Small Things on a July 4th Weekend


Finally got news that my suitcase that did not arrive with me in New York from Dubai has been found sitting in the Oman Airways section of the Dubai Airport.
I just have to comment that Emirates is a fantastic airline, and their staff went way out of the way to help me when the chain of investigation should have started with American Airlines. On the other hand, I had few worse experiences flying that with American Airlines — just trying to get from New York to DC and to have them help me in a lost bag search. AA was unbelievably brittle and rude at every stage of my trying to locate my luggage through them. Anyway, enough bitching. I needed that bag — and its on its way.
But on the better front, I HIGHLY recommend that folks living in or near Washington, D.C., or visiting in the near future, go see the just re-opened National Portrait Gallery. It was a great place before renovations began two years ago — and it’s three times as good now. I think it just became my new favorite spot to take visiting TWN readers and family.
While there checking out the serious portraits, be sure to see the new Smithsonian American Art Center, housed in the same place. There is a great William Wegman exhibit featuring a lot of Oakley the Amazing Weimaraner‘s cousins.
I will get to more somber and serious matters later. Happy 4th in advance.
— Steve Clemons


10 comments on “Small Things on a July 4th Weekend

  1. wow power leveling says:

    you’re going to dish dirt on me you’ll need to be original. I have already written a book about my felonious past. I outed myself, so to speak so there is nothing revelatory about these so-called factoids. The book is called News Junkie. It was published last week.


  2. Mark Markovic says:

    July 4th is a great weekend and it is very enjoying and watching the fireworks


  3. Sally says:

    Speaking of airlines, a few days ago a relative spent over one entire day traveling from Pensacola to San Antonio. Delta is the airline she learned to hate after this misadventure. Small wonder the airlines are in trouble but typical of much that passes for “service” these days.


  4. JoeGarcia says:

    Independence Day Epistle of an Ex-politco
    I hope as Democratic members of congress were attending July 4th events they were contemplating some of the following thoughts. A halfway measure, that how the allegedly progressive Democratic Party operates: Propose half-measures that avail us nothing.
    I was a Democratic political consultant for twenty-five years and served as a member of Senator Kerry’s and Vice President Gore’s platform committees at the DNC. Here too, have measures availed us nothing.
    Why is it that the United States is fast becoming “The Vicarious States of America”? Because, we are desparately trying to overcome a sense of apathy and toil, by diverting ourselves with the accumulation of things to fill the void existing in us. Yet once we acquire ownership of these things the void returns ad infinitum. Our lives are empty.
    We need to remove the gauze and confront this false reality. We need a civil public square and private space where we can foster our potentiality as human beings.
    Why did I leave politics? I began to feel hackyned repeating the same messages: A first class education for our first class kids, a solvent social security system, heath care decisions made by doctors and patients instead of HMO bean-counters, sprinkled with gun control, and now national security. But for the lattter, real solutions to the former should have been achieved years ago.
    Instead, we allow the Republicans to control the debate and more importantly our nation’s public policy agenda. The flag, gay marriage and the abortion debates are perfect examples. Democrats come running akin to characters from “Blazing Saddlers,” complete with the Guggi loafers, careening into the ring-wing feigned issue de jour, trying to inoculate themselves from what they perceive to be political Ebola. If the right-wing announced they have “sound science” proving fluoridated water was unhealthy and should be removed from the nation’s water supply. Democrats would counter with a proposal to remove fifty-percent.
    In 2006, our political debate should be about employee ownership of corporations based on the Avis-model, employee membership on corporate boards. Determine just and fair policies to close the income gap. Is it fair and just that 2 percent of the American people control most of its wealth?
    We are now being told Democrats must be pragmatic. Where would America be if Franklin Roosevelt was pragmatic, or John Kennedy, or Lyndon Johnson? These Americans presidents fostered a Second American Revolution raising tens of millions of Americans to the middle class. They slammed the door on de jure racial discrimination and opened the door of opportunity, although some de facto discrimination still remains.
    Now, Democrats, by allowing Bush’s backdoor budget cuts and deficit spending, are closing the door to future discretionary spending. They are telling the young people of today and tomorrow to get to the back of the line there’s no opportunity here for you.
    I love America. I love an America not held captive by religious fundamentalists who preach hate in the name of Christ. I love an America where public corruption is not the norm and the public good is the exception. I love an America that “look(s) at things the way they are, and ask why… I dream of things that never were, and ask why not?”
    Unlike most of my contemporaries my idealism still burns bright. Seeing our flag wave gave me goose bumps and filled me with pride, honor and gratitude. But today when I compare our promise with our reality I am overcome with despair. Some of this despair is the result of Washington insiders who believe the light of idealism needs to be snuffed out by the politics of cynicism and pragmatism intensifying my hopelessness.


  5. KathyF says:

    Every time I’ve flown to the States on AA they’ve lost my luggage. Be sure to get authorization in advance to replace whatever you need to; otherwise they won’t reimburse you. And to speak to a person on their lost luggage number you say a word–I think it’s “agent”–when they ask for information.
    The NYT has a good article yesterday on long haul flights including Emirates.


  6. sona says:

    I second SC re AA and rude responses when questioned on their inefficiecy and f***ups – I prefer not to fly them if at all possible because crap service providers like that should not get any business.


  7. tucker's bow tie says:

    William Wegman, Video Works..
    Two Dogs and Ball (1972), Used Car Salesman, Dog Biscuit in Glass Jar


  8. tucker's bow tie says:

    Oh boy, do I *dig* Wegman — Big Time.
    I hope they are showing his videos from the 70s..? They just kill me..


  9. EasyE says:

    Off Subject:
    How’s that to top off the July 4th Weekend!!!!


  10. profmarcus says:

    settling into my seat in buenos aires on american airlines, getting ready to fly back to the u.s., the purser announced that the entertainment system was on the fritz, so no movies or audio… on the take-off roll, four overhead bins popped open and a heavy piece of luggage fell out of one into the aisle, fortunately missing any passengers… when we hit cruising altitude, i made my way to the lavatory to find that half the plastic wall panel inside had come loose and was flapping back and forth… when i returned to my seat to do some reading, i found that the reading light didn’t work… these are not unusual items, unfortunately… u.s. airlines are dreadful on domestic runs but, foolishly, i expect better on international flights… u.s. carriers can’t hold a candle to the major foreign carriers… even lan chile is a big improvement over american or united… (i used to work for united until my 9/11 layoff… they were shit then and they’re shit now…)


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