Carry-on Baggage Fees and the Space Program

Okay, so the only connection between these two disparate topics is that Dr. Althouse commented on them both in recent days/hours, and she and I are essentially on the same page, especially about carry-on’s:


If I’m getting on a plane with a bag and I could either check my bag or not, why should the cheaper option be the one that slows down other passengers in 3 separate places (the security line, getting on the plane, and getting off the plane)? Right now, the checked baggage fee has cost-conscious travelers dragging more bags on board. 

I’ve been saying this ever since the airlines started imposing checked-bag fees, and apparently they just figured out that they’re costing themselves money and customers in the long run, not just by charging the fees, but because they’re committing unforced errors in the form of delays and overhead space-shortage.

Secondly, the space community is taking President Obama to task over his dismantling of the U.S. Space Program. Buzz Aldrin made some indirect references to this on Dancing with the Stars, but others are being a bit more overt in their criticism. The point I share with Althouse is simply that I’m unsure how much return on investment we’ve received from the program in the last 50 years, HOWEVER, I’m also reluctant to NOT be the leader in the “space race.” I’m not sure why, it just seems like a bad idea.

Of course, as some of my farm friends like Carroll County’s John Davis have pointed out, perhaps that’s because NASA spent millions annually on educating public school students about the value of the space program. Perhaps they’ve been (unintentionally/intentionally?) indoctrinating us to an extent, so that we’d feel this same sort of unnameable dread about the President’s “War on Space.” Davis’ point in our previous conversations is simply that USDA should have taken a page out of the NASA playbook decades ago and gotten in the “Ag in the Classroom” business to make sure every kid in America learned the value of farmers in feeding our needs.

Food for thought on a few disparate subjects to start your week, I suppose.