- The Washington Times - Friday, February 28, 2003

Couple of winos?
Our romantic readers who prefer to dine by wine and candlelight will be relieved to learn that the American Beverage Licensees (ABL) is denouncing a new study that redefines "excessive" drinking to include couples who share a bottle of wine over dinner.
ABL is condemning the study by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA) at Columbia University for what it calls the latest in its series of ill-informed, agenda-driven, and poorly executed research studies on alcohol consumption.
"Ordinary people who split a bottle of wine with dinner will be surprised to learn that they're the 'excessive' drinkers in America that CASA is so worried about," says ABL spokesman Richard Berman. "These so-called 'scientists' ought to be ashamed of themselves."
The study appears in this week's JAMA, the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Judiciary flattery
"Last week, I received a call from a member of the press about 'the ads' we were going to be running," says Kay R. Daly, spokeswoman for the Coalition for a Fair Judiciary.
Except the coalition seldom places ads. So who's buying the space?
"Well, much to my surprise, [civil rights crusader] Ralph Neas and his cronies have formed the Coalition for a Fair and Independent Judiciary," says Mrs. Daly.
"Fine by me, but I wanted to let you all know specifically that we at the Coalition for a Fair Judiciary do not find much common ground with extremist organizations like People for the American Way, NOW [National Organization for Women], NARAL [Pro-Choice America], Alliance for Justice, etc.
"We do certainly concede, however, that the name they have decided upon has a certain pleasant ring to it, and we accept with pleasure the flattering compliment they pay us with their imitation."
The Coalition for a Fair Judiciary and the newer Coalition for a Fair and Independent Judiciary should not to be confused with the Committee on the Judiciary, ably led by C. Boyden Gray, former White House counsel.

Suspect pilots
The nation's commercial airline pilots are literally breaking out of the cockpit to help Inside the Beltway identify the world's most absurd terrorism-related security measures.
"My name is Andy Hays and I am a pilot with American Airlines," writes the Virginia-based aviator. "We recently had a female pilot in uniform passing through airport security where she was slated to fly the airplane on her regular three-day trip.
"As she was having her carry-on bag searched, she inquired, 'What are you looking for?' The response she received from the security [person]: 'Anything that you could use to break into the cockpit.' Not only was she working the flight but in her pocket, as is the case with all of us, was a cockpit key."
Like several other pilots who wrote to us, airline transport pilot Jerry Johnson observes: "The government is letting guns back in the cockpit, but only in lockboxes. How very useful. I always practice drawing a firearm from a lockbox. Don't the police and marshals and other law enforcement people? Surely they do.
"One can only sigh," he says, "at the incorrigible dimwits who instituted this move. In light of the fact that terrorists took over four airliners on September 11, 2001, and killed almost 3,000 people with box cutters, we sheep in the general public sit aghast at the brilliance emanating from our own government officials to prevent a similar occurrence."
Says Lee Allen, of Provo, Utah: "The idea that pilots must take a psychological test and a 48-hour course in firearms safety before being allowed to take a pistol on board planes that they are flying. How can these guys be trusted to fly planes full of hundreds of people if they need this kind of vetting to carry a gun?"
From Georgia, writing on the condition of anonymity: "I am a major airline captain, and I recently had my small 1-inch blade pocket-knife confiscated at LGA [New Yorks LaGuardia Airport]. I was about to command a Boeing 757, loaded with 47,000 pounds of fuel, on a flight to Florida. Keep in mind, the flight time from LGA to the Empire State Building is less than 2 minutes.
"When I asked why I couldn't keep my knife, I was told that if I were allowed to keep it, I might use it to gain control of an airplane. Such is the absurdity that flight crew members are exposed to on a daily basis."
Finally, Buck Evinger, of Omaha, Ark., writes: "While going through St. Louis airport security, I was pulled out for the 'full search' procedure. As I sat down to remove my shoes, I noticed that the man sitting next to me was about 90 years old, had two hearing aids, an oxygen bottle and mask, and a walker. Since he was to frail to remove his own shoes, the security guard had to help him.
"The old man looked at me and said, 'Maybe I should have stayed home today.'"

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