ChrisWeigant.com

Please support ChrisWeigant.com this
holiday season!

From The Archives -- Big Brother v. Little Brother

[ Posted Tuesday, April 11th, 2017 – 16:38 PDT ]

Sometimes I re-run columns because either (1) I am too lazy to write that day, or (2) I have other real-world commitments that take me away from my keyboard. But there's a third category, too, which is applicable today. Sometimes a recent event in the news gets me thinking about a subject, and then I realize: "I've already written about this." So I go back and re-read my original article. Sometimes it has become woefully dated and out-of-touch, but other times the commentary is still valid and worth consideration.

Today's topic is the mess United Airlines now finds themselves in, after video of a passenger being forcefully dragged off an airplane (even though he had a reserved seat) went viral. Not only viral, but all over prime-time news as well.

Without getting into all the details (which are widely available right now, if anyone doesn't know what I'm talking about), one aspect of the P.R. disaster struck me. Corporations are now vulnerable to these videos of corporate bad behavior, and they can pay a heavy price for them. United Airlines has proven that beyond a shadow of a doubt.

The following article was written in 2011, before the Black Lives Matter movement existed, and before police tactics became such a hot topic nationwide. The example I gave was from the Oakland BART station shooting -- an event that has now faded, because newer and fresher tragedies are better remembered. Most of the article is fairly outward-looking, in fact, addressing the Arab Spring uprisings rather than events in America.

But the main theme is still a valid one, I feel. While the examples could use some updating, the point I was making has become even more true over time. I didn't even mention corporate behavior at all, but the United Airlines video is not the only instance of one shocking video forcing a giant corporation to not only do serious damage-control, but also to change its corporate behavior and policies. And corporations have to react faster than governments or police agencies, because their image and brand are tightly tied to their bottom line. Police departments don't have to worry about stock prices, to put this another way. United fumbled their response early on, but seem to have now realized how damaging this incident has already become.

Little Brother isn't just keeping an eye on governments and the police, he's also filming his day-to-day interactions in the marketplace as well. Big Business would do well to keep that in mind from now on.

[Correction: Even when writing an intro to an old column, fact-checking is important. This article was originally posted with "American Airlines," which has been corrected to "United Airlines." Mea culpa maxima, and I apologize directly to American Airlines for getting it so very wrong.]

 

Originally published February 23, 2011

Everyone knows who "Big Brother" is, of course, because we all had to read George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four at some point in our schooling. Big Brother is the fictional benevolent figurehead in Orwell's "negative Utopia" masterpiece, whose beaming visage is a front for a totalitarian police state which spies relentlessly upon its own citizenry. Television sets, in this future world, are both unavoidable and two-way -- broadcasting images of what you are doing in your own home to the government watchers. To some extent, Orwell's dark fantasy has become everyday life in some places (it's almost impossible to avoid being publicly filmed now in cities like London, for instance). But there's been a balancing revolution in surveillance as well -- which is more and more apparent in the recent news. I'm going to call this effect "Little Brother" -- citizens watching, filming, and reporting on governmental activities to a rapt worldwide audience. And we've already seen how powerful a tool this can be in the Middle East.

In ancient times -- say, twenty-five years ago or so -- the technology which caused this powerful effect either didn't exist or was in its bulky, heavy infancy. Small camcorders were becoming available which took video, but they were still rather expensive. So expensive (and bulky, for the most part) that most people who owned them didn't carry them around on a daily basis. Professional television and video cameras still weighed a ton, and were outrageously expensive, so they were still mostly the province of wealthy newsgathering organizations.

This limited what video was available to both the news organizations themselves, and to the wider public. The established media outlets were still firmly in charge of their "gatekeeping" function. The public only saw what a professional camera crew dispatched to the scene captured (whatever the scene happened to be). Or, at least, what parts of it were edited down for the evening news.

But twenty-five years, in technological terms, is several eons ago. First the internet burst onto the scene. Then blogging. Digital cameras became cheaper and cheaper, and more accessible. Cell phones became tiny, and affordable. Then cell phones merged with both the computer and the digital camera (still and movie), until you can now fit more technological power in the palm of your hand than was even available twenty-five years ago. What's more -- pretty much everyone could afford it. Which meant everyone with such a video-ready cell phone in their pocket became their own sort of "check and balance" on governmental powers -- and governmental abuses.

Consider police brutality, as an easy example. First, there were no cameras (or only very rarely). Then, there were police cameras -- dashboard cameras in police cruisers, and mandatory videotaping of police interviews. Now, everyone has a camera, and they're ready to whip it out and point it at, for instance, a subway policeman shooting a suspect who is lying on the floor. The BART cop incident was horrific, of course, but it was also instructive, in a way. Not only was the entire incident caught on camera by innocent bystanders on a subway train, but it was caught from multiple angles. Lots of people had their cameras rolling, in other words.

In a police state, the citizens live in fear of the police monitoring them all the time. But what do you call it when the police themselves know damn well that at any time or any place while they are performing their duties that the citizens could be monitoring them -- with evidence that would stand up in court?

Sometimes, of course, the police just don't care. The Chicago cops at the 1968 Democratic National Convention certainly knew there were cameras filming them, and the protestors were loudly yelling: "The whole world is watching!" just in case they hadn't figured it out. Heads were still cracked, even with the cameras rolling. I know this is an outdated example, but I cite it merely to show the limits of such thinking. Sometimes there are other concerns than just being filmed.

Now, I'm not suggesting America is a police state, of course, just as I'm not suggesting that 1968 Chicago cops have much of anything to do with today's world. In America, for the most part, cell phone videos are mostly picked up by the mainstream media when they capture spur-of-the-moment events with high action-packed-adventure value -- such as a camera on board an airplane that has a close call, for instance; or video of a weather phenomenon such as a tornado, or lightning striking. Even so, every once in a while one of these videos catches some serious abuse that would have been otherwise ignored.

But the Little Brother effect in the rest of the world can be powerful indeed, as we've all seen these past few weeks. Much has been made about the power of "social networking" (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) in the revolutionary happenings over in North Africa and the Middle East of late, and how the power of the computer has brought together people who, in the past, likely would never have gotten the word to go down to the square and protest. I'm not knocking this at all, because it is indeed a powerful tool.

In any warfare -- conventional, psychological, people-power revolt, or Gandhi-like nonviolent movements -- communication is key. Communications are incredibly important in revolutionary movements, which is why taking control of radio and television stations is always a crucial turning point -- because it denies the rulers the megaphone to the people, and instead puts that megaphone in the hands of the insurgents. In less-developed countries, this can be a chokepoint of virtually all information flowing to the people, and flowing to the outside world. But times have changed, and communications are more diverse these days.

But while other commenters have focused only on the power of the revolutionaries to communicate to their followers via social networking and the like, there's a flip side to this coin that we've now almost taken for granted -- the communications about what is happening on the streets. Cell phones (with video) are so prevalent even in less-developed countries, that during uprisings (even in such fanatically-closed societies as Iran and Libya) the rest of the world gets to see video clips of what is going on, almost in real time.

This is a profound advancement, especially in terms of the relative amounts of media coverage these events get, both in America and in the foreign media. Previously, if a news crew couldn't safely get out on the streets to film, then the world could not accurately see what was happening. At best, we'd get video shot out a hotel window, perhaps with gunfire in the distance (or bombing, for that matter). Compare coverage of the first time we invaded Iraq with what is going on in Libya today, for instance (note: I'm not trying to equate the two events in any way, just pointing out the difference, in terms of media tools, that twenty years' time can create). Now, although jerky and not very well filmed (admittedly, it must be hard to keep a camera steady when running for your life from a machine gun), we get video clips of street fighting and actual battles. That, as I said, is a profound advancement in communications technology.

