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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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I agree that "pro-life" is a lie. What they really are is "anti-choice" and "anti-woman".

Calling them "pro-life" allows them to frame their argument as something compassionate, when compassion is precisely what they lack when it comes to the women they want to force into botched abortions and dangerous childbirths.

As a woman, I am offended

that my concerns are less important than those of some working-class white guy in the Midwest who voted for Trump because he couldn't stand the idea of a woman being allowed to control her reproductivity and thereby be in a position to run for president. There is no way the Democratic Party could win enough such bigots over to make up for the millions of women and minorities they would lose by throwing us all under the bus.

I'm watching the Ken Burns documentary of the Roosevelts.

It's amazing. Apparently, during FDR's presidency, the left was unhappy with FDR because he wasn't socialist enough for their taste. There were many Bernie-like politicians criticizing his policies for not being liberal enough, and threatening to primary him. And yet, today, FDR is revered by the ultra-left as a liberal hero. The Nation keeps publishing articles about how we need a "New New Deal".

If HRC had won the presidency, she would have gotten a lot of good stuff done, and a hundred years from now, she would have been similarly admired by the left. But it seems that at any given time, liberals always feel that their leaders are just not liberal enough for them. Unlike right-wingers, we liberals are never happy and too easily lose sight of the forest for the trees.

Just imagine if the right wing were anything like the left wing. They would be marching in the streets against Trump for not being conservative enough for them. But instead, they're all behind him. We might learn something from them. It's easier to change the system from within than from without.

I agree with you about the cult of personality.

I hadn't thought of it this way before, but you're exactly right. The focus on the personality of a politician is something one normally sees in young democracies. Because people don't understand or trust that they can get things done through the political system, they keep hoping for a charismatic leader to swoop in and save them. In a mature democracy, people focus more on ideas than on the person at the top. I'm afraid these cults of personality around Sanders and Trump are yet another symptom of how badly the system has been weakened.

The difference between a democracy and a dictatorship

is that in a democracy, the cops are there to protect the people; in a dictatorship, they're there to protect the state from the people. You can tell whether a country is a democracy or a dictatorship by the attitude of its citizens toward the police: are they trusting, or are they afraid? When people in a country start to be afraid of the police, it's a sign that democracy is eroding.

In this case, we see more and more evidence that the police are there to protect powerful corporations from the people. This is very concerning. You might want to start questioning your tendency to side with them by default.

First they said he was lying about being a doctor.

When it turned out he really was a doctor, they had to dig into his past and find something they could criticize him with. How many of us are so pure and innocent that we could survive such scrutiny? I have never committed a crime; I have never even received a parking ticket or a speeding ticket, but I've had disagreements with disgruntled and jealous colleagues, and a determined journalist could easily find two or three people who would argue, falsely but convincingly, that I have anger management issues. I've also suffered on and off from depression and anxiety over the years. Seriously, how many of us could stand up to that sort of intrusive analysis of our past? Does that mean we all deserve to be physically assaulted the moment we object to unfair behavior?

If we are going to start digging into people's pasts, what's more interesting and relevant is the past of the cop who assaulted the poor man, as well as the United employees who called the cops on him in the first place. I wonder what kinds of mental troubles they have been suffering from. Do they have anger management issues? Any record of spousal abuse? If they've been divorced, has anyone tried to talk to their exes to find out whether they have always had authoritative tendencies? Did the airport and United bother to check any of this when they chose to hire these people?

This is no different than scrutinizing the past of a rape victim to lay the blame on her, and not even bothering to look into the past of the rapist.

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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