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In this season of air travel, whether by reindeer or jumbo jet, I had an epiphany.

There I was, waiting to board in Newark, as the ground personnel regaled us with the list of privileged persons given priority to clamber into the great cigar tube in the sky.

First came people accompanied by small children or requiring assistance. I’m fine with that. These folks deserve a break wherever they can get one.

Then we were told that the rich and comfortable would board before the rest of us peons. Well, I guess that stands to reason in an oligarchy.

But then, I blew a circuit when we were told to make way for military personnel. What? Is this a democracy or an armed camp run for the benefit of the armed and those they protect. BTW, in case you have any illusions, they do not protect us. They protect the rich and comfortable folks who get to board before us. If you think I’m kidding, look at what has happened in every revolution to date. Once a significant proportion of the military defects to its own class, the game is up for the rich and comfortable. Period.

So, in our garrison state, the airlines diss those who actually contribute to our well-being – firemen, teachers, doctors, nurses, need I go on? – in order to "honor" those who protect the rich and comfortable.

I say consign the rich, the comfortable and their protectors to the baggage compartment and make room for those who contribute to our well-being.

Originally posted to unclejohn on Sat Dec 25, 2010 at 12:57 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    eddiem86, blueoasis, Earth Ling

    We cannot win a war crime - Dancewater, July 27, 2008

    by unclejohn on Sat Dec 25, 2010 at 12:58:00 PM PST

  •  Lighten up....I flew 250K+ miles this year (9+ / 0-)

    and yes I deserve to get my seat first. It is called a perk and as part of the downside it is the countless hours and days I spend in airports or going to airports.  It is a small consolation for my time.

    Letting the military personnel board first is a small "reward" for being in a war zone.  There are many people that give the military their seats in first class, myself included. The military protects everyone regardless of class.  

  •  What crap! (5+ / 0-)

    I've never heard a gate agent give priority boarding to troops, but I certainly don't begrudge them.

    It is BS to say that they only protect the rich and powerful. They enlist to serve their country. It is up to our political and military leaders to ensure that their service is used for the benefit of our country and the world.

    The liberals always get discouraged when they do not see the measures they are interested in go through immediately. - Eleanor Roosevelt

    by OIL GUY on Sat Dec 25, 2010 at 01:33:46 PM PST

    •  They may enlist for all the best reasons (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      in the world. My cousin, who has served in Iraq and will soon go to Afghanistan, thinks that he is doing "good". That perception, however, does not alter the fact that the US government is currently the evil empire in the world, wreaking havoc on those who do not submit to US corporate goals.

      We cannot win a war crime - Dancewater, July 27, 2008

      by unclejohn on Sat Dec 25, 2010 at 01:47:50 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I never understand why people feel it's OK (6+ / 0-)

    to attack the individual service men and woman who volunteer to do a job many would not do.  If you feel they are "protecting" corporate interest, then attack the politicians who make them do so.  No one ever attacks the Corporations' clerical staff, accountants, HR staff for the negative things they do to the environment, community, etc.  They attack the Corporate heads.  

    •  I have not attacked (0+ / 0-)

      individual service men and women. I have pointed out that they are accorded a privilege that others who render us equal or greater services do not get. My contention is that the fact that they get this minor privilege - boarding planes before other equally or more noble professionals - denigrates those who do not get that privilege.

      I contend further that the fact that military personnel are granted this privilege is emblematic of the decline into militarism in our country. That, in itself, is a very dangerous occurence in a former democracy. We have seen it occur in other countries in the last century, much to the detriment of large sectors of the world population.

      We cannot win a war crime - Dancewater, July 27, 2008

      by unclejohn on Sat Dec 25, 2010 at 02:13:44 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Over-reacting? (6+ / 0-)

    It's not that much of a privilege to be the first ones to enter the confined space of an aircraft.  Everyone takes off and lands at the same time.

    A Wall Street "bonus" should not be more than what my house is currently worth.

    by bushondrugs on Sat Dec 25, 2010 at 02:07:00 PM PST

    •  Privilege is incompatible (0+ / 0-)

      with democracy. When privilege expands, democracy contracts. We enter the realm described in Animal Farm where

      All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.

      That's the way it was in pre-revolutionary America, and that is what we have been fighting to suppress ever since.

      We cannot win a war crime - Dancewater, July 27, 2008

      by unclejohn on Sat Dec 25, 2010 at 02:20:09 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Admirable class consciousness, (5+ / 0-)

    And, you've got a not-so-off-the-mark view of the purpose of a standing armed force.  All of 'em exist to defend and extend the ruling economic order of their nation -- ours especially not excepted.

    But ... kinda misdirected resentment.

    •  I'm not resentful. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I just want my republic to be egalitarian and non-militaristic. I hate imperialism with a passion transmitted to me from my ancestors who fought the British in order to liberate the colonies from their yoke.

      We cannot win a war crime - Dancewater, July 27, 2008

      by unclejohn on Sat Dec 25, 2010 at 02:23:32 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  First diary in 2.5 years, it appears? (0+ / 0-)

    Interesting decision.

    •  Yeah. (0+ / 0-)

      I'm a lazy son of a gun. But, the Christmas spirit brings out the best in me.

      How did you like my early assessment of the current economic crisis? Nothing seems to have happened in the intervening years to negate my conclusions. How many mainstream economists can boast as much?

      We cannot win a war crime - Dancewater, July 27, 2008

      by unclejohn on Sat Dec 25, 2010 at 02:26:35 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  You "blew a circuit", meaning you got (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ER Doc

    really pissed off?

    How sad. I hope it doesn't take a personal tragedy for you to gain some perspective on what's actually important in our short lifetime.

  •  A suggestion for a different approach (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ER Doc, yella dawg, Poycer, jan4insight

    On your way from security to the boarding gate, stop by one of the bars; have a beer, and if you see a group of tired soldiers having a few while they await their ride home, call the waitress over and pay their tab. Raise your glass to them when they acknowledge the unexpected gift.

    It's what I do.  You'll feel a whole lot better for the rest of the day, and you'll live longer than you will if you blow a circuit every time someone shows a little kindness to a soldier on his or her way home from some distant and dangerous point on the planet.

    Merry Christmas...

    I am a warrior for peace. And not a gentle man... Steve Mason, 1940-2005

    by Wayward Wind on Sat Dec 25, 2010 at 04:40:31 PM PST

  •  I could see your point (0+ / 0-)

    except for the simple fact that boarding an airplane has nothing to do with egalitarianism. If it did you should also start railing about there being models of cars that only rich people can afford and similar issues.

    Flying isn't a civil right.

  •  So you think that (0+ / 0-)


    So, in our garrison state, the airlines diss those who actually contribute to our well-being – firemen, teachers, doctors, nurses, need I go on? – in order to "honor" those who protect the rich and comfortable.

    is not disparaging to the men and women who serve in the military? Isn't that basically saying that those in the military are nothing more than mercenaries? You need to take a look around and see what the military actually does before you make such statements. Do you realize how much time our troops spend on humanitarian missions? Think about it sometime.

    It's not the size of the dog in the fight, it's the size of the fight in the dog.

    by AKA potsi on Sat Dec 25, 2010 at 08:21:29 PM PST

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