Autocratic governments faced with the prospect of hordes of their own people in the street have been learning to hit the "kill switch" on both the internet and cell phones early on in the uprising. But, these days, even that's not enough. Even while Egypt was "dark" -- and currently, in Libya -- the videos somehow manage to get out. There are now technologies and methods which can even circumvent drastic government censorship of communications, although not all of them are affordable or available to all (a satellite phone, for instance). One way or another, Americans turn on the evening news each night, and on display are hand-held videos shot on the streets of Tripoli or Tehran or wherever else the hotspot happens to be that day.

If a picture is worth a thousand words, then video is worth at least a hundred thousand. News organizations likely wouldn't devote all that much time to events that they have no film of, relegating it to an offhanded mention before a commercial break ("There was some unrest reported today on the streets of... we'll be right back after these messages"). But a video of thugs in uniform beating and shooting and massacring unarmed civilians is going to lead that night's broadcast, for shock value alone. Especially if it's a country where we don't approve of the current government. Even in countries with friendly governments, when the foreign media start running brutal clips, the American media eventually scrambles to catch up (sometimes after a few days' interval, though).

I guess all I'm really saying is that we need to update an old maxim. The pen may still be mightier than the sword, but who realistically uses either implement these days? Maybe "the video camera cell phone is mightier than the machine gun," is what it should now read, I don't know. As with the older version of the saying, one guy with a cell phone camera is really no literal match for a carbine bullet. And these things don't always have happy endings (remember the woman martyred on camera during the Iranian uprising last year?), either for the individual concerned or for the wider movement. But the power of thousands upon thousands of tiny cameras watching the watchers is still not to be taken lightly. Because it can work to bring down governments, at times. Or convince a country's military (or military leaders) that they really look bad on the world stage, causing shame enough for them to change tactics.

The regimes which have fallen so far -- as well as a few that are teetering on the brink -- were for the most part classic examples of police states. Fear was used to control the populace, in a naked way. They all qualified, to some extent or another, as countries Orwell would have recognized immediately. The leader-worshipping cult of personality present in these places only differed from Big Brother by the fact that Big Brother actually existed (instead of having faded long ago into a fictional figurehead) in the person of "the leader" -- whose photograph could be seen everywhere in the country. Like I said, Orwell would have recognized these signs right away.

But now even these Big Brother types have seen the power of Little Brother. They've seen the power of people communicating with each other to take to the streets, and they've seen world opinion changed in an eyeblink, all due to just a handful of videos shot at street-level. Videos of massacres of crowds of peaceful, unarmed citizens; videos of police and military savagery; videos of crowded hospital hallways filled with casualties; videos of women and children running for their lives from a hail of bullets; and (worst for them) videos of triumphant throngs in the streets celebrating their deliverance from tyranny. Big Brother still has a lot of power at his disposal, but Little Brother's cell phone video may prove to be a more powerful force, in the end. Because, now, surveillance works both ways.

-- Chris Weigant

 

Follow Chris on Twitter: @ChrisWeigant

 

108 Comments on “From The Archives -- Big Brother v. Little Brother”

  1. [1] 
    neilm wrote:

    American Airlines -> United Airlines, CW

  2. [2] 
    Paula wrote:

    Big Brother still has a lot of power at his disposal, but Little Brother's cell phone video may prove to be a more powerful force, in the end. Because, now, surveillance works both ways.

    Yep.

  3. [3] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    neilm -

    Just fixed it. Dang, I thought I'd be quick enough so that nobody would comment on it, but you win the eagle-eyed prize today. Correction notice has also been appended to the intro...

    Never forget the fact-checking! That's the moral of my boneheaded goof today.

    :-(

    -CW

  4. [4] 
    altohone wrote:

    Hey CW

    The old column does indeed remain relevant.
    The way Pan Am treated the guy was horrible.

    There was also the video from Colorado of a cop unnecessarily slamming a college student to the ground... a tiny woman half his size... which was then justified by the "experts" despite the obvious, less violent alternatives...
    ... not unlike the way the CEO of Eastern Airlines tried to blame his victim.

    I've read a couple of stories about the incident on the plane, and they mentioned that the price of the stock had fallen, but never by how much which I thought was odd.
    I will tell you that I'll never fly TWA again.

    And, btw, I think my boneheaded goof here yesterday has you beat.

    A

  5. [5] 
    altohone wrote:

    Hey CW and gang

    To continue with the Syria discussion-

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/trump-adds-insult-to-injury-in-syria_us_58ed59d8e4b0145a227cb95e?zvg&

    Not too much new there, but she does mention a couple of additional experts who question the establishment narrative blaming Assad for the chemical attack.

    I have also noticed that the media are maintaining their "allegedly", "supposedly", and "as claimed by Trump" type qualifiers in their reporting on the story... though politicians in both parties and many pundits keep talking about it as a fact. I find that very odd indeed.
    And I will once again praise you for your integrity CW.

    A

  6. [6] 
    Kick wrote:

    A01 [4]

    And, btw, I think my boneheaded goof here yesterday has you beat.

    Ummmmmm... btw?

    Beyond Tears Worldwide?
    Business Travel World?

    Ha, ha... Just teasing you. You were expecting more out of my lazy abbreviation, that's all. :)

  7. [7] 
    michale wrote:

    The old column does indeed remain relevant.
    The way Pan Am treated the guy was horrible.

    Load o' carp..

    The guy was asked to leave several times. He refused.

    He got what he deserved..

    a tiny woman half his size... which was then justified by the "experts" despite the obvious, less violent alternatives...

    "obvious" only to you... The cop on the scene was the one to make that determination, not you...

    And he was proven correct...

    He has the training, experience and expertise to make the right call. You do not..

  8. [8] 
    michale wrote:

    It's very simple..

    You fight the law. The law will win every time..

    Or, like Russ said a while back...

    No citizen has ever changed an officer's mind about an arrest....

  9. [9] 
    michale wrote:

    The way Pan Am treated the guy was horrible.

    The "guy" was a defrocked doctor who lost his medical license for drug dealing (not the legal kind) and makes his living as a professional gambler..

    Which, of course, has absolutely nothing to do with this justified use of force...

    Let's just not try and make this guy into a Mother Theresa..

  10. [10] 
    michale wrote:

    And President Trump's popularity numbers continue to rise..

    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/other/president_trump_job_approval-6179.html

    Two points in the last couple days...

    For those of ya'all who are slaves to the polls, THAT has got to be sooooo depressing for ya.. :D

  11. [11] 
    michale wrote:

    “For those that continue to seek improper and illegal entry into this country, be forewarned. This is a new era. This is the Trump era. The lawlessness, the abdication of the duty to enforce our immigration laws, and the catch and release practices of old are over.”
    -AG Sessions

    Ooooooorrrrraaaaaaaaaaa

  12. [12] 
    michale wrote:

    I have also noticed that the media are maintaining their "allegedly", "supposedly", and "as claimed by Trump" type qualifiers in their reporting on the story...

    Standard media practice...

    Nothing unusual whatsoever and indicative of absolutely nothing except the media's desire not to get sued...

  13. [13] 
    John M wrote:

    Michale wrote:

    "You fight the law... The law will win..

    EVERY TIME...."

    Just keep in mind what exactly you are trying to justify here. First, it was not really man vs law enforcement, it was really more man vs big airline corporation.

    Secondly, the man was NOT a criminal. All he wanted to do was to stay in the seat he had PAID FOR.

    He was brutally removed from the plane, when things should have been de-escalated instead. His face was banged against the armrest, made bloody, and then not immediately offered medical treatment afterwards.

    One of the officers involved in the incident has since been placed on leave pending an investigation of the incident. Also, the government of Japan has now criticized the man's treatment as well.

    The more rational and sensible, and FREE MARKET, thing for the airline to have done was to have kept increasing the amount of compensation offered instead until they got the volunteer they wanted.

    I find it very telling that you now resort to trying to blame the victim to justify things. What the hell does it matter what the man's true character was? the underlying principle remains the same. Anyone, at any time, can be forcibly dragged off a plane against their will, including your wife, out of a seat they paid for, if that's what the company decides for any reason, no matter how much physical brutality they put the passenger through, without just or fair due process or compensation.

