Nobles and knaves

Nobles: Stevie Long, the 4-year-old superhero who saved his family from a couple of hoodlums.

Maybe television is good for children. Otherwise, Stevie Long might not have believed he had superpowers and could save his family from robbers. The ordeal began when a man broke into Jennifer Long’s Durham, N.C., apartment last weekend wielding a gun. Inside were Miss Long, her daughter Mary, 5, two other children and 4-year-old Stevie. The man put the gun to Mary’s head as he ordered the others to the floor. What happened next? Here’s the police report:

“During the robbery, a … boy snuck into his bedroom, dressed himself in a Power Ranger costume and armed himself with a plastic sword. The child then exited his room and approached the armed suspect, in an attempt to protect his family.”

According to North Carolina’s News and Observer, Stevie shouted, “Get away from my family,” while swiping the air with his plastic sword. It worked. The man left with only the contents of Miss Long’s purse, apparently deciding to forgo his plan to take her to an ATM machine to withdraw cash. He rejoined his accomplice, who had been waiting outside, and the two fled.

For adult readers, Power Rangers, or more accurately, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, are ordinary teen-agers with the ability to turn themselves — “morph” — into superheros. Fantasy or not, that’s certainly what Stevie thought he had done. “I scared the bad guys away,” he boasted later.

Yes, you did, Stevie — er, Mr. Power Ranger — this week’s Noble.

Knaves: Omar Shahin, who (now) says he absolutely loves US Airways.

The strange story of the six Muslims removed from a US Airways flight last week just keeps getting stranger. For instance, the Associated Press reported initially how one of the imams, Mr. Shahin, said he and his fellows were “humiliated” by authorities “in a very disrespectful way.” Specifically, he said, they were led off the plane and interrogated all the while in handcuffs. “Six scholars in handcuffs,” he told the AP. “It’s terrible.”

But is that what really happened? According to Audrey Hudson of The Washington Times, the six imams, including Mr. Shahin, “were not led off the plane in handcuffs, as reported, nor were they kept in handcuffs during their five-hour detention, and they were not harassed by dogs,” as was also reported elsewhere. So, who told Miss Hudson that? Curiously, Mr. Shahin himself did during an interview, the same Mr. Shahin who a week ago had a different story. He also told The Washington Times how he and the other imams “love US Airways, and we want to fly with them.” Strange, no?

For failing to keep his story straight, Mr. Shahin is the Knave of the week.

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