Michael Ignatieff’s Sunday New York

Michael Ignatieff’s Sunday New York Times Magazine piece has some important insights into the coming war with Iraq. – It requires a political committment lasting several administrations. – To succeed, the U.S. will have to engage the entire Middle East: a) Convince Iran no to feel threatened by a United States-led democracy on their border. b) Reassure Turkey that we won’t create a Kurdish state which would be a threat c) Encourage Syrian-Israeli peace d) Coax Saudi Arabia into democracy And even if we do all of that, unseating an Arab government while the ignoring Israel-Palestinian conflict will still lead to tremendous anti-U.S. backlash. To achieve our security aims in Iraq really means to act as a hegemon over the entire Middle East — and a successful hegemon which is viewed benevolently. My own view…

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United to follow Continental and

United to follow Continental and USAirways lead? It appears that mainline United may be turning over a whole lot more flying to its United Express partners, and has lined up the purchase of hundreds of 50 seat regional jets. Continental has turned its Cleveland hub into an RJ park — 737s look like jumbo jets there. It’s even possible to fly a one-stop transcon flight on RJs with Continental (Richmond-Houston-Palm Springs). Is this the future for United?

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Anecdotally (the numbers won’t be

Anecdotally (the numbers won’t be out for awhile yet), there has been a sharp increase in lost baggage over the past week. This seems to an unexpected consequence of new TSA baggage screening procedures. Gate agents often put baggage tags on handles that are used to open the bag. If TSA opens the bag, the tag comes off. Lost bag. Solution: make sure the tag goes somewhere that won’t be tampered with if the TSA decides to open it. Watch where the check-in agent places the tag, and if necessary politely ask that it be moved (“for security reasons” :).

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List of airports

List of airports where a boarding pass is required to get through security; that is, where a printed reservation/e-ticket document is not enough, so you have to check in out in front of the terminal or on-line rather than at the gate.

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The TSA (also known as

The TSA (also known as (T)housands (S)tanding (A)round and (T)remendously (S)wollen (A)gency) has grown alot since it was formed after 9/11. Congress set it on a rapid growth path, but capped its growth at 45,000 employees. So how did the TSA grow to 64,000 employees? They circumvented the cap by hiring employees under 5-year “temporary full-time” contracts.

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