    Is that the position you really want to defend???

  14. [14] 
    michale wrote:

    Just keep in mind what exactly you are trying to justify here. First, it was not really man vs law enforcement, it was really more man vs big airline corporation.

    No, it was really man vs law enforcement.

    Is the issue overbooking flights or the practice of asking passengers to give up their seats??

    No.. It's about how a man who refused lawful orders was treated by enforcement personnel...

    Secondly, the man was NOT a criminal. All he wanted to do was to stay in the seat he had PAID FOR.

    By refusing the lawful orders of the Flight Crew and enforcement personnel, he became a criminal..

    He was brutally removed from the plane, when things should have been de-escalated instead.

    He chose to escalate things by refusing lawful orders from the Flight Crew and enforcement personnel..

    One of the officers involved in the incident has since been placed on leave pending an investigation of the incident. Also, the government of Japan has now criticized the man's treatment as well.

    So?? And So???

    The more rational and sensible, and FREE MARKET, thing for the airline to have done was to have kept increasing the amount of compensation offered instead until they got the volunteer they wanted.

    The guy was offer'ed EIGHT HUNDRED DOLLARS and a first class accommodation in a nice hotel..

    Holding out for more is nothing but extortion..

    Especially when one considers the FACT that the airlines was under no legal obligation to offer ANYTHING..

    I find it very telling that you now resort to trying to blame the victim to justify things.

    Because it was the SUBJECT's fault. He is not a victim.. Had he obeyed the lawful orders, NONE of it would have happened..

    The selfish prick caused problems for EVERYONE on that flight because he wouldn't follow orders..

    . Anyone, at any time, can be forcibly dragged off a plane against their will, including your wife, out of a seat they paid for, if that's what the company decides for any reason, no matter how much physical brutality they put the passenger through, without just or fair due process or compensation.

    The selfish asshole was offered fair due process and compensation..

    He chose to fight the law..

    The law won..

    End of story...

    As far as my wife being treated like that?? It would never happen because my wife is respectful of legitimate authority..

    The couple that was also asked to deplane and give up their seats?? They cleared a cool $1600 and a night at a fabulous suite in a fancy hotel..

    THAT was the smart thing to do..

  15. [15] 
    michale wrote:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DVuYhaW3Dkk&feature=youtu.be

    At least the guy didn't get hit by Bambi!! :D

  16. [16] 
    michale wrote:

    By refusing the lawful orders of the Flight Crew and enforcement personnel, he became a criminal..

    And I can assure you.. Interfering With The Duties Of A Flight Crew is a VERY serious crime..

  17. [17] 
    michale wrote:

    GT,

    You fly a lot..

    What's your take on this incident???

  18. [18] 
    Kick wrote:

    michale [14]

    The guy was offer'ed EIGHT HUNDRED DOLLARS and a first class accommodation in a nice hotel..

    Holding out for more is nothing but extortion..

    Especially when one considers the FACT that the airlines was under no legal obligation to offer ANYTHING..

    1. How do you know he was "holding out for more"? (asking)
    2. Yes, an airline does have a legal obligation to involuntarily bumped passengers.

    https://www.transportation.gov/airconsumer/fly-rights

    Read 4. Overbooking - Involuntary Bumping for the DOT regulations.

  19. [19] 
    michale wrote:

    1. How do you know he was "holding out for more"? (asking)

    I didn't say he was..

    I was responding to JM's comment, "The more rational and sensible, and FREE MARKET, thing for the airline to have done was to have kept increasing the amount of compensation offered instead until they got the volunteer they wanted."

    2. Yes, an airline does have a legal obligation to involuntarily bumped passengers.

    Your right.. I should have been more precise.. I stand corrected.. Thank you..

  20. [20] 
    Kick wrote:

    michale

    I was responding to JM's comment, "The more rational and sensible, and FREE MARKET, thing for the airline to have done was to have kept increasing the amount of compensation offered instead until they got the volunteer they wanted."

    JM is correct because all the passengers on the plane had already been given boarding passes and seated when 2 pilots and 2 flight attendants showed up needing seats. Denying a passenger boarding is different from pulling them off a plane after they've already been boarded.

    The terms for denying a passenger boarding and removal of a passenger for cause do not allow an airline to remove a passenger because the airline wants to fly crew members instead of passengers. The airline had no right whatsoever to remove the passenger who was already boarded in order to substitute their employee in his place.

    Now they're gonna have to pay him a lot more than they bargained for because they had no right to have him forcibly removed at the last minute in order to fly their employee in his place. Expect a 6-figure settlement at minimum for assault and battery.

    Having said all that, the police were just doing their job and probably didn't know the facts, and the stupid guy should have got off the dang plane when the officers asked him to.

  21. [21] 
    altohone wrote:

    Kick
    6

    I appreciate the attempt to make me feel better, but missing the obvious, overthinking or higher expectations still fall in my lap.

    And a little well deserved lighthearted teasing when the world is gloomy is a good thing.

    But The Willing
    Break Those Walls and
    Bring True Wisdom.

    Meh.

    A

  22. [22] 
    michale wrote:

    JM is correct because all the passengers on the plane had already been given boarding passes and seated when 2 pilots and 2 flight attendants showed up needing seats. Denying a passenger boarding is different from pulling them off a plane after they've already been boarded.

    Contractually speaking, no it is not..

    The terms for denying a passenger boarding and removal of a passenger for cause do not allow an airline to remove a passenger because the airline wants to fly crew members instead of passengers. The airline had no right whatsoever to remove the passenger who was already boarded in order to substitute their employee in his place.

    Yes, they did...

    The mission comes first.. In this case, the mission of the airlines as those employees were needed in another airport..

    Now they're gonna have to pay him a lot more than they bargained for because they had no right to have him forcibly removed at the last minute in order to fly their employee in his place. Expect a 6-figure settlement at minimum for assault and battery.

    Probably.. But that doesn't mean it's right..

    Having said all that, the police were just doing their job and probably didn't know the facts, and the stupid guy should have got off the dang plane when the officers asked him to.

    Agreed...

  23. [23] 
    michale wrote:

    The airline had no right whatsoever to remove the passenger who was already boarded in order to substitute their employee in his place.

    Irregardless of whether it's right or wrong, the simple fact remains that the passenger was obligated to follow the lawful orders of the flight crew and enforecment officers and then make his case to whomever AFTER he complied..

    Responsibility for the incident lies solely and completely with the SUBJECT...

    But, as I said, you are probably right that the subject will get a big fat award..

    But THAT will solely be due to political correctness and in no way reflects the facts of the incident..

  24. [24] 
    michale wrote:

    JM is correct because all the passengers on the plane had already been given boarding passes and seated when 2 pilots and 2 flight attendants showed up needing seats. Denying a passenger boarding is different from pulling them off a plane after they've already been boarded.

    Contractually speaking, no it is not..

    For the record, that is my opinion based on my read of your PASSENGER BILL OF RIGHTS you posted..

    While they don't define BOARDING in that document, common sense dictates that up until the point where the doors are closed and the plane departs the terminal, the process of "boarding" is still in progress...

    I am amiable to be proven wrong, but it's inconsequential to the central point that the responsibility for the incident is on the subject..

  25. [25] 
    altohone wrote:

    7

    John M and Kick covered the issues with the airline well, but...

    ... regarding the woman in CO

    ""obvious" only to you... The cop on the scene was the one to make that determination, not you...
    And he was proven correct..."

    There were two cops right next to the woman.
    Two cops should have the training to be able to restrain one tiny woman while cuffing her rather than throwing her to the ground unnecessarily.

    It isn't a question of cops having the possibly legal authority to slam the woman to the ground or drag a man off a plane... or seizing assets from innocent people or arresting cancer patients for smoking pot... or beating a man on his knees in surrender for that matter.
    Having the authority doesn't make it right.
    And it doesn't make it "proven correct".

