Tuesday, June 25, 2013
Delta and United: A Modern Tale of Service
Allegheny Aloha American Brainiff Continental Delta Eastern Hawaiin National Northwest North Central Ozark Pan Am Piedmont PSA TWA United Western Every major legacy airline company at the time of deregulation has gone out of business, merged, or entered bankruptcy. The airline industry has lost more money over its existence than it earned. Too many airlines were serving too many cities with too many empty seats. Alaska and Southwest were small carriers at the time of deregulation 9/11 was devastating to the industry, the collapse of the economy six years ago, and the sharp rise in jet fuel has wrecked havoc on the carriers this century. Almost every entrant into the industry since deregulation has failed. Today’s survivors though have learnt how to survive. Consolidation has resulted in reduced competition, reduced capacity, rising fares, reduced in-flight services, and al a carte pricing as the airlines try to keep the base fares low. Service deteriorated. Meals, and in some airlines, even the peanuts, were eliminated. Charges were imposed for checked luggage. Cancellation and rebooking fees rose sharply. Overall service became pathetic on some airlines. United Airlines, once known for “Flying the Friendly Skies of United” has gone through a decade of deteriorating service as labor management relations entered a black hole. Pilots started flying “by the book,” causing flight delays and increased fuel costs. Even United frequent flyers started defecting to other airlines. The recent merger with Continental was supposed to change United’s performance. Continental’s management, which had rebuilt Continental’s image, took over management of the surviving carrier. Alas, the computer system crashed after the merger. United is trying to come back. Its on-time performance is improving. Passenger complaint rates are improving. Yet consumers ranked it the worse airline in April. United Flight 931 on June 16 from San Francisco to London reached a new low; even Spirit Airlines hasn’t gone that far. The 11 hour flight quickly ran out of toilet paper. The airline was so obsessed with on-time performance that it would not spend a few extra minutes at the gate restocking toilet paper. The flight attendants finally improvised by providing napkins reading “Fly by the tips of your fingers Make the United app your on-the-go travel center.” The United app doesn’t help when you have to go on the go. On the other hand we have Delta, which has become my preferred airline for the past five years, replacing an unreliable United. Jessie Frank had a rough day on June 13. She was catching an early Delta flight from D.C. to Atlanta to pick up her daughter from a Georgia summer camp for diabetics. Weather delays, cancelled flights, and equipment failures meant she spent the day at the airport. We all know how it happens. Finally, she was number 8 on the standby list for a late flight. Only 7 seats were open. Then, right before takeoff a gentleman gave up his seat and help her load her carryon. The gentleman who exhibited the Spirit of Delta was Richard Anderson, Delta’s CEO. He was still able to fly on the plane, but in the jumpseat in the pilot’s cabin. Jessie posted a thank you letter to him. He won’t comment because he was simply doing his job. He sets the tone for Delta. If you read the comments posted around the world on various posts you will find a sense of pride in the Delta employees, but one of “That’s United” by United employees.
