My very first post told

Jun 06 2002

My very first post told you how to get complimentary Gold Status with Hilton. I should note some additional things — that you should get 1000 points for signing up automatically; that you can “update” your profile by changing your address/email address/etc. for another 1000 points (and do it twice per quarter for points); and that you can sign up for their no fee American Express card for 7500 bonus points and their no-fee Visa for 10000 points. That’s 20,500 points instantly — which is worth two free full weekends of Hilton hotels. Not bad for filling out a couple of forms on-line.

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International Aid Smackdown! Treasury Secretary

american flag
May 28 2002

International Aid Smackdown! Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill and Bono are touring Africa to highlight poverty and examine international aid. Bono questions whether O’Neill gets it, and O’Neill delivers a crushing blow. Simple and compassionate, O’Neill points out that $25 million could provide clean water to the entire country. Have there really been that many more pressing and more valuable things for the country to spend last year’s $300 million in loans on? Bono can’t take you any farther than to realize that poverty sucks. O’Neill realizes that throwing money at the problem isn’t enough, and the international aid community is too inept to solve problems even with unlimited resources.

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Eugene Volokh notes

world at night
May 28 2002

Eugene Volokh notes a story in the National Post that the first Israeli — and the first Jew who wants to practice his faith in space — will take off on a Space Shuttle Columbia mission in July. First problem solved: NASA will provide kosher meals. Second problem a bit more difficult: Jews must observe the Sabbath every seven days, but Columbia will orbit the earth every ninety minutes. Does he observe the Sabbath every 10.5 hours, or… ?

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Apparently shooting guns off into

middle east
May 28 2002

Apparently shooting guns off into the air is a wedding tradition in Afghanistan. It’s become less of a good idea, since US forces frequently mistake this weapons fire as hostile and shoot back. They have killed wedding guests on more than one occasion. Well-intentioned though US forces may be, it’s hard to imagine that this won’t breed tremendous resentment among the people of Afghanistan. Sensibly, the governor of the Khost province has asked U.S. forces to check with local authorities before launching attacks.

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Instapundit points out

May 26 2002

Instapundit points out that the most popular band in Uganda has a song about the beauty of privatization. While European kleptocrats and overprivileged American college students complain about globalization, Africans are realizing that their corrupt socialist governments are standing in the way of prosperity. Ever wonder why union money backs the anti-globalization crowd? Is it because steel workers are concerned about exploitation in Africa? Or because they are afraid they might someday have to compete against a new class of entrepreneurs? It’s much easier to keep the rest of the world in poverty. Anti-globalization is the modern day Jim Crow. (Okay, have at me!).

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Northwest Airlines is offering

May 25 2002

Northwest Airlines is offering 25,000 miles if you sign up for a Worldperks Visa. Here’s the skinny: * 5k bonus at signup * 5k bonus if you spend $500 w/ Northwest (flights, club membership, etc) by 10/31/02 * 15k bonus if card is open and in good standing after 15 months = 25,000 miles. Fee for the “classic” card is $55/yr. 2 years = $110 = $0.0044/mi as long as you’re purchasing $500 from Northwest in the next 5 months… Call 1-800-360-2900 and ask for extension 2644. Expires 7/15/02. Note that the credit card I recommend most often for earning miles is the Starwood American Express, because points transfer 1:1 into most airline programs and you get a 5k mile bonus for transferring 20k points — equivalent to earning 1.25 miles per dollar on all…

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