    Congress just gave hunters the legal right to shoot bears while they are hibernating.
    Congress gives corporations the legal right to deduct fines from their tax bills when caught committing fraud .
    It may be legal, but it doesn't make it right.

    And your disturbing, narrow outlook on the world seems to dismiss morality and common sense not only in cases of legality, but also in cases of illegality and possibly illegal actions when they serve your twisted right wing ideology.

    A

  26. [26] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    here's a case where everybody was wrong. agree with kick on that front. the guy was being stupid, and was bailed out by the airline being even more stupid.

    to start with, the airline had not exhausted all options before jumping to the use of force. passengers had already been boarded, and were at that point entitled by law to keep their seats. as only one guy was holding out, the airline had other, less coercive means at their disposal. they could have increased the incentive as high as 1300. they could have explained the situation over the PA and gone through the plane asking passengers one by one what incentive it would take to get them to give up their seat. failing that, how hard could it be to find some legitimate place to stick the sole remaining employee, then if necessary detain the obstinate passenger on arrival?

    as for the guy's behavior, yes it was dumb. no matter whether or not an authority is within their rights to be giving you an order, it's important for public safety to comply with the order anyway. there's no evidence the man's selection was racially motivated, and it was unfair for him to jump to that conclusion. yes, doctors are important and he needed to see his patients without undue delay, but that point needed to be argued to the crew, not rendered irrelevant due to his refusal to move at all.

    finally, the authorities should be able to better assess and employ minimal use of force even if they decided force WAS necessary. this guy wasn't a terrorist, and there are less harmful procedures available, such as those used with mental patients or special education students. there were a wide range of less violent options available, and they were not even considered.

    so yeah, sure, the guy was being stupid, but the airline's response was reprehensible and i'm glad they're being held to account for it.

    JL

  27. [27] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    @altohone

    (aside - is that ALT-zero-one as kick abbreviates it, or something else, e.g. tall whetstone, lower-range female vocal training, an alternate spelling of the brass instrument)

    agree in principle about the distinction between an officer having the authority to do something and it being an appropriate action given the circumstances. i would say it depends on what the reasonable expectation for a suspect's behavior would be based on the type of infraction the individual is suspected of.

    at some point i'll respond to the syria thing on the syria column, which was yesterday's.

    JL

  28. [28] 
    michale wrote:

    There were two cops right next to the woman.
    Two cops should have the training to be able to restrain one tiny woman while cuffing her rather than throwing her to the ground unnecessarily.

    Once again, you do not have the experience, training and/or expertise to make that claim with any credibility..

    I say what I say because I KNOW.. I have been there and done that.

    You say what you say because you read it somewhere on a website, or in some PARTY FANATICISM FOR DUMMIES book...

  29. [29] 
    michale wrote:

    JL,

    re: #26

    You don't know that the airlines exhausted all possibilities and you don't know that the LEOs (I am assuming that they were cops, there is some ambiguity on that point) also exhausted all possibilities..

    Why stop at $1300?? Why not 10K?? Or a million??

    I am not defending the airline per se.. But, from everything I have read, the airline went out of it's way to accomodate the subject...

    But when all is said and done one point is clear..

    As soon as the subject refused to obey lawful orders, the totality of responsibility became his..

    If the subject hadn't been a selfish ass, he could have had the airline by the short and curlies and exacted a choice revenge..

    But, because he committed a felony, he is solely and completely to blame..

  30. [30] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    Why stop at $1300?? Why not 10K?? Or a million?

    because 1350 is the legal limit. i don't have a cite for it, but as i recall, that's what was reported.

    But, because he committed a felony, he is solely and completely to blame..

    that's your opinion, from the perspective of law enforcement. once a case gets to a court of law, responsibility is determined by a judge and jury, and i guarantee that's not the way they would see it.

    JL

  31. [31] 
    michale wrote:

    because 1350 is the legal limit. i don't have a cite for it, but as i recall, that's what was reported.

    If he wasn't going to do the right thing for $800, there is no reason to think an extra $550 would have made any difference..

    that's your opinion, from the perspective of law enforcement. once a case gets to a court of law, responsibility is determined by a judge and jury, and i guarantee that's not the way they would see it.

    That's your opinion from the perspective of someone who doesn't usually see eye to eye with LEO activities.. :D

  32. [32] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    That's your opinion from the perspective of someone who doesn't usually see eye to eye with LEO activities.. :D

    that's not entirely true - when things seem ambiguous i do tend to err on the side of law enforcement. in this case my best guess would be that united didn't give airport security the whole picture, and they went in not knowing the threat level.

    JL

  33. [33] 
    michale wrote:

    Regardless of any mistake by the airline, NO ONE has the right to obstruct or interfere with the operations of a flight crew...

    The airline's alleged mistake does not mitigate, equivocate or excuse the actions of the selfish jackass...

    THAT is exactly how a judge and jury SHOULD see it if they aren't enamored by political correctness and Party zealotry..

    It's that simple...

  34. [34] 
    michale wrote:

    that's not entirely true - when things seem ambiguous i do tend to err on the side of law enforcement. in this case my best guess would be that united didn't give airport security the whole picture, and they went in not knowing the threat level.

    That appears likely...

  35. [35] 
    michale wrote:

    finally, the authorities should be able to better assess and employ minimal use of force even if they decided force WAS necessary. this guy wasn't a terrorist, and there are less harmful procedures available, such as those used with mental patients or special education students. there were a wide range of less violent options available, and they were not even considered.

    I would also point out that the confined nature of the incident's location made other options unlikely or untenable..

    Aircraft security personnel are trained to contain the threat as fast as possible. Finesse and subtlety are, by necessity, sacrificed in favor of overwhelming brute force and speed to contain and/or eliminate the threat..

    Hit 'em hard and hit 'em fast...

    Granted, an aircraft on the ground offers other possibilities. But in stress situations security and LE personnel fall back on their training..

  36. [36] 
    michale wrote:

    that's not entirely true -

    Which means it's not entirely false either.. :D

  37. [37] 
    Paula wrote:

    Re: United Airlines mess.

    This is an example of the degree to which force has become seen as acceptable in this country.

    This was a stupid and unnecessary event. It pitted lone individuals against a corporation, and the corporation felt empowered to employ force in what should have been a violence-free commercial transaction.

    The notion that they could "randomly select" people to be removed against their will was a failure of both responsibility and imagination. It was an attempt to absolve the humans involved -- they didn't have to use their judgement, they could call on a computer to make the selection. Alternatively, I've read this fellow was chosen because he'd paid the lowest price. That's irrelevant. He paid the price he was allowed to pay for his seat. Doesn't matter if it was the lowest.

    I have also read it's a mistake that United could only offer $1350 -- which they didn't, in any case. Also not clear to me if they were offering cash, or vouchers (which would/could be useless to many people). I've read airlines don't want to offer large sums of money in these situations because customers might start demanding more when these situations come up. And maybe they would! Isn't that the magical "free market" at work?

    There were numbers of other ways to resolve the problem -- the roads not taken.

    I hope the victim gets a giant financial settlement.

  38. [38] 
    goode trickle wrote:

    Here is a great summation of my take on it.

    https://thepointsguy.com/2017/04/i-got-the-united-situation-wrong/

  39. [39] 
    goode trickle wrote:

    Interestingly enough. I have to wonder if the situation would be covered by the normal regulations for an involuntary bump as this is not a normal overbooking situation nor is it covered by the contract of carriage as a reason for being denied travel.

    https://www.united.com/web/en-US/content/contract-of-carriage.aspx#sec21

    One thing is for sure United is going to have a big compensation to pay for this one.

  40. [40] 
    Paula wrote:

    [38} Goode: what strikes me from your link:

    While it was in United’s best business interest to get them there, passengers should not be held accountable for the airline’s lack of planning. Frankly, Chicago is a United hub, and if it really needed to get employees to Louisville, it could have flown an extra plane to get them there.

    and:

    I feel for front line airline employees who are berated on a daily basis by consumers who don’t know the rules, and likewise, I feel bad especially for infrequent travelers who assume the niceties of the real world apply to air travel.

