You're in Chicago, and you board a United flight to Louisville. Why anyone would want to go there is beyond me, but let's accept the premise. United has naturally fully booked (probably overbooked) the flight. The passengers all board and prepare to continue their journey. Then, United realizes it needs to get four of it's own employees to Louisville. So it asks for people to volunteer to get off for a hotel room and $400. No one takes it. So they go to $800. No one takes that either. Then they decide to randomly pick people to get off. The first two they pick get off without hassle. The third... well... this is where they get into some trouble.
The third man refused to get off because he needed to get where he was going. He said he was a doctor and had patients to see. So, United was of course very understanding. So understanding that they call the cops, tried to forcibly remove the man, knocked him out by smashing his head against an armrest, and dragged his unconscious and bleeding body body down the aisle and off the plane. In front of a plane load of people with cell phones, they thought they'd get away with that. Eventually, he was allowed to re-board the plane, with blood still on his forehead but was clearly disoriented (concussed I'd assume). Then they deplaned everyone so United could "tidy up".
So, let me start with this:
Now, let move on to the rest. United response? Check this:
“Flight 3411 from Chicago to Louisville was overbooked. After our team looked for volunteers, one customer refused to leave the aircraft voluntarily and law enforcement was asked to come to the gate. We apologize for the overbook situation.”
That's it. They're sorry they overbooked.
Ok, let start with the fact that the man could have avoided this if he'd been a sheep. He could have bent over and allow United to fuck him. Or allow the transit cops to do the same. But instead, he stood his ground and was beated down for it. Now, he broke no laws. United had no legal reason for asking him to leave. He wasn't s a disturbance until AFTER they asked him to leave. The cops therefore shouldn't have any authority to remove him. At that point, they were only there to enforce company policy, not legal code. Moreso because the company had tried to bribe people to get off the plane, and only stopped raising the fee in order to save money. I bet for $2000 or $5000 someone either volunteers to gets off the plane, or United finds another way to deal with getting employees to Kentucky. So, these officers were just thugs, even before they smashed a mans head into the armrest. I really hope they get charged with assault, but we all know they won't.
This isn't quite the worst case PR scenario for United. I mean, preventing a doctor from seeing his patients is bad. Holy crap is it heartless and stupid. But it could have been a person flying to a wedding, birth, or funeral. Can you imagine if he'd been flying to his mother's deathbed? And got there too late because of this crap? The sad thing is that it doesn't really matter why he was flying. Every person on that flight thought that it wasn't worth $800 to get off and fly later. They all had places they wanted to go. NO ONE puts up with going through the hassle of going to an airport, getting molested by TSA, and waiting forever and a day to get on board a flight just because. They all needed to go somewhere. And it doesn't matter if it's a doctor with patients, a person with a dying family member or a stripper going to her next gig. This sort of bullshit is far to common with airlines anymore. And the idea that they think they can use transit cops as armed thugs to enforce company will is terrifying.
Personally, I'll be really sad if this man walks away without pressing criminal charges on the cop and settling for at least 5 million from United. The police need to understand that they're not corporate thugs, and are responsible for the safety of the passengers, not the bottom line of the airline. More importantly, when they're not enforcing the law, they're personally responsible for their actions (in this case, assault). And the corporation needs a firm slap to make it understand that overbooking has penalties.
As for that statement.... holy crap. I don't see how any human being could be heartless enough to write it up. They must have hired a true lizard person style lawyer to be that cold. One person refused to voluntarily leave the plane? I think it's safe to say that the other two people didn't leave voluntarily either. You tried to bribe them, and they rejected it. They were just less willing to push the issue once you threatened them. More than that nugget, you don't even mention that you are directly responsible for the actions of your thugs? That your corporate greed and mismanagement directly lead to a situation that you handled this fucking badly? That your strong-arms brutalized a man and potentially gave him a concussion? That they did so in full view of children? Let alone the rest of the plane load of passengers?
In case it needs to be said again,
And whoever wrote that statement... I really hope that you end up buried to your neck surrounded by fire ants.