Posted by binder'sblog at 10:23 PM No comments:
Monday, June 24, 2013
Run, Snowden, Run: You're a Disgrace
Edward Snowden is on the run. Go for it Ed. Rack up those frequent flyer miles. Enjoy the borscht in Moscow and Cuban cigars at Havana Airport. Maybe you can go around the world in 80 days, a man without a country, or at least a passport. You’ve done it Snowden; you’ve unified Washington on a non-partisan basis in a common cause – your return to the United States to face trial. Senator Dianne Feinstein says the “The chase is on.” The Secretary of State is fulminating. White House press spokesman Jay Carney said Hong Kong’s act does great harm to U.S. – China relations. To paraphrase President Reagan, “You can run, but not hide” from the NSA. On second thought, maybe you can. The NSA with all its data mining could not find the Brothers Tsarnaev, the Underwear Bomber, the Times Square Bomber, or Major Hasan. Washington needs you on the run and not in custody. Your absence, coupled with the news cycles, means you are the issue before the public, not the questionable seizure of the phone records of American citizens. The program has been disclosed to the House and Senate Intelligence Committees. The Administration claims its acts are legal, authorized by Congress, and constitutional pursuant to analogous cases. Even if they are, they are wrong. It’s possible that President Obama does not want you back. He’s assigned the case to the Justice Department. Eric Holder, the Attorney General of the United States, has already failed to get Hong Kong to extradite Snowden even after personal requests. Perhaps the Attorney general has no recollection of that. The Justice Department had not asked Interpol to issue a “red order,” an international arrest warrant. The State Department did not revoke Snowden’s passport until Saturday. Once again we see an Administration that doesn’t know what it’s doing. To me you’re not a whistle-blower, but a troubled naïve kid who has done great damage to America. No justification exists for turning our national security secrets over to the Chinese government. You have affirmed to China the extent to which we have hacked into their computer systems. You’re a nobody, exploiting his 15 minutes of fame. The second tragedy of your acts, the flight, is that you, a high school dropout, have shown to the world that the United States is neither feared nor respected by the world. You have publicly unveiled the ineffectual public policy and impotence of the Obama Administration. The talk is tough coming out of Washington, but neither China nor Russia, not to mention the Banana Republic of Ecuador, is worried about sticking it in America’s face. We are witnessing the opposite of the Theodore Roosevelt approach to foreign policy: “Speak softly, but carry a big stick.” Snowden, Stop running; come home so that we can debate the real issues.
Posted by binder'sblog at 10:10 PM No comments:
Monday, June 17, 2013
Whither Turkey? Turkey is at a crossroads. The Republic of Turkey was born in 1923 out of the collapse of the Ottoman Empire. The “Sick Man of Europe” had lingered on life support for 200 years until World War I terminated the Ottoman Empire with extreme prejudice. The winning allies were in the process of dividing up the Turkish lands with Greece as a major beneficiary. General Mustafa Kemal rallied the Turkish forces in the heartland of Anatolia. Ataturk won the Turkish War of Independence. The Turks had they country. Ataturk knew the past could not be the future. The Ottomans were exiled; their properties seized. Turkey’s population was overwhelmingly Muslim, but the country would be secular. He adopted western dress. The civil law replaced Sharia. How much of the country is devoutly Muslim is difficult to determine, just as how much of France is devoutly Catholic is an enigma. Istanbul boomed, but Anatolia lingered. The secularists ruled for 80 years until 2002 when Istanbul Mayor Recep Tayyip Erdogan assembled a coalition of conservatives and the alienated Muslims of eastern Turkey to win election as Turkey’s Prime Minister with 34% of the vote. He was devoutly Muslim, but subordinated religion to economic growth. Turkey boomed. He won reelection in 2011 with a 49.66% plurality. Turkey has been on a pro-growth, pro development model under PM Erdogan. He thinks big. His current projects and proposals include construction of a third bridge over the Bosporus, a third airport for Istanbul, a rail tunnel under the Bosporus, and a canal about 15-20 miles west of and parallel to the Bosporus to connect the Black Sea with the Sea of Marmara. The heavy ship traffic would go through the new canal and the Bosporus will be limited to recreation and pleasure craft, and ferries. He also proposed building a new mosque, 15,000 meters square, high on Camlica Hill on the Asian side, visible to almost all parts of the City. It would tower over the Blue Mosque, the Hagia Sophia, and the Sultan Suleymaniye Mosque. This was America’s agenda, with the exception of