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Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Mayor of a Romanian town wears Nazi uniform

Given what the Nazis did to Europe before and during the Second World War, and given the genocide they committed towards Jews, Russians, gypsies, Poles, etc., it is absolutely incredibly stupid that a mayor of a town would wear a Nazi uniform to a fashion show. Take a look at this stupid this behavior could be (link to article):

Jewish organizations called for a Romanian official to resign and face a criminal investigation after he wore a Nazi uniform during a fashion show over the weekend. Radu Mazare, the mayor of the town of Constanta, and his 15-year-old son "entered the stage marching the clearly identifiable Nazi 'goose step,'" the Center for Monitoring and Combating anti-Semitism in Romania said in a letter to the country's prosecutor general.
Mazare, 41, said he had not noticed the Nazi swastika symbol on the uniform before he wore it, according to the Romanian Times newspaper. "I checked it before I put it on but the swastika was very small and I didn't see it," he said. "I really liked the look of the uniform after seeing it in the Tom Cruise film 'Valkyrie.' I bought it from a costume hire shop in Germany."

So, how is that a mayor of a city did not know the history of the Nazis, or recognize the swastika on the uniform ? Even though he wore a uniform of the Army rather than the SS, the Army was also an instrument of the Nazis during the Second World War.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Getting a gun free with your vehicle

This can only happen in the United States, where the Constitution (reinforced by various Supreme Court judgments) has made it possible for almost anybody to buy almost any type of weapon, except for a few class of heavy weapons. You could go to a gun show and buy a machine gun without any problem, or go to a regular shop, and after a cooling off period of 7 days, buy guns to your heart's desire. However, this post is not a direct commentary on the Second Amendment, more about the connection between people who buy trucks and who also buy guns (link to article):

Buy a truck and get a free AK-47 gun. That's the deal a Missouri truck dealer is offering new customers who buy a pick-up truck in August. Mark Muller, owner of Max Motors in Butler, says he knows people will be bothered by the promotion.
But not to worry, Muller is not handing out free guns. Instead, he will give buyers a voucher to use at a gun store after they obtain a license to carry a concealed weapon.

Wonder how many people are bothered by the fact that owning a gun is now made an incentive; you buy a vehicle and you get a free assault rifle; and keep in mind that an AK-47 is not a hunting assault rifle, it is a short distance multiple rounds per minute gun that is not accurate over the distances required for hunting.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Air India overbooks - carried more passengers than capacity

Airlines frequently overbook, given that there is always a number of people who will cancel, and hence there is a mathematics related to the number of people who overbook. Sometimes airlines land up in a situation whereby they find that this mathematics goes awry, and they find that there are more passengers than seats available. In such cases, the airline has to placate irate passengers, and decide who can go and who needs to be refused. Such cases typically cause a lot of unhappiness. However, it is not accepted that an airline boards more passengers than there are seats available. Even in these bad economic times, it is unacceptable to have more passengers on board than there are seats, given that these are paying passengers who have a right to proper treatment. Modern airlines have automated systems whereby boarding passes are issued which prevents extra passengers from getting loaded. However, if the airline wishes to violate such conditions, there is very little that can be done.
Further, after the terrorist incidents, the cockpits of planes are now high security zones where passengers are no longer allowed. So, if there is a case when a passenger is allowed inside the cockpit, that is against all security norms and needs to be thoroughly investigated.
We have a case, whereby all this happened. Air India, the national carrier of India, had a case whereby it was found that the airline had boarded 3 extra passengers; this case is now being investigated by the regulator, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA). In order to ensure that this case is brought to its logical conclusion, the investigation needs to be thorough (link to article):

In these recessionary times, airlines globally are operating on half-empty seats. But Air India, which is passing through its worst ever financial crisis, is in fresh trouble for allegedly carrying extra passengers on a fully loaded flight. What adds to the irony is that the excess passengers were discovered in a probe into the aircraft's door falling apart when it started moving while attached to an aerobridge!
"Of these three, one woman passenger was accommodated in the cockpit and two others on the foldable seats where cabin crew sits during take off and landing," said sources. The DGCA can now take criminal action against AI for this violation. The cockpits in modern aircraft have three seats. While two are for the pilot and co-pilot, the third is called a jump seat which is usually vacant. Since the process of issuing boarding passes is completely computerized, the system stops generating passes once a flight is full. In this case, however, the probe has found that boarding passes were allegedly issued manually to enable the extra passengers to clear the different levels of pre-embarkation security checks.

This action by the airline was a gross violation of the air safety norms. In this case, the airline was caught because of another incident, and this fact came out during the investigation.

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