    "Consumers who don't know the rules."

    This is a frog in the saucepan situation -- people coming to accept a set of affronts as being the norm. People having to learn a set of rules that, evidently, apply nowhere else. So you have to "learn" how to be an airline customer. You have to be prepared to be screwed over for the airline's convenience.

    No, you shouldn't.

  41. [41] 
    Paula wrote:

    sigh. Last portion shouldn't be italicized.

    "Consumers who don't know the rules."

    This is a frog in the saucepan situation -- people coming to accept a set of affronts as being the norm. People having to learn a set of rules that, evidently, apply nowhere else. So you have to "learn" how to be an airline customer. You have to be prepared to be screwed over for the airline's convenience.

    No, you shouldn't.

  42. [42] 
    michale wrote:

    Even if he hadn’t hit his head, why would you want to drag him off the plane?

    How else would you suggest he be taken off the plane if he is refusing to move of his own volition?

    Transporter??? Fairy dust??

    Irregardless of that, the general consensus seems to be that United frak'ed up..

    I have no/minimal problem with that.

    I still maintain that it doesn't matter if United frak'ed up or not..

    When a passenger is told to JUMP by flight crew or LEOs, the ONLY response is to JUMP...

    That's the beginning and end of the story..

    If this selfish jackass DOES get a hefty settlement because of all the bleeding hearts and politically correct persons, I truly hope he is hit with the maximum fine and jail time for the felony he committed..

    Having said all that, thank you, GT for weighing in..

    Other than the afore mentioned nitpick, I won't argue with anything you have said..

  43. [43] 
    michale wrote:

    This is a frog in the saucepan situation -- people coming to accept a set of affronts as being the norm. People having to learn a set of rules that, evidently, apply nowhere else. So you have to "learn" how to be an airline customer. You have to be prepared to be screwed over for the airline's convenience.

    No, you shouldn't.

    Fine... I won't argue.. (can ya believe it!?? :D)

    But there is a time and a place to assert your rights...

    With the flight crew and LEOs in a packed aircraft???

    *NOT* one of those times NOR one of those places..

    Again, the simplicity is obvious...

  44. [44] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    Which means it's not entirely false either.. :D

    i'd call it at worst inaccurate, at best incomplete. i believe that the perspective of law enforcement always matters and should always be considered, but isn't always right.

    JL

  45. [45] 
    michale wrote:

    i'd call it at worst inaccurate, at best incomplete. i believe that the perspective of law enforcement always matters and should always be considered, but isn't always right.

    Of course it's not always right..

    But it should be given higher priority than those with a political agenda...

    I know we probably won't agree on that, but that's what makes life exciting..

  46. [46] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    But it should be given higher priority than those with a political agenda...

    political agendas aren't always a bad thing. justice is a political agenda. freedom from oppression is a political agenda. the bill of rights is a list of ten political agendas.

    JL

  47. [47] 
    michale wrote:

    OH MY GOD!!!!

    President Trump's SecState actually MET with Russian President Putin!!!!

    TRAITOR!!!!!! TRUMP MUST BE IMPEACHED FOR COLLUDING WITH THE RUSSIANS!!!!!!

    {/sarcasm}

    :D

  48. [48] 
    goode trickle wrote:

    When a passenger is told to JUMP by flight crew or LEOs, the ONLY response is to JUMP...

    That's the beginning and end of the story..

    That embarks down the slippery slope. If it were that simple why even have a contract of carriage?

  49. [49] 
    altohone wrote:

    28

    It is funny that, instead of debating the incident, you trot out the "trust my judgment, I have experience" crap as if I trusted your judgment about ANYTHING.

    Heck, if back when you were an LEO you pulled over a guy doing 60 in a 55 zone because he was on his way to the hospital with his wife in labor, I would expect you to give him a speeding ticket and then falsely claim you smelled marijuana so you could search the car.

    I certainly don't trust your judgment on minimum force necessary for the circumstances claims.

    But that's just my opinion of you based on your record of always defending in what my opinion is unnecessary force, your record of defending torture, and your support for abhorrent issues and opposition to good policies.

    It's only personal, not business.

    A

  50. [50] 
    Paula wrote:

    So this letter came up: http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/letters/ct-united-flight-3411-man-dragged-witness-20170411-story.html

    The entire letter to the editor:

    Unfortunately, I was aboard United Airlines flight 3411 from Chicago to Louisville, Ky., on Sunday. Even more unfortunate was the fact that I was returning from a spring break trip with seven of my students from Louisville Male High School who also witnessed the unconscionable treatment of the passenger.

    The disgusting mishandling of the situation included everyone from the rude ticket agent who demanded that this man give up his seat on the flight United overbooked, to one of the officers laughing in the midst of the incident, to the violent, abusive way the passenger was dragged off the plane by the officer. It was the worst possible model for my students, and frankly, was traumatizing to many of us who watched this from such close proximity.

    What are we modeling for our children? Are we teaching our children to scream at other people, to jump quickly to force if we can’t get the results we want, to use violence to solve problems, to have total disrespect for other people?

    I was appalled at how United Airlines and the officers handled the situation, but I was also encouraged by my fellow passengers’ attempts to interfere — despite how helpless we all felt. Some passengers audibly protested to the officers, some stood and removed themselves from the plane rather than continue to witness the abuse, and one father, while trying to console his 8-year-old daughter, confronted the officer saying, among other things, “you ought to be ashamed of yourself!” These are the models of which I hope our children will see more.

  51. [51] 
    altohone wrote:

    nypoet
    44
    goode trickle
    48

    We'd all still be British citizens (subjects?) if you follow that reasoning.

    A

  52. [52] 
    michale wrote:

    Heck, if back when you were an LEO you pulled over a guy doing 60 in a 55 zone because he was on his way to the hospital with his wife in labor,

    That actually happened to me on Kadena AB... Gave them a Code 3 escort to the Emergency Room at Camp Kuwea... :D

    It is funny that, instead of debating the incident, you trot out the "trust my judgment,

    Why should I debate with someone who is completely and utterly ignorant of the issue???

    That's like saying you should debate the pros and cons of NOT-45 with a 3-yr old...

    I certainly don't trust your judgment on minimum force necessary for the circumstances claims.

    That's fine.. But you base that lack of trust SOLELY and COMPLETELY on ignorance of LEO issues and procedures and your anti-cop bigotry..

    As such, it means very little to me...

    But that's just my opinion of you

    Yes it is.. And I respect that.. But it's also an opinion borne of ignorance of LEO issues, activities and procedures and obvious hysterical anti-cop bigotry..

    As such, I give it it's due cred....

  53. [53] 
    michale wrote:

    GT,

    That embarks down the slippery slope.

    Actually, it's a safety net to PROTECT people from the slippery slope of people being able to ignore whichever laws they don't want to follow...

    THAT is the true slippery slope here..

  54. [54] 
    altohone wrote:

    nypoet 27

    Yup.
    alt01 was taken when I got my first email account.

    I appreciate the rest of your comment greatly, and look forward to your comment on Syria.

    A

  55. [55] 
    michale wrote:

    political agendas aren't always a bad thing. justice is a political agenda. freedom from oppression is a political agenda. the bill of rights is a list of ten political agendas.

    We define "political agenda" differently...

    By definition a "political agenda" only helps a segment of society, a PART of society.... Not society as a whole..

  56. [56] 
    michale wrote:

    confronted the officer saying, among other things, “you ought to be ashamed of yourself!”

    Yea, THAT's the smart idea.. Make a tense situation all the more worse by verbally attacking the LEO...

    GOOD CALL.. moron....

    Gods, deliver me from Left Wingers with pea brains.. :^/

  57. [57] 
    michale wrote:

    That guy is lucky he didn't find hisself face down, cuffed and on his way to jail...

  58. [58] 
    altohone wrote:

    52

    And yet, my "ignorance" includes witnessing over 300 arrests where none of the good cops resorted to unnecessary force... including numerous incidents where people were resisting arrest and several where cops would have been justified in using more force.

