Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Flying “So Sorry” Airlines

Like last Sunday's overbooked United flight 3411—delayed for two hours after a blameless passenger was unceremoniously dumped from his flight like rejected, oversized luggage—the overdue apology from United's beleaguered CEO Oscar Munoz finally arrived on Tuesday:

“I want you to know that we take full responsibility and we will work to make it right. It’s never too late to do the right thing. I have committed to our customers and our employees that we are going to fix what’s broken so this never happens again.”

Due to this self-inflicted public relations nightmare, United's stock is plummeting—and a boycott is being threatened. The recent loss of 1.1% of its value means $255 million has evaporated into the thin air of their less than friendly skies. Therefore, given Mr. Munoz's Johnny-come-lately epiphany, one is left to wonder whether he suddenly prizes his customers' welfare or just the corporation's shrinking bottom line.

Many on O'Hare's April 9th flight to Louisville are justified to remain cynical. Still, it's a relief that their “standard operating procedure” doesn't include heavies with badges manhandling a shrieking elderly doctor while dragging him from his seat and forcibly expelling him from an airplane. The married victim is identified as Dr. David Dao, 69, an Elizabethtown pulmonologist. (Interestingly and coincidentally, this physician also has a long criminal history of fraud, and trading prescription drugs for sexual favors with a male patient). In any case, the reality that he protested due to next morning hospital duties didn't dissuade the militant airline or jackbooted airport authorities. Did the three harassers wear brown shirts—and forget this is America—when they roughed him up?

The logistical problem started not from one doctor's resistance, but from the airline overbooking the flight. Four spots were needed for airline employees of an extra flight crew—so paying customers' needs be damned, right? Reportedly, an airline supervisor walked onto the plane and brusquely announced: “We have United employees that need to fly to Louisville tonight. … This flight’s not leaving until four people get off.” When the usual inducements such as $800 vouchers failed, four passengers were chosen at random. Only three complied. For the fourth, the police were called after Dr. Dao “refused to leave the aircraft voluntarily.” Unfortunately for the instigators, several passengers' cell phone videos of the incident have gone viral.

For example, witness Tyler Bridges posted his video to Twitter. Based upon his observation, “He said, more or less, 'I’m being selected because I'm Chinese.'” Educated in Vietnam, who would blame this traumatized doctor for having flashbacks of authoritarian thugs? From his window seat, two of the officers yanked him into the aisle while several passengers' “My Gods” reverberate. Dr. Dao goes limp when hitting the floor, his cell phone grasped in one hand. (Apparently, in the struggle he passed out after his nose impacted an armrest.) His glasses dislodged, his lip looking bloody, one of the officers pulls his dead weight by both arms down the aisle and out of the plane.

“No, this is wrong. Oh, my God, look at what you did to him!” exclaims one enraged female passenger over the din. Unfortunately, United CEO Oscar Munoz initial reaction did not concur. At the time, he demonized passenger Dao as “disruptive and belligerent”. Likewise, in an earlier statement Monday, he backed United employees, writing:

“While I deeply regret this situation arose, I also emphatically stand behind all of you, and I want to commend you for continuing to go above and beyond to ensure we fly right. ... Treating our customers and each other with respect and dignity is at the core of who we are, and we must always remember this no matter how challenging the situation.”

Frankly, one would expect this two-faced recipient of PRWeek U.S.’s Communicator of the Year for 2017 to do better. Speaking of seizing hands, they should confiscate Munoz's March 16 award. Likewise, Dr. Dao's attorneys should collect his yearly $6.7 million salary—and demand this CEO's immediate removal as the head of a now disgraced airline.

Twitter: @DavidHunterblog

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Illegals: Don't Mess With Texas

Obviously, green card holders aren't American citizens. Why then did Rosa Ortega of Grand Prairie, TX, 37, assume she was entitled to vote? Further, why did she foolishly sign government forms attesting to U.S. citizenship? Unfortunately for this Mexican-born, Texas-raised mother of four, ignorance of the law is no excuse.

Perhaps taking a page from D.C.'s “new sheriff” President Trump, the Lone Star State's penalty—imposed by Ms. Ortega's jury—shows startling backbone: eight years in the pokey and a $5000 fine for voter fraud. Beyond her stiff sentence, she also defies the expectations of a political stereotype: reportedly she voted for pro-law enforcement Republicans. There's some delicious irony in that.

