"Welcome aboard. This is Joe, your flight captain. We're cruising at such-and-such thousand feet, at such-and-such miles per hour. The skies are clear and we expect smooth sailing. And oh, by the way--I'm unarmed. And the co-pilot is unarmed. So sit back, relax, and enjoy the flight."
Inevitable post-war problems in Iraq have given some in the antiwar coalition -- liberals, paleoconservatives and Libertarians -- new vitality and increased anxiety.
The open-mouthed kisses between aging pop star Madonna and 15th-minute celebrity clingers Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera, broadcast on MTV last week, received widespread media attention. The Sapphic spectacle was rightly condemned as vulgar, cynical, and desperately pathetic but the commentariat missed the real horror.
In America today - never mind Europe and the Middle East - ostensibly sophisticated and enlightened people see nothing particularly controversial about comparing George Bush to Adolph Hitler and the United States of America to Nazi Germany.
President Lyndon Johnson's war on poverty turned out to be a bigger quagmire than Vietnam. Would that the Democrats would give the war in Iraq as much time to succeed as they are willing to give the "War on Poverty," now entering its 40th year.
Walter Cronkite, once called America's most trusted man, once disagreed with me when I called most journalists "liberal." "If by liberal," he told me, "you mean open-minded, then, yes. This is true."
When Senate Commerce Committee Chairman John McCain opens a hearing today on an Air Force proposal to lease 100 Boeing 767 tanker aircraft, he will cast himself as a defender of the public interest against wasteful defense spending.
One thing about this summer, there was no so-called silly season. There was too much menace, from Iraq to Indonesia to northern Virginia, for the media to muster the enthusiasm to obsessively tally shark attacks, assiduously track global warming, or chronicle even the most vapid celebrity breakups as if they mattered.
For digesting news accounts of Iraqi chaos, what background accompaniment might be suitable? Here's a suggestion: the 1,800 pages of freshly released radio transcripts from the World Trade Center, Sept. 11, 2001. Snatches of dialogue such as these:
This column has learned that the Defense Intelligence Agency, given "extraordinary demands placed upon agency personnel" in fighting the U.S.-led war on terrorism, is affecting a "mandatory deployment policy" that could soon deploy DIA civilian employees to Iraq.
The secularists are gloating. They got a court order to remove the Ten Commandments monument from the rotunda of the Alabama Judicial Building and another court order to suspend Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore who put it there.
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