The Airline Industry’s Fee-for-All

The Airline Industry’s Fee-for-All

Those who say we should run government like a business must not be frequent flyers. Flying, which was once a fairly good experience, now amounts to being herded, harassed, barked at, and squeezed — while being dunned every step of the way for onerous fees. Make...
Sorry, You Can’t Get There From Here

Sorry, You Can’t Get There From Here

“Take the train,”We used to say;But now that trainHas gone away. Riding the London Underground from downtown to Heathrow Airport can awaken you to just how archaic America’s transportation system is. Most U.S. cities make heading to the airport a...
Drone on the Range

Drone on the Range

Get ready, America. Here comes “the next latest and greatest thing in aviation.” Wow, what could it be? Maybe the airlines are going to drop all of their ridiculous rip-off fees. That’d be great! No, no, not that kind of aviation. You probably...

Color-Coded Terrorism Alerts Fade to Black

Okay, boys and girls, pull out your crayons, and let’s see if you can do a better job of coloring than the Department of Homeland Security. At long last, the obvious has dawned on our national security czars. Since March 12, 2002, back in the Bush-Cheney regime,...

Buses Are the Answer

Trains will never Leave the gate; Buses seem A wiser fate. With all due respect to President Barack Obama and the $8 billion he’s dishing out to the states for high-speed rail, it’s too late. Fast trains have been overtaken by gradual events. America has...
Sorry, You’re Under Surveillance

Sorry, You’re Under Surveillance

Orwell, Kafka,They could see;That government,Would soon watch me. For governments keen on muzzling and thwarting opposition, terrorism is a God-sent cover. A nation subject to terrorist attack can get away with deception, surveillance, secret arrests, harassment,...

Much Ado about Non-News Stories

Did you see those pictures of Michelle Obama sashaying around Europe–Spain I think it was–and staying at that fancy hotel? I mean, who does she think she is, Nancy Reagan? Isn’t she kind of getting ahead of herself, putting on airs? Whoa! Wait a...

Palin’s Contract with Stanislaus

Sarah Palin, leader of everyday Americans. You betcha. She’s just your typical small-town, Alaska hockey mom who, Donald Kaul noted, doubles as a latter-day American savior to the Tea Party faithful. One who requires first-class plane tickets, or else “the...

Flying and Radiation Risks

In the aftermath of the foiled “underwear bomber” attack on Christmas Day, there’s a major push to install whole-body X-ray scanning machines at airport screening areas. It’s being led by former Homeland Security Chief Michael Chertoff, now a...
Spying on our Own Folks

Spying on our Own Folks

Though our terrorists Have mean intent; Our biggest danger’s From dissent. Made it again. Onto and off of a plane, that is. Not everyone does. Immigration authorities held two members of my recent delegation to Haiti for hours. There was no clear reason for that...
Democracy Thwarts U.S. Base Plans

Democracy Thwarts U.S. Base Plans

This March, the Obamas will touch down in the U.S. territory of Guam, en route to Australia and Indonesia. It’s a big deal for this tiny Pacific island seven-and-a-half hours by plane from Hawaii and, according to airport placards, “where America’s...

Fly the Unfriendly Skies, if You Dare

Before the old year passes out of sight and I’ve broken the last of my New Year’s resolutions, I’d like to relieve myself of a few opinions I didn’t unload when I should have. For example: The Friendly Skies: I have never been a great fan of...