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Thursday, May 5, 2016

The Answer Man

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Q: Should cameras be allowed during a Supreme Court Ruling?

A: Some say it is essential to our understanding.

In June of 2012 the Supreme Court will making a ruling on the constitutionality of the Obamacare Health Plan.

Constitution expert, and syndicated columnist, Nat Henthoff, says cameras should be allowed in the court room as both sides make their cases. Henthoff says Americans should be informed as much as possible on all laws that will eventually have great effect on their lives.

What ever else you might say about Nat Henthoff, he is a hard core crusader.

When he gets on a subject he pounds away until all possible material has been drained. You can be sure he will keep writing about this case right up to the actual court date.

Henthoff takes offense against Justice Antonin Scalia's position that law is too complicated for any but the experts, and should be conducted without the presence of cameras. Henthoff considers this a debasement of our intelligence.

He also sees no reason for Supreme Court Justices being able to rule in relative anonymity.Henthoff says he has read the constitution many times, and sees no mention of such. He feels that the faces of Supreme Court Justices should be as familiar to us as high profile celebrities.

It's true that many of us here in the Bootheel could name just about every player on the St. Louis Cardinals, but how many Supreme Justices do we know?

Q: What is Megabus?

A: Megabus is a phenomenon being experimented in this country for mass transportation at inexpensive rates.

The Megabus has had some success in England and Canada, and is now in operation in this country. It didn't make it on the west coast, but is now operating in some mid-western and southern states.

Megabus is a large bus making express runs from one large city to another. During this experimentation time the rates are ridiculously low.

It's not fair to judge anything on just one experience, but everyone should look before they leap. Here's an example:

A dutiful daughter, with only a superficial knowledge of Megabus, booked passage for her parents from Birmingham to Atlanta. The idea was for the family to all drive back to Birmingham in one car for a second-half Christmas at her brother's house.

Megabus has no station, or terminal building, in Birmingham. The staging area for boarding is in a seedy area of the city, with an ambiance somewhat like the Nazi's used for sending their prisoners to concentration camps. You have to load your own baggage; and if it happens to be raining you will get very wet.

The bus itself was not the QE2 on wheels. It was old enough to have been at one time hooked up to a street car line in St. Louis. The seats were nominally comfortable, but one pair was unhinged and lying prone in the floor. There was a distinct rattle on one side of the bus that had an ominous sound about it threatening security. It did not smooth out on the expressway.

It was only a two and a half hour trip to Atlanta with both of the parents laughing all the way. It just happened to be their anniversary day; so this magnanimous gift from daughter was providing father rich material to kid her about for the rest of his life.

Does Megabus have a chance in this country? Based on this one experience, the buses will have to be upgraded. This could be cost prohibitive.

If you stop and think about it...... air travel ceased to be fun a long time ago. The schedules are so uncertain, with just the least interference causing long delays in departure. That short jaunt to Atlanta on Megabus may have actually been faster than messing around with airport procedures.

A long run is another matter.

Q: What ever happened to New Year's Day?

A: It has been rendered inconsequential by a new system.

New Year's Day used to be the most exciting day of all for college football fans.

Large parties would be formed replete with hangovers and bicarbonate to watch the Cotton Bowl, the Sugar Bowl, the Rose Bowl, and then the Orange Bowl. Food would be plentiful to revive partially destroyed body parts from the night before. As many as three TV sets might be in action.

These four bowl games often decided a National Football Champion. One year, for instance, Notre Dame jumped from a previous number four ranking all the way to Number One by defeating top dog, Texas.

No more. We have known for a month now that Alabama was going to play LSU for the National Championship.In the lull between this game we have had a string of meaningless bowl games -all the way from the Futility Bowl to the Pop Corn Pageant. It's like two mules fighting for a turnip. One of these included a UCLA with a losing record for the regaular season.

The Answer man
The Answer Man