York Post takes on the “OUTRAGE” of tacky terror tourism shlock being sold around the World Trade Center itself. Here’s the story; here’s a Steve Dunleavy column.

Most disturbing is the picture that goes with the Post story: two tourists wearing Ground Zero hats, as if this were just another tourist attraction that should spawn human bumper stickers: a DisneyWorld, a Seaworld, or, yes, the World Trade Center itself when it stood. What’s next: “I Survived Ground Zero” T-shirts? Cans of “Ground Zero Contaminated Air”? Snowglobes with ash falling around the financial district?

This is still a burial ground. It is the site of the worst mass murder and attack in our history. It should be treated with respect.

When I went to Dachau, I found no Dachau KZ hats and T-shirts. I found no attempt by the town to drive me to its stores.

Our heroes and victims deserve at least that much respect.

: I will write in a few days about my own view of a proper use of the World Trade Center site.

I stand corrected
: I just found Mark Steyn‘s “correction” regarding credit for the Fly Naked campaign. Actually, there was nothing to correct; it’s an idea that makes universal sense. But there is an art to writing a “correction” anyway:

CORRECTION: On Thursday, I credited the Naked Air concept, claimed by Tom Friedman of The New York Times, to Ken Layne. Ever since, I’ve been barraged by counter-claims: Internet pundit Jeff Jarvis says it’s his idea; the leggy lovely commentatrix Ann Coulter, of Politically Incorrect, CNN et al., mentioned it in a November column; and in the early Seventies, at the dawn of the hijack era, the late Archie Bunker suggested it on All In The Family. Kudos to them all, though, if I had to fly naked with any of them, I’d pick Ann. Naked Air: We love to fly. And it shows.

Wear it proudly
: Robert Wright in Slate calls us all a bunch of “hawk triumphalists.” He’s trying to bring back his good-old-days of anti-war whining, saying that all our victory in Afghanistan doesn’t stop the Richard “Maxwell Stupid” Reids of the world. Logic alert. So we shouldn’t fight in Afghanistan to defeat bin Laden just because it isn’t one-stop-shopping for terror-stopping? No, we needed to defeat bin Laden and we need to root out terrorists wherever we find them and we need to (listen up, Tom Ridge) bolster our homeland defenses.

Ridge wakes up
: Even though Tom “Do-Nothing” Ridge shrugged at the teen terrorist pilot (and Ken Layne gave him that name as a result), we now read today — thank goodness, at last — that the Office of Homeland Security is looking for ways to improve security surrounding private aviation. Says the Times:

But officials are still groping for a way to control the sprawling general aviation system. The measures under consideration include banning flights made outside the supervision of an air traffic controller, a change that would ban most flights by small planes; increasing scrutiny of pilots, passengers and aircraft at the airports that handle flights other than scheduled airline and military flights; and putting more of the sky off-limits and launching fighter planes to enforce the restriction. One official said the most far- reaching steps were the least likely to be adopted.But short of grounding most private planes, the government’s air defense system is unable to prevent another suicide flight…

Instead of grappling, let me continue my effort to help Gov. Ridge (why does he still call himself Gov., by the way; job-change-remorese?) with a few concrete suggestions.

This is URGENT. I repeat: Terrorists have now shown that airplanes are their weapon of choice. They use flight schools to learn how to kill. They looked at crop dusting as a way to spread death. Now this teen nutjob almost hits a passenger jet with his miniplane.

So I say that all noncommercial private aviation (that is, everything but charter jets — hobbyists, in other words) has to be grounded until pilots can be given background checks and relicensed.

: Update: A great post from an Instapundit reader on Ridge’s bad case of terrorism denial.