A humorous take on the pledge of allegiance by Gene Weingarten in the Washington Post. (Link via The Volokh Conspiracy. The pledge itself, while only the “under God” part is truly at issue, really is a silly thing. Young people recite patriotic indoctrination without really having any idea what it means. A law professor whom I admire, John Hasnas, tells the story of “how he became a libertarian.” In kindergarten, while being told to recite the pledge, he wanted to know “who is Richard Stands, and why are we pledging to him?” (“And to the Republic, for Richard Stands, one nation…”)
Military pilots are given amphetamines and sleeping pills before and after missions, respectively. This flying under the influence may be linked to recent friendly-fire incidents.
Mourning. The inventor of clumping cat litter and white-out passed away.
A new study finds that more men than women are too stressed to have sex. Great. That just leaves more for me. -ed.
Airfare arbitrage. Frequent travelers know that sometimes different websites (and for that matter, websites versus calling an airline directly) will provide different prices for the exact same flight. What I never quite realized before today was that different countries’ versions of the same website may price differently as well. I did a bit of experimentation with United’s web site today. United has a whole bunch of local sites: United States, Canada, Australia, Great Britain, Thailand, Hong Kong, and Singapore — just to name a few. I tried pricing out some itineraries on different United website, and I got different prices. (Naturally, each site priced in its local currency, but I used Expedia’s currency converter to normalize prices into US dollars.) One example: Los Angeles –> Sydney –> Los Angeles, October 10 outbound and October 20…
Update on the United Visa. The 15,000 mile signup bonus is good. Very good. However, there is a targeted offer out there for 20,000 miles. Instructions on the mailing say to call 1.888.763.7377 or send back the form in the mail. You might call and try asking for it, even though it appears to be a promotion valid for those who receive the offer. The code on the bottom of the mailing is BUC11309, and the code on the form which is to be sent back to the bank is LAC23925. Offer expires 9/16/02.
The United Visa is finally an attractive credit card. There’s an offer for a 15,000 mile signup bonus. That, combined with double miles on all purchases means that you should probably get one right away. You don’t even have to fly — you just have to put $5000 on the card in the next couple of months (or spend $833 at specific restaurants and charge the meals to the card) — and you will have a free domestic roundtrip ticket.
Man sues airline for being seated next to obese man.
Swaziland spends a quarter of its annual budget on a private jet for for its King, and uses international aid funds for the down payment. Millions of this country’s citizens face famine due to government policies.
Sand in the Gears leads a revolt against airport security. If enough of us did this, we might be able to overthrow a silly regime that doesn’t protect us in the least, causes massive consternation among the traveling public, and is doing serious damage to an airline industry which is losing billions of dollars a quarter. Tony may have just found a way out of this recession — taking our economy and our dignity into our own hands.