Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Georgia Didn't Start It.

This is must-read from Michael Totten.
"Virtually everyone believes Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili foolishly provoked a Russian invasion on August 7, 2008, when he sent troops into the breakaway district of South Ossetia. “The warfare began Aug. 7 when Georgia launched a barrage targeting South Ossetia,” the Associated Press reported over the weekend in typical fashion.

Virtually everyone is wrong. Georgia didn't start it on August 7, nor on any other date. The South Ossetian militia started it on August 6 when its fighters fired on Georgian peacekeepers and Georgian villages with weapons banned by the agreement hammered out between the two sides in 1994. At the same time, the Russian military sent its invasion force bearing down on Georgia from the north side of the Caucasus Mountains on the Russian side of the border through the Roki tunnel and into Georgia. This happened before Saakashvili sent additional troops to South Ossetia and allegedly started the war. "

Read the whole thing.
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Saturday, August 16, 2008

Reason TV on the Folly of Turning Food Into Fuel

Reason TV has a video out that touches on several points I've posted on before about corn-based ethanol. If you're a glutton for punishment you can go back and look at them here, here, here, here, here and here. Or you could watch the video:

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Friday, August 08, 2008

The Case for School Choice. QED Indeed.

In six minutes and 5 seconds flat, this clip from the Britsh TV series "Yes, Prime Minister" demolishes most arguments against school choice. It even gets a dig in against socialized healthcare.

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Monday, August 04, 2008

Bag Karma

Rand Simberg reports on a mis-adventure had by his baggage on a non-stop flight on American Airlines over this past weekend.

In a case of what I'm calling "Bag Karma" I had the same thing happen to me on a business trip the week before last. It was the first time I had flown on US Airways since they instituted the $15 bag check fee. On the return trip from Washington Dulles to Phoenix the bag check agent put the wrong label on my suitcase, even as she was verifying my name, destination and checking my ID. She handed me my claim check (which I still have) and promptly put another passenger's baggage label on my bag. I got home on time but my bag went to Daytona Beach via Clearwater/Tampa. What it cost them to get my bag back to me by flying it to PHX via Charlotte and then deliver it to my door has to have cost them far in excess of what they collected on the fee.

The airlines could probably go a long way towards solving their profitability problems by just getting their act together on baggage handling. If they route correctly in the first place and take a few extra minutes to do so, if that's what it takes, then they won't be inadvertently running a costly, free cargo service on the side, with all the extra fuel that burns and employee time spent running around tracking errant bags.

As if the baggage problems weren't enough; In further silliness, as of this weekend US Airways is charging for non-alcoholic drinks on its flights as well ($2 for a bottle of water). They're justifying it on the basis of fuel cost for the weight of drinks they have to carry aloft. This is going to backfire on them too. I'm flying on business again next week and I'll bring my own water bottle on board ($1.49), thank you very much. Now they will carry the weight of the water bottle they want to sell me plus the weight of the bottle I'm going to bring and they won't get the revenue. Someone is focusing on the trees and completely missing the forest.

I'm getting very tired of being nickeled and dimed at every turn by the airlines, with the notable and welcome exception being Southwest. Charge a ticket price sufficient to cover the cost of getting an adequately hydrated me and my baggage to my destination on time and I promise, I won't be complaining.
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Sunday, August 03, 2008


This video by Mary Katharine Ham is actually a couple of months old but I just ran across it again (at Power Line) and decided to link it. It perfectly skewers the messianic, "chosen one", he-who-will-solve-all-our-problems phenomenon that is Obama.

And let's not forget this lovely quote from that motor-mouthed shrew Michelle Obama:
"Barack Obama will require you to work. He is going to demand that you shed your cynicism. That you put down your division. That you come out of your isolation. That you move out of your comfort zones. That you push yourselves to be better. And that you engage. Barack will never allow you to go back to your lives as usual; uninvolved, uninformed."
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