Category Archives: Business

Arrived Safely

Sort of.

When I had the privilege of paying American an extra fifteen bucks to check my bag today, I had no idea how much extra service they’d be rendering. Apparently, with this new program, they’ve come up with an innovative new luggage-handling process that enables them to expeditiously lose your suitcase on a non-stop. And it only took me an hour and a half after the wheels touched down to discover this new capability.

When I got to the carousel that was supposed to be for my flight, it was full of luggage from not one, not two, not three, but four different Dallas flights, as evidenced by inspection of the tags. Apparently, another innovation that the airline has come up with is to get the luggage to the airport before the passengers arrive, and then helpfully leave it all on the carousel, so that the few bags from your own flight from Fort Lauderdale won’t feel lonely and ostracized, and can fit in better with the crowd. Or perhaps the aircraft simply arrived in LAX sans occupants, the latter having somehow been spirited away en route by Bushco to be shipped off to Gitmo for the ritual waterboarding and holy book defilation, with the airline complicit in both the act and the cover up.

I reported the miscreant item to the baggage service.

“Did you look at the bags we have outside the door here”?

No, that hadn’t occurred to me, because I lacked the imagination to conceive that a bag would be removed from the carousel by the authorities with hundreds still milling around seeking their luggage.

“Let’s go over and look.”

We go back over to the carousel.

“Sometimes it might have a Dallas tag on it, because it might have gotten rerouted.”

This, as there remained hundreds of Dallas arrivals on the swirling machine, whose contents I had now seen several dozen times.

I marveled at an airline that could get a bag rerouted through Dallas and somehow end up there at the same time as I, who took a non-stop from Florida. Does the luggage get to skip the layover?

Bottom line: I am now the proud owner of a receipt that informs me that in the event they locate the missing suitcase, it will be delivered to my room. So I am here for a business meeting in the morning with no clothing except that on my back. Well, OK, and my keister. And, yeah, my feet. But still.

I have to say that I agree with the sentiment.

[Update on early Monday morning]

Well, when I check the web site to track it, it seems to have shown up overnight. It’s supposed to be delivered sometime this morning to my hotel. No word on where it had been sequestered. I was kind of wondering if someone else took it off the carousel. They’re not bothering to verify tags any more at LAX, as they did in the olden days.

The Unveiling

White Knight Two will be rolled out for the general public today in Mojave. Scaled Employees had a private rollout yesterday.

[Late morning update]

Clark Lindsey has the Virgin press release.

I don’t understand why they say that this is environmentally friendly. Compared to what? If they’re still going with the hybrid, it presumably burns rubber, and has CO2 as a combustion by-product. What’s so friendly about that, compared to, say, LOX/kerosene? Just marketing hype, I guess.

[Update mid afternoon]

Clark Lindsey has a lot more links.

Has The Oil Bubble Burst?

Maybe. These were clearly unsustainable prices–the only question was how long it would take them to drop. And what do you know? The market works:

Gas may be getting just a bit cheaper, but major changes in how Americans live and drive are already in motion.

Car buyers have been fleeing to more fuel-efficient models. U.S. sales of pickups and sport utility vehicles are down nearly 18 percent this year through June, while sales of small cars are up more than 10 percent.

While slashing production of more-profitable trucks and SUVs, automakers have been scurrying to build their most fuel-efficient models faster.

Toyota Motor Corp., which hasn’t been able to keep up with demand for its 46-miles-per-gallon Prius hybrid, said last week it will start producing the Prius in the U.S. and suspend truck and SUV production to meet changing consumer demands.

Ford Motor Co. and General Motors Corp. also have announced plans to increase small car production, and GM has said 18 of the 19 vehicles it is launching between now and 2010 are cars or crossovers.

And what do you know, they didn’t do it because their intellectual superiors in Congress passed a law making them. They did it because gas was four bucks a gallon. Maybe people aren’t the stupid sheep that technocrats think they are.

The Finance Crisis

Explained, by Iowahawk:

I know what you’re saying — “who invited the fat chick to the Twister party?” Certainly, all of us (with the possible exception of Randy) wish she wasn’t here. But it’s important to remember that fat chicks are often an important source of party supplies, and we must take the good with the bad. In the same way, Fannie Mae supplies the critical financial weed and beer to keep our national economic party going.

The numbers are complex, but let me boil it down for the economic layperson. Fannie Mae is a government company type thing that has a large pile of money, which I will call “A”. The first thing it does is create $20 million bonuses for high performance executives like Franklin Raines, James Johnson and Jamie Gorelick, which I will call “B.” Next, it allocates an amount “C” to lobbyists to make sure important Congressmen always get a thoughtful holiday card from Fannie Mae. After subtracting B and C from A, they are left with D, which is lent to homebuyers. These homebuyers then pay back the amount E, which, when subtracted from D, leaves F, the amount Congress has to come up with. In order to keep this important financial system humming along at peak efficiency, it is necessary that you, the taxpayer, are F’ed.

RTWT, and save the Dave!