Logic Man - his condition is deteriorating . . .

                         Robert L. Nuckolls, III
                          6936 Bainbridge Road
                       Wichita, Kansas 67226-1008
           Phone 316-685-8617  E-mail nuckolls@aeroelectric.com

                                                           April 30, 1994

The Honorable Robert Dole
Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510

Dear Senator Dole,

Bob Getz, a columnist for the Eagle newspaper, recently wrote
about the declining health of a mutual acquaintance . . Logic Man.
Seems the poor chap was hospitalized with a heart condition after
witnessing a series of totally illogical decisions in local
courts. The cases involved terrible acts wherein perpetrators
received mild or no punishment.  I wrote to Bob asking him to pass
on my own best wishes for our friend's recovery. I had not seen
him in long time but once knew him well . . . .

                                                           April 29, 1994

Bob Getz
Wichita Eagle
825 East Douglas
Wichita, Kansas 67202

Dear Bob,

Sorry to hear about Logic Man; I went to school with him but
haven't seen him in a long time. We took classes in science,
chemistry and physics. I did well in class but he absolutely aced
'em. Something about the orderly, predictable arrangement of
physical law that really turned him on! He used to hang around my
workplace.  He enjoyed nothing more than application of
imagination and skill to solve problems and create new and useful
products. When we fired up a new design for the first time and saw
it work, he'd giggle and bounce around my lab like a kid on a pogo

One day, I was invited to assist in sorting out physical facts
surrounding a terrible accident. Logic Man was very interested; 
there was a lot of good data that could be analyzed to help
everyone understand what really happened.  You should have seen
the look on his face when an expert came to trial and said our
laws of physics disagreed with his laws of physics; the expert had
attended the same schools we did. I thought Logic Man was going to
have a heart attack!

Later, we saw an aircraft company sued because an intrepid pilot 
flew his airplane into a snow storm, executed a sloppy approach to
the airport, crashed his airplane and killed 6 people. The company
was sued for an alleged failure of a device that could not have
contributed to the accident even if the device had failed! The
company won but it cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to defend

We've seen railroads sued when drivers ignore common sense, signs
and flashing lights at grade crossings only lose an argument with
a train.  Suits claim that if railroads put up gates, the deaths
would not have occurred.  Logic Man went into fits of apoplexy
when we learned that fatality rates at crossings only drop by
about half when gates are installed; people drive around and
through gates and get killed anyhow!

The last time I saw Logic Man was when we heard that another
aircraft company had been successfully sued for millions for not
designing their 1948 model airplane to 1990 standards. This lack
of foresight exacerbated injuries to a pilot when he removed the
front seat of his J3 Cub and packed tripod, camera and
photographer into the vacated space. His airplane crashed into a
truck parked on the runway by the airport operator. The owner of
the truck hoped to prevent the pilot from taking off with such a
hazardous arrangement. The pilot was brain damaged as a result of
he accident.  Forty years after the airplane was built, the
aircraft company paid for failing to foresee the foolishness this

That was all Logic Man could take.  He trudged out of my office
looking very old and tired, mumbling something about how the
courts have lost their grasp on reason. Most participants care
very little for and have no working knowledge of the things we
learned in school. Lawyers and legislators have convinced our
fellow citizens that a zero-risk world is our due; woe to anyone
who disagrees. There are some hard working, qualified and
competent people working in our legal system. However, the courts
have become a cash-flow industry operated for the financial
support of experts, judges, lawyers, paralegals, claims adjusters,
accident investigators, etc. Reason, justice and service to
society are secondary concerns. This foolishness is paid for by
everyone in higher costs for everything we buy. Jurors beware . .
the money you give away comes out of your pocket!

Tell Logic Man hello for me and please convey my best wishes for
his recovery. Remind him that nearly every successful venture in
manufacturing relied upon good science and human ingenuity and
service to a customer.  Bob, please do me a favor . . . don't let
Logic Man read the papers . . . in his weakened condition it might
be more than he can stand.

Kindest regards,

Robert L. Nuckolls, III

I got a phone call from an aid to Senator Dole about this letter. 
He said, "the senator enjoyed it very much."  I haven't seen
anything going on with respect to reform in the courts so I guess
I can only take credit for brightening the senator's day . . . .

Comments and alternative views welcomed . . . 

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