Buppert: Comfortably Numb In The Police State

Your fellow prisoners will betray you for far less than 30 pieces of silver.

And actually come to your aid?

36 responses to “Buppert: Comfortably Numb In The Police State

  1. Two points:
    1) I agree with the thrust of BB message.
    2) To the incident at hand from a tactical perspective what SHOULD the passengers have done? BB leaves that unanswered himself in the piece. You sit in a cramped cabin with no chance to manoeuvre. You are lacking in weaponry by design. Those doing the bashing are armed.

    So I put it to anyone — what could have been done?

    • Boycott the airlines.

      I refuse to fly other than by private plane.

      I’m doing my part.

      • Though that it is a solution, its after the fact, which is not the way Buppert posed the query. His assessment is that the passengers should have done something then and there.

        • yeah riiiight.

          bet he wouldn’t have either.

          it’s a no win situation.

          The only solution is to boycott the airlines. No fly, no problems.

        • lastmanstanding

          dog…one of these days someone will stand up…and other will follow.

          When is enough…enough? Wish I could tell when and share it far and wide.

      • lastmanstanding

        I’m with you. No tsa illiterate 40 iq infringing on my rights.

        Doing my part as well. In more ways than that. Local, local, local.

        • To my great disgust I’ve had to fly on half-dozen occasions last year and this. I give the TSA drone my passport. He sticks it in his machine. He reads what comes up on the computer.

          “Just go right through, sir.”

          And I go right through.

          I’ll say it again… Even the Maquis followed the rules.

          Your rights end at the security checkpoint. It’s in the Constitution.


          • lastmanstanding

            Think about it brothers…where else in the world are these drones going to get a job with such great pay, benefits and the feeling of power?! NO WHERE. Hell, they probably don’t even have enough intelligence to realize what power they wield.

            They are basically highly paid human bots…but that ‘s about to change.

      • Grey Ghost

        Agreed. I’ve been boycotting the airlines (ALL of them) for over 8 years now. When some TSA goon can grab my crotch in the name of security because TSA has to appear to be not profiling… well they can all go fsck themselves.

        Having as many people film the beat down by the cop using their cell phone is good way to fight back when you are systemically disarmed before getting on the plane. Sure you could get into a grappling match with the cop to aide the “passenger” but you would be/are easily out gunned and out clubbed. The day they allow me to carry a CCW on the plane is the day I’ll consider taking on the cops enforcing the airlines tyrannical stupidity.

        Grey Ghost

    • “what could have been done?”

      We abandoned commercial air travel over a decade ago, for the then obvious observation that between tsa & airlines you had NO rights whatsover.

      What could have been done?

      NEVER get on the plane to begin with. If significant numbers of would be passengers followed that plan, massive positive change would occur. As it is, passengers have demonstrated beyond question that they are accepting of all sorts of abuse, just for supposed convenience.

    • Aside from protest or risk getting thumped like that guy did, I agree, what was anyone to do except make a stand and get physically beaten by all d heros.

    • Bad Attitude

      What could have been done?

      To properly analyze this situation, remember that the doctor’s life was not in danger. In these particular circumstances (disarmed and stuck in a cramped airplane), the best thing anyone could do was to take video of the incident and be available to give testimony about what what happened. Don’t let incidents like this be hidden – expose and shame the perpetrators.

      As we have seen from other incidents in aircraft aloft where the risk of harm is greater, such as muzzies trying to set off bombs concealed in their clothing, passengers have selflessly stepped forward to help neutralize the threat.

    • Oregon Hobo

      Drdog09, you beat me to speaking my own words.

      While I agree with most of Buppert’s essay, his accusation of cowardice leveled against the other passengers fails to address the reality that physical confrontation would have entailed fighting the enemy at his strongest point. No doubt that would have been the winning decision for the lead manly-man in any Hollywood action-hero flick, but back here in reality-land it would have simply meant a missed flight, some missing teefs, a night in the pokey, and all the other fun that comes with assaulting a popo.

      What would Patton have done?

      I submit that whoever tweeted out his/her phone-recording of the incident did it exactly right. The publicity from this incident has inflicted vastly more pain upon United Airlines and their sociopathic sleaze-weasel of a CEO than any amount of brawling on that plane ever could have accomplished, while AFAIK the tweeter suffered zero negative consequences. If that’s what cowardice is, count me in!

      As I see it, this entire debacle and its aftermath contain the #1 most critical possible lesson for our team to learn, internalize, and reflect upon daily:

      Ignore tough-guy appeals to ego. Maximum damage for minimal cost = win. Anything else = lose. Being the little guy means either fighting smart or getting squashed like a bug. It has been my observation that squashed bugs receive no medal nor tribute in song and verse for their bravery against impossible odds.


