April 13, 2008

Freedom Isn't Free, But Apparently, Being an Ass Over an Airplane Loudspeaker Is

On a cross-country flight last Saturday night, we had a stewardess flight attendant sky waitress who was a real hoot. Over the loudspeaker, she said things like "turn off your Blackberry, your rasberry, and your strawberry." Ha ha ha.

Then, when we were getting ready to land, she made a speech about the "men and women of the military" on the flight and how they are "fighting for our freedom." She asked the passengers to give these unidentified soldiers a big round of applause. The passengers eagerly complied.

"Fighting for our freedom"? Not the 80 percent or more of our soldiers engaged in combat who happen to be in Iraq. They are bravely and dutifully fighting for whatever their commanders tell them they are fighting for. In Iraq, the Bush administration's explanation of why our troops are fighting has shifted more times than the sands of the desert on which they stand. First it was to find Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction. Then it was to bring democracy to the Middle East. Then there were many more reasons given. Now, according to General David Petraeus, "It has to do with regional stability, a region that is of critical importance to the global economy...." In other words, Petraeus was saying that the Iraq War is about oil, which is something that many critics of the war have said all along.

"Fighting for our freedom"? The people doing that are the citizens, and their representatives in Congress, who are fighting to make sure that our government cannot violate the Constitution by spying on us illegally, without obtaining a warrant from the FISA court or another court of law empowered to grant such a warrant. Or the ones fighting for the Constitution's guarantee of freedom from being imprisoned without being charged for a crime, or for a fair trial where the defendant is able to speak to an attorney.

Instead of making a political speech, and an erroneous one at that, to a captive audience of seat-belted airplane passengers, perhaps our sky waitress should have stuffed her mouth with some salted peanuts.


At 6:45 PM, Blogger Barbara said...

Maybe the only thing she had was the unsalted pretzels they served on our flight. Just curious -- did she make her announcements in multiple languages or just assume all those in seatbelts spoke English? :)

Can you imagine a worse job that working in all that stale oxygen and keeping a smile on your face as you serve coffee, tea, and barely edible food to a plane full of people?

Come to think of it, I wouldn't want the job of the guy at Dulles who was directing people to their passport control window either.

At 6:57 PM, Blogger media concepts said...

Her announcements were in English, although the safety video had both English and Spanish subtitles. I guess her speeches are not intended for Spanish-only speakers.

At 7:22 PM, Blogger Barbara said...

Maybe she didn't think Hispanics could be patriotic?! When in fact, on a flight to CA, my guess would be that those "men and women in uniform" might likely hablar espanol!


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