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  • Don Lando 7:34 am on February 19, 2010 Permalink
    Tags: air travel, ,   

    Death and Taxes 

    The final deeds of one A. Joseph Stack III beg us to consider the current dynamics between taxpayers and government. When Joe crashed his Piper PA-28 into the Austin IRS building in Texas yesterday, he resurrected terrible memories of Oklahoma City and other violent tax protests.

    In his cryptic online dispatch, Joe says: “Nothing changes unless there is a body count.”

    Was this man the unfortunate and ill-timed byproduct of an otherwise justified revolt? Or is he only the latest in a long line of public enemies, both foreign and domestic?

    More importantly, how do his deeds affect the fight for balance between taxation and representation?

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    • The Bruce 10:33 am on February 19, 2010 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I think it all depends on how you define patriotism, which in the United States is a very unique definition. He did indeed “express” his right to challenge his government, if you can call it that – but at the same time, by most legal standards he still committed a criminal act. Who is more justified, the policeman or the revolutionary? The Romantic will tell you the revolutionary, but in practicality we live in a society of laws and this man chose to live(die) outside the law.

  • Don Lando 5:32 am on September 9, 2009 Permalink
    Tags: air travel, carbon, pensioners, UK   

    Jolly good plan, mate. Pip pip! 

    Instead of heeding the advice I’ve bandied for years now, our isle-bound progenitors are taking a rather different approach.

    Tens of billions of pounds will have to be raised through flight taxes to compensate developing countries for the damage air travel does to the environment, according to the Government’s advisory body on climate change.

    Makes perfect sense, doesn’t it? Why solve the problem when you can just keep the problem and centralise more power?

    And while we’re sucking the blood of the witless consumer, let us take this to its logical terminus and simply eighty-six all the pensioners. After appropriating their wealth just imagine all the airtime and print space we could buy to applaud ourselves for saving the world from the evils of carbon. There might even be a few pence left for the mongrel third world!

     
    • Mein Schatz 8:44 am on September 9, 2009 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      The power to control the movement of the people is one of the oldest desires of government. We have reached an age where most laws preventing free movement are deemed illegal, but there are many sneakier ways than straightforward legislation to keep people from moving about.

  • Don Lando 4:30 am on November 25, 2008 Permalink
    Tags: air travel, Chaucer, entitlement, , , , ,   

    Canada: So tolerant it costs more 

    O gluttony; full of all wickedness, o first cause of confusion to us all, beginning of damnation and our fall”   -Chaucer, The Canterbury Tales

    Canada’s Supreme Court has gone and declared that the country’s two largest airlines have to offer morbidly obese passengers a free extra seat on domestic flights, beginning in January.

    One person, one fare?? How about one person, one portion size, ya terrorists! That’s right I said it: you who feed ‘n fly are guilty of making me so unconfortable and wary of air travel that you qualify as terrorists.

    Any thinking person knows the laws of physics – those being the ones that say it takes howevermany tons of jet fuel per hour to hoist a morbidly obese land whale – can’t be abrogated by declaration of Canada’s Supreme Court. Add to that the obvious fact that more pounds of fuel cost more, and the right answer is clear: Standardize ticket prices based at least partly on consumption of resources.

    If you’re a tiny little wisp of a 80lb girl but you’re bringing 150 lbs of luggage, guess what.. you and the 230-pounder are going to pay the exact same fare. To expect otherwise is both dishonest and greivously inequitable.

    Before anyone cries discrimination let us note that the physically fit have long borne additional expense on behalf of the obese; healthcare has become yet another financial crisis in this most flabby of nations and Canada is no exception. It’s not like we’re asking you to ride FedEx here. Besides, are we really gonna descriminate against smokers but not fat people? C’mon.

    America, do not let this vile precedent ooze over to our dear nation. If we the people are free to pig out on hotdogs and pork rinds, let us also leave the market free to decide the consequences.

    Keep your dietary decisions off my quality of life!

     
    • The Bruce 6:17 am on November 25, 2008 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Hear, hear! Well spoken, Lando!

      When will people learn that it is this entitlement, this gluttony that threatens not only air travel but the soul of America itself!

      Just as Schatz said so well in the last installment of Things I Learned Today, there is a distinct difference between ‘I want’ and ‘I need’ and ‘may I please have’…

      Entitlement is what elected Barack Obama, entitlement has the potential to destroy our nation. This is the battle we fight, this is foe that we here minded must face. And it is perhaps the first time in our generation in which our ideals are truly threatened.

      But friends, now is not the time for cowardice, we must each find our voice and upon every possible occasion I urge you to use it and dare mighty things.

    • Middle Man 5:17 pm on November 25, 2008 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I wholeheartedly agree. Oh the terrors of sitting next to the fat person on a plane. You might enjoy this:

      http://caughtinthemiddleman.wordpress.com/2008/02/19/letter-from-america/

      Great blog

    • tsfiles 10:51 pm on November 25, 2008 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      “America, do not let this vile precedent ooze over to our dear nation. If we the people are free to pig out on hotdogs and pork rinds, let us also leave the market free to decide the consequences.”

