While Sage is heading off to church, I thought I'd get a few things off my chest. Sorry, like Sage, I'm gonna keep my chest hair there!
We've gotten sick and tired of hearing about Steve Slater this week. In case you missed it, he was the JetBlue Flight Attendant who cursed out an unruly customer over the airplane’s intercom system, then announced he was quitting, pulled open the emergency door to the plane and slid down the inflated escape slide, purportedly with a beer in each hand. We hope when he receives his last paycheck, in addition to all those fines he’s going to have to pay, JetBlue will also deduct from his salary those two beers—at the outlandish price the airlines now charge customers… Who in the world wants a drink bad enough that they'll pay five bucks for a can of watered down Bud-lite? But that's another issue. What we're really angry at is in the way Mr. Slater has become a sort of anti-establishment folk hero and many bloggers have taken up his cause as he gives new meaning to the country song, “Take this Job and Shove It.”
Both Sage and I are anti-establishment types, but we don’t see Mr. Slater as a hero. As part of a flight crew, he was responsible for the safety of those on board and he deserted his post. In the military, that’ll get you shot. He certainly put his own needs and desires over that of those he was called to protect and serve. And furthermore, if the passenger wasn’t doing what she was being told to do and was aggressive toward him with a lethal weapon (and over loaded carry-on bag), as a member of the flight crew, all Mr. Slater had to do was to call security. Instead of throwing a fit, he could have had the angry customer removed from the plane, in handcuffs. But he didn’t. Maybe he thought this stunt would draw a lot of attention, which it certainly did, but in my opinion, the stunt was irresponsible.
We're not sure why we got so worked up over this; perhaps it has to do with a trend we see where we focus more and more on our needs and less and less on others. It’s like we’ve all become petty little gods. We think only of ourselves and our immediate wants; we look to satisfy our short-term desires and forget about everyone else or what’s needed long term good of society.
A second thing that has gotten us all worked is the anger over Obama for speaking in support of building a mosque in New York City, a few blocks from ground zero. When Sage first heard this story, it was being reported that they were building the mosque at ground zero, the site where Muslim terrorist killed thousands of people. That made him angry, even though it seemed that they might have a constitutional right to build there. But then, when he heard that it was not at the actual ground zero site, but two and a half blocks away, he felt betrayed and misled. I reminded him its not the first time that right-wing bloggers betrayed him by misreporting the facts. These folks are after Obama now, because he says they have a right to build there, which isn’t anything more than “defending the constitution,” and I think there was something in his oath of office that alluded to that being one of his tasks. Like Sage, I’m sick and tired of all these right-winged talking heads spouting off at the mouth on this one. If zoning ordinances allows for a religious building, then it seems to me that they should be allowed to building their mosque or community center. If zoning ordinances don’t allow any religious buildings, then that would be another story. Whether it’s in good taste or not to build that close to Ground Zero is another issue, but good taste isn’t a constitutional requirement. If it was, they would have kept a ban on lite-beer and wine-coolers when they repealed of the 18th amendment.