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Amidst all the justifiable praise for the pilot of US Airways flight 1549, Emptywheel at Firedoglake points to a largely overlooked factor in the passenger and crews’ survival:

[Sullenberger]–and his union–have fought to ensure pilots get the kind of safety training to pull off what he did yesterday.

Then there are the flight attendants…members of the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA. Yesterday’s accident should remind all of us that flight attendants are first and foremost safety professionals–they should not be treated like cocktail waitresses.

There are the ferry crews…They’re represented by the Seafarers International Union. They provide safety training to their members so they’re prepared for events like yesterday’s accident.

There are the cops and firemen…They’re represented by the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association and the Uniformed Firefighters Association and Uniformed Fire Officers Association (IAFF locals).  They’re the men and women who performed so heroically on 9/11–and they’ve been fighting to make sure first responders get the equipment to do this kind of thing.

This is a legitimate point, but it unfairly disparages business, which has a long record of voluntarily spending manhours and money on safety training, even without union coercion.  I remember my great-grandmother telling tales of when she worked for the Triangle Shirtwaist Company, and scoffing at the “nanny-like” managers who continually pulled seamstresses away from their machines for safety meetings, tips and drills teaching them what to do if the place caught on fire and they were all locked inside, such as tucking your skirts between your legs before you jump from the 9th floor so onlookers don’t get a glimpse of your bloomers before you hit the pavement.  But as Amanda Carpenter at Townhall remarks, what’s the good of safety training after you’ve already had an accident, since by the very nature of the situation, you are no longer safe!


That time would have been much better spent in 401k meetings teaching them how to properly invest their retirement funds, or life insurance payouts, in the stock market.

13 Responses to “You’re Throwing A Wrench In My Ubermensch”

“Shameless” is right.

I’ve been on a bit a toot reminding people that it wasn’t just the pilot & unionized first responders, but the working union members who designed, built & maintained the “luckiest plane in the world.”

No matter how good/perfect the landing & rescue, if “the plane, the plane” had broken up on splash-down, the headlines would have been “Human Popsicles Fished From Downstream Hudson.”

So let’s hear more for the people who do the work, & less for the glory-hound fly-boys who get lucky.

Yours in communist worker solidarity.

Bouffant! What’s the matter with you? The jet was from Europe! Europe!

Europe?!? Well, then, this calls for the French lyrics.

Debout, les damnes de la terre!
debout, les forcats de la faim!

In communist worker solidarity indeed,

I’ve noted that elsewhere.

Between the Canadian geese & the EuroFrenchy airplane, I was expecting Bush to announce air raids on any nations but Canada & European ones in his ta-ta address last night.

Firemen, police, air stewards, are all part of the useful class that irks conservatives by their galling desire to unionize. This reminds me of the big hissy fit Michelle Malkin threw when she found out that the U.S. government gave special discounts to cops and teachers when they bought HUD houses, and believed it was a sop to unions. In truth, many state and local jurisdictions do the same thing to lure members of the useful class to live in their area, especially if housing costs would otherwise discourage them. She should instead ponder why nobody tries to lure right wing columnists into moving into their area.

I’d offer incentives to lure right-wing columnists elsewhere; say, the middle of the Atlantic…

I didn’t make it up, but I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again (seems like I type this a lot lately):

The means of production must belong to the worker. (Karl Marx)

Ah, the Seafarers Union.


The film tribute at the above link is superbly done. Whoever directed it has a real future.

Y’know, after watching Ronnie Ray-Gun & his puppetmaster Poppy Bush destroy the unions (’81-’88, with aftereffects everlasting) AND every independent oil & gas company in this country (especially in LA), in order to hand the whole shebang over to the giant corporations, whilst “protecting” said corps from “predatory” union types, I never thought that I’d live long enough to see the day when somebody said something good about labor unions in PUBLIC again.

(How’s THAT for a run-on sentence??!?!?)

But then, if they hadn’t destroyed the unions, they’d never have been able to get away with NAFTA, CAFTA & the FTAA, now would they. Or, as the republicunt puppet bobblehead “media” of Miami called ALL the protesters @ FTAA, “black-dressed ANARCHIST THUGS!” Oh, no, it wasn’t the redneck Broward County & Ocala PD PIGLETS who were shooting grandmothers in the back with “rubber” bullets, teargassing children, etc., THAT WAS THE POWER OF UNFETTERED CAPITALISM.

