Patterico's Pontifications

10/17/2010

Odd Video of the Day

Filed under: General — Aaron Worthing @ 8:40 pm

[Guest post by Aaron Worthing]

This is video of Barney Frank’s opponent Sean Bielat being heckled.  By Barney Frank’s boyfriend.  You know, the one arrested and fined for growing pot.

Now, I guess it isn’t fair to hold the behavior of his boyfriend against Frank.  I do think it’s fair to hold the fact his boyfriend was growing pot right under his nose, or the fact that another boyfriend ran a prostitution ring out of Frank’s house against him.  But not because a boyfriend acted a little kooky on camera.

(Source)

[Posted and authored by Aaron Worthing.]

How the Law Sometimes Requires Disability Discrimination

Filed under: General — Aaron Worthing @ 8:08 pm

[Guest post by Aaron Worthing.  See my confession of potential bias at the end to the post.]

This morning on the Blaze I learned of the story of Johnnie Tuitel.  He is a motivational speaker who has cerebral palsy and has traveled all around the country, alone, for years—more than a million miles in flight alone, he says.  You can watch a video on the story I am about to tell here, but the short version of it is this.  U.S. Airways has an explicit policy stating that

For safety-related reasons, if a passenger has a mobility impairment so severe that the person is unable to physically assist in his or her own evacuation of the aircraft, US Airways requires that the passenger travel with a safety assistant to assist the passenger to exit the aircraft in case of an emergency evacuation. The safety assistant must purchase his or her own ticket.

Now, notice that the linked article associated with the video slightly misstates this policy, claiming that Mr. Tuitel would also have to be able to assist others in evacuation.  That is not required—only that he can assist in his own evacuation.  And I have had friends with cerebral palsy, so it seems very likely that he would only be able to provide limited assistance at best.  So, they decided to apply this policy to him and booted him off a recent flight.

Now it would be one thing if Mr. Tuitel presented a danger to others.  For instance, if he would positively impair others when they try to evacuate.  But if the only concern is his own life, I say leave it up to him to decide whether to risk it.

What is being missed in this story, however, is that the law actually positively requires this discrimination.  Allow me to explain.

First, it is probably legal to do this.  It’s specifically authorized by 14 C.F.R. § 382.29(b)(3) (2010).

But that only says that U.S. Airways may do so.  How on earth are they required to?  Well, the answer is that they would be required to, or risk liability if there is a plane crash.  Now the rational response might be, “well, couldn’t the airline ask Mr. Tuitel to sign a waiver saying if he needs to evacuate and can’t, that the airline isn’t liable for just leaving him there, possibly to die?”  And the answer is yes, but it wouldn’t cover another situation: if a third party is hurt or killed trying to rescue him.

Picture this scenario.  Due to pilot negligence, a plane has crashed, but remained intact.  It is on fire.  The passengers and crew are evacuating.  But Mr. Tuitel cannot get out.  So a passenger decides to stay behind and help him out.  As he does, the plane blows up, killing both Mr. Tuitel and the good Samaritan.

In that situation the airline might escape liability for Mr. Tuitel’s death using a waiver like what I described, but it would still be liable for the good Samaritan’s death.  It’s a legal cliché to say that “danger invites rescue” and that legal principle means that the airline is responsible for people harmed by the negligence of the airline, and any good Samaritans who are harmed while rescuing others from the dangers created by the airlines’ negligence.  In short, any proper corporate counsel of the company would tell them to institute this policy.

But the result is that Mr. Tuitel must now pay twice as much to travel as others.  I mean its not exactly segregated bathrooms on the scale of injustice, but its not right, either.

———–

Confession of potential bias: I think it is fair to inform readers that I am myself disabled.  I have faced discrimination based on my disabilities, allegedly for my own good some of the time.  So I care passionately about eliminating any unjustified discrimination, especially disability discrimination.  Whether that means I am blinded by bias, or educated by experience is your call.

[Posted and authored by Aaron Worthing.]

Bill Maher on his O’Donnell Archives: I Never Lie to My Audience; I Just Imply Things That are Not True

Filed under: General — Aaron Worthing @ 5:21 pm

[Guest post by Aaron Worthing]

A while back Patterico gave us video of Bill Maher showing the now-famous “I dabbled in witchcraft” O’Donnell clip from his old show Politically Incorrect. In it, he also implied he had many more clips, and that he would show one every week until she came on his show.  Maher likened it to a hostage situation.