    In my opinion, you defend bad cops, or even just good cops acting badly.

    You think attacking me is an effective tactic the same way you tried character assassination of the victim on the plane and in previous incidents we've "discussed".
    You didn't invent the reprehensible tactic, but let's not pretend you aren't using it.

    A

  59. [59] 
    michale wrote:

    Once again, I am constrained to point out what should be obvious to the most ignorant liberal..

    The time to assert one's rights is NOT in the middle of a hi-stress confrontation with LEOs..

    You fight the law.. The law will win..

    EVERY.... TIME.....

    Jeeeze, people.. THINK fer christ's sake!

  60. [60] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    As such, I give it it's due cred....

    what did i tell you about using apostrophes?

    ;p

  61. [61] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    By definition a "political agenda" only helps a segment of society, a PART of society.... Not society as a whole..

    that depends on how you look at it. the second amendment only applies directly to gun owners, the fourth, fifth, sixth and eighth to people accused of crimes. even though targeted only at a specific segment of the population, these mandates do benefit society as a whole.

  62. [62] 
    altohone wrote:

    12

    "Standard media practice...

    Nothing unusual whatsoever and indicative of absolutely nothing except the media's desire not to get sued..."

    Wrong.
    It's standard media practice when the facts aren't known.
    And you clearly have no knowledge of the media related laws involved either.

    A

  63. [63] 
    michale wrote:

    And yet, my "ignorance" includes witnessing over 300 arrests where none of the good cops resorted to unnecessary force...

    First we have heard of this..

    Care to provide any details??

    In my opinion, you defend bad cops, or even just good cops acting badly.

    As we have established, your opinion is borne of ignorance and anti-cop bigotry...

    As such, it is meaningless, no matter how many times you state it..

    You think attacking me is an effective tactic the same way you tried character assassination of the victim on the plane and in previous incidents we've "discussed".

    I apologize if you feel like I am attacking you. I am not.. I am not calling you names or anything like that..

    I simply maintain that you are ignorant of LEO activities and procedures and this ignorance has manifested itself in many MANY of your comments.. You also appear to have a borderline hysterical anti-cop bigotry..

    You claim that I ALWAYS back cops, which is not true.. I have condemned LEOs when and where warranted..

    But, to the best of my recollection, you have NEVER supported an LEO response to ANYTHING..

    I may be wrong, but I honestly don't recall a time when you have said, "Yep.. The cops did the right thing.."

    So, it seems that the prejudice you accuse me of is what you are doing...

  64. [64] 
    michale wrote:

    that depends on how you look at it. the second amendment only applies directly to gun owners,

    No.. It applies to ALL Americans who CHOSE to be gun owners..

    Now, DEFENSE of or OFFENSE against the 2nd Amendment IS a "political agenda" and THAT agenda only "helps" a segment of society and hurts another segment of society..

  65. [65] 
    michale wrote:

    Wrong.
    It's standard media practice when the facts aren't known.
    And you clearly have no knowledge of the media related laws involved either.

    No... It's standard media practice when guilt has not been established in a court of law...

    Media will ALWAYS use "alleged" until such time as a guilty verdict is reached in court..

    You are REALLY reaching if you are using the media's use of "alleged" as proof of innocence...

  66. [66] 
    michale wrote:

    And yet, my "ignorance" includes witnessing over 300 arrests where none of the good cops resorted to unnecessary force...

    The problem is your definition of "unnecessary" is borne totally and completely of ignorance...

    What you think is "unnecessary" is likely VERY necessary to someone who has been there and done that...

    THAT is the crux of the debate...

    You are completely clueless as to what constitutes "necessary"...

    You apply Left Wing liberal standards and those simply DO NOT work in the context you are trying to apply them..

  67. [67] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    Now, DEFENSE of or OFFENSE against the 2nd Amendment IS a "political agenda" and THAT agenda only "helps" a segment of society and hurts another segment of society..

    what do you think happened before the bill of rights was codified into law? It's always been a political agenda - in that case it's the agenda of the side that won.

  68. [68] 
    michale wrote:

    what do you think happened before the bill of rights was codified into law? It's always been a political agenda - in that case it's the agenda of the side that won.

    I doubt you can apply to what's happening in the here and now -vis a vis political agendas- with what occurred 250 years ago at the birth of our nation..

    Political agendas back then may have been for the betterment of the nation and Americans in general..

    I doubt the same can be said in the here and now...

  69. [69] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    Political agendas back then may have been for the betterment of the nation and Americans in general..

    I doubt the same can be said in the here and now...

    CW has written some wonderful content on just how narrow and self-interested people's agendas were at every time throughout the history of our nation. if anything, political agendas seeking the good of the nation are more common now than they were then. of course, not everyone agrees about what would be in the nation's best interests, but i've met many people of both liberal and conservative bent who deeply believe that their respective agendas serve the betterment of our nation.

    JL

  70. [70] 
    michale wrote:

    CW has written some wonderful content on just how narrow and self-interested people's agendas were at every time throughout the history of our nation.

    Never been much of a history buff.. :D Although I do enjoy CW's history lessons.. :D

    if anything, political agendas seeking the good of the nation are more common now than they were then.

    And therein lies the rub..

    What you would claim as "seeking the good of the nation" others would see as "destroying the prestige and honor of the nation"....

    And that's my point...

    of course, not everyone agrees about what would be in the nation's best interests, but i've met many people of both liberal and conservative bent who deeply believe that their respective agendas serve the betterment of our nation.

    Exactly...

    The people on the Left believe that electing NOT-45 would serve the betterment of the nation... But a logical rational non-Party person could easily see that as serving the betterment of only the Left of the nation..

    Change "Left" to "Right and "NOT-45" to "Trump" and the same applies...

    You'll never convince me that "Political Agenda" equals good....

    By it's very nature, politics is bigoted and discriminatory and exclusive, not inclusive...

    It's religion in a different package...

  71. [71] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    I doubt you can apply to what's happening in the here and now -vis a vis political agendas- with what occurred 250 years ago at the birth of our nation..

    That's what we've been saying! To Scalia, and to his less-sympathetic, less-often-funny doppleganger Gorsuch, among others, who insist that a philosophy called 'originalism' be applied to thoroughly modern cases.

    I always read 'originalism' to mean, y'know, before civil rights legislation of the 1960's, before the trust-busting of the 1910's, y'know, before the New Deal was such a big deal.

    In Citizens United, for instance, Scalia reached back to the 19th century for precedent; the concept that 'corporations are people too' might have swayed the court, but was met by laughter when Mitt Romney tried to repeat it to a crowd in Iowa.

    Perhaps Gorsuch was thinking of just such an earlier era when he defended in a dissent the firing of a man who would have frozen to death if he had followed his company's orders. They never would have stood for that in the days of buggy whips.

  72. [72] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    By it's [sic] very nature, politics is bigoted and discriminatory and exclusive, not inclusive...

    what did i just tell you about apostrophes?

    anyhow, that's absolutely not the case. the civil rights act of 1964 was very much a political agenda, and it had many political opponents.

    JL

  73. [73] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    By it's very nature, politics is bigoted and discriminatory and exclusive, not inclusive...
    It's religion in a different package.

    As a proud atheist, you'd think I'd jump right on that and say, "well, you've got that right", but I've never been that sort of atheist. And I've never been that sort of Democrat.

    Christianity and Republicanism have similar roots, and often similar adherents. Each began life as separatist sects, each has been a hotbed of hypocrisy.

    Republicanism began as a counter-reaction to the Whigs, whose devotion to expansion included support for slavery and anti-immigrant policies. Lincoln, by contrast, advocated "government, whose leading object is to elevate the condition of men...to afford all, an unfettered start, and a fair chance, in the race of life", which sounds very much today like something Obama might have said as president.

    Christianity began as a mission to spread the 'good word' that religion, contrary to popular practice at the time, should be inclusive and pacifistic.

