Dear Register Reader

On Dec. 25, the Register published a letter from Chris Heron of Mission Viejo, who responded to the international ban on American beef by suggesting that the U.S. impose a similar restriction on imported automobiles, since "accidents involving automobiles made in South Korea or Japan will result in the deaths of many more Americans than mad cow disease will ever kill in either country. Maybe we should temporarily ban the import of South Korean or Japanese cars until we can be sure they are absolutely safe."

Obviously, Heron doesn't subscribe to Consumer Reports—probably has all his money tied up in AsiaPhobe Quarterly. If he did, he'd know that Japanese and Korean cars are among the safest on our streets. In CR's most recent safety ratings for family sedans, seven of the top 10 vehicles were Japanese, with only one American car—the Chevy Impala—placing in the top 10 and it came in 10th and if you have to drive an Impala your life is pretty much over anyway. The top three minivans were either Japanese or Korean. In fact, of CR's seven vehicle categories, not one was led by an American car. Bend that over your Buick.

As for Heron's apparent suggestion that the international ban on American beef is an overreaction: I don't know, Chris. Given that the ingestion of contaminated meat can lead to neurodegenerative diseases and subsequent death, I mean, you know? Then again, given his logic vis--vis automobile safety, perhaps it's understandable that Heron is sympathetic to a disease that causes what doctors call "vacuoles"—literally, holes in the brain. Yikes.


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