I sympathize with Kenlie Tiggeman, really I do. She is the BBW who recently found herself at the Dallas Southwest Airlines counter being told she needed an extra seat because she was a little more zaftig than the standard airliner milk crate could accommodate.
Now my 6-pack abs are really more like a single beer keg, but I still fit snugly into the 17-inch seats we all so comfortably luxuriate in. I don?t hang over the edges so much that my seatmates are forced to take a single breath that must last them for the whole trip. However, I do hang over enough that I find myself trying to be very small to protect the comfort of my fellow seatmates. I do this because it is my beer keg and they shouldn?t have to carry it. But this is life. People are made in different sizes, as are airline seats. You can?t always fit a round beer can into a smaller can’s hole.
Given Kenlie?s case, one could make a strong argument that Southwest?s PR skills aren?t up to snuff. You don?t call customers ?fat?. One could also reasonably believe that Southwest employees may not know about or follow policies to the letter ? humans are like that, particularly when it involves a touchy subject like breaking bad and embarrassing news. But, no excuses ? especially if they expect the largest (no pun intended) segment of the population to pay good money to squeeze into their tube and be fed like squirrels on a diet of honey-roasted peanuts. That?s a tough meal for a supermodel; imagine the hunger of the largest of us.
Kenlie was insulted, which is a reasonable personal response. No one likes to be told they are big as a barn when, in all probability, they already feel like the size of two barns. Extra seats ain?t cheap either. Even if you had one you?d find yourself straddling two seats, providing that back car seat on the hump sort of feeling.
But shabby treatment and extra cost aren?t all that?s wrong here. If one is so much larger than average, they need to buy an extra seat. If not, it?s like eating two meals at a restaurant and refusing to pay for one. From your thinner seatmate?s view it?s like eating one meal, but paying for both to subsidize the large friend at the next table. Real estate occupied and paid for is the issue here, not emotions.
Tiggeman, who has since lost 120 lbs. said, ?It doesn?t matter how far I?ve come. I have a long way to go, but no one sees it. All they see is my exterior ? someone who is fat.?
That is true and I?m right there with sistah. There are a million ways in which this perception is wrong, but Southwest?s perception that your exterior is wider than the interior of their seat is spot on. It?s physics really. You can?t stuff 10 lbs of cellulite in a 5 lb. bag.
Requiring a large person to fit into a seat to buy a second is a reasonable expectation, for you, the airline, and whoever has to sit next to you. Given the wide variety of seat and people sizes, airline seat customizations, and aircraft sizes I?m not sure an industry standard or federally mandated rule is practical or even wouldn?t make things worse.
Airlines should handle passengers with dignity, regardless of their girth, and airline rules should be clear enough so that passengers know they will have to buy extra seats as a condition of check-in.
So let?s try the one thing that is truly ?one size fits all?, even if people are loathe to do it. Common sense.
The music of today’s modern urban kids is so delightful, so lyrical. Bitches in Bookstores, church is now exciting, no crap for Big Macs, and walkin’ around with your headphones on.
SUNDAY! SUNDAY! SUNDAY! ACTION! ACTION! ACTION!
Yo! It’s No McRib, Fo’ Shizzle
Every High School Has One
Kids do stupid things. Sometimes they know no better. Other times Mom and Dad don’t teach them right from wrong because they’re morons who don’t know right from wrong either. And sometimes, kids are just evil seeds. Yes, kids do stupid and inexplicable things. It is the way of the world.
Sometimes the stupid things catch up to them as adults. Mitt Romney is in that PR hell now. He supposedly led a group of boys – there’s that leadership thing he goes on and on about – and held down a kid with a ponytail, cut it off, and badgered the kid for being gay. That’s the sort of thing that causes kids to commit suicide these days. It probably did back then too, you just didn’t hear about it as often because suicide besmirched the family reputation so much it was hidden as often as not.
One of the bully boys met the poor hairless sot later in life. He learned that, indeed, the kid had been gay and the Romneycut had been a life changing affair. The member of the Romney Hairborne Legion apologized. It came late, but at least the guy apologized and owned up to his stupid youth.
On the other hand, Mitt first categorically denied it happened. Then he said it, um, MIGHT have happened and if it did he apologized. He defended his stupid youth by passing off the incident, if it happened at all, as a “prank” and using the bee’s knees, 1930 buzzword of the day, “hijinx”. Very jolly. Very fun. Twenty-three skidoo.
Now I’ve been on the receiving end of bullying up close and personal and stupidly reciprocated a time or two. But, a wedgie is a prank. Holding someone down, roughing them up because they’re gay, and cutting off their hair is a prank, if by prank you mean something like waterboarding.
But hey, maybe it didn’t even happen. Never know. Mittens forgot. Besides, Mitt says he didn’t know the kid was gay.
Now the Mittenites have ferreted out a passage from Obama’s book, Dreams From My Father, in which he cops to once shoving a girl because his classmates teased him about the possibility that she was his girlfriend. He yelled at her and she ran away.
