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Posts Tagged ‘Airlines’

We all barter with ourselves. I’ll order the salad instead of fried calamari to start. If you pass this test, you’ll reward yourself with a night out. It’s our own personal sense of economics – guns vs butter, small decisions we must make, day in and day out. Which is why I find the Republican reaction to the Brittney Griner swap for Viktor Bout so enlightening.

Let’s preface this with my American flight home via Miami. Usually, I will read a good book on an airplane. Have you noticed that along with food, airlines no longer provide a travel magazine in your seat back? I always loved reading that magazine, and even know a travel writer who frequently published her essays in the happy skies. No worries for me; when I travel, jI load a ton of books on my iPad Kindle app, and I even remember to download them before getting on the plane! Imagine my face the first time I discovered this techno blip.

So here we were, in the flight from paradise, forever stuck on the tarmac. First it was our weights and balances. Then it was a delay because we were waiting for a “high priority package.” Bob predicted an organ was about to be transported. But then the Bride’s section said they saw a casket being wheeled out to the plane. Of course, one woman threw a fit and demanded to get off the plane, so they also had to find her luggage…

Needless to say. whatever emergency time cushion we had built into our connecting flight to Nashville was tick-tocking away.

I decided after saying my Hail Marys’ for take-off, that this might be the time to watch a movie instead of reading. Well, all those seat back monitors are gone now too, so it’s a good thing Bob had loaded the American Airlines app on my iPad. While browsing through their free movies, I came upon an old Tom Hanks flick from 2015. “Bridge of Spies.”

Hanks plays a NY insurance lawyer who negotiates the Cold War swap between a young Francis Gary Powers, a U-2 pilot shot down over Russia, and Rudolf Abel, an older Soviet spy…. ps, this really happened! Espionage always thrills me, but that scene when the plane is spiraling towards the ground made me rethink my in-flight entertainment choice. Arrangements were made to do the swap on a bridge in East Berlin. The interesting bit though was that a young economics student had managed to get himself scooped up by the Stazi just as the Berlin Wall was going up!

So Hank’s character naturally insists on swapping the student along with Powers for Abel – two for one. Just in case you may want to watch the movie, I won’t spoil the ending. I also noticed in our recent Griner for Bout swap, that Russian media covered the event live, while we did not, supposedly for our citizen’s privacy. And that Bout was embraced and hugged by someone, while Griner was simply led to a waiting car.

Far be it for me to critique our foreign policy, but I have to admire the Biden White House for negotiating the swap. Could they have insisted that a Marine, Paul Whelan, also be released from custody? Could they have said NO DEAL without the Marine? Sure. But I think Putin has a long memory, and I’d bet he remembers the swap during the Cold War, or he heard about it often as a young boy. And he wasn’t about to give us two prisoners for one again.

Meanwhile, holiday festivities have started off with a bang! I’ve been baking hostess treats and doing cards and walking all over our neighborhood. Yes, My last PT appointment was today, and I’m happy to have graduated!

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