Charging for checked bags is a stupid idea

Ever since American Airlines announced they’d be charging for the first checked bag, this is the blog post I’d intended to write.  Well, close to it anyway — I’d also thought that the only effect is going to be everyone trying to bring bags on board and making the clusterfuck that is boarding even worse, but charging for carry-on bags instead
is a brilliant idea. The only modification I’d make is to make it apply to bags in the overhead compartments only (the space in front of your legs is still free).  The airlines could sell a limited number brightly-coloured carry-on bag tags (for say, $15 each) for each flight, and anything found in the overhead compartment without a tag automatically gets checked.  (Passengers in bulkhead seats get a free tag to compensate for the lack of underseat storage.) It’s a great way of managing a limited resource, and a revenue generator for cash-strapped airlines.

And on a similar topic, I now refuse to fly US Airways since they announced they were to start charging for soft drinks during flights. This is simply penny-pinching gone to far.  In the dry environment of a low-pressure airline cabin, everyone needs a drink. Just add a few dollars to the fare, for chrissake, and save all the costs of re-engineering the beverage and cash collection process!

Married in California

I just discovered from this useful guide to gay marriage from the LA Times that as of 5:01PM on Monday, Jay and I will be married in California, thanks to our Vancouver, BC Wedding. I wonder if that means we can now go through immigration at LAX together — several times we’ve been rudely turned back from the podium after approaching it together because we’re “not a family”. (Welcome to the USA!) I wonder if the state law will trump the federal bigotry in this case.

I also learned something quite disturbing in the same article:

You do not have to live in California to marry here, and Massachusetts and New York state will recognize the marriages. Other states may not recognize the marriages, and some, including Wisconsin and Delaware, impose criminal penalties on its residents “if they enter a marriage outside the state that would have been prohibited in the state,” such as gay marriage, according to a fact sheet posted on Lambda Legal’s website. The law in Wisconsin, for example, permits authorities to punish offenders with a fine of up to $10,000 and nine months imprisonment.

Seriously?  A huge-ass fine and nine months in prison just for going through a wedding ceremony in another country or state?  Wisconsin, welcome to my list of places I’ll never visit.

Habeas Corpus Still On Life Support

The Supremes have pitched the Bush Administration their 3rd strike.

I am cautiously hopeful with the slight majority for Democrats in Congress and the lame duck status of The Idiot. I am unsure this means we can immediately restore the foundation of democracy – the right to challenge detention by the government. When Congress originally passed the Military Commissions Act, I got a bit maudlin here. Rather than jump for joy I want to see what The Idiot’s Minions and Congress are going to do about this latest slap from The Supremes.

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Today, I surprised myself…

With the end of the Democratic Party primary, I took some time today to review two speeches (Hilary Clinton’s concession & Barack Obama’s St. Paul, MN, address). I listened to Senator Clinton’s speech first because of 2 major factors: 1) The meme going about that somehow Senator Clinton’s die-hard supporters could vote for McCain and 2) The months-long barrage of sexist attacks made upon the senator by the right-wing noise machine that ended up being echoed by the MSM.

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