Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Jet Blue, Blue Smoke, and Blue Sky

I am a simple man with simple needs, deriving joy from simple pleasures: One of my passions is rag top cars. Unless it’s freezing or raining, the top is down when I’m driving.

A drawback to driving topless is pulling up behind a relic of 1970’s Detroit, belching and coughing blue smoke, and laying a smoke screen from a stop sign that would make a WW-2 Destroyer proud.

Did you ever emerge from such a noxious fog and wish to high Heaven someone could get those smoke pots on wheels off the streets?
Watch the progress of SB-12 working its way along the alimentary canal of the State Legislature in Austin, which would offer up to $3,500 towards repairing or replacing automobiles in Texas which fail their annual safety inspection because of elevated exhaust emissions. If your clunker is beyond redemption, the money can be used towards the purchase of a new(er) automobile…perhaps a rag top.

An apology to the friends and family of Britney Spears, who was obviously smitten by my trend-setting hair-style so much that she has shorn her locks for the Clanton Streamline look.
This works best for riding around in drop-top automobiles, which I am certain Ms. Spears can easily afford…once she gets out of rehab.
Odd story coming out of the Big Apple this week, where Immigrants’ rights activists are putting on the pressure to allow legal non-citizens to vote in New York Municipal elections. The issue affects over 50,000 adult non-citizen taxpayers, which activists say have been disenfranchised by citizenship voting laws.

Despite xenophobic knee-jerk reactions to the notion of letting non-American citizens participate in our electoral process, there is apparently historic precedent for the exception: The Washington Post quotes CUNY Professor Ron Hayduk, who notes immigrants voted in national elections from 1776 through 1926.

While I’ve got you riled up with that idea, a final note on the JetBlue Passenger Bill of Rights…where that airline is reeling from weather-related delays and negative publicity over last week’s ensnarled departure gates.
Instead of bleating about making the airlines “do something,” like doling out refund vouchers, and allowing passengers’ tails to wag the dog of airline operations by choosing when they can hit the escape chute, politicians like Barbara Boxer and Speaker Nancy Pelosi should be focusing their time and energy on addressing the real culprit behind airline traffic SNAFU’s (yes, the acronym is accurate in this usage):
The FAA’s system of flight control and airport traffic coordination is woefully inadequate, antiquidated, and a major contributor to the flight delay ripple effect that regularly wracks the country.
Perhaps a little less pressure on the airline industry and a little more wind beneath the wings of the FAA would go a longer way towards solving the problem.
You’re not hearing that aspect being discussed; that’s an egregious omission.

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