'A System for Bothering People'

And now the most absorbing two minutes in television, the latest from the wartime grapevine:

Airline Security Bothersome?
A veteran Israeli security expert says the United States does not have an airline security system, instead he says we have "a system for bothering people." Schlomo Dror, a former Israeli government spokesman who now consults on security for international clients, says, "The difference between the Israeli and American systems is that we are looking for the terrorist, while the Americans look for the weapons." That, Dror told the Christian Science Monitor, makes passenger interviews the heart of the Israeli approach. But he says no method is 100 percent secure.

Petition to End Israeli-Tied Investments
As we reported earlier this month, left-wing faculty members at Harvard and MIT have organized a petition to get both institutions to end all investments in Israeli companies and in American companies that sell weapons to Israel. That effort now has been met with a counter drive against divestment led by faculty and students more sympathetic to Israel. According to Opinionjournal.com, as of today the pro-divestment petition had 533 signatures. The anti-divestment petition had 5,676.

Pay More Dough, Get Mail Slow?
The U.S. Postal Service's much-advertised Priority Mail service, which can cost up to 10 times the price of a first-class letter, is actually slower. That's the conclusion from data submitted to the Postal Rate Commission, and reported by the Wall Street Journal. It showed that a typical piece of priority mail now takes more than a half-day longer to arrive than a first-class letter. And the cheapest priority mail rate is $3.50 — compared to a first-class letter rate of 34 cents. The Postal Service now wants to raise the priority mail rate by an average of more than 13 percent.

The Well Is Running Dry
Another government-run enterprise, the municipal water system in Cleveland has run into trouble because a major customer LTV Steel has shut its doors. That means the loss of $8 million a year in water fees. So the city of Cleveland is encouraging residents to use as much water as they can. The steel mill is starting up again under new management, but the city water commissioner says heavy household water use — not waste, mind you — will help the city recover lost revenues.