the mosque, until 1970 with the advent of America’s Environmental Age. Robert Moses would have been proud of PM Erdogan. The catalyst was the proposed razing of Gezi Park, the only green area in that part of crowded Istanbul. The razing was part of a lesser plan to build a replica of an Ottoman Barracks, with a shopping mall inside, and a mosque on the site with a new traffic tunnel underneath. The deeper issue is the cultural divide between the open, educated middle class, secular populations, usually in the cities, and the conservative, Muslim Turkey. He sought to impose restrictions on abortions, and recommended Turkish women bear at least three children each. His Parliament recently imposed substantial restrictions on the sale and marketing of alcoholic beverages. He abhors smoking although Ataturk was a smoker and drinker. The Prime Minister believes he has 50% of the population behind him. He received a mandate in the 2011 election. He is also intolerant of opposition. He has muzzled much of the press and replaced the top leadership of the military with loyalists. Turkey is a democracy, but power is concentrated in the Prime Minister’s office. The country does not have the forms of citizen involvement available in the United States. A couple of hundred peaceful demonstrators occupied Gezi Park 18 days ago in opposition to the loss of the trees. We have certainly witnessed tree huggers, tree climbers, and tree houses in this country in fights to save the trees. Someone gave the order to the riot police to break up the demonstration. Force, heavy force, was used. The lid blew off the pressure cooker. The social issues, the secularists, the opposition to specific programs sat off national protests and demonstrations. The Prime Minister does not back down easily, but he reached an agreement Thursday night. The government would hold off any further work in Gezi pending the outcome of a judicial case, which has resulted in the issuance of an injunction against the project. If the injunction is upheld, then the project will end. If the courts uphold the government’s position, then the Prime Minister will put the proposal up to a city wide referendum binding on the government. The demonstrators in exchange would have to vacate the park. The sanitary conditions of the park had obviously deteriorated, as they had with Zuccotti Park in New York’s Occupy Wall Street. The protestors didn’t, were forcibly evicted, and riots spread throughout the city and nation. The authorities cut off subway, light rail, bus and ferry service to the area yesterday, but did use the busses and ferries to bring thousands of Erdogan’s supporters to a seaside rally in the suburb of Kazlicesmr. Somewhere between an estimated 200,000 to a million showed up at the Prime Minister’s rally. The protestors Sunday spread out of Gezi Park, and Taksim Square. The police used water cannons, tear gas, and perhaps rubber bullets. Protestors seeking refuge in luxury hotels were tear gassed. The major shopping street of Istiklal is bare of shoppers. The Turkish economy will suffer a major blow, the promising peace talks with the Kurds may fail, and Istanbul may lose the 2,000 Olympics. The people of Turkey will in the end decide the outcome. The balance between secular and sectarian should be decided at the ballot box. Prime Minister Erdogan has the will to outlast the demonstrators, but to do so he has to maintain the support of the police and the military. If the protestors can drag out the demonstrations, then the Prime Minister will progressively lose popular support. The Prime Minister, having gained control of the riots, could offer an olive branch of peace. He did so last Thursday, which had to be very difficult for him to do. And if he does, will the majority of protestors accept it? If he is gracious, and they reject the olive branch, then they will self-marginize themselves. If events quiet down until the next election, then the people will decide whether or not to elect the Prime Minister to the Presidency of Turkey or approve his amended constitution. The secular Turkey wants individual freedom and economic prosperity. The question is if the Prime Minister’s religious supporters also want economic prosperity. If they don’t, then Turkey may be headed the way of Egypt, and the shining beacon of an enlightened Islamic democracy in the Mid East darkened. Turkey has not yet crossed the line into darkness. Two possibilities could trigger radical changes. The first is if the protestors, probably a small faction, resort to extreme violence, such as shooting police officers or setting off IED's or car bombs with extreme loss of life, especially with substantial police casualties. The police response could turn very ugly. The second is that the government starts rounding up opposition and protest leaders, whether actual or suspected, tossing them in jail, and then "throwing the keys away." That will mark the end of Turkey's democracy. Prime Minister Erdogan wants a stable Turkey. He can still do it.