  2. Rule No. 1.
    Nobody is coming to save you.

    On a related note, the Left is now pushing the war meme which ought to help everyone on team freedom sort out Red/Blue team discrepancies going forward. The Clintons are good people. Jeff Epstein is a great guy.

    Please see Rule No. 1.

    To back up what ah just sayaid, ah say uh, to back up what I juhst sayed:

    (full credit goes to Graham Kill House rules on the rule no. 1)

  3. lon a follower

    Comply? Then complain.
    Oh yes but then, no law suit, no media coverage. The world does seem.to revolve around lawyers and fees, big payouts.
    Ever wonder if forgiveness has a place?

  4. The Usual Suspect

    I would have all the passengers disembark and return to the terminal.
    Then the people who had tickets for those seats would not be allowed
    back on airplane.
    Don’t like it , buy your own airplane, take a train, drive, hitch hike.

  5. Here’s an idea. Somebody could start an airline called AnarchAir./ S//

  6. Jimmy the Saint

    The lack of a bond between people is a problem. For the most part, no one is going to help anyone that they don’t feel connected with somehow – family, friend, etc. Some random guy getting beaten is just some random guy getting beaten. The more isolated we become from each other, the easier it is for stuff like this to happen.

    It was all summed up very nicely in Collateral:

    Vincent: What do you care? Have you ever heard of Rwanda?

    Max: Yes, I know Rwanda.

    Vincent: Well, tens of thousands killed before sundown. Nobody’s killed people that fast since Nagasaki and Hiroshima. Did you bat an eye, Max?

    Max: What?

    Vincent: Did you join Amnesty International, Oxfam, Save the Whales, Greenpeace, or something? No. I off one fat Angelino and you throw a hissy fit.

    Max: Man, I don’t know any Rwandans.

    • “You don’t know the guy in the trunk, either.” 🙂

      The other passengers probably thought this guy was a huge pain in the ass, then when the cops thumped him they freaked. “Ooh, we didn’t mean to use VIOLENCE!”

  7. No sale. Buppert beclowns himself at the outset:
    “New information on the passenger that was mauled has emerged that paints him in a bad light but remains moot to the incident at hand.”
    Moot. Oh really, cucpcake?

    Asian Criminal Lives don’t matter either.
    Either pick a worthy exemplar, and skip the dramatics. Or fail.
    This was the UAL version of “Play stupid games, win stupid prizes.”
    When three cops show up and tell you to get your @$$ off a plane, you get your ass off the plane.

    If you noticed, there was no judge nor jury there, so 23D was not the proper venue to decide to make a legal argument. That’s what courts are for.
    This wasn’t Rosa Parks, this was a guy who didn’t get the memo:
    “It’s not your airplane. It’s not your seat.”
    Don’t like that? Don’t fly.
    Problem solved.

    And, it should be noted, if Assclown’s first name had been Muammar or Mohamed instead of Wang or whatever it is, and he’d reached for his shoe or underpants, and the passengers had subsequently killed him in the struggle, it would be seen as a happy ending. Rightly so.

    Buppert needs to learn a valuable thing:
    Text without a context is a pretext.

    There are plenty (hundreds, at last count) of good examples of police state thuggery to use which obviates the need for pointing at bad ones.
    Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar, and sometimes, a non-zero number of jackasses earn their lumps. And as always, bad cases make bad law.

    This was one of those times.

    Trying to wave the bloody shirt in this case is about as justified (or batshit crazy insensible) as chanting “Justice For Trayvon.”
    Good luck with that plan.

    • Grey Ghost

      I’ll disagree with you Aesop. BB is right about the “past” of the mauled passenger. The fact that he may have had a criminal past has no bearing on the case at hand against the cops and United Airlines. The passenger was NOT thought to be a terrorist, the cops had no arrest warrant and he wasn’t breaking the law by sitting in his seat and not wanting to give up his seat. He did have a valid contract with United airlines to take him to his destination. Instead of using excess force UA could have asked for other volunteers to get off and offer increased incentives to all to get a “volunteer”. Hell, they could have told everyone at the gate BEFORE BOARDING that the flight was overbooked and they needed a passenger to take a later flight and offer additional compensation. Instead they sent in the stormtroopers and beat a passenger into submission. That probably won’t hold up so well in court.

      The fact that he resisted getting off the plane and they beat the tar out of him will probably make him a millionaire when the tort case is all said and done. And rightfully so. The cops were way out of line and UA could have pursued the situation/problem in a completely different and peaceful manner.

      Grey Ghost

      • You should do some basic research, GG.