Said it before, will keep on saying it: Reagan got off EASY with fucking Alzheimer’s, ’cause it let him BELIEVE HIS OWN PRESS ‘TIL THE DAY HE FINALLY CROAKED. Watch how G.H.W. “Poppy” Bush is “breaking down,” as he ages, how they won’t let him speak in public anymore. If that’s not a CIA/Eli Lilly-designed “EASY OUT,” then I’m an anorexic supermodel astronaut ballerina.

And more power to Bill Moyers for the wonderful coverage/intuition about the hopeful resurrection of the unions, and, again, HOPEFULLY, the regaining of the true power in this country by its PEOPLE.

BTW, Scott? Find me this Amanda twat’s home address. Methinks that she’s sorely in need of an appropriate re-education, especially about the value of “physical safety.” Hell, she seems like such a lightweight, I prolly won’t even need the tire tool. Ya never know, if her IQ is above room temperature, we might be able to teach her how life REALLY works, or how it SHOULD, anyway. And yes, I know, if I were a guy, wanting this chick’s home address and threatening physical violence, it’d be supremely unkosher and wrong on many levels. But then, we don’t have any guy friends who THINK that way, so we don’t really have to worry about that shit around these parts. Here in West Redneckistan? ALLLLL the fucking time.

Anyway, point being, yes, I wanna “re-educate” this useless little cunt-fart using large, heavy textbooks that may or may not resemble a Mag-Lite. Just the fact that she may be getting PAID to be so fucking USELESS is more than enough justification.

(Keeping in mind, of course, that on the day that Hinkley had shitty aim, I was the 10-year-old kid who got yanked into the principal’s office for DANCING AND SINGING when we got the news…)

Human solidarity played a big role in this rescue – a factor that rightwing grotesques prefer to ignore. After having the cult of the individual rammed down our throats for the last 3 decades, it is good to see that the natural reaction of ordinary people is to help one another. And let us not forget the airline workers which have endured sustained attacks on their wages, labor rights and standard of living under the various Republican administrations that have plagued this country.

Aluta continua!

I wonder if ol’ Amanda there was blogging from her job?

You know, the one she takes her two weeks vacation from, courtesy of prior union advocacy? The one that might even provide health care coverage, again thanks to prior union advocacies?

Hey, maybe she even gets a coffee break! Ooh, hey, that was a union development too!

Think she takes an hour’s lunch? Thank a union again, missy. Overtime pay? Perhaps, if she’s a clockpuncher, but again, there’s them “unions” again!

I wonder if her desk and chair are constructed within the ergonomic guidelines established by OSHA, which was established after unions complained mightily about working conditions for miners and factory workers?

Think she’s ever taken a paid sick day in her life?

Oh. I think that was a unionized advance.

What is it with these FReepers that makes them so antithetical to the only legitimate tool that the average American has to defend his working life from the monstrously outsized corporations that he or she works for?

Hell, it’s like fighting the Decepticons without the Transformers!

Because new money is ALMOST just as good as old money in the Republicunt Realm, so if the formerly-poor (or a generation ago poor) “work their way up” the alleged food chain, they have to make a POINT of shitting upon the heads of the working class, so that their new massahs/mentors/cunt-ry club old-money controllers will believe their full fealty to the mission of Old Money. If they don’t disparage labor unions, then obviously, they don’t believe in the Manifest Destiny of corporations to steal/destroy/dehumanize every fucking resource upon the planet.

To ever remember that THEY were once working-class or poor is to admit that they weren’t BORN TO IT, i.e., they aren’t “legitimately privileged,” so they have to flail around in giant pools of quickly-spent cash, in order to purchase their phony pedigrees. When you’re worth more than a million, you HAVE to treat the working class, even the oft-idealized “middle class” as THE UNWASHED MASSES, THE UNTOUCHABLES, ’cause if you let the membership committee at the cunt-ry club know that you traffic with “commoners,” then they’ll NEVER let you pay for the privilege of rubbing elbows with the “ruling classes.”