Given this nightmarish scenario, Ms. Ortega's understandable reaction is very human one:

“Why me, God? Eight years for signing a piece of paper wrong. I didn’t know what I was doing. I don’t have any criminal record. Why am I the example?”

Notice how her words denote false victimization. An almost lawyerly evasiveness to diminish her illegal acts, perpetrated since 2004. Specifically, Ortega had voted in five elections in Dallas County before her voter registration was nixed in April of 2015. Per Fox 4 News, her identity was scrutinized after she tried to register to vote twice in Tarrant County. Those applications were both denied.

Doesn't this pattern of wrongdoing indicate willful ignorance? Hers is a total denial of personal responsibility for her choices—and their unexpected consequences. Indeed, Ortega is swiftly discovering a new paradigm like so many others in the shadows. Unlike Obama's lackadaisical regime, in Trump's America laws and legal status matter—again.

Despite Ms. Ortega's sympathetic protestations, voting by non-citizens is not a meaningless crime. Its stealthy practice is actually an insidious assault upon our country's soul. After all, what's more fundamental than diluting the all-important voice of We the People?

In most cases (not Ortega's: she's a permanent resident), this “thievery” is perpetrated by an unknown segment of an invisible, squatting underclass of foreign invaders with no legal standing. Perhaps assisting matters, per Pew Center statistics, voter inaccuracies are rampant. They include: dead people still registered and/or voting, the same person registered in two or more locations, and largely faulty or completely invalid registrations. How many of those permit illegals to vote?

Moreover, do they yet exert enough influence to tilt an election? What of a 2015 survey that indicates that 13% of illegals confess to fraudulent voting in California with its treasure trove of 55 electoral votes? Election results there show that since 1992, to the present, the nation's most populist state has voted solidly Democrat. Is it just coincidence that the outspokenly pro-illegal Democratic Party dominates there? These are the pressing, unanswered political questions of our age.

Elections aside, it's beyond naive to believe that the bushels of bad apples among the undocumented don't have a harmful impact upon our society. What of the tragic murders of Kate Steinle and Jamiel “Jas” Shaw II at the violent hands of illegals? Their premature deaths would not have occurred otherwise. More recently, neither would the bathroom gang rape of a 14-year old ninth-grader by two older illegal teens in Maryland's Rockville High School in March of 2017. Based on 2014 government data, the Pew Research Center estimates approximately 3.9 million kindergarten through 12th-grade students in U.S. schools—or 7.3% of the total—are children of illegal aliens. At minimum, how is that not a cultural disruption and a logistical nightmare? Likewise, how is a suspected 11 (or is it 30?) million strangers freely adrift within our borders—with no incentive to assimilate—never anything to be concerned about?

Insulated from danger, the powerful and moneyed families of Washington's elected officials are safe. As the establishment of both parties remains unaffected, their nonchalance on these related issues is easy to understand. For decades, why not act like metaphorical ostriches with heads buried in sand while an abetting MSM happily plays along? Yet, ignoring these glaring problems doesn't change their reality. For context, contrast that high school child's brutal sexual assault—or the killing of innocents—to Rosa Ortega temporary loss of freedom (and potential deportation). To borrow the catchphrase from the 1970's TV show “Baretta”: “Don't do the crime if you can't do the time.” Her unlucky fate broadcasts an important social and political message: lawbreakers, big and small, beware.

Twitter: @DavidHunterblog

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Going Cuckoo Hiding Obama's “Gatsby”

And I hope she'll be a fool—that's the best thing a girl can be in this world, a beautiful little fool.” – Daisy Buchanan, love interest from F. Scott Fitzgerald's literary classic “The Great Gatsby” (1925)

By publishing “Our dishonest president,” “Why Trump lies” and “Trump's Authoritarian Vision,” the Editorial Board of the Los Angeles Times tries to play their readers for fools. To that end, this series should have been printed on April Fool's Day. After all, they comprise an absurdist anti-Trump hatchet job that actually epitomizes Barack Obama. Some 70 days in (within any new president's honeymoon) did any detractor treat the former president with partisan venom or unjustifiable disdain?