"All right," said Susan. "I'm not stupid. You're saying humans need... fantasies to make life bearable." REALLY? AS IF IT WAS SOME KIND OF PINK PILL? NO. HUMANS NEED FANTASY TO BE HUMAN. TO BE THE PLACE WHERE THE FALLING ANGEL MEETS THE RISING APE. "Tooth fairies? Hogfathers? Little?" YES. AS PRACTICE. YOU HAVE TO START OUT LEARNING TO BELIEVE THE LITTLE LIES. "So we can believe the big ones?" YES. JUSTICE. MERCY. DUTY. THAT SORT OF THING. "They're not the same at all!" YOU THINK SO? THEN TAKE THE UNIVERSE AND GRIND IT DOWN TO THE FINEST POWDER AND SIEVE IT THROUGH THE FINEST SIEVE AND THEN SHOW ME ONE ATOM OF JUSTICE, ONE MOLECULE OF MERCY. AND YET -Death waved a hand. AND YET YOU ACT AS IF THERE IS SOME IDEAL ORDER IN THE WORLD, AS IF THERE IS SOME...SOME RIGHTNESS IN THE UNIVERSE BY WHICH IT MAY BE JUDGED. "Yes, but people have got to believe that, or what's the point?" MY POINT EXACTLY."-Terry Pratchett, Hogfather You will be missed, my friend. Farewell.
'Obviously rape is awful..  What is beautiful is the child that could come from this' '...every cloud has a silver lining. It's just that this cloud is a rape. Every rape cloud can have a baby as a silver lining' 'Now it's all 'War on Women' this and 'my body, my choice' that and 'don't lay your theocratic mitts on my uterus you backwards thinking jerkface.' And I think our country is now lost morally because of it' 'They just need to think of a rape baby as God putting one in you, is all' 'God works in mysterious, sometimes kinda rapey ways'Now. No peeking. Tell me. Man or woman? Age? Skin color? Political affiliation? Job? What state are the from? Let's see how you did: Male. About 40. White. Republican. State Representative. West Virginia. How'd ya do? I guessed Mississippi and 50, but I feel like WV isn't very far off of the sexist spectrum. For the record, Brian Kurcaba is a loser. He's a pathetic sack of shit, who will hopefully never know the horror of being raped personally, or have one of his loved ones suffer the fate. You're a walking talking stereotype of a hateful sexist pig. Everything about you represents that. I could rail on and on about how horrible a person you are. But really, what more needs to be said. You are what you are.
In mid-September, Glenn Broadnax was disturbed, which is to say he was unbalanced. He walked into traffic in NYC. As traffic piled up and police arrived, he reached into his pants pocket to get his wallet. Police, believing he was getting a gun, shot him. Well… ok, not really. They shot at him. And crack marksmen that they are, they hit two people in the crowd and missed him entirely. Then, the cops changed their minds about shooting the unarmed man to death, decided to tazer him, and then arrested him.
He was charged with menacing, drug possession and resisting arrest. Reasonable enough stuff. I’m on board. But now the DA has tacked on something new. Two counts of felony assault. Who did he assault? The bystanders the cop shot obviously. Poor judgment and worse aim led to the cops drawing their weapons and shooting the wrong people, but they’re blaming Glenn instead.
It’s all an attempt to push responsibility for their actions away from the police both to maintain a solid wall of blue (note: the names of the cops are being protected while they’re on paid leave) and protect the city from the lawsuits the victims will press against the city for their medical expenses. The cops ignored the 4th rule of gun safety: Be sure of your target and of what is beyond it. It’s beaten into the students of every gun safety class ever given. And it was casually disregarded by the NYPD. The cops violated rule #4 and hurt bystanders. It’s not the first time. And it probably won’t be the last.
And now the DA is sitting in court trying to make a case based on first mover. The initial cause is blamed for everything that follows after. It's bullshit grandstanding. Based on that, I blame the DA and demand he be brought up on assault charges immediately. Why? Well, his repeated attempts to protect cops from their own mistakes has instituted a culture of negligence where cops don't care if they arrest, assault or murder innocents. This lead to cops firing on crowds last year and again in September. Ipso Facto, the DA should be put on trial. Same logic, new initial cause.
Putting Glenn on trial for a cop's failure to practice gun safety is bullshit. No reasonable person would think that Glenn's actions forced the cops to shoot bystanders. There are doubt that they should have even pulled their guns in the first place since he was unarmed. The thug cops acted precipitously and used more force then necessary. Worse, they missed their target at a range of less than 15 feet and hit innocents. Put the cops behind bars.
