United Airlines Goes Too Far, But The Airline And The CEO May Get Away With It





United Airlines CEO Oscar Muñoz must be forced to resign without his golden parachute (wishful thinking for the latter on my part) and those three thugs who O’Hare and the city of Chicago all “airport cops” need to be fired and brought up on criminal assault charges, besides also being sued in civil court for their violating Dao’s civil rights, their violent behavior and the physical damage they wreaked on Dr. David Dao.

Unfortunately, the worst that might happen to Muñoz is he might lose his $500,000 bonus. Oh well, if the Board of Directors and stockholders allow him to keep his job, he’ll still be more-than-well compensated. To those guys 500 large is chump change. Guys like him more than make up for losses of income like that with dividends from other investments and other forms of corporate compensation.

An attorney for a law firm thinks that UA is on “solid ground legally”. Really? They wanted Dr. Dao’s and the three other seats so staff from a partner airline could take those seats for a connecting flight. Really? United and the airport police gave not one whit that Dao was on his way to Kentucky to treat patients who were waiting expectantly for him. He was intent on performing needed medical services. He was doing something for sick people. And the people who United wanted to give seats to? Employees of a sister airline who just wanted to get someplace as quickly as possible no matter who they inconvenienced. The feeling of corporate entitlement must have been flowing down from the top of the corporate ladder down to them.

But–you don’t take seats away from paying passengers who are already sitting in them. You don’t treat passengers like their illegal aliens that ICE agents are forcibly arresting and removing from the plane (which ICE should be legally barred from doing anyway). And why were only the unclothed and unshorn common rabble chosen to de-seat? Not one frequent flyer sitting in first class was even approached. The big money passengers are always immune from it all, based on their big money and how they or their corporations spend it on United flights and how often. It’s open season on his poor folk, folks.

Dr. Dao will sue United Airlines and collect a very nice settlement unless he is intent on having his day in court. But this is the exactly the kind of incident where the injured and humiliated passenger might either sue the airline, O’Hare, and Rahm Emanuel’s Chicago, or come back to the airport with a gun and take revenge that way.

This is things gone too far as the ultimate result of unfettering the airlines from close federal oversight with the Airline Deregulation Act of 1978. It’s fostered a Wild West attitude has turned the skies and the airports unfriendly for passengers and most profitable for the airlines.  Thanks, Jimmy Carter! This is a stark example of how Corporate America feels its been empowered by the federal government it owns to treat customers how ever the how it wants because the laws are written to allow CEOS to legally get away with instituting these aggressive anti-customer actions. Some stories are calling Dr. Dao case the beginning of the movement to hold corporations legally accountable for their actions and to reverse this feeling of entitlement which makes corporations think they can do whatever they want.

Unfortunately, if Dr. Dao and other passengers who most certainly will file lawsuits against United, the airport, those three cops, and the city will agree to a settlement where the terms are sealed and all parties are forbidden to ever discuss the settlement details. Without United, the airport, and Emanuel’s Chicago being found guilty in a court of law, none of this behavior will change. But isn’t it fortunate for United Airlines that in this post-deregulation era, people will still be forced to fly that airline because there aren’t very many other choices left. For some flight destinations, UA may be the only choice. So interesting the way Congress, the White House, the FAA, and the DOJ has set this up.





Today’s Class Lesson: Rahm Emanuel Hates Teachers


Rahm Emanuel is a slime, despite the hummer bestowed on him by the Minneapolis Star Tribune in today’s editorial. .  http://www.startribune.com/opinion/commentaries/169329466.html

Emanuel is a slime because he’s never been about being a Democrat or ever had the people’s best interests at heart. He’s always been about money and the power money can bring. He’s also been about supporting corporate interests; just look back on his records with Clinton and Obama. And it speaks volumes about them that he was senior advisor to Clinton and White House Chief of Staff for Obama.  He was the pit bull for them both.

Make no mistake: this teacher’s strike is not about money, no matter how the media is intent on framing it. The two issues are reversing the education “reform” movement which has forced teachers to teach to test scores, and judging student and teacher performance solely on test scores. Many school districts have cut out the arts and even physical education from their curricula to focus exclusively on math and English test scores.  This is Obama’s primary focus too and he, and they, are wrong.

Emanuel is framing this strike as being over wages and hurting the kids.  The education of Chicago school kids are the last thing he’s concerned about.  He is no different than the Republicans (which, like Clinton and Obama he is more like than Democrats) or the Kochs or Rove or Adelson, or anyone of those guys. He’s out to privatize education, to move it all online, thus busting all the teachers’ unions, and handing the administrative contracts to his politically-connected business associates.  Instead of one teacher working with a classroom of 30 students, you’d have one online teacher handling 200-300 students.  What will be produced are generations of students who are not creative, have no experience or interest in the arts or exercise, or anything outside getting passing scores on standardized English and math tests—just perfect for jobs as low-paid service industry workers.

Emanuel’s other goal is to increase the number of chartered schools paid for by public taxes.  This is a core Republican goal because what wealthy parents wouldn’t want their child to go to an expensive, exclusive school on a poorer person’s tax dime? The Republicans pulled this same trick off in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. Hundreds of unionized teachers were fired and then re-hired as non-union employees for lower wages.  It’s like being a $40 an hour union auto worker before the bailout, getting laid off, and then after the bailout being re-hired back into the same exact job for $12 an hour with the SAME EXACT LIVING EXPENSES YOU HAD BEFORE BUT CAN NO LONGER AFFORD TO PAY.  Chartered schools providing better education than public schools is a myth that Emanuel is helping to perpetuate along with the Republicans.

The bottom line here IS money, but not for the teachers, but for the wealthy, political campaign contributors are trying to effect a hostile takeover of the American educational system.