February 26, 2002

MAIL CALL A couple nice


A couple nice notes recently received:

Ever since grade school, I have been signing my name as Bruce R., confident that, while there may be many B. R.ís, everyone that counted knew who Bruce R. is -- me. Even when I dated a girl with my same initials and birthday there was never any real confusion because I am Bruce R., and she isnít (although she was clearly angling to be Mrs. Bruce R.)

So, imagine my horror at seeing a reference on U.S.S. Clueless to some blogger named Bruce R. Now when people see Bruce R. they may think that you are me, or worse, that I am you. Clearly there is some sort of conspiracy here, so I'll have to keep my eye on your site just to make sure that you're not up to no-good.

By the way, keep up the good work.

--(The other) BRUCE R.

Just out of curiousity is the image at the top of your blog is of the jantar mantar in new delhi?


(Yes, although I personally prefer the one in Jaipur. --BR)

Finally a subject I know something about! Short, heavy vehicles with high aspect ratio tires, soft suspensions and a high centre of gravity don't brake very well either. Ask any female driver (and probably a lot of male drivers as well) why they love driving an SUV, and you will probably hear "I feel more secure", but nothing could be further from the truth. The illusion comes from the high seating position and image of ruggedness, neither of which does anything for safety. I heard a radio interview with someone who works for Consumer Reports, and tests SUV's. He was bemoaning
the deficiencies of all SUV's, but admitted that his wife prefers a SUV because she is of small stature, and the SUV gives her a false sense of security. I have driven SUV's for three years and 240,000 kms, because my employer wants me to, but I would never spend my own money on one.

The other issue is that most drivers today can't handle a tire blowout. They panic, and jerk the steering wheel instead of driving straight until they can slow down. The only way to roll over most cars is to drive off the shoulder of the road into a ditch and then jerk the steering wheel towards the road. A little driver education to practice emergency maneuvers would save more lives than photo radar, but generate a lot less revenue.


I was interested to see your numbers. The reason I singled out the SAS contributions is because I think there's a distinction to be drawn between those guys and what the Norwegian/Jordanian de-miners and the Germans and Finns in Kabul are doing - not necessarily in the risk to those involved but in the political spin that's put on them back home. Those activities can all be presented in some even-handed multilateralish stabilisational peacekeepery global traffic-cop kind of way. What the UK-NZ-Oz SAS fellows plus JTF2 are doing is helping the US hunt down al-Qa'eda members and either capture them or kill them: that's soldiering of the basic kind; there's no pretence of being neutral referees; you're one team and the enemy's the other - and, from what I hear from SAS sources, some of those cave battles were very bloody.

I'm not an anglospherist in the way Iain Murray or my colleague John O'Sullivan is, but I do think it's significant that so far the only countries willing to go into battle on the American side are Britain, Australia, New Zealand and Canada.

Other than that, we think alike, and I enjoy your blog.


Posted by BruceR at 01:13 PM



Sometimes newswire stories are so well-done you wish they did give the author's names. Cases in point:

Iguana tosser convicted (AP)

Squatters to be evicted from B.C. Legislature lawn (CP)

Bravo, you anonymous wage slaves!

Posted by BruceR at 12:37 PM