Constant, unending perpetuation of class warfare and class/money-directed privilege in a capitalist society is just another way in which the haves and the Powers That Be cover their own lily-white, shriveled old asses and the asses of their lazy, useless spawn. See Also: Neil Bush, Jeb Bush, Dumbya, Jenna Bush, et al.

After all, if he were still just another fat, obnoxious lawnmower salesman, Fatfuck Limbaugh would NEVER have been able to get away with going to the Dominican Republic SOLELY to partake of enslaved little boys in sex tourism. But since he’s loyally guarded the left flank of the corporate massahs for over 20 years, they throw their good little doggy a bone, by letting him escape punishment for where he buries HIS bone. Don’t seem to recall him receiving any actual punishment for the illegal viagra, either. He’s new money, he’ll never be “good enough,” but he’s a useful tool, up to a point, so they’ll try to keep him “out of trouble” until he is no longer useful. Then he’ll just be another Rodney Dangerfield character at the cunt-ry club bar.

Hell, Ken Lay & the other Enron nouveau-riche white trash — y’all DID notice that they fucked THEIR OWN EMPLOYEES out of their pensions & 401Ks (one of the most-successful SCAMS of the working class EVER) WAY BEFORE they started fucking “Grandma & Grandpa” (remember the phone transcripts between Houston & L.A.?) out of their last fucking dimes with FALSELY INFLATED POWER CHARGES. Fuck the “lesser” first, then go after the general public. Ken Lay & his old lady go on television, whining about having to sell-off their VACATION HOMES, whilst the EMPLOYEES OF ENRON can’t even throw a decent YARD SALE.

The whole purpose of allowing *some* to “succeed” is to prop-up the myth of “The American Dream” (which has never actually existed), to keep the proletariat reaching for that impossible brass ring, to use the “successes” (Fatfuck Limbaugh, the Walton offspring, etc.) as “proof” that they’re NOT fucking THE ENTIRE FUCKING COUNTRY when they ship the jobs overseas, when they reduce us all to generic units who will NEVER make enough money to survive upon, but it’s OUR fault when our paltry income doesn’t reach to cover the costs of ARTIFICIAL INFLATION.

Fake the Murkin Dream, keep the suckers buying credit cards and paying 30% to spend their own money, and they’ll be too exhausted to notice that they’re getting RAPED every day of their working lives. And then dangle heiress wastes-of-oxygen like the Bush Twins & Paris Hilton in front of the hungry eyes of the do-without public, rub their faces in the never-to-be-achieved privilege of brats from Orange County, and they will ALWAYS want to live above their means, they will always crave the material things that THEY CAN’T REALLY HAVE. Keep ‘em miserable but dreaming, broke but overspending, and you’ve got the ultimate opiate of the masses.

Job security? YOU DON’T DESERVE THAT. Healthcare? YOU HAVEN’T EARNED THAT. Tenure? THAT’S ONLY FOR YOUR *BETTERS,* YOU LOWLY SLUG. A living wage? FUCK YOU, WE’LL TRUCK-IN EVEN MORE ENSLAVED WORKERS FROM ANOTHER COUNTRY, SO YOU WON’T GET *SHIT*. And of course, the corporate massahs are ALWAYS right, because they hold the money, and ergo the sagging old scrotums of the Powers That Be.

I hope that Barry’s serious about wresting control of this country away from the corporate motherfuckers and letting the working classes once again earn what they DESERVE. But I’m not going to believe it until I see it.

OK, you’ve touched on a pet peeve of mine. As a corporate road warrior I am sick and tired of hearing that flight attendants are “here for your safety, and your safety alone”. Does being trained in safety preclude one from providing some level of customer service? Or how about simply being civil to passengers? Flight attendants, more correctly flight attendants in the U. S., are becoming increasingly surly and difficult.

Yet the flight attendants on European airlines and profitable U. S. airlines (Soutwest)continue to provide exceptional, friendly service AND safety. (You can’t tell me that Lufthansa doesn’t drill safety into it’s flight attendants.)

Maybe they’re just pissed because their industry is tanking. Maybe they’re overworked and underpaid. All I know is is just another symptom of another dying U. S. industry.

Something to say?