by baldilocks

Hot news flash, yes?

I don’t know. People accumulate money for reasons, with comfort being among them. But the implication in this Guardian piece is that there is something wrong with purchasing insulation against the Special Hell that is LAX.

The guiltiest pleasure at Los Angeles international airport’s (LAX) new private terminal for the mega-rich is not the plush, hushed privacy, or the beds with comforters, or the massages, or the coriander-scented soap, or the Willie Wonka-style array of chocolates and jelly beans, or the Napa Valley cabernet.

It is the iPad that sits on a counter at the entrance, with a typed little note: “Here is a glimpse of what you’re missing over at the main terminal right now.”

The screen shows travellers hauling bags through packed terminals, queuing in long lines, looking harassed and being swallowed into pushing, shoving paparazzi scrums – routine hazards for the 80 million people who pass through LAX each year.

“There they process thousands of people at a time, they’re barking. It’s loud. Here it’s very, very lovely,” said Gavin de Becker [yes], who runs the new terminal, called Private Suite.

He wasn’t wrong. The $22m facility, the first of its kind in the US, opens on Monday, giving the 1% a whole new way to separate themselves from everyone else’s reality. (…)

It is pricey. In addition to annual membership of $7,500, you pay $2,700 per domestic flight and $3,000 per international flight. The cost covers a group of up to four people. If you aren’t a member, you pay $3,500 for a domestic flight and $4,000 for international flight for a group of up to three people.

I don’t recall any barking, during the two round trips I made via LAX last year—to Nairobi and to Albuquerque in order to visit my various parental units. What I do recall about the Tom Bradley International Terminal, however, is that I couldn’t find one single electrical outlet except near the exit. After a ten-hour trip from Amsterdam—also with no access to electrical outlets—trying to use my Über app was a precarious business with nearly no juice on my phone.

I couldn’t care less about some phantom rich guy allegedly laughing at me. I do care about not being able to charge my  %^%*&$ phone in the huge feceshole that is the Bradley Terminal while trying to get home after 18 hours of air travel.

If in need of some Hunger Games-style schadenfreude check out the iPad showing the hoi polloi running gauntlets over at the main terminal.

Remember: the animosity that some have for the rich is cover for unacknowledged if thinly disguised covetousness and personal feelings of inadequacy.  This piece is designed to exacerbate that.

But, do the rich laugh at the poor? I’m sure some do, and that says a lot about the laughers’ personal feelings of inadequacy as well. I guess that there are things against which money is scant refuge. And Mr. de Becker seems intent on exploiting that. Capitalism–the worst economic system there is…except for all of the others.

Would I buy a spot in this bit of LAX purgatory if I had the means? You bet your ass I would. And I would have better things to do with my time than laugh at some poor black chick who can’t find an electrical outlet in the international terminal—like help the owners of the terminal install acknowledgement to the facts of the 21st century.

(Thanks to Liberty Blitzkrieg)

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. (Her older blog is located here.) Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published in 2012. Her second novel tentatively titled Arlen’s Harem, will be done one day soon! Follow her on Twitter and on

Please contribute to Juliette’s JOB:  Her new novel, her blog, her Internet to keep the latter going and COFFEE to keep her going!

Or hit Da Tech Guy’s Tip Jar in the name of Independent Journalism!

by baldilocks

The trip had to be postponed for a week while I got some necessities in order. So now I’m leaving on the 21st of February and will only stay for a week.

My brother, Charles Otieno–who I have not yet met in person—has my schedule all planned. Family and more family. I’m praying for no jet-lag. (Aside: I had no jet-lag after my two trips to Germany, but when I traveled to Japan, I was dead tired for a week. I’m think that the direction of travel makes a difference; at least, I’m hoping that’s the case.)

All of my American friends and family are very excited about this and, of course, I am as well, though I have some trepidation. Besides the family factor, I did not comprehend the magnitude of my father’s fame in Kenya and my family tells me that the trip is a really big deal there. I’m naturally introverted, but I’m hoping to squash that. I want to represent my country—the USA—well.

There has already been a cultural misconception about the trip. As most know, I’m raising money for the trip’s expenses—something that is pretty commonplace among bloggers. But after Kenya’s Daily Nation reported on the fund-raising campaign, Kenyans assumed that I was asking them to fund my trip. That was definitely not my intention. I plan on correcting more misconceptions when I get there, but remember Kenyans are not the only people who misconstrue things and run with them.

Other than that, the campaign has gone well, though the GoFundMe goal has not been reached and I don’t expect it to be—not for this trip. But I think that there is already enough. Thank you for your generosity.

PREVIOUSLY: Destination: Kenya

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. (Her older blog is located here.) Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published in 2012. Her second novel, tentatively titled, Arlen’s Harem, will be done in 2016. Follow her on Twitter.

Please contribute to Juliette’s Projects JOB: HER TRIP TO KENYA! Her new novel, her blog, her Internet to keep the latter going and COFFEE to keep her going!

Or hit Da Tech Guy’s Tip Jar in the name of Independent Journalism—->>>>


but this paragraph concerning a certain qatari diplomat with a nicotine fit perfectly fits my thoughts:

I mean, are we really to believe that this guy took his having diplomatic immunity as free rein to crack a joke about need to light his shoe bomb? I’m curious whether under international law a diplomat can be expelled from a host country simply for being a raging c@#k.

Michelle Malkin is on the same page as Josh, that doesn’t happen often either:

If there’s any “misunderstanding,” it’s not from the air marshals who took their jobs seriously, it’s from the arrogant jerk who thinks treating national security with sarcastic shoebomb jokes when questioned by our homeland security watchdogs has any place at all on a plane in flight over American skies.

This fellow needs to be declared Persona non grata fast.

with this story?

The youngster, apparently under adult supervision, makes five transmissions on a tape obtained by Channel 26 in Boston and confirmed as genuine by the FAA.

The father was right there, the other controllers where right there if there was an issue. They told him what to say. It’s the type of thing a parent does with a kid. The pilots recognized it and understood. I understand that standards have to be kept up but lets all calm down a bit here.

This is one of the little joys of life. Instead of a kid being inspired by the spectacular work that these men and women do every day his memory will be of getting his father in trouble. Way to go to inspire the next generation folks. Yeah he shouldn’t have done it but there is a lot less here than meets the eye.

I will be very disappointed if the controller & supervisor in question got anything more than a warning.

In the words of Sgt. Hulka…