billswift: I'll accept that more driving means more hours driving in those dangerous situations. In that case, it seems that 9/11 actually increased the safety of driving, if measured per mile. At least, the number of accidents only went mildly up, but the number of miles went up dramatically.
Where was the largest group of Americans killed by the 9/11 attacks? In the Twin Towers? No: on the roads, in the excess road accident toll caused by people driving for fear of airline terrorism. -- Russell Wallace
There's a rationalist's failure in this, something to do with finding a surprising piece of data more compelling than an unsurprising one. Here's a source for accidents per year over the last 10 years. The increase in accidents for 2002 sure looks like a blip to me, especially when you consider how many more miles were driven. The driving-is-extremely-dangerous myth you're perpetuating is based on an agglomeration of accident statistics -- most accidents happen at night or in particular weather conditions. Driving at night or in particular weather conditions is dangerous. You can't step from that into an argument that more people driving in replacement of flying means more accidents, unless you can justify the belief that when people drive instead of flying, they drive at night or in particular weather conditions.
Daily Kos uses Scoop but is planning a move to a new ruby-on-rails engine that they're writing themselves. The diaries are a good feature for a community where you want to encourage the readers to be actively involved, but I think the quality of the diaries is likely to be lower than the current quality of posts on OB. The threaded discussion could be really valuable, however, and with good editing the front page could be awesome. But you'll have to find good editors if you haven't the time for it yourself.