        When flight crew tells you to GTFO the plane, you GTFO the plane.
        When you don’t, and they summon the police to enforce that law, you get thumped. Dulce et decorum est.
        Play stupid games, win stupid prizes.

        You want to fight a contract law case?

        That would be done in a courthouse, with counsel and a judge.
        You know, like has been the case since before Prince John signed Magna Carta.

        Total number of cases successfully argued at curbside, with Barney Fife?
        Zero, since before Roman times.
        It should be a weekly program on the DUH! Channel.

        Anyone who doesn’t grasp that is too stupid to fly on commercial aircraft as anything more sentient than baggage.

        And frankly, his “Just kill me.” repetitive statements and entire demeanor before and after suggest that he should have been placed on a psych hold for mental disability, on the spot. But I only deal with that every day going back twenty years, so I could be off base there.

        What happens in court is his business. Getting beat up was entirely the suspect’s fault.
        He won’t be able to spend those millions languishing in the federal pen for refusing to follow flight crew’s instructions, which have the same draconian force of law they’ve had going back to sailing ships. After he gets local criminal charges as well for resisting.
        If he’s really lucky, he gets enough in court to pay his lawyers’ fees, and maybe make up for lost income and a federal rap sheet.

        And ends up on the No Fly List for life.

        Well played.

        I hold no love for thug cops nor UAL, who breaks guitars.
        (Google United Breaks Guitars on YouTube, if you’ve never seen it.)
        But shitheads get lumps.

        This was a shithead.

        Gravity works.

        • wendystringer48088

          Thank you for explaining the legal aspects of this Aesop.
          What you mentioned he could be charged with under 49 UCS 46504 and your explaination of such sounds reasonable.
          Maybe they’ll say “You drop the lawsuit and we’ll drop the charges.” Or maybe they won’t give a damn about any lawsuit and charge him with the max since he already has a pior history.
          “If he’s really lucky, he gets enough in court to pay his lawyers’ fees, and maybe make up for lost income and a federal rap sheet. And ends up on the No Fly List for life.”
          Apparently Dr Dao does have a bit of a past history of making some bad decisions, and I think he definitely made a bad choice here.
          Aside from all that, I can’t help but wonder… Don’t they teach Akido or small circle jujitsu to the police anymore? Or is it that no one has the time for that and they all just go straight to combatives? Seems that no one knows how to or wants to do a pain compliance hold and a bouncer escort to make the perp get up and go with you anymore. Why does every situation these days end up in an MMA fighter delivering a ground-and-pound situation?
          The funny thing is, watching the videos, if I were on the juries I could see myself voting: Guilty to resisting, and also Awarding him the money for damages. I think this situation is just that messed up and I think there is enough blame to go around here.
          This incident just confirms what i’ve been taught about conflict avoidance. “You win 100% of the fights you don’t fight”. And of course we all know that in some cases it’s “Even if you win, you lose”. So best to comply or leave the situation (unless it’s really something worth fighting for or a life or death situation).

      • https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/49/46504
        49 UCS 46504
        An individual on an aircraft in the special aircraft jurisdiction of the United States who, by assaulting or intimidating a flight crew member or flight attendant of the aircraft, interferes with the performance of the duties of the member or attendant or lessens the ability of the member or attendant to perform those duties, or attempts or conspires to do such an act, shall be fined under title 18, imprisoned for not more than 20 years, or both.

        Instructions for US Attorneys:
        1411. Interference With Flight Crew Members Or Flight Attendants — 49 U.S.C. 46504

        One who assaults, threatens, or intimidates a flight crew member or attendant while aboard an aircraft in the special aircraft jurisdiction of the United States, and thereby interferes with the performance of that crew member’s duties or lessens the ability of that crew member to perform his/her duties is punishable under this subsection. See United States v. Meeker, 527 F.2d 12 (9th Cir. 1975). A violation of 49 U.S.C. § 46504 is a general intent crime; it does not require any specific intent to intimidate or to interfere with the flight crew member or attendant. See United States v. Grossman, 131 F.3d 1449, 1451-52 (11th Cir. 1997); United States v. Compton, 5 F.3d 358, 360 (9th Cir. 1993); United States v. Hicks, 980 F.2d 963 (5th Cir. 1992), cert. denied, 507 U.S. 941, 507 U.S. 998 (1993); United States v. Meeker, supra, 527 F.2d at 14. While attempted aircraft piracy and interference with flight crew can both be charged in the same indictment, if convicted on both charges, the defendant should be sentenced only under the attempted aircraft piracy conviction because, absent highly unusual circumstances, the interference with flight crew charge is the lesser included offense. See United States v. Compton, supra, 5 F.3d at 360; see also United States v. Calloway, 116 F.3d 1129 (6th Cir.), cert. denied, 118 S.Ct. 324 (1997); United States v. Figueroa, 666 F.2d 1375, 1380 (11th Cir. 1982).

