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Fear flies to greater danger

Don Rogers

After the terror of Sept. 11, 2001, via crashing airliners, the response of the public was predictable – if foolish. As you know, folks got fearful, and stopped flying. So they died in greater numbers on the road.

The Wall Street Journal this week reported that in the year after 9/11, 356 more people died on the highways than in the same period the year before 9/11, according to risk-calculator Gerd Gigerenzer. Also, car accidents rose 8 percent in the quarter following the attacks.

Even with terrorism, it’s still much, much safer to fly than to drive. Taking the car may not seem as scary to a significant number of Americans, but it’s a lot deadlier choice for travel.

Loyalty counts …

For a president obsessed and supposedly blessed with fierce loyalty among his advisers, it must be a hard pill to have not one but two “tell-all” books out now from disgruntled ex-employees.

Paul O’Neill, bounced from his treasury post on the Cabinet, and Richard Clarke, who served up security advice for every president since Reagan, brought the stingers out in nearly back to back books lately accusing George W. Bush of being lax on terrorism before 9/11 and always way too focused on one Saddam Hussein, before and after the terror attacks.

The books reek of opportunism and of political scores to try to settle, and both august men have demeaned themselves with adolescent pique. Still, Bush looks all the more the dope – in part for hiring them in the first place. D.R.


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