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Spot the KGB Officer

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How does one best annoy a 777 pilot?  Stick a Cessna 152 in front of him on the taxiway ready for take-off or put a Pilatus PC12 in front of him on a landing approach.


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Qantas, Australia's major airline is in the process of being taken over by a consortium that includes various overseas entities. Given my most recent experiences I have had with this particular airline, I propose that the famous red kangaroo tail logo be replaced with a dollar ($) sign. After all, these days, Qantas seems to concern itself more with its shareholders rather than its passengers.


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Qantas recently prevented an Australian man attempting to travel from Sydney back to his UK home base from boarding one of its 747s.


A person of dubious respectability perhaps? No.


A potential terrorist perhaps? No.


A person trying to depart Australia to avoid justice perhaps?  No.


No, the man was wearing a t-shirt depicting Bush Le George as the world's number one terrorist simply as a political statement.


 


A court case will no doubt follow but the Qantas attitude towards the man was almost as if to say. "Sorry mate. Can't board with that t-shirt on, we are trying to sell an airline here".


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The American Presidential campaigning seems to be in full swing. A number of candidates have emerged already, all of them saying that they will be fixing the Iraq problem. For the American Government, I have a perfect way to fix the Iraq problem.


 


It is known as the departure lounge at Baghdad Airport.


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It has emerged that Delta Airlines, under Chapter 11 administration at the moment, might well be taken over by US Airways. Should that become a reality it would create the largest American airline in operation. Problem is that people currently own US Airways with large amounts of debt following their purchases and, should the US economy go sour or US interest rates take a sharp rise, these entities would be operating very close to marginal levels, resulting in cost-cutting and other such measures. In the airline industry, as history has shown more than once, cutting corners is a dangerous practice.


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Many moons ago onboard a Polish-built, Russian cruise vessel, a few of us journalists, nasty lot we are, had a great game called 'Spot the KGB officer'.  After spotting him, I was 'spoken to' by the said officer and the Captain of the ship. My punishment? Borsch for breakfast, borsch for lunch, and borsch for dinner.


 


The food was almost as good as what was dished up on Aeroflot flights during those days the only difference being that, on the Aeroflot flights, they gave you a spanner to screw the wings back onto the aircraft after landing.


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With people getting killed daily in Iraq, we must be wondering as to the point those behind the bombing are trying to make. Apart from causing grief and sorrow among their own people, nothing is achieved by bombing a market, a mosque, a bus-station or any other place. Time has come for those behind these atrocities to sit down with independent mediators through dialogue instead of through shrapnel flying everywhere. Dialogue and negotiation is power; bombing only shows weakness.



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