        Venue for interference with flight crew members or attendants is discussed in this Manual at 1406.

        So, when Cupcake was told by any bona fide member of the a/c crew to get up, and get off the plane, he had the absolute right to get the fuck up, and bounce off the plane. When the police got there, and repeated the instruction, he had the right to comply, quickly and without any resistance.
        Sitting immobile in your seat is resistance.
        Simple, legal, and precise.

        He could easily be looking at 20 years of federal time to reconsider his brave defense of no right to non-comply.
        Once again, sometimes stupid leaves a mark.

        Your case, counselor.

        • YOU. ARE A TOOL.

        • Is that supposed to be a “T” or an “F” in “TOOL”?

          Great legal analysis. _OOL. Now tell us what duty of which crew member with which the passenger interfered. Oh, I get it…”I’ll make up something, call it a duty, point to ‘duty’ in the law, and it’s all wrapped up.”

          Your crack that his (unknown at the time) record has something to do with anything, was even worse…a complete abandonment of both social morality and legality,. at least in the USofA. Your recent writing shows that you’re obviously caught in some sort of philosophical quicksand; good luck getting out.

        • Oregon Hobo

          Aesop, I often find your viewpoints refreshingly sensible. This is not one of those times.

          Whom did this 69 y.o/120 lbs Dr. Dao assault or intimidate, and at what point in the video did this assault/intimidation occur?

          Sounds to me like the old “He assaulted my fist with his face!” routine.

          Also, how is some medical fraud case from years ago relevant to any of this? It sounds as though you’re asserting that it’s cool for the keepers of the magic badge to beat the tits off anyone they please, so long as they can dig up some irrelevant dirt on their victim after the fact. I hope I misunderstood your point on this.

          As for the laws requiring obedience to a vessel’s crew members, I think most here are aware of all that. That does not mean that it’s impossible for a carrier to abuse this power, and IMO United was doing exactly that. Let’s please not conflate laws with morality. One can break the law and be morally right. One can also operate within the law and be morally wrong.

          Statutory and case law is not the only field upon which this matter is being contested, and rightly so. United is now discovering that an army of lawyers composing clever small-print contractual “we can do whatever we want” clauses with all the precedent cases in the world to back them up all don’t amount to a gnat’s fart in a wind tunnel if one’s business withers and dies because people suddenly smarten up and decide en masse that they’re not going to open themselves to your abuse by signing your shitty contract to begin with.

          Regarding the practical wisdom of his negotiation tactics, it looks like Dr. Dao decided he was going to stand on principle and take some lumps in order not to make it easy for United to run their screwaround routine on him. Assuming I’m correct about his motivations, it’s about as clear as he can be that he achieved his goal.

          United is likely to pay him whatever it takes to make sure he never ever appears on anyone’s LCD ever again, and they’re also likely to heavily revise with their policy of strong-arming random customers out of seats for which those customers paid. While I’m speculating here I’ll also reckon that execs in every other airline are taking note and closely reviewing their own “because we can get away with it” policies regarding involuntary deplaning of paying customers.

          Perhaps Dr. Dao is of the opinion that it was all worth it, or perhaps not, but someone had to be the dumbass getting his ass-beating video splashed across the internet in order to expose United Airlines’ immoral business practices and immoral CEO. I’m glad it happened, I’m glad it wasn’t me, and I’m glad he’s going to get paid for his trouble.

          Happy trails,

          #OREGON HOBO#

    • Notarealperson


      First off anyone with a damn brain(which excludes cops and air line management) would see they have a elderly asian man weighing in at maybe 120lbs. IOW a massive lawsuit waiting to happen if he gets fucked up.

      God all the stupidity and testosterone on display.

      UAL management should have simply offered a check for say $1500 for any passenger willing to give up his seat. End of problem. No muss no fuss.

      That’s what smart people do. Think on their feet and find workarounds. Not panic like little old ladies and poof berries.

      Problem is people don’t talk anymore nor even try to reason especially if they in government.. In many respects it’s no different than a public school principal calling the cops because of his 3rd grade students ate a pop tart into the shape of a gun. Or having cops interrogate little children because they misbehaved in school.

      Problem with your police state mentality will cost the air line hundreds of millions in bad PR and a fat life time payout to Mr. Dao. Not to mention a very rap in Asia.