So that would imply that those other clips were, you know, damaging to her, right?

But via Althouse we get another clip of his show where he shows basically a montage of many out-of-context arguments, exchanges and statements by O’Donnell where she drives the more liberal persons surrounding her crazy.  Althouse dissects the political impact very well, and I fully recommend that you read her commentary for yourself.

But I want to focus on one element.  Notice how these clips—that Maher himself admits is not “earthshaking”—really doesn’t live up to the hype.  It was not a lie, exactly, but it was dishonest to imply that he had something, anything, nearly as significant as the witchcraft clip.  Its only truthful in a Bill Clinton sort of way.  Combined with the hypocrisy of calling the Tea Party racist on the same night he engaged in the crudest of racial stereotypes, only verifies that I am right to profoundly not care what Maher says or thinks.

And let’s remember that Maher has gone from being kind of libertarian with some leftward positions, to now being a fan of European style socialized medicine.  I have said before that if Obamacare is upheld it is the death of all privacy in this country.  You would think to a man like Maher, that would matter.

[Posted and authored by Aaron Worthing.]

Video Fun

Filed under: General — Aaron Worthing @ 1:34 pm

[Guest post by Aaron Worthing]

First, Carl Paladino gets the wild Taiwanese animation treatment.  Love him or hate him, it’s a funny video.

Ditto with Christine O’Donnell.  And Brett Favre gets the same treatment.

And on the same channel, I have watched this video ten times but I can’t seem to remember what the forecast is…

Finally, this promo for Conan O’Brien’s return to late night TV is brilliant.

[Posted and authored by Aaron Worthing.]

Send Tips Here!

Filed under: General — Aaron Worthing @ 10:52 am

[Guest post to Aaron Worthing]

If you are inclined to send me tips, you can send them here: edmd5.20.10@gmail.com.

Hmm…  I might really, really regret doing this.

[Posted and authored by Aaron Worthing.]

Geert Wilders Didn’t Expect the Inquisition!

Filed under: General — Aaron Worthing @ 9:34 am

[Guest post by Aaron Worthing]

That title is a tongue-in-cheek way of getting at a serious point.  Also its my way of complying with the rule that every blogger must make at least one Monty Python reference every week.

As you may or may not know, Geert Wilders is on trial for saying lots of bad things about Islam.  Regular readers know how I feel about the God given right to talk trash about any religion you want.  Mind you, most of the time that is a pretty rude thing to do, and I discourage that.  But more than I want to avoid offense, I believe we should be free to say what we want about any religion, without threats of violence—be it by terrorists or government prosecution.  So, I am against this prosecution.

And don’t tell me he is an awful, awful man.  I don’t know, and it doesn’t matter.  Certainly anyone who has ever defended dipping my savior in urine, burning the flag, or letting Nazis march in Jewish neighborhoods shouldn’t suggest to me there is any righteousness in this prosecution.

Now a few people have reported that Geert was found not guilty.  That is the headline of this story, for instance.  But that isn’t quite right, as the text of the story makes clear.  The truth is that prosecutors have only said he should be found not guilty.

Now in America, under our adversarial system of justice, that is almost a guarantee of a dismissed case.  But apparently The Netherlands operate under the Inquisitorial system (see?  Now you get the joke in my title!).  In the Inquisitorial system, the judges are in charge of even the decision whether to prosecute at all.

So for instance, Andy McCarthy at The Corner points out that

Prosecutors never wanted to bring the case against Geert. In 2008, the office of the public prosecutor declined to charge him. The lunatic judges are the ones who’ve been behind this all along, representative as they are of the transnational progressive thinking responsible for having such “crimes” on the books in the first place. In 2009, the Dutch Court of Appeals issued an order essentially overruling the prosecutors and ordering that Wilders be charged. That could not happen in the U.S. federal system — at least for now — because, under separation of powers principles, prosecutorial discretion is vested absolutely in the executive branch. The judiciary can inveigh, but judges can’t force the Justice Department to charge anyone. But in the Netherlands, the court gets the last word.

McCarthy’s bottom line—and I think he is right—is that you shouldn’t get too excited by this news.  I mean a better headline is “Prosecutors Who Didn’t Want To Bring the Case in the First Place Don’t Want Wilders To Be Convicted.”  I suppose the fact that after all of this, they still aren’t convinced is encouraging, but I’m not sure how much it really matters.

[Posted and authored by Aaron Worthing.]


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