Recently, ABC decided to hire Jenny McCarthy to replace a host on the daytime talk show, ‘The View’. Honestly, while I’m not entirely surprised, I’m immensely disappointed.
Jenny is a self-deluded conspiracy theorist who is actively working to increase the number of dead children every year. I don’t say that lightly. Her activism directly leads to infant mortality. And ABC just gave a soapbox to help her convince millions more parents to do the same.
You see, Jenny believes that vaccinations cause autism. She BELIEVES. She also believes that her son was cured of autism by changing his diet. She BELIEVES. She believes that there is a conspiracy in the medical community to cover up the autistic side effects of mercury used in MMR vaccines. She BELIEVES.
She’s wrong on every count. MMR vaccines don’t have mercury based preservatives. There isn’t a conspiracy. She probably didn’t cure her son because he was almost certainly never autistic. Vaccines do NOT cause autism.
Now, she’s not a liar. As I said, she absolutely believes what she’s saying. But she’s incapable of seeing the evidence that she’s wrong. She still supports Andrew Wakefield’s vaccine study years after it was discredited and he lost his medical license for tampering with the results in order to get money from a drug company that wanted to gain market share using his study. Subsequent studies have done the same experiment repeatedly and found completely different results.
But not being a liar doesn’t make her a force for good. Since she joined the tin foil hat brigade on vaccines, she has promoted the view around the world and scared parents into refusing to vaccinate. Sure, she’s not the only person on the bandwagon, but she’s one of the largest faces of it. By her actions, large numbers of children around the world are not being vaccinated. There has been an increase in outbreaks of measles. Where once it was nearly eradicated, children are again suffering from peventable diseases. Whopping Cough tripled its number of infections last year over 2011, which was itself the highest number of cases in a decade.
Last year, 13 infants died of whooping cough. More died of other preventable diseases because their parents believed Jenny. I lay those children at her feet. Not every one of them could have been saved with proper vaccination. But most could. She is not the only responsible party. But she shares the blame with Wakefield, the duped parents, and the rest of the anti-vax crowd. They’re all culpable in the deaths of children.
And ABC hired her. They gave her a platform to reach millions of parents every day. For shame.
The FBI and NSA have had a rough time of it recently. I’d feel bad for them, but it’s entirely their own fault. Most recently, the director of the FBI warned Congress that pulling the plug on programs like PRISM, would “reduce the number of dots” they can examine when they are trying to stop terrorists.
And to put a kibosh on just using due process to get information from the communications companies, he claimed that getting a subpoena and getting the information back would take “an awful long time”.
Isn’t that some horseshit? Ok, I have firsthand knowledge that the second part of that pile of manure is incorrect. When a subpoena is submitted, the request can be turned around in under a day. BUT!! That’s not all. When there is an immediate threat, there is a secondary request process that they can ask for the information, get it stamped ‘super mega ultra-urgent’ and turned around in minutes. After the urgency of the request is handled, an official court documented request can follow at a later time to ensure that the proper legal process was followed. Hurray for due process!
As for the other side of the coin, it’s the Fourth Fucking Amendment. It doesn’t matter that it reduces your number of dots or is inconvenient. It’s SUPPOSED to be hard for you to unreasonably search me. You’re seizing my information and data without providing a warrant. But not just that, you’re seizing it from my wife. My family. My friends. My coworkers. The entire damn country. And you have no reasonable suspicion that any of us have committed a crime. End of story, end of discussion. I’m sorry. Do not pass go. Do not collect 200 phone numbers.
But really, that’s the problem. Damn privacy protections. Think of how safe we could be if we just turned everything over to the government. They would just walk around and have a giant pool of data to crunch at any time about anyone. They could go fishing to their little heart’s content. Hunting those evil bad people who have stuff to hide. Yeah. That would be good. I can’t think of any issues with that at all.
What was that? Mid-level IRS flunkies acting on their own initiative to target Tea Party groups? Don’t worry about that. I’m sure the FBI and NSA are better about that sort of thing. All of their employees are solid upstanding citizens. And their contractors too. They all stick to the letter of the law, right? Certainly none of them would wander off the reservation. To Hong Kong. With reams of information he wasn’t supposed to have and release it to tons of people that weren’t supposed to have it.
Nope. That would never happen.