Some conservative pundasses – like Sean Hannity – rejoiced at this “good news”. “We have uncovered somebody who has actually admitted to engaging in real inappropriate behavior as a youth.” He pointed out that Obama also openly admits he used drugs and alcohol as a youth, saying it “puts Romney and the bully issue to shame.”
Sean, a college kid who drank too much and fired up a doob or two…in 1980 fer chrissakes? Really? Now that’s some outlaw behavior. Real send ‘em to the gallows stuff. Nothing like your fellow anti-bully Rush Limbaugh’s brush with OxyContin and hydrocodone. Good thing he took his rehab time to reflect on his contention that drug addicts deserved life sentences. Change is good, eh Rush? Especially when yours is the life being sentenced.
But if you’re truthful about your own youth – face it, if you are this stupid as an adult you must’ve been a colossal moran [sic] as a kid – you probably kicked the crap out of some kid every morning before smoking the third joint of the day while cooling your bruised dukes with a 6-Pack of Old Milwaukee. But we’ll never know because I suspect your memory on that score is as bad as the Scion of Salt Lake’s.
No true blue conservative would ever engage in such brutish, bullying behavior except, well, George the Lesser. Sort of a reverse noblesse oblige and all that. His cocaine and Wild Turkeyfests are well known. He looks like he has a little Captain in him if you catch my drift. I’d wager Skull and Crossbones had some ass-kicking hazing rituals too. But let bygones be bygones shall we?
So yes, Obama admitted his dirty deeds. Admitted them without anyone even asking. Sean, your boy can’t even remember if it happened. But you know what, however lopsided the rights and wrongs appear to be in both these cases it doesn’t much matter.
Both of them did something wrong. But once you’ve done a wrong, there is really no way to stuff it back under the rock from which it came. It sticks to you like glue.
The only thing you can do is apologize and try to make amends. Adults, when charged with stupid childish behavior, do not say, “Mom! It’s OK if I do it, he did it too!” To which any wise Mom (or voter) would answer, “Two wrongs don’t make a right.”
Two stupid kids don’t make a President either.
In America, we make money the old fashioned way ? we steal it from the Joneses with whom we are trying to compete. We?re a country that firmly believes in the notion that more is better and that competition trumps everything. Money uber alles if you will. But, we?re also one of the most charitable nations on Earth. Name a disaster anywhere on Earth and we?re ready to help. Ordinary folks dig deep and donate clothing, goods, or even their own time to just about every charitable cause imaginable.
Some of us anyway.
A few charitable organizations have sullied the many with underhanded donation solicitations, non-stop phone calls and mailings, excessive administration costs, pricey leadership, or just plain chicanery. These organizations have forgotten they aren?t profit centers and that charitable organizations practice, well, charity.
People get ruffled about these charities for the same reasons they don?t want to see any of their money wasted. You are sacrificing to help someone out and you don?t want a professional spamming and telemarketing company skimming most of the bucks off the top.
But just as we have a widening wealth gap, we?re also on the path to a widening charitability gap. Many Americans have gotten skin-flinty – down right mean about it too. This, of course, is their right. It?s their money and they can not create jobs with it or protest gay marriage with it or donate to the campaign of some of history?s biggest lunkheads. They can even demand the rest of us support their churches with our tax money…but aren’t allowed to complain about it without being accused of being an unpatriotic ner’do well.
Many of these people are the same ones that kvetch about taxes for anything, even the services they use, bought and paid for by those taxes. They believe poor people always have a choice to glom onto Uncle Sam?s tit or be the next CEO of Exxon. By God, they pulled themselves up by their Harvard MBAs, connected parents, and hard-drinking frat brothers and they expect everyone else to do the same – even if they have none of those built-in benefits.
It isn?t all about public assistance though. Their donations of time and money are on the wane. It?s much more fun to golf instead of working for Habitat for Humanity or spend your money so you can build that second yacht you?ve always coveted. You can?t even hear the drowning?s cries from your leather seat on Air Force One.
I like to think I do my part. I like to think I spread some of my own personal wealth (paltry though it may be to someone like Mittens) because I’m lucky enough to afford it. I volunteer for a variety of things. I think sharing is a good thing that brings not only pleasure, but much good for society. Really, everyone should jump on this bandwagon.
I’d like to think that all the, “I’ll get mine before anyone get theirs” folks are just having a bit of a charitability lapse. I’d like to think that all those folks who believe their taxes are too high – including the corporations that end up with effective tax rates of zero or people who settle tax fights for, “pennies on the dollar” – eventually see what damage they are causing to the nation they profess to love. I’d like to think they will never feel the sting of poverty, or deadly disease, or hunger. And if they do, I’ll be in line to help them out. That is not Christian charity it is human charity.
But if they do, I hope it will teach them the importance of charity, because boy, are they going to need it.
Dogs are great. Dogs are good. So is California. What more needs be said?
Is it possible for Khalid Shaikh Mohammed (KSM), his co-defendants and the victims of their alleged crimes to receive justice? Can their torture and harsh conditions of confinement be ignored at the defendants? trial? The Obama administration answers[...]
