Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Links For Tuesday

In celebration of being done with my IR exam (forever, I hope), here are some links to keep you busy.

The News' headline writers keep it professional with this doozy: "No load-shedding in the night...yeah right".

Britain marks its hundredth casualty in Afghanistan. I don't want to sound crass, but should a fully functioning modern nation state really be commemorating a hundred dead? Think about this: by most accounts, the Soviet Union lost about 20 million citizens in World War II, including both combat troops and civilians. If they had used Britain's modern-day standards, they would had two hundred thousand commemorations in just over four years (1941-45), working out to more than 130 a day.

If you were planning on eating a tomato, don't go to McDonald's.

This is a brilliant essay on, well, I don't really know how to describe it. "Our changing relationship with modernity" is a start, but probably not a very good one. Trust me, if you're going to click on just one of the links I'm providing, make it this one.

Resident opportunists Imran Khan and Nawaz Sharif look to join the long march. This reminds me - a number of posts on this blog, including a couple by yours truly, have derided Imran Khan as a dimwitted fucktard. I would like to drastically revise that assessment, based on facts on the ground: Imran Khan is waaaaay more popular than a politician whose party has won one seat in three elections should be. The fact that his popularity far outweighs his accomplishments speaks volumes about his ability to think quickly and be astutely about positions he should take. In particular, his anti-U.S. (right after 9/11), pro-judiciary (after March '07) and anti-MQM (after May '07) stances have been well-timed, well-crafted, and well-delivered. I'm being absolutely serious here: Imran Khan deserves our respect. There's no way he should be as popular as he is. The fact that he is as popular as he is says something about his talents.

Newsweek asks: Is Wal-Mart too liberal? I answer: no.

A nice story (courtesy the WTB) in the WSJ on the effect of rising fuel prices on air travel. To be honest, I don't really care about airlines cutting back costs on short-ish flights (less than three hours). I don't get on planes to get a nice pillow or the best peanuts in the world. I get on a plane to get from point A to point B as quickly, efficiently, and cheaply as possible. I mean, no one serves me when I get on the blue line in Chicago to get to O'Hare (a trip that can often take longer than the actual flight from O'Hare), so why should planes be any different? My only gripe with airlines is their insulting our intelligence with shit like charging 30 bucks round-trip for checking in one bag (the second bag is more expensive). Combined with the squeeze on carry-ons in the form of security measures (because, you know, nothing says terrorist threat like Listerine mouthwash), passengers are left in a bind: can't take shit on board because security won't allow it, and don't want to check shit in because it costs money. Rather than making passengers feel like idiots, why don't airlines simply raise ticket prices? Look, we're not stupid. We know the price of oil is high. We'll understand. Promise. Just don't try to nickel-and-dime us, because that makes us angry.

Here's the self-referential link for the day: a piece on Hyde Park in the Weekly Standard. It's a pretty interesting piece that talks about the neighborhood's history, its idiosyncrasies, and Obama's relations to it.

1 comment:

bubs said...

Rather than raising fares, Air Blue decided to switch from chicken to sandwiches on its domestic flights (average duration: less than two hours). Not surprisingly, Pakistanis are outraged. PIA, on the other hand, is going to cut the commission given to travel agents, who aren't going to sell PIA tickets anymore.

As for the Hyde Park story, Roy Edrosso did a pretty good job skewering it, but then he does that with all right-wingers.