Posted by binder'sblog at 10:38 PM No comments:
Sunday, June 16, 2013
Happy Father's Day to Single Moms
We cheerfully celebrate Father’s Day today to the delight of card companies, confectioners, shirt and tie manufacturers, and restaurants. Happy Father's Day to all the great fathers in the world. We are honoring fathers and fatherhood, perhaps in the image of the traditional nuclear family made famous by the 1950’s and 1960’s TV shows, such as Ozzie & Harriet Nelson, Leave it to Beaver, or perhaps even I Love Lucy. The father was the breadwinner and stalwart supporter while the stay at home mother performed her domestic duties. He was the strong partner and she the nurturer, although she was often the stabilizing power in the house. “Mr. Mom” did not exist in these glamorized television families The traditional family unit was a fiction then, and even more so today with two-income parents as the norm. The wife is often earning more than the husband today. The Hollywood picture is also unrealistic with the large number of single parent families today, 72.6% of which are headed by the single mom. Single mothers also existed in the 1950’s, but were ignored by Hollywood and sociologists. The 1960 Census showed 9% of all children were dependent on a single parent. That figure was up to 28% in the 2000 Census, and now exceeds 1/3 of all American families. I have no idea how many of my classmates in elementary school, junior high, or high school were the children of single parent families. That was a taboo, which was not talked about 5-6 decades ago. Obviously many were in hindsight. Many of the single mothers were young widows, especially war widows created by World War II and the Korean War. A second group, then and now, were unwed mothers. Many women today decide to bear children outside traditional marriage. Think of Murphy Brown. Many unwed mothers though continue to be teenagers, who with flaming hormones do not practice contraception, nor resort to an abortion after becoming pregnant. A third class is the divorcee, which is more common today than five decades ago. My mom was a divorcee. The problem for all continues to be economic, especially when the father, for whatever reason, does not contribute to the support of the child. The single mom has to bear the nurturing, child rearing, and breadwinning of both spouses in a 24 hour day, with her often in a low paying job. To this day I do not know how my mom managed to do it, but she did, just as millions of single mothers succeed today. I recognize from the perspective of the child of a single mother just how difficult it was. My biological father contributed nothing to my support. I hope he was more generous with the two children of his first marriage. 27% of the single parent families today exist below the poverty level. 80% of the single moms in American are employed, with 50% full time and 30% part time. Here’s my belated Father’s Day letter to my dad: “Dear Dad, Thanks for biologically begetting me. At least you had the brains to impregnate my magnificent mother. I learned from you. I vowed to be the father to my children, the father I never had.” I salute today’s fathers, but I also admire the single mothers who are succeeding in raising today’s child. May they be as successful as my mom!
Posted by binder'sblog at 10:14 AM No comments:
Tuesday, June 11, 2013
The 2013 Centennial of the Internal Revenue Code
Let’s celebrate: The Internal Revenue Code is 100 years old. Others have celebrated their 100th this year: Glacier Park, Grand Canyon, Washington State Parks, the Armory School, Winston-Salem, the US Soccer Federation, and the Tour de France. A few scandals was not going to stop the Tour; why should the IRS which enforces the Internal Revenue Code? The 16th Amendment is one of the most critical documents, right up there with the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, the 14th Amendment, and the Nineteenth Amendment, in setting the course of the United States. The 16th Amendment, providing for the income tax, was ratified on February 13, 1913, a date which should live in infamy. The IRS has much to celebrate: 1) The squeezing of more money out of working Americans than any other agency; 2) Continued success in feeding the federal government’s unquenchable hunger for money; 3) Being anointed the primary enforcer of Obamacare. The IRS’ future is bright. Let's celebrate: a party perhaps,cake, candles and ice cream. How about a donkey ride? The National Archives could have sponsored a major exhibition, celebrating one of the few long-term success stories of the American bureaucracy. No one would attend, unless the unionized workers get a paid day off. The impoverished post office could have issued a commemorative stamp, but who would buy it? The United States Mint issued a commemorative silver coin for the Girl Scout Centennial this year, but no stamps or coins for the IRS. The IRS could have thrown an extravaganza, but why commemorate their purpose when they could engage in self-indulgence and celebrate in $3,200/night suites next to Mickey Mouse and Disney Land. Fireworks would be nice, but no chance of that. Congress has no difficulty in approving letters of recognition on he anniversary of organizations. Not even members