The Not-So-Friendly Skies
What a beautiful Memorial Day weekend we've had. School's out. A nice time for our daughter to go visit the grandparents. Apparently Southwest Airlines doesn't think so.
The nice lady at the ticket counter informed me with a smile that the airline now charges an extra $50 round-trip for unaccompanied minors, even though our tickets were purchased well in advance (before the policy was in place).
I feel that this policy is unjust and unjustifiable.
It is unjust because no other class of person, as far as I know, is charged extra for flying on an airplane. After all, our children are citizens also deserving equal rights to fairness and dignity.
It is unjustifiable because although the nice lady at the ticket counter has to type a little more information into the computer, it could not have taken her more than an extra 15 seconds. That's a lot of money to charge for 15 seconds of work.
It's true that unaccompanied minors board the airplane first, along with disabled persons or any other person who may require assistance, such as the elderly. Those other passengers, I'll wager, are not charged extra.
I suppose Southwest Airlines is trying to recoup lost revenue due to the ailing economy, but specifically targeting working families who are hit hardest seems an ill-advised way to go about it. This one was probably thought up by some guy in a suit who doesn't have kids and has no idea how expensive it is to raise them or makes so much money that $50 seems like chump change.
Just Because Liberals Think It’s Wrong Doesn’t Mean It’s Not Wrong
Mr. Jim Ludwig makes a good point [Letters, “Hello, Perspective?” May 27-June 2] in that, all too often, liberals take a knee-jerk response to any law attempting to stem the tide of illegal immigrants—that response being that any immigration law (in this case, Arizona’s) is inherently racist. It is not.
Nonetheless, the new Arizona law strikes me as poorly conceived and clumsily written. This will make enforcement all the more difficult.
Yes, Marisa Demarco’s article [Feature, ”Climate Check: Arizona,” May 20-26] does, indeed, have a slant that is clearly critical of the new law (“a liberal view,” if you will). Yet, she makes a valid point: Arizona is shooting itself in the foot. Business owners, natural constituents of Republicans and conservatives, could be hurt for the lack of labor they are accustomed to having. This will have an adverse effect on Arizona’s economy. Also, tourism will more than likely decrease, dragging down the economy even more.
Even if no outsiders (i.e., Californians) boycott Arizona, even if the ACLU does not bring a lawsuit and even if no one pays any attention to all the howling liberals across the country, Arizona will still be hurting. It will have only itself to blame.
By the way, it is not just liberals who oppose Arizona’s new law. Mark Rubio, the Republican’s Tea Party candidate for the Florida Senate race, has come out against Arizona’s immigrant law. I am not absolutely certain of his reasoning, but I highly suspect it is in line with mine: Arizona’s law is poor policy. The intent may be right—to stem illegals; but Arizona is going about it in all the the wrong ways.
Last point: Just because liberals overreact to Arizona’s law by calling it racist doesn’t mean it’s a good law.
[Letters, “Sunshine for Health—Wait, No Booze?!” June 3-9] I read the same tired dribble that Don always spews. I can't figure out why the Alibi prints his ramblings. He hasn't had anything new to say for years—many years. I guess the Alibi is only interested in the tired, repetitious and familiar. By the way, where did Don get the books he recommends? I don't suppose it was a public library. You know, those places that taxes pay for that he doesn't contribute.
[Blog, “Fun With Oil Spills,” June 3] This map would actually be a better area to place the blob than in the gulf. Our state could actually be cleaned efficiently from the hard surfaces of the ground here. Within the salt tidal marshes where most life in the gulf is borne from, or rely on, it is impossible to clean, and the earthen structure of the marsh will simply slip into the gulf, with the oil as a lube and the deforestation of the plants from toxic death will accelerate the process. There will never be life there again. "There" means the coasts of thousands of barrier islands and mainland coasts most humans never see. This is the dire warnings of scientists, BTW, not the monkey on the keyboard. If you liked shrimp before, you had better eat up.
If the oil hit only beaches, we would all celebrate! There is very little ecological activity on an open sandy beach with constant human visitors (screw them—they don't belong there anyway because sea turtles do). And if the government wanted to continue to print money and distribute it, we (meaning the unemployed or underemployed) would take the jobs and collect tar balls for the rest of our lives, happily. Yes, happily, because we would have government jobs and long-term positions, certainly. With the trillion$ this administration has spent (trillion = 1,000 billion$) on stuff that we can't even see, throw us some beach jobs.
But there's not a happy ending. Life in the gulf is going to fail one species at a time, either direction, up the food chain ladder or down.
Love for Miss Diagnosis
[Re: Opinion, “Seduction of a Nurse,” June 3-9] Yet another great one, Nurse Doyle! It is tricky to balance healthy skepticism and the merits of pharmaceutical companies. But I would agree that there is definitely a serious conflict of interest between academia and big pharma. However, I think America prefers to stay in its happy drug-addicted world of Prozac, Ritalin for those hyperactive kids, and the wonderful effects of Ambien for that perfect night's sleep. It takes the nation to wake up and desire to change the pill-popping culture. Perhaps though, it is too late ...
Love for Our Bike-Friendly City
[Re: Opinion, “Trail-a-Week: North Diversion Channel,” May 27-June 2] Rode the North Diversion the other day and found lots of commuters riding home from work or school. I was just out exploring, then turned around at Indian School and rode home on Edith. Love our bike-friendly city and look forward to reading more of your adventures on the trail. Ride safe.
[Re: Chowtown, Fu Yuang] Word to the wise—bring cash. New signs alert patrons to a cash only policy effective May 1, 2010. Although this sign was in full view upon entering, the dining room manager (the owner, I assumed) overheard me tell my friend we needed to go to the ATM and assured me he would accept a card. Luckily, I had enough cash anyway. I can understand how credit card merchant fees can take a chunk of revenue from small family-owned establishments.
From the Korean side of the menu, I ordered the sweet potato vermicelli with vegetables and brown rice. Although a seemingly simple stir fry on the surface, the complexities of the subtle sauce shone through as the noodles and veggies cooled, and the delicate flavors married. Pungent and flavorful house made kimchi and chili-spiked sweet pickled cucumbers were a refreshing and delicious accompaniment (the owner informed me these were only brought with a meal upon request). My dining partner ordered from the Chinese side of the menu and settled on kung pao chicken. Unlike most chain or "Americanized" Chinese fare with a sweet, gloppy gloss, this kung pao was scarlet red with a near-brothy umami flavor. The spiciness did not overpower the dish and provided overall pleasant heat; and, the scattering of peanuts were crisp with roasted goodness—not soggy or slimy. It was all obviously fresh and well-executed. I can't wait to go back for dinner!
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