    These reasonable and eminently moral origins are all but forgotten today by modern adherents of each who proselytize in favor of war and exclusion.

    So I must disagree with your statement, though it condemns many who desperately deserve it, because it fails to hit its rightful target: religious and political hypocrisy.

  74. [74] 
    michale wrote:

    what did i just tell you about apostrophes?

    Sorry, it's..... it is not intentional... :D

    anyhow, that's absolutely not the case. the civil rights act of 1964 was very much a political agenda, and it had many political opponents.

    All of them Democrats..

    Sorry.. Couldn't resist.. :D

    Anyways, my point is still valid...

    51 years ago, it may have not been valid..

    But today?? In the here and now??

    Give me something today that is a "political agenda" and is good for ALL Americans....

    You can't...

  75. [75] 
    goode trickle wrote:

    Actually, it's a safety net to PROTECT people from the slippery slope of people being able to ignore whichever laws they don't want to follow...

    THAT is the true slippery slope here..

    So would I be misstating your position by saying that we should ALWAYS do whatever an authority figure demands even if they are helping to violate the law?

  76. [76] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    Give me something today that is a "political agenda" and is good for ALL Americans.

    Infrastructure buildout.

  77. [77] 
    michale wrote:

    Balthasar,

    Good one...

    But, here's the thing..

    If it's good for ALL Americans, it's not a "political agenda".. At least not how politics is normally defined in the here and now..

  78. [78] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    Give me something today that is a "political agenda" and is good for ALL Americans....

    fair districts (i.e. eliminating the gerrymander) is a political agenda in the interest of all the people. it's prevented by republicans and democrats colluding in the drawing of district maps to give each other "safe" districts.

    campaign finance reform, although short-circuited by citizens united, is a political agenda in the interest of all the people. when five people (especially five secret, unaccountable, possibly foreign people) can have more influence on elections than five million voters, that is a big problem, which it's in everyone's interest to solve.

    i could go on...

  79. [79] 
    michale wrote:

    So would I be misstating your position by saying that we should ALWAYS do whatever an authority figure demands even if they are helping to violate the law?

    I think Russ said it best a while ago.. Forgive me, Russ if I misquote you...

    As long as you are not hurting yourself or others, one should always obey the orders of law enforcement personnel...

    Of course, there are always exceptions.. But, by and large, disobeying the orders of LEO is not a good idea..

  80. [80] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    You can't...

    i just did. twice.

    ;p

  81. [81] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    If it's good for ALL Americans, it's not a "political agenda"

    You're confusing 'political' with 'partisan', a common mistake these days, given the disintegration of common ground between the parties, and recent GOP capture by the extreme right.

  82. [82] 
    michale wrote:

    i could go on...

    The problem with those examples is that there are people on the other side of the issue who can give very good reasons also why you are wrong and they are right...

    You think it's good for ALL they people.. They think it's good for Democrats only...

    The very essence of a "political agenda"....

  83. [83] 
    michale wrote:

    You're confusing 'political' with 'partisan',

    Political IS partisan..

    They are one and the same...

    a common mistake these days, given the disintegration of common ground between the parties, and recent GOP capture by the extreme right.

    A perfect case in point....

  84. [84] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    The problem with those examples is that there are people on the other side of the issue who can give very good reasons also why you are wrong and they are right...

    there are also people who believed deeply that there were very good reasons for segregation. that don't make it so. as yet i have yet to hear anyone on either side of the aisle ever give a "very good reason" in favor of either gerrymandering or unlimited dark money. the country is divided practically evenly between liberals and conservatives, yet only 23 out of 435 house districts (that's about 5%) are even remotely competitive.

    JL

  85. [85] 
    michale wrote:

    As long as ya'all think REPUBLICAN and DEMOCRAT, ya'all will be proving my point about Political = Partisan...

  86. [86] 
    michale wrote:

    as yet i have yet to hear anyone on either side of the aisle ever give a "very good reason" in favor of either gerrymandering or unlimited dark money.

    Is it possible that people HAVE given a "very good reason" but that you just don't agree with it.

    I know I have run into that a LOT here.. :D

  87. [87] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    Is it possible that people HAVE given a "very good reason" but that you just don't agree with it.

    i think i'm capable of divorcing my personal opinion on an issue from my practical judgment. i would say most issues have legitimate points on both sides. the two examples i cited are exceptional in that they don't.

    JL

  88. [88] 
    altohone wrote:

    65

    "No... It's standard media practice when guilt has not been established in a court of law...

    Media will ALWAYS use "alleged" until such time as a guilty verdict is reached in court.."

    You are thinking far too narrowly.
    A court case isn't pending on Trump's unsubstantiated opinion about culpability for the chemical attack in Syria.

    The media uses such qualifiers in all sorts of situations that won't involve the courts.

    "You are REALLY reaching if you are using the media's use of "alleged" as proof of innocence...""

    Total straw man argument.
    Never claimed it was "proof of innocence".
    Get it together.

    A

  89. [89] 
    michale wrote:

    You are thinking far too narrowly.
    A court case isn't pending on Trump's unsubstantiated opinion about culpability for the chemical attack in Syria.

    Which is EXACTLY why the media is using "allegedly"..

    Never claimed it was "proof of innocence".

    Good..

    So you agree that it's possible that Assad is guilty...

  90. [90] 
    michale wrote:

    i think i'm capable of divorcing my personal opinion on an issue from my practical judgment.

    Yes.. People claim all the time that they are objective..

    I do it quite often..

    Do you buy it?? :D

    i would say most issues have legitimate points on both sides.

    Good ta know... :D

    the two examples i cited are exceptional in that they don't.

    In your opinion...

  91. [91] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Michale-
    "Give me something today that is a political agenda and is good for ALL Americans."
    Oh- oh -oh!
    I know this one.
    Is it One Demand ?

  92. [92] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Nypoet (72)-
    Is it time for the wet noodle ?

    "Excuse me while I whip this out."
    -Sheriff Bart
    Blazing Saddles

  93. [93] 
    altohone wrote:

    63

    "As we have established, your opinion is borne of ignorance and anti-cop bigotry..."

    You have established neither.
    The former is a false assumption, the latter is both based on your memory problems and false assumptions.

    Combined, they lead you to make false claims which are attacks by definition. Apology not accepted due to your excuses and false rationalizations... look up non-apology apologies.

    Your justification for attacking me is an appeal to ignorance argument (have you forgotten that already too?).

    On the other hand, my opinion of you is based on what you have said, not on what you haven't said.

    And if you're going to keep harping on ignorance about police procedures, you can't then refuse to provide cites for the procedures with lame excuses.
    You are thus using your inaction to lessen ignorance to support your claims of supposed ignorance.

    But the crux of the issue is your inherent comfort with unnecessary violence despite the availability of less violent alternatives. A judgment call where your judgment is lacking.
    An opinion shared broadly in the airline incident and many others.

    A

  94. [94] 
    altohone wrote:

    89

    Yes, I think it's possible, but I don't think it's probable.
    Your reading comprehension is terrible if you are just realizing this.

    A

  95. [95] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    @90,

    the only arguments out there in favor of dark money are based on a constitutional definition of corporations, unions & foreign governments as "people" and political donations as "free speech." do you consider that kind of argument legitimate?

    and if you can find any argument in favor of gerrymandering by someone who doesn't directly benefit from it, i bow to your superior imagination.

    JL

  96. [96] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    When a person is instructed that they are under arrest and told to put their hands behind their back, they must do so -- end of story! This is what our laws demand of us.

    If they refuse, then it is in everyone's best interest for the officer to compel them to comply as swiftly as possible. Yes, the officer could argue with her and use as minimum of force against her as possible; which will most likely result in her continuing to resist and the officer having to increase the level of force incrementally until she complies. This would open the officer and others up to multiple dangers:

    -- The officer might feel the suspect is going to overpower them and determines that the use of deadly force is necessary.