of Congress wish to commit the IRS for a “job well done.” Perhaps the IRS couldn’t find it in the impenetrable maze of the Internal Revenue Code and IRS revenues. CCH (Commerce Clearing House) has gotten rich by annually publishing a guide to the Internal Revenue Code and regulations. The 1913 version was 400 pages compared to 73,608 pages in the 2012 version. That’s before all the ObamaCare rules and regulations are formulated by the IRS. The 1913 marginal tax rate peaked at 7% for revenues over $600,000. We’re not totally sure of the real marginal rates in 2013 because of the taxes and elimination and caps on deductions in ObamaCare and this year’s Budget Bill. Doug Schulman, the recently retired Commissioner of the IRS, couldn’t figure out the Code. He has outside preparers prepare his taxes. Of course, Timothy Geithner, the outgoing Treasury Secretary blamed his tax problems on TurboTax. Tax experts have been unable to repeat the Geithner Turbo missteps. Phone calls with the same question on separate IRS help lines or on the same line but at different times to the same office will receive conflicting answers. Perhaps Commissioner was either ignorant of the February 13 date. He had no idea that “two rogue agents” in the Cincinnati office had singled out conservative political organizations for special attention. He couldn’t remember anything else. His five years as Commissioner were as a cyber. Commissioner Schulman also could not explain how he had many to visit the Obama White House 157 times compared to only once for his predecessor. He thought one time it was to bring his children to the annual White House Easter Egg Hunt. If the IRS Commissioner mistakes the IRS for the Easter Bunny, then how he possibly celebrate the centennial of the Internal Revenue Code? I don’t believe in book burnings, but why not a national, symbolic book burning of the Internal revenue Code?
Posted by binder'sblog at 9:51 PM No comments:
Monday, June 10, 2013
Great Political Leaders of the 20th Century
Here is my personal, purely objective, assessment of political leaders during the 20th Century. Those who saved or improved their country and the world Winston Churchill Charles De Gaulle Franklin Delano Roosevelt Those who worsened their country and the world Ayatollah Khomeini Chairman Mao Hitler Lenin Stalin Those who changed their country for the better Ataturk David Ben Gurion Boris Yeltsin F. W. DeKlerk and Nelson Mandela Margaret Thatcher Tito Vice Chairman Deng Xiaoping Those who changed their country for the worse Fidel Castro Nicolae Ceausecue Enver Hoxha Saddam Hussein Kim Jong’s Robert Mugabe Juan & Eva Peron Pol Pot Idi Amin A large number of petty dictators A large number of military dictators
Posted by binder'sblog at 3:36 PM No comments:
Wednesday, June 5, 2013
Turkey's Lady in Red: The Symbol of the Protest Movement
Movements need symbols. The Lady in Red has gone viral through social media and the internet. She is the symbol for those opposed to Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. A photo sequence shows a line of riot police advancing on the protestors in Taksim Square on May 28. A woman in a bright red cotton summer dress stands in front of the protestors, close to the police line. One assumes she is a protestor. An officer in front of the police line is directing tear gas at her. He advances to her, getting up close and personal while continuing to spray her in the face as she turns away and tries to escape the spray. Turkey is a divided country, split between the urban secularists and rising middle class, and the religious conservatives in Anatolia, the heartland of Turkey. Istanbul may have 20% of the nation’s population and account for 40% of the country’s economy, but the majority of the people live outside the metropolis. Mustafa Kemal, Ataturk, the founder of modern Turkey, had a vision for the country. The old Turkey was destroyed by World War I, and the Ottomans, the House of Osman, was a spent force. They were allowed to leave the country if they signed over all their properties to the state. The new Turkey had to modernize, to become Euro-centric even if most of the country was in Asia. Ataturk thought the Ottomans had become soft by moving the capital to Constantinople. Thus the new capital would be Ankara in Anatolia. The governance though would be secular. Civil law would replace Sharia. The overwhelming majority of the Turkish population is Muslim, but the Republic of Turkey is secular. Women were given the vote, before some European countries, and encouraged to become educated. A new secular elite and middle class arose, centered on Istanbul. The Turkish military guaranteed, through coups if necessary, the secular nation. An opposition party arose, the Islamic centered Justice and Development Party (A.K.P.) It won the national elections ten years ago. Mayor Erdogan of Istanbul became prime minister. While Islamic centered, he promised to respect those of other views. Prime Minister Erdogan achieved several successes for the country. He curbed inflation and corruption and set off an economic boom, which insulated Turkey from the economic turmoil of the past five years. He is close to settling the civil war with the Kurds. It looked like Turkey was finally going