That answer is absolutely not. Back then, everything for the inexperienced sophomoric senator from Illinois was hope and change rainbows and unicorns. After 8 years, his progressive fantasy—a dystopian design to turn America into a big government, European-style socialist state—resulted in nothing good. Contrast that to Trump's rejuvenating vision of “America First”. Hence, it's laughable to claim, “He sees himself as not merely a force for change, but as a wrecking ball.” By definition, that which destroys can't also be that which restores. Utter hogwash! What of Obama's record-shattering debt (9.3 trillion added), ObamaCare's imploding failure (BHO's “Keep your plan” whopper: Politifact's Lie of the Year in 2013), Middle East tumult and the likelihood of a nuclear Iran (funded by Obama's 1.7 billion dollar payout in January of 2016) to name just a few of the last administration's messes. That unmistakable damage has nothing to do with President Trump. Per the facts, exactly who's been a wrecking ball here? The politically schizophrenic press can't find anything good about Mr. Trump—or anything wrong with Mr. Obama. Should such naked bias and baseless propaganda be trusted?

Under Obama for most of a decade, they found nothing amiss as the world burned with perpetual Middle Eastern strife and terrorist insurgency. Simultaneously, America teetered on economic insolvency enflamed by a domestic racial powder keg. Meanwhile, the enigma “in charge” was a F. Scott Fitzgerald style dilettante who led from behind and governed via golfing greens. (Per CBS reporter Mark Knoller, Barack Obama played 333 times over his two terms.) Interestingly, both high living figures changed their names: James Gatz assumed the Jay Gatsby persona while Barry Soetoro became Barack Obama. Yet, the parallels run deeper to equally murky pasts. After all, doesn't Gatsby's bootlegging and shadowy mob associations eerily denote Obama's Indonesian childhood, his controversial birthplace (read: Kenya or Hawaii?) and unclear religious persuasion (read: Christian or Muslim faith?). Furthermore, both men abandoned humble roots for larger-than-life ego-building aims. In pretender Gatsby case, to achieve wealth in order to be worthy of his “golden girl”. Similarly, for Obama, to gain the ultimate standing by playing at being a U.S. president.

Moreover, the two share a common psychology: the same heedless mind-set of the unyielding dreamer. The difference being Gatsby's obsession with the past (“Can't repeat the past?” he cried incredulously. “Why of course you can.”) versus Obama's sole interest in dominating the future:

“Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.” – Candidate Obama on Super Tuesday, February 5, 2008

As president, he clearly enjoyed the office's pomp and circumstance while, like Gatsby, completely ignoring distasteful realities. Specifically, what of his forgotten political hometown of Chicago: the nation's murder capitol for 5 of the 8 years of his presidency? Beyond that, Obama told numerous bald-faced lies and constantly stoked racial tensions to distract from his litany of atrocious mistakes. Even worse, he never took any responsibility whatsoever. Abetted by the MSM—today same as yesteryear—the political opposition is blamed for all of his failures. Thus, isn't Barack Obama the moneyed archetype for a nefarious Gatsby playboy? And speaking of careless people, doesn't designer duds Michelle roughly approximate superficial, shirt-obsessed Daisy Buchanan?

To ground things in a real-life context, Democratic ex-president Bill Clinton reportedly said: “Barack Obama is an amateur” in Edward Klein's similarly titled 2012 book. In retrospect 5 years later, that assessment is spot-on. Notice how today's LA Times's fictional smear of Donald Trump actually perfectly fits his predecessor:

“[Barack Obama] was a narcissist and a demagogue who used fear and dishonesty to appeal to the worst in American voters. The Times called him unprepared and unsuited for the job he was seeking, and said his election would be a 'catastrophe'.”

By any objective measure, the Obama years were exactly that: the worst of any modern U.S. president. For the record, Donald Trump opposes the dysfunctional and dictatorial Washington “swamp” that Mr. Obama exploited. While the LA Times freely vilifies The Donald as “authoritarian,” they completely disregard the guy who actually was. Of the two, which ultra-constitutional president ruled by fiat with executive orders? Which one bragged about using a pen and a phone as a middle finger to Congress; our system's lawmaking body? It's frankly Orwellian for them to conflate Obama's totalitarianism with Trump's anti-establishment stance that liberty-loving Americans cheer!

Like Obama, these anonymous scribblers have a tenuous relationship with reality. See how desperate they are to rehabilitate his failed legacy; to change the subject by unfairly besmirching his replacement. How is their extended Trump hit piece not an adverse reaction to his ongoing dismantling of the last guy's ruinous policies? How else does one logically explain this newspaper's unhinged four-piece tirade that wrongly transposes Obama's misdeeds and track record with Trump's? The LA Times's premature condemnation proves their birdbrained publication had indeed flown the coop! Ideologues' blind devotion to a facade: same as Gatsby's deluded love for Daisy, another unworthy idol.

Twitter: @DavidHunterblog