I have a community mailbox. For the fourth time in the past 6 months, I was unable to unlock my mailbox today. Each of the previous times it was because the delivery person had shoved the mail so far into the box that it prevented the latch from turning. Each time, I get to go through the same stupid cycle.
First, I call the post office. Each time, no one fucking answers the phone because that would be stupid. So, I end up waiting in like for 10-15 minutes while the brain dead worker bees figure out how to deal with each customers problem. Then, once I get to the front of the line, the person acts like they've never heard of a community mailbox before. I explain the concept and describe the how the key doesn't turn of the latch is blocked. I'm a polite as can be because I realize that this is shitty thankless job, and this problem isn't the fault of the person I'm talking to. Today... things were slightly different.
Once I described the problem, the bitch behind the country immediately told me this was my fault for not cleaning out my mailbox often enough. I'm sorry, what? Shit-stain, before you open your mouth and say something like that, you should know I get my mail every mother fucking day. And when I tell you that, rolling your eyes is NOT the way to make the situation better. Nor is telling me there is nothign you can do about it, when I know otherwise. I shouldn't have to tell you to give the mail carrier a letter to make it right. Making me suggest it makes me angry, particularly on top of your previous attitude. See, I'm not a nice guy.
I'm really not. I can be. I do my very best to keep things civil. But once you cross the line, all the sudden, Mr Nice Guy goes away. He's on vacation now, bitch. Tonight, you're getting a sizable pile of complaint letters from different sources with different variations on the text all mentioning that you were rude and unhelpful. Some of them are translated into Spanish, and some in German. And tomorrow you'll get them all again. And the probably the day after that. It's convenient that someone scripted submissions to the USPS website for me.
If you're really lucky, that'll be the end of it. My attention span will overcome my anger. I'll get bored and stop clicking submit. Like I said, I'm not a nice person.
Fuck you USPS lady.
The election is coming up and once again I have a horrible truth pushed to the front of my brain as I prepare to take the final slog through campaign ads. There are people that believe this shit.
I’m not talking about believing little things. I mean, there are legitimate arguments over a candidate’s position on this topic or that. Where does Obama stand on gay marriage? Does Romney’s experience at Bain Capital translate into a good commander in chief? Yada-yada. I expect that. I even expect the more political based things like the possibility that Romney didn’t pay taxes for several years.
No, nothing that mundane. I’m talking about people who still believe that Obama is not a US citizen. Or that he’s a member of the Muslim Brotherhood. Who believe that the US is a Christian nation and any adherents of another faith should be deported. Who can’t tell you where Mexico is on a map, but is positive that Mexicans are the cause of most of our economic problems. Who scream loudly about people getting handouts on the unemployment line while hypocritically drawing on Medicaid. Who sit in a world full of technology and believe that Neil Armstrong never walked on the moon. Who honestly and reverently believe that the antichrist has already set foot on the planet, and has gotten elected to the Presidency.
It seems like nearly every week I run into these people. I don’t seek them out, but I see them anyway. Arguing in the work cafeteria. Talking in the supermarket. Posting online. And worst of all, staring out of my TV screen and being given a platform on the nightly news.
They are the biggest problem in America today. Forget abortion, marriage equality, housing bubbles and distribution of wealth. Those are all side effects. This large group of ignorant people is the underlying cause. The average person isn’t real bright, which means this bottom third is REALLY stupid. They reinforce belief structures and help each other wallow in their feeble-mindedness. They band together and push the rest of the country to acknowledge their particular brand of gobbledygook. They give their money to corporations that indulge them, which just spreads their lunacy further. They band together so you can explain it away as the crazy cat lady down the street.
They believe, and that’s far more important to them than knowledge. You can disprove their views a thousand times and it doesn’t matter. They already locked their belief in place and take any contrary evidence as conspiracy and lies. They believe and will not falter. They will refuse to accept anything that hinders that belief.
And worst off, they vote. In the past twenty years, most of the elections have come down to a few percentage points one way or another. And there are enough of them that they have actual influence on the outcome. Politicians pander to them as a voting demographic. These voters are the mental equivalent of potted plants, but get the same right to speak their… I guess we’ll call it their mind, though I would stipulate that the word is being used loosely.
I’m not saying they should have their suffrage removed. I’m just saying that this time of year makes my head hurt. It also reinforces the need for children to be properly educated.
Hey kids. Don’t be dumb.