to gain membership in the European Union, a goal since 1987. Istanbul is one of three finalists for the 2020 Olympics. He won reelection in 2011 with 49.95% of the vote against a disorganized opposition. He won “fairly and squarely” in democratic elections with a coalition of conservatives, the religious, and the capitalists who have succeeded in the past decade. He feels vindicated in his policies. And yet, electoral success can lead to hubris. As President Obama has said “I won.” The secular elite and middle class are alienated. The construction boom in Istanbul has resulted in the loss of open space, the destruction of “communities” and the forced displacement of populations. The plans often proceed without meaningful community involvement, much as they did in America prior to 1970. He is less than tolerant of opposition, and clearly has not heard of our First Amendment. More journalists have been imprisoned in Turkey during his decade in office than elsewhere in the world, giving rise to the sobriquet “The world’s biggest prison for journalists.” He also curbed the military by cashiering its leaders, creating a military which now defers to civilian control, as in the United States. Several “brass” were imprisoned. The 2011 election victory unleashed his desire to transform Turkey into a more Islamic country. He was oblivious or unconcerned by the simmering discontent. Some of the recent developments and statements are illustrative. He is trying to restrict abortions while stating Turkish women should bear at least three children each. Turkish Airlines, 49% owned by the government, banned a short time ago certain shades of lipstick and nail polish by its flight attendants. It also stopped serving alcohol on several domestic and international flights. The Parliament two weeks ago jammed through restrictions on the sale and advertising of alcoholic drinks. He views drinkers as “alcoholics” eventhough Ataturk was both a drinker and smoker. He is against public displays of affection. He wants Turks to abandon white bread for whole wheat. Many Turks are opposed to the large assistance he has provided the Syrian rebels. His opponents view him as increasingly arrogant if not bordering on dictatorial. Prime Minister Erdogan is at the least overconfident. The state sponsored development boom continued with the decision to raze Gezi Park, part of the hallowed Taksim Square, to build a faux Ottoman Barracks containing a shopping mall and high rise housing. Gezi Park is the last “green” space in the city center. Signs of trouble showed on May Day when the government barred demonstrations in Taksim Square because of “construction.” Police ended up fighting unions in the Square on May Day – not your typical European May Day celebration. Bulldozers began taking down trees in the Park, when several peaceful demonstrators occupied the Square last Friday. Someone gave orders to the riot police to break up the demonstration. They went in with tear gas and water cannons. As we know from this country, riot police are often not subtle when they act. Consensus agrees that excessive force was used against the peaceful demonstrators. The police action had the opposite effect of quelling the demonstration. It set off a spark that generated actual riots throughout Turkey. Tens of thousands rallied in Taksim Square. The police abandoned Taksim Square on Saturday afternoon. The cause was no longer to save a few trees, but to remove the Prime Minister from office. The lid was off the pressure cooker. The 250,000 members, 11 union Confederation of Public Workers (KESK) joined the protests by announcing a two day strike to commence today. Another large union has joined them. Prime Minister Erdogan called the protestors “hooligans,” “looters” and “extremists” provoked by the opposition Republican Peoples Party. He showed his disdain by flying off on a four day tour of Africa, promising to resolve the problem on his return. Both Turkey’s President, Abdullah Gur, and the Deputy Prime Minister apologized for the police actions. The President supports the public rights to peaceful demonstrations. Internal friction is showing. The PM is termed out of office in 2014. He wants therefore to run against President Gul for the Presidency, and seeks voter approval of a new constitution, which would substantially increase the powers of the President. The two are co-founders of the A.K.P. Unfortunately for the Prime Minister, the Turkish economy is slowing down, from a 8.5% growth rate in 2011 to 2.5% last year. Very little of the demonstrations was carried on Turkish TV; the long term campaign against journalists had quieted them. However, traditional media was irrelevant in spreading the news. The new social media showed its power with the young Turkish middle class and students being as wired into social media as their American counterparts. Prime Minister Erdogan called Twitter “a social menace.” One female protestor in Taksim Square was drinking a beer and smoking a cigar while engaged in a PDA with her boyfriend, symbolic of what will be the government’s inability to chill the young, liberated Turks. The Lady in Red though is the symbol of the opposition. She didn't seek it, but the camera caught the moment.The picture says it all.
