The Soapbox Archives:
I would say more nice things about American Airlines except that they managed to piss me off on the way home. I checked in *one* piece of luggage and they charged me $25 for it. That's wouldn't have been a problem except that on the flight from Boston to Chicago, they didn't charge me any fees. In fact, they offered to check a second bag for free. What was their excuse for the fee? I was told that people traveling during the holidays will often be carrying more stuff home after Christmas so the airline(s) will charge baggage fees for the extra luggage. Of course, we flew back on January 5, a long time after Christmas. What about the rest of us who choose to bring only one piece of checked luggage? What about doing the right thing and charging only for *excess* luggage? They take advantage of their customers just because they can and change the rules as they go along. Flying is hard enough; customers shouldn't arrive at the airport and be surprised by extra fees.
Someone did make a suggestion: just take everything with you to the gates. When you board the plane and they need people to check some bags because there's not enough room in the overhead bins, volunteer to check your bags. They don't charge you for bags checked at the plane. If you want to be conscientious and check your bags at the counter so you won't block the aisles in the plane, you shouldn't be penalized for it.
From my experience, I get the impression that Baptist or evangelical pastors are better at funerals for comforting the friends and relatives of the recently departed.
I have a better understanding of the term "Bible Belt" now. In this northwest corner of Indiana I must have seen a church about every three blocks down the main drag. And these are large edifices with large parking lots. I was once told Boston was 49% non-taxable property, but a lot of that are schools and hospitals, and not so many churches. I wonder what the percentages are in Indiana.
Everyone needs to be reasonable and flexible in order stop domestic gun violence. If someone wants the thrill of shooting off assault weapons, there's nothing stopping them from joining the National Guard or the military. Anyone willing to brush off the 26 needless deaths in Newtown, CT, as collateral damage in the fight for gun rights can only be considered inhuman.
PS: I saw a good article in the New York Times about "More Guns = More Killing" from January 6, 2013.