The Cranky Ol' Bat

Life is a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death! - RuPaul


They Say Three's a Charm....

So, I've started to wonder what tax will be imposed next on air travelers, especially ones in Europe.

If you have decided to travel to France, be prepared to pay anywhere from $5 to $50 for a special levy designed to wipe out poverty and all its ills, such as the lack of vaccines for malaria and treatments for tuberculosis. France has started to impose this tax on 1 July. The rate charged depends on factors like distance travelled and what class ticket you have purchased.

Brazil, Britain, Chile, Congo, Cyprus, France, Ivory Coast, Jordan, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Mauritius, Nicaragua, and Norway have all stated that they will begin to raise revenue for this program shortly. Twenty-five other countries are looking into joining them.

The program will be administered, apparently, by the United Nations.

I guess they have some people looking for work after "Oil for Kickbacks Food" was shut down.

Then came word that the European Parliament has approved a tax to pay for the environmental impact of aviation within its borders (for now....look for it to expand to all flights within a few years if they get their way). This one is substantially higher.....a passenger could face a tax of nearly $73 per round-trip ticket at current exchange rates. This would virtually wipe out any savings that the traveling public would have by patronizing discount carriers like RyanAir or EasyJet.

How severe a problem are the emissions?

In 2003, international aviation accounted for approximately 5% of CO2 emissions. Domestic aviation in Britain accounted for 0.5% of CO2 emissions.

Apparently this will encourage Europeans to take their nice train systems instead, which are powered by electricity that somehow is generated with no emissions at all through some super science we are too lazy to adopt here in the States. Either that, or they will drive their nice, emission-free cars all over the place.

(I am a liberal arts graduate, so excuse me if my lack of detailed scientific knowledge makes me a mite skeptical that this would be an improvement for the environment.)

They are also looking into a way to tax for contrails. Yep, those wispy bits of water condensation in the wake of an airliner. Supposedly their presence adds to global warming. However, a study completed in the wake of 11 Sep 2001 in the United States showed that the three days after the tragedy (when there were no contrails except for those coming from military aircraft) experienced an increase in temperature of 1 degree Celsius.


Now, I'm left to wonder what other tax travelers will be facing before the year is out. A flush tax for using the onboard loo? (After all....those blue chunks can be scary!) A legroom tax? (Those bastards who are six and a half feet tall should pay more for making me feel intimidated at five foot eight, dammit!) Maybe a tax to compensate for all the tiny little bits of rubberized material that flake off when a plane lands, or for the birds who get sucked into the engines?

I'll keep you posted, but in the meantime....what do you think is the next goofy idear they're going to feature in "Pin the Tax on the Tourist"??


Found the Best Place for the Fourth of July

It's right in my backyard, too!

Go to the Banana River in Brevard County (part of the Intercoastal Waterway), just off of Indialantic in a little boat. You'll get to see the displays put on by the cities of Melbourne, Palm Bay.....and the unofficial ones put on by the homeowners who shoot all kinds of fireworks off of their docks. Surprisingly none of them caught fire, though one dork was aiming the pyrotechnics right at his own dock.

The breeze was constant and cool. It was a night made for being lazy and sippin' the beverage of your choice.

Happy 230th, America!