      Even UAL has stated it will no longer call it’s pet Cop Nazis to evict passengers anymore. They learned the hard way you don’t treat your customers like convicts or military recruits who have no rights.


        With all of their assets, United could have had one of their other aircraft fly their employees to where they needed to go. Yes, Dr. Dao was in violation of a FEDGOV statute here. But law does not equal justice. It never really has. This will be a public relations meltdown for The Friendly Skies. United my have: “…the law on our side.” The Nazis did also.

  8. “Comfortably Numb”

    “Your lips move but I can’t hear what you’re saying
    When I was a child I had a fever
    My hands felt just like two balloons
    Now I’ve got that feeling once again
    I can’t explain you would not understand
    This is not how I am
    I have become comfortably numb”

    ” If…if…We didn’t love freedom enough. And even more – we had no awareness of the real situation…. We purely and simply deserved everything that happened afterward.”
    Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago 1918-1956

  9. I think they did exactly what they could do under the circumstances, and I for one am proud of the passengers who spoke up their disapproval and took video evidence and posted it online. This is what you are supposed to do as a bystander if you see something happen and intervening directly is too risky for you. Speak up to try to distract and disrupt the attackers and take video evidence that can be reviewed later.

    Doing nothing would have been ignoring what was going on, not speaking up and not recording anything. This is I am sure what the airline and police would have wanted to happen (they are already talking about how the videos taken and posted supposedly violated the privacy rights of the other passengers). However, that is not what happened. The other passengers got involved in a way that they could without risking escalating the situation or risking their own safety. And now because of the video evidence out there the airline and the police who were involved in this are going to have to answer for what happened.

    As for myself, initially upon seeing the video I thought that Dr. David Dao should have just gotten up and got off the plane when told to do so, and taken it up later. But that’s just me. He didn’t comply and apparently got a beat down for his “contempt of cop” behavior. Not that he deserved the treatment, and that the polce appently didn’t care about doing it in front of everyone says something I think..

    In the self-defense and concealed pistol classes that I have had, they warn you about getting involved in other people’s situations. You don’t know the whole story. They do say to speak up and de-escalate the situation if you can, record audio/video evidence and to call 911.

    Are there exceptions? Of course. Someone jumping up and yelling Allahu Akbar on a plane is probably going to get met with an immediate physical response from some of the other passengers. Other examples would be an innocent victim getting severely beaten, a woman being sexually assaulted, a kid being kidnapped, etc. But in that case perception of immediate great harm or evil outweigh the concerns of possible legal problems. In these situations you act according to you conscience and do what you have to do and hope and pray for the best.

    Sometimes it’s Damn the torpodoes full speed ahead and sometimes you gotta hold back and be the calm in the center of the storm, take notes and wait for a better time.

    Just my opinions.

  10. Notarealperson

    Say for starters you take out the 3 Chicago goons. Okay then the airport panics and calls in JSOC killers whom the Feds have by the thousands and who hesitiate to kill anyone so ordered to. They come kill off most of the passengers and blame it on terrorists. End of story.

    Better way. Stop flying, If enough people did for two weeks most airlines would be filing for bankruptcy because they are already on the razor’s edge. Remember after 9/11 the airlines needed a massive cash infusion to keep afloat.

    If not go ahead a be a tool. Be cattle and understand you have no rights when you cross the security checkpoint.

  11. wendystringer48088

    “While passengers murmured and feebly took photos with their electronic leashes, not one human being stood up to stop the dragging of the passenger off the plane. Not one.”

    I don’t quite agree with what is being said and implied here.

    In the first place I would say that getting on a plane these days requires people to be willing to give up a great degree of control and to be willing to submit to all kinds of indignities in the name of “public safety”. So we are dealing with a group of people who have agreed to behave in a passive manner for at least the time they are on the airplane in order to get to their destinatio.

    Not everyone is a Special Forces ninja who could have “stood up to stop the dragging of the passenger off the plane”. However, they did not exactly do nothing. Doing nothing would have been ignoring what was happening, not saying anything and not recording anything.

    But they did do what they could do without risking escalating the situation or putting themselves in physical danger. I think that is quite enough to expect from people who are not you friends or family or team members unarmed and trapped in a confined space.

    In bystander intervention classes (usualIy geared towards protecting women from sexual assaults) they mention speaking up your disapproval of the situation, trying to distract the aggressor, disrupting the aggressor if you can do so safely, and delegating others to get help. Being a good witness and taking notes and recording audio, pictures or video of the event.

    Think of how many people or groups of people have had to answer for their bad behavior because someone caught it on camera and uploaded it for the world to see and comment on.

    I think overall team freedom won a round. The more word gets around that the powers that be and the police state are not your friends I think is a good thing.