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Editorial: It seems to us – A hero pilot, an idiotic fraternity and an abundance of testosterone

Here’s a shout-out to Capt. Tammie Jo Shults, the most recent of hero pilots whose coolness under extraordinary pressure saved dozens of lives. Shults guided a badly damaged Southwest Airlines jet to a safe, emergency landing in Philadelphia on Tuesday.

A former Navy fighter pilot, Shults was at the controls of a Boeing 737 when one of the engines exploded. The shrapnel punctured the fuselage, killing one passenger and injuring seven others. It could have been much worse.

“I got another day of my life because of that lady and the copilot,” said one passenger. “What do you want to know about (Shults) other than she’s an angel?”

One other thing might be that she has tremendous flight experience, a fact that airline industry should keep in mind as it continues its assault on training rules established after the crash of Flight 3407 in Clarence Center nine years ago.

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What is it about people? OK, not all people. Many are extraordinarily thoughtful and generous. But how – beyond stupidity – do you explain the recorded pledge of Syracuse University fraternity members “to always have hatred in my heart for” black, Hispanic and Jewish people?

That’s what the adolescents in the university’s Tau Theta Tau fraternity promised in a Facebook video whose existence was first reported by the Daily Orange, the university’s student newspaper.

It’s possible that this may be nothing more than young men behaving extremely badly, even accounting for the occasional recklessness of young men. That’s more or less what the fraternity claimed in a subsequent video insisting that the pledges were meant as satire directed at a conservative Republican member.

Doesn’t matter. The fraternity has been suspended. Good decision.

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But think of all the money they’ll save on weddings.

That’s just one of the blessings for the Kateri and Jay Schwandt of Rockford, Mich. They likes kids, that’s plain. Until this week, the couple already had 13 of them – all boys. On Wednesday, No. 14 was born. It’s a boy.

Perhaps it’s just as well. Think of the poor little girl with 13 older brothers.

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