Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Another Bizarre Flight---Who's Paying for This One?

The big news today is the evacuation of the White House and the Capitol due to the intrusion of a small plane in Washington's no-fly zone. I'll bet that was expensive. Imagine the cost of putting those fighter jets in the air. Imagine the off-duty officials who were called back to the job. Imagine the man-hours of work lost when all those government workers had to flee the buildings. Imagine the stress the workers and tourists were under during those minutes when they thought their lives were in danger. Imagine the turned ankles or fender benders caused during those moments of panic.

As I watch the news commentators recap the incident tonight, I keep waiting for them to ask us viewers if the two hapless pilots in that small plane should pay for all the expenses incurred today. You know, similar to the way they asked us if the "runaway bride" should be held responsible for the cost of the search during her flight. Officials say the pilots were lost (pilot error) and had radio problems. I say the "runaway bride" was "lost" (judgment errors) and has personal, perhaps mental, problems.

When did we Americans lose our ability to understand that confused people make mistakes? Holding them financially and legally responsible for every mistake may be a moral expense we Americans cannot afford. Especially, if we are not consistent in billing for errors. How can we become so indignant about the "runaway bride" and so understanding about "lost pilots"?

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