      The way things are going in the United Soon-to-be-Socialist States of America, this will be nothing. The obese will get free tickets and food simply for being obese.

      Remember, everyone’s part of an aggrieved group with predetermined grievances. (Unless you are white and male.)

      And when the airlines go bankrupt, then the economically illiterate imbeciles in D.C. will simply cough up $700 billion (give or take a few billion) as a “bail out.”

  • Don Lando 3:23 pm on July 14, 2008 Permalink
    Tags: air marshal, air travel, ,   

    TSA: Forget national security, we have an image to protect 

    You knew the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) couldn’t stay out of the “what are they thinking?” news for long. Following the discovery of evidence indicating that less than 1% of the nation’s flights carry armed air marshals, the TSA has made huge strides towards silencing the nay-sayers.

    Former federal air marshal and Iraq war veteran, Jeff Denning, said “In Iraq, there were a lot of dangerous things, but never have I been so scared [as] when the federal government called me on my home phone and said I want to know about your personal e-mail account and what you have been sending.”

    Nevermind the task of protecting US air travel from terrorism, says this softheaded law enforcement organization from behind a thin curtain, we just need to protect the impression that we protect air travel.

     
  • Don Lando 5:39 pm on April 7, 2008 Permalink
    Tags: air travel, , , The Strenuous Life   

    “The pound of flesh which I demand..” 

    We at the Sagamore Journal occasionally find it prudent to gather up some of the many gems we’ve sown and bring them together with a overarching point, valid or not.
     
    As an example, take three previous subjects at random. Let’s say crude oil prices, fat people and the feckless TSA. Now observe:
     
    Runaway jet fuel prices have prompted airlines to evaluate cost-cutting measures. Alaska Airlines recently discovered it could save $10,000/year on fuel simply by removing five magazines per aircraft. What’s more, the company got itself new beverage carts, which – at 20 lb lighter than the old ones – could save upwards of $500,000/year in fuel costs.

     
    Ho ho, now – are we to understand that by cutting a few pounds here and there, air travel could be cheaper? Do you see where I am going with this?
     
    It’s high time the transport of human flesh was conducted on the same basis as any other cargo. You pay by the pound. If you exceed a certain weight or dimension, perhaps you pay double (i.e.: an extra seat). They do it for our luggage already, yes? That’s because of weight and passenger travel should be the same.

     I see no reason why the dietary habits or genetic makeup of an obese traveller should cause me to pay extra for a less comfortable airplane ride. The trip itself is what our money pays for; arrival is the assumed and hoped for result. Remember that.
     
    My modest proposal offers greater justice than this current notion that everyone should suffer for the gluttony of a few. It’s not true for differently sized cars at the gas pump and it shouldn’t be true for differently sized people in air travel.

     We live not in a socialist commune as the ill-begot TSA would have you believe. This is a cut-throat capitalist machine, for better or worse.
     
    He who chooses to move his 300-pound bulk across the skies should do so at greater personal cost than one who wishes to transport only 150lbs of flesh and bone. That’s economics.

     
    • The Bruce 9:48 pm on April 9, 2008 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I, naturally, agree.

      The accommodations made for fat people are straight out of the socialist handbook.

      The Bruce has been up to his neck The Strenuous Life lately and today, to his horror discovered that the only wheelchairs available at the hospital are “double wides” made especially large for fatties.

      Think of the additional cost to our health care system from over sized wheelchairs alone. And liberals want me to pay for this and other, more serious costs in my taxes! It is not my fault you are fat. I should not have to pay for your health care.

    • fryertuck 6:51 am on April 22, 2008 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      As a morbidly obese individual I stongly oppose this proposed policy as it is an act of discrimination and would provide momentum to the disturbing growth of the cacomorphobia in our society. We are people just like you damnit and we deserve to be treated equally. You are uncomfortable on the plane, huh? Did you ever think of how the American culture constantly promoting skinny bastards makes me feel insecure about myself and drives me to eat even more. You people are as much the problem as we are.

      If anything big bodied people have less money than skinny people. In some cultures corpulence may be a sign of wealth and power, but it is not the case for us big-boned Americans. We spend all of our money buying food to satiate our voracious appetites and then pay for the newest diet fads so that we can try to lose the weight gained by binging. It is a never ending cycle that continously syphons our income down the drain.

      I’ll see you in the third circle of hell!!!

    • Don Lando 6:37 pm on April 22, 2008 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I think fryertuck makes a good point, fat people apparently want to be treated equally. However, I suspect you’ll find yourself hard-pressed to convince physics that different masses should take the same amount of energy to move. Nature, you see, doesn’t espouse bleeding-heart socialism in its principles.

      But fair enough, equality you shall have. You know, of course, this means equal food portions, equal space available for your bulk… if the “big-boned” can abide by this standard of equality then they can enjoy it.

      Otherwise, the second your rolls cross into my seat you are violating my rights to civil equality. Still, I am not unreasonable. I will offer to sell you the space you’re already stealing from me. Pay up.

      see how making choices works?

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