    -- The suspect might get the upper hand and disarm the officer. People who struggle with officers and take their guns have a tendency for shooting and killing the officer.

    -- The longer a struggle continues, the more likely that one or both of the involved parties will be injured. Also, the possibility of family/friends attempting to help the suspect increases the longer it continues.

    Every second that a struggle continues, the likelihood that someone will be injured increases. A quick ending is the safest ending. The woman was not seriously injured. She had the opportunity to comply, but she chose not to do so.

  97. [97] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    nypoet22 [95],

    a. even if corporations were ceded the right to be treated as (heartless, soulless, brainless puppet)'people' legally, that still doesn't entitle them to unrestricted free speech. Speech is restricted all the time, from yelling 'fire' falsely, to incitement to riot. Moreover, money is strictly regulated, and rules changes make a world of difference when money and politics meet. Nobody wants to go to jail (except this one guy I know who recently got his wish, but he's not normal). My point is: Citizen's United, as bad as it is, is not the whole problem. A lackadaisical political system is. If both parties agreed to get dark money out of the system, they could easily, but neither wants to disown big money as long as the other has access to big money (and now, foreign clients? oy!). Which brings me to:

    b. No party in power wants to cede power to the other party at its own expense, so gerrymandering
    persists, with notable exceptions of reform, California being one of them. The argument from the establishment, including groups like Red State, is that gerrymandering is a long-established tradition that reaches back nearly to the founding of the country. On the other hand, when Governor Gerry first created his salamander-shaped district in 1812, the founders were mostly dead of old age, and an era of unprecedented division was only a few decades away. Did gerrymandering ultimately cause the civil war? It's certainly had an effect on political polarization in our own day and age, so I wouldn't be surprised if it had.

  98. [98] 
    Kick wrote:

    michale [24]

    Contractually speaking, no it is not..

    For the record, that is my opinion based on my read of your PASSENGER BILL OF RIGHTS you posted..

    Your mistake here is that you're giving your opinion using the words "contractually speaking" based on Department of Transportation regulations. If you're going to claim it is within the airline's right "contractually," then check the Contract of Carrier. There are rules in the Contract that allow United to deny a passenger boarding and there are rules in the Contract that allow United to remove passengers from a plane after boarded for conduct, etc. This guy and his wife were already on board.

    While they don't define BOARDING in that document, common sense dictates that up until the point where the doors are closed and the plane departs the terminal, the process of "boarding" is still in progress...

    Once you have a boarding pass and an assigned seat, under the Contract of Carrier, the airlines still have a right to remove you from the plane for lots and lots of reasons; among those reasons is NOT "we need your seat for our pilot and/or flight attendant."

    I am amiable to be proven wrong, but it's inconsequential to the central point that the responsibility for the incident is on the subject..

    Oh, good... because you're wrong. The airlines failure to plan for its employees travel is not his problem. The airlines had no right under Contract of Carrier to remove him to fly their employee in his place, and the airline sure as hell had no right to have him forcibly removed by law enforcement. Sure, he still should have obeyed law enforcement regardless of his rights, but the responsibility for the incident is not on him because the airline had no right to have him removed to fly another passenger (United employee, me, you, anyone else) after he had already been given a boarding pass and seated and was causing no trouble whatsoever.

  99. [99] 
    Kick wrote:

    GT [38]

    Here is a great summation of my take on it.

    https://thepointsguy.com/2017/04/i-got-the-united-situation-wrong/

    Yes... this writer nails it. :)

  100. [100] 
    Kick wrote:

    Paula [41]

    This is a frog in the saucepan situation -- people coming to accept a set of affronts as being the norm. People having to learn a set of rules that, evidently, apply nowhere else. So you have to "learn" how to be an airline customer. You have to be prepared to be screwed over for the airline's convenience.

    No, you shouldn't.

    Exactly! :)

  101. [101] 
    Kick wrote:

    michale [42]

    I still maintain that it doesn't matter if United frak'ed up or not..

    Oh, but it does matter. United Airlines was NOT within their rights to have him forcibly removed by law officers after they had already boarded and seated him. They violated their contract and used law enforcement to commit assault and battery in the process. Big mistake.

    When a passenger is told to JUMP by flight crew or LEOs, the ONLY response is to JUMP...

    So perhaps you'll understand the error of your statement by one single change in the situation... pretend like that aircraft was in flight and the flight crew or LEOs told him to "JUMP" and he didn't do it so they drug him off the plane and threw him out (forget science... shouldn't be hard for you *LOL*). Is he required to "JUMP" just because the flight crew and the LEOs told him to? No damn way.

    People have rights that are granted to them by our United States Constitution as well as under contracts. No LEO has a right to violate a persons rights. If you'd like to live in a country where LEOs are free to do whatever they please and violate people's Constitutional rights and rights under contract, then you're in the wrong country.

    If this selfish jackass DOES get a hefty settlement because of all the bleeding hearts and politically correct persons, I truly hope he is hit with the maximum fine and jail time for the felony he committed..

    He didn't commit a felony. United had no right to refuse to transport him after they'd already boarded and seated him, and they damn sure had no right to use police force to incorrectly enforce a contract.

  102. [102] 
    Kick wrote:

    michale [43]

    But there is a time and a place to assert your rights...

    With the flight crew and LEOs in a packed aircraft???

    *NOT* one of those times NOR one of those places..

    Again, the simplicity is obvious...

    Now this is the part you've got totally correct, even though United had no right to refuse him transport after boarding him. :)

  103. [103] 
    Kick wrote:

    michale [59]

    You fight the law.. The law will win..

    EVERY.... TIME.....

    WRONG! Oh, you have no idea how wrong you are, but that's another story. :)

  104. [104] 
    michale wrote:

    Now this is the part you've got totally correct, even though United had no right to refuse him transport after boarding him. :)

    Maybe.. Maybe not.. That's for the lawyers to decide...

    But the simple fact is, it does not excuse, mitigate or extenuate the crime the jackass committed..

    Put another way.. If a police officer mistakenly tries to arrest you and you kick the shit out of the officer, you are still going to jail. Even though the officer had no right to arrest you in the first place..

    As long as the officer had a reasonable belief that the arrest was warranted, you would be at fault..

    There is a time and place to assess the validity of the action. DURING the incident is not that time nor that place..

    You fight the law.. The law will win..

    EVERY.... TIME.....

    WRONG! Oh, you have no idea how wrong you are, but that's another story. :)

    With the previously mentioned qualifier, I am definitely not wrong...

    You fight the law, the law will win..

    Ask Michael Brown. Ask Eric Gardner...

  105. [105] 
    michale wrote:

    Lansing, Michigan rescinds 'sanctuary' status after criticism from businesses
    http://www.foxnews.com/us/2017/04/13/lansing-michigan-rescinds-sanctuary-status-after-criticism-from-businesses.html

    Lefties are taking note.. :D

    It's NEVER a good idea to codify that you will be breaking the law at the expense of and danger to American citizens....

  106. [106] 
    michale wrote:

    Every second that a struggle continues, the likelihood that someone will be injured increases. A quick ending is the safest ending. The woman was not seriously injured. She had the opportunity to comply, but she chose not to do so.

    Exactly...

    As with the United incident, in both cases, the SUBJECTS each had an opportunity to comply with a lawful order and chose not to do so..

    Everything subsequent from that choice is the fault of the SUBJECT..

    They fought the law and the law won...

  107. [107] 
    michale wrote:

    And yet, my "ignorance" includes witnessing over 300 arrests where none of the good cops resorted to unnecessary force...

    Watching episodes of NCIS and HAWAII-FIVE O doesn't count was "witnessing" arrests... :D

  108. [108] 
    Paula wrote:

    Comrade Michale continues to illuminate us all with his jackboot-rhetoric. I think he really, really get's off on the idea that people in "law enforcement" should automatically get to push other people around and those other people should have no recourse except to bow and scrape and salute. He really isn't concerned with the "law" part -- just the enforcement.

Comments for this article are closed.