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athena

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Member since: Sat Aug 7, 2004, 10:55 PM
Number of posts: 4,187

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The passenger should be reasoned with, and if he won't leave, he should be left alone.

There is no justification for physically assaulting someone who is not posing an immediate physical threat to anyone. What if the person ends up with permanent injuries, or even dies? This poor gentleman might have died as a result of hitting his head on the seat. How can you justify potentially killing someone who is not a physical threat?

The most disturbing thing about your question is that it assumes the passenger had to be taken off the plane. The passenger was not posing a threat to anyone. If United had offered increasingly large amounts of cash, four people would have been found who would voluntarily give up their seats. If offering $10,000 per person in cold, hard cash with no strings attached and to be handed over immediately did not result in four people releasing their seats, United could have hired a limousine or chartered a plane to get the four crew members to where they needed to be.

Indeed, there is no reason to stop at $10,000. United could have offered $100,000. At some point, the amount offered would have become so large that United would end up losing money on that flight, which would provide an incentive for them to review their methods and stop overbooking so aggressively.

So your question is misplaced. What you should really be asking is whether civil rights activists staging a sit-in should be physically assaulted. Why don't you ponder that for a moment. Perhaps then you will realize why some of us are so disturbed by this incident.

So what!

As I posted on another thread, this is a mistake any thinking and feeling human being might have made. It's not like the guy is a drug dealer. What he did was not right, and it's good he was disciplined for it, but it's a human mistake. Imagine you're a doctor and have a patient who is addicted to painkillers. They come to you and beg for one more bottle, explaining that they're going through a tough time and promising that this will be their last bottle. Otherwise they can't deal with things and they will throw themselves off a bridge. It's easy to slide into illegal behavior through a situation like this. $174 for a bottle of painkillers is not a huge amount of money; it's probably what the bottle cost Dr. Dao.

In fact, the type of person who would be so moved by a patient's misery that he would illegally supply him with painkillers is precisely the kind of person who would feel so much obligation to the patients he has to see the next morning that he would refuse to get off an airplane when asked to do so. This is someone who feels empathy and compassion to a larger degree than the average. Given different opportunities, he might have been an artist or a poet rather than a physician. Are we going to throw him off a cliff because he does not display the level of heartlessness and sociopathy that we admire so much these days in our leaders and idols?

Life is hard. People get depressed. They get addicted to drugs. They get angry and yell inappropriately. They lie on immigration documents to be able to be near and support their loved ones. We all do our best to make the best of the cards we've been dealt. No one is perfect. If being treated fairly requires perfection, then no one can possibly demand fairness.

This is a sick country, and it will not change until we decide that a lack of empathy for one's fellow beings is despicable and shameful. It is not Dr. Dao who should feel ashamed here; it is all of those people who have been proudly displaying their total and utter lack of empathy for the indignity and physical abuse that a fellow human being has been subjected to. Anyone who responds with so little empathy is not a human being in the full sense of the word.

It's an abuse of the system.

The cops are supposed to be there to solve real problems, not protect large corporations from the quirks of individual citizens.

I recently got kicked out of a mall because I was painting there. (I'm an artist.) It was a tiny painting; I was occupying almost no space, making no mess, and causing no disturbance. But security forced me to leave because apparently the stores are very "sensitive" about their image being captured. In other words, security was more concerned about protecting the profits of the big-name stores than in ensuring the safety of the people in the mall. When you see a security guard at any private establishment, don't be lulled into a false sense of security: they're not there to protect you; they're there to protect the establishment from you.

So what?

(Not directed at you, BTW.)

This is what the right-wing haters do every single time. Something horrific is done to an individual who belongs to a minority group, and they change the topic by finding some minor infraction the person committed in the past. And everybody goes away thinking that the person deserved what he got.

Life is hard. People get depressed. They get addicted to drugs. They get angry and yell inappropriately. They lie on immigration documents to be able to be near and support their loved ones. We all do our best to make the best of the cards we've been dealt. No one is perfect. If being treated fairly requires perfection, then no one can possibly demand fairness.

This is a sick country, and it will not change until we decide that a lack of empathy for one's fellow beings is despicable and shameful. When someone displays a lack of empathy, put them on the spot and shame them for not being a better human being. We need to get together and stop the slide of this culture toward increasing sociopathy.
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