This coming Thursday the California Supreme Court will be hearing oral arguments in the case challenging the validity of Prop 8, which purported to rescind the marriage equality that the court had granted in May of 2008. So I will offer a Blog in Three Acts, running Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.
I have at least one serious topic to post before that, but for today I thought something lighter (it is the weekend) might be in order. How about the imminent, and likely utter, collapse of the American and global economies. (Think I’m exaggerating? I would have thought the same before I listened to this downer of a show. “Bad Bank,” Feb. 27-March2).
Yes, there is a lighter side. As you may have read, many states are trying to come up with novel revenue sources, suggesting taxing “things” from marijuana sales (yes, even though they’re illegal) to prostitution (legal in certain parts of Nevada) to pornography. (This last met with unexpected resistance, when the lawmaker who dared suggest it was besieged with phone calls by “people call[ing] up saying their marriages would fall apart.” And we’re worried about same-sex unions?) Apparently, taxpayers won’t put up with increases in the sales or state income taxes, but taxing what were once vices [but] are now habits can be slipped past the populace.
Clearly, government is taking its cue from private industry, and here airlines are the best model. On Thursday, our family flew from Philadelphia to Orlando. As this was my first flight since a year ago at this time (we’re now bound to visit both sets of grandparents annually), I wasn’t fully aware of how comically irrelevant the actual air fare (cheap!) has become. Here are some of the a la carte charges:
- You’ll be charged for each checked bag. Thinking about not checking a bag? Gone are the days when people successfully carried on sarcophagi large enough to accommodate floor lamps, toolsheds, and the occasional deceased relative. Now the bin into which the putative “carry on” must fit holds approximately seven (7) M & Ms.
- Soft drinks on USAirways are $2. Cocktails, which sold briskly, cost $78.50.
- Want a blanket? Leg room? You’ll pay. People with leg room need larger blankets, of course, and these cost double.
- Oxygen masks are a reasonable $17. When there was a sudden drop in air pressure, I was delighted to learn that kids under age six (we have four-year-old twins) get a two-for-one-deal. The guy next to me, apparently willing to play the odds, neglected to bring exact change. His heirs have learned a valuable lesson.
I’d write more, but I’ve run out of quarters to deposit in the side of my computer.