Posted by binder'sblog at 12:23 AM No comments:
Monday, June 3, 2013
Reflections Before Surgery
From San Francisco to Ann Arbor, Ada, Tacoma, Seattle, Wilbraham, Springfield, Tustin, and all points beyond This poor kid from the Sunset District has been fortunate to see so much of America. What a great country! Plymouth Rock, Lexington and Concord Colonial Williamsburg and Plimouth Plantation Independence Hall, Valley Forge The Mohawk Trail Fort Sumter, Gettysburg Ground Zero, Pearl Harbor and the Murrah Federal Building Golden Gate Park, Central Park, Estes Park, Boston Commons Disneyland and Disney World. Hollywood, California, Hollywood, Florida, and the Hollywood Casino Dred Scott Courthouse Cripple Creek and Leadville. Corn Palace and Cow Palace Squaw Valley and Happy Valley Castle Rock, Rock Springs and Hot Springs Insider tours of Grand Coulee Dam and Hoover Dam Detroit Observatory, Griffith Observatory, Lowell Observatory Grand Canyon and Waimea Canyon Columbia River Gorge and the Hudson River Gorge The Wisconsin Dells and the Dalles Mall of America, South Coast Plaza, King of Prussia Mall, Galleria Wall Drugs Multnomah Falls, Niagara Falls, and Fergus Falls Times Square, the Lights of Broadway and Hollywood and Vine N’awlins and Natchitoches St. Augustine, Sausalito, Sedona, and Santa Monica Old Ironsides and U.S.S. Constellation Newport cottages and Newport Beach fire pits Dixie Highway, Lincoln Highway, The Natchez Trace, and Route 66 The Arroyo Seco and the New Jersey Turnpike Walked The Freedom Trail and Brooklyn Bridge Crossed the Hudson, Connecticut, Ohio, Tennessee, Mississippi, Missouri, and Colorado Rivers Crossed the Alleghenies, Appalachians, Berkshires, Cascades, Ozarks, Rockies, and Sierras Adirondacks, Catskills, and Poconos Pauley Pavilion and the Rose Bowl The Big House and Cowboys Stadium La Brea Tar Pits and the black sand beach Mendenhall Glacier and the Everglades Jackson’s Mill, West Virginia and Owensboro, Ky. Wenatchee, Winnemucca, and Winslow Long Island, Whidbey Island, and the Cape The Henry Ford and the Museum of Science and Industry The Met, Smithsonian, Philadelphia Museum of Art, LACMA, De Young, the Guggenheim Cantor’s Deli, Carnegie Deli, and the Moonlite BBQ The original Mel’s Diner, Red Robin and Sambo’s North to Alaska and south to Ka Lae Lake Placid and Lake Tahoe, the Great Lakes, and Lake Champlain Denali, Rainier The Grassy Knoll North Beach and South Beach The Big Sky Country, the High Plains, and the Strip Grand Old Opry, Radio City Music Hall and Gerde’s Folk City Frontier Days and the Tulip Festival St. Louis Arch, Seattle Space Needle, Transamerica Building, Empire State Building, The Biltmore, Winterthur Altoona Loop and the Tehachapi Loop Haight Asbury and The Village Big Tex and the Alamo Big Muskie and the 4-8-8-4 Big Boy South Royalton, Vt. and Palmyra, NY And I have miles to go before I sleep
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