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All you need to know:The Catholic Bishops are once more acting like a Republican GOTV organization in an election year.The Catholic Bishops defend the boy-abusers but put their nuns (average age, 74) into receivership. Many Scout groups are organized in parish schools, which gives the Bishops some leverage. It's the old old story ? homophobic, misogynistic, often-closeted men acting...
Hopelessly Generic Fox News Guy #12: Does it bug you though, on the campaign trail itself, um, that you're portrayed as just not hip. You can't sing, you said yourself you're not cool, the president's cool, he can sing, it almost makes me wonder whether you need a hip or cool running mate.You don't challenge someone to a "sing off" or a waterskiing competition, you're running for president for Pete's sake! Have we learned nothing from the conservative tarring and feathering John Kerry got for admitting he liked windsurfing? That's like something out of one of those movies where the rich, snobby kid dares the lower-class hero kid to a skiing duel, and the winner gets the oil drilling rights under Favorite Local Teen Hangout. Or like that episode of Happy Days where some obnoxious local tools challenge Fonzie to waterski over a?well, same thing.
Romney: Ha ha. I think I can sing, c'mon Neil, ha ha.
Hopelessly Generic Fox News Guy #12, Now Identified as Neil: Well you're better than me, but then again everyone is?
Romney: I'll be happy to a sing off, look, I'll, [...], I'll do a sing off, you know, and, you know, I'll, I don't think I'll play the president a round of golf but I'll be happy to take him through a waterski course, ah, I mean we have different, ah, different skills and different interests and different hobbies, I must admit that my kids and my grandkids are my hobby, and consume a lot of my interest and attention, but ah, people are going to get to know me better, and you know Ann says there's a wild and crazy guy locked up inside of me?
Hopelessly Generic Brown-Nosing Fox News Neil #12: She has said that!
Romney: ?Now and then I let him out.
And you certainly don't point to the prospect of a sing-off or waterskiing duel as evidence of you being a "wild and crazy guy." Having a sing-off is never wild and crazy. I'm sorry, it's just not. Neither is competitive waterskiing. Oh yeah, I went there.
Remember: Pretending to like corn dogs and "cheesy grits": good. Bringing up water sports of any kind, with the possible exception of Old Abandoned Quarry Beer Pong: bad. Campaign pandering is a very, very delicate game.
Matt Taibbi with a good explanation of why we should be upset about JPMorgan Chase and their $2 billion in gambling losses (remember, Jamie Dimon's saying at least $2 billion):
If you?re wondering why you should care if some idiot trader (who apparently has been making $100 million a year at Chase, a company that has been the recipient of at least $390 billion in emergency Fed loans) loses $2 billion for Jamie Dimon, here?s why: because J.P. Morgan Chase is a federally-insured depository institution that has been and will continue to be the recipient of massive amounts of public assistance. If the bank fails, someone will reach into your pocket to pay for the cleanup. So when they gamble like drunken sailors, it?s everyone?s problem.
Activity like this is exactly what the Volcker rule, which effectively banned risky proprietary trading by federally insured institutions, was designed to prevent. It will be argued that this trade was a technically a hedge, and therefore exempt from the Volcker rule. Not only does that explanation sound fishy to me (as Salmon notes, for Iksil?s trade to be a hedge, this would mean Chase had an equally giant and insane short bet on against corporate debt, which seems unlikely), but it's sort of immaterial anyway: whether or not this bet technically violated the Volcker rule, it definitely violated the spirit of the law. Hedge or no hedge, we don?t want big, federally-insured, too-big-to-fail banks making giant nuclear-powered derivatives bets.
This incident is certain to reignite the debate about Dodd-Frank and may undermine the broad effort to roll back the bill, which we wrote about in the latest issue of the magazine. Staffers on the Hill started mobilizing the instant the Chase news hit the airwaves yesterday, and you can bet we'll hear more debate in the next few months about not only the Volcker Rule but the Lincoln Rule, which was designed to wall off risky swaps from the federally-insured side of these banks.
I?ve heard from all sides today, with some thinking the Chase trade was Dodd-Frank compliant, and others saying it probably violated both the Volcker and the Lincoln rules.
Either way, the incident underscored the basic problem. If J.P. Morgan Chase wants to act like a crazed cowboy hedge fund and make wild exacta bets on the derivatives market, they should be welcome to do so. But they shouldn?t get to do it with cheap cash from the Fed?s discount window, and they shouldn?t get to do it with money from the federally-insured bank accounts of teachers, firemen and other such real people. It?s a simple concept: you either get to be a bank, or you get to be a casino. But you can?t be both. If we don?t have rules to enforce that concept, we ought to get some.
In the meantime, JPMorgan shares tanked with the news:
JPMorgan Chase & Co lost $15 billion in market value and a notch in its credit ratings on Friday while a chorus of regulators and politicians reacted to its surprise $2 billion trading loss by demanding stiffer oversight for the banking industry.
The loss by one of Wall Street's most respected banks embarrassed chief executive Jamie Dimon, a leader lauded for steering his bank through the fallout from the 2008 financial crisis without reporting a loss.
"We know we were sloppy. We know we were stupid. We know there was bad judgment," Dimon said in an interview with NBC television to be broadcast on "Meet the Press" on Sunday.