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March 14, 2001


Be Not Afraid - Just say it!


In the not too distant past, when we addressed a problem head-on, several subscribers to our email list asked to be removed from the list. The stark truth we exposed was perceived as being uncivil to them. Others told us we ought not to be so blatant about it. The truth of the matter is that one cannot make progress in any subject where one censors oneself in order to allow the perpetrator of a crime (or one who remains silent in the face of a crime) to save face.

People in America and in many countries thinking of themselves as being free are deluding themselves, because when it comes right down to it, a few people, who are supposed to make decisions for the benefit of the many, make these decisions at their expense. In this particular case, our plea is about air crash survivability. This has a bearing on free enterprise, since the problem is not only one of safety but one of preventing people and companies (like the Burnelli Company) from engaging in a business and competing freely in the market. The problem is corruption in the Defense Department, the Department of Transportation and a number of public corporations. This also includes tax-free foundations, which are used to promote and protect the interests of these powerful corporations. The Flight Safety Foundation being a glaring example of refusing to address the fundamental problem (see below) of air crash survivability.

Smithsonian Book of Flight - another example of propaganda publications

A Greek adage says, "a fish always rots from the head down". The heads of some of the largest aerospace corporations and many government departments, who are supposed to be looking after the interests of the people, are corrupt (rotten). It is only a matter of time until the rest of us fish rot, unless we all pitch in and decide to make our views known. Of course, truth is hate to those who hate the truth, but that should inspire us to protest. Those who are willing to kill and maim thousands in order to continue their criminal activities are an evil detriment to society. Our silence, if we chose to maintain it, becomes criminal as, in effect, we become accessories after the fact . promoting a continuation of the problem instead of helping to resolve it.

History is replete with examples of free societies losing their freedom, yet this keeps occurring again and again. Most people have never learned that one of the fundamental ingredients of freedom is not just having a right to free speech, but actually exercising that right. An unexercised right has the same effect on a society as not having it, and it permits the few to take advantage of the many (in this case, you and me).

We, as a people, cannot look to the media to expose the corruption that festers in the halls of government and in the large multinational corporations. We must speak to each other and act to expose the truth, which would otherwise remain hidden (see Congressional Record of 1917 regarding who controls the media).

One of the most glaring examples of propaganda occurred recently. On February 23, 2001, the International Herald Tribune reported that "More than 95 percent of passengers survive commercial airplane accidents...". They are saying that if passengers read the safety cards and paid attention to safety instructions, more lives could be saved, implying that this is the only requirement to improve survivability!

Those who are familiar with our website, and who've studied the problem of airplane crashes, understand that the above statement is absolutely preposterous. The multitude of accidents, however minor, where fuselages have broken into pieces and fires have caused fatalities, is proof that conventional airliners aren't built for survivability in a crash situation. The statement made by the Herald Tribune may be truthful, if we include all of the accidents which occur during a given year, including those minor ones such as a catering truck putting a dent into a parked aircraft, etc. However, this is not the image that is being promoted by the article.

Media will only ask superfical questions - no fundamentals.Never has the Herald Tribune or any mass media newspaper dared to address the fundamental problem of air travel -- the irresponsible, dangerous practice of attaching landing gear and engines to fuel tank supporting structure in combination with high take-off and landing speeds on overstressed tires.

So why don't more people know about it? The papers don't help, but how much have you, who know about this deplorable situation, complained to the appropriate authorities, how much have you told your friends, neighbors and acquaintances? Unless we, as a people, decide to expose the truth, we will end up being governed by a Big Brother. He will routinely distort the truth and manipulate the statistics without our being able to even talk to each other for fear of losing our comfortable way of life ... or being thrown in jail.

On February 16, 2001, The Wall Street Journal carried an editorial by Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, entitled: 'Be Not Afraid - We shouldn't lose our principles to a warped view of civility.' In this editorial, which is a shortened version of a speech given by the Honorable Mr. Thomas, he says in part:

"I do not believe that one should fight over things that don't really matter. But what about those things that do matter? ...None of us should be uncivil in our manner as we debate issues of consequence. No matter how difficult it is, good manners should be routine. However, in the effort to be civil in conduct, many who know better actually dilute firmly held views to avoid appearing "judgmental." They curb their tongues, not only in form, but also in substance. The insistence on civility in the form of our debates has the perverse effect of cannibalizing our principles, the very essence of a civil society.

That is why civility cannot be the governing principle of citizenship or leadership. ...

By yielding to a false form of "civility," we sometimes allow our critics to intimidate us. As I have said, active citizens are often subjected to truly vile attacks; they are branded as mean-spirited, racist, Uncle Tom, homophobic, sexist, etc. To this we often respond (if not succumb), so as not to be constantly fighting, by trying to be tolerant and non-judgmental--i.e., we censor ourselves. This is not civility. It is cowardice, or well-intentioned self-deception at best.

...The Founders warned us that freedom requires constant vigilance, and repeated action. It is said that, when asked what sort of government the Founders had created, Benjamin Franklin replied that they had given us "A Republic, if you can keep it." Today, as in the past we will need a brave "civic virtue," not a timid civility, to keep our republic. So this evening, I leave you with the simple exhortation:

"Be not afraid." [emphasis added]

Different people choose different methods of informing others.  Here, a Burnelli model with an informative display.To that we add:


And, never forget the words of PLATO:

  "The penalty good men pay for indifference to public affairs is to be ruled by evil men."