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A Southwest Airlines plane en route from San Diego to Chicago was diverted to Amarillo yesterday (August 31) because of alleged misbehavior of six San Diego area residents. They were taken off the plane by law-enforcement officials. The crew and passengers also had to deplane.

According to a complaint filed with the United States Attorney for the Northern District of Texas, the six passengers, who were sitting together on the plane, were disruptive and did not comply with instructions. They initially refused to put their seats upright and tray tables up. They allegedly talked loudly, used profanity, and refused a flight attendant's request to quiet down. They became aggressive when refused alcohol and called the flight attendant racist, according to the complaint.

The men, ranging in age from 19 to 23, are Saiman Hermez, Jonathan Khalid Petras, Ghazwan Asaad Shaba, Essa Solaqa, Khalid Yohana, and Wisam Imad Shaker.

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Comments

Don Bauder Sept. 1, 2015 @ 7:46 p.m.

Ponzi: I would agree with you, but I don't want to sound like Donald Trump. Best, Don Bauder

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Ponzi Sept. 2, 2015 @ 6:35 a.m.

That got a laugh from me. I agree. That was just my stock answer. Their citizenship status isn't in the story and it doesn't matter. But things have sure been getting unruly in the skies lately.

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Don Bauder Sept. 2, 2015 @ 7:30 a.m.

Ponzi: Things get unruly on the ground getting through security, too. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Sept. 1, 2015 @ 7:48 p.m.

Emmett McMahon: You be the judge. Hey, you are the judge! Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Sept. 1, 2015 @ 7:49 p.m.

Greg Lindsey: Hey -- that was thinking on her part. Best, Don Bauder

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Twister Sept. 1, 2015 @ 10:39 p.m.

It's time--way past time--that the leaders of groups take the lead in condemning the bad behavior of members of the groups when they violate the universal principles of human decency. (No, I'm not sure what that is, but I know it when I see it.)

At the same time, we all need to get rid of bogus concepts like "race." There is color, and there is culture, but there is no such thing as race--it's just a concept originated by one man using questionable data (to reference the lousy "science" charitably). Just because it is widely "accepted" does not make it valid. It's just a "convention."

Tw

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Don Bauder Sept. 2, 2015 @ 7:32 a.m.

Twister: Universal principles of human decency? When were they ever in effect? Best, Don Bauder

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Twister Sept. 2, 2015 @ 11:27 a.m.

Perhaps this blog community would care to enumerate them. Couldn't hurt, even if they honored more in the breach than the observance.

Agitate, agitate, agitate! But not on an airliner or a ship.

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Don Bauder Sept. 2, 2015 @ 3 p.m.

Twister: In olden times, the agitators on a ship walked the plank. Best, Don Bauder

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AlexClarke Sept. 2, 2015 @ 5:44 a.m.

Another fine example of the Chaldean community. They should be proud of these fine young men. I'll bet that Mark whats-his-face who defends the liquor store owners will say it was discrimination.

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Twister Sept. 2, 2015 @ 11:39 a.m.

Discrimination is the foundation of intelligence--the ability to distinguish the superior from an inferior alternative. Prejudice is quite another thing--prejudging because of "race," creed, or national origin. Or whether somebody doesn't like your looks or what you say.

Threatening speech or action, however, justifies retaliation.

Combining speech in a language which sounds like one associated with terrorist acts may be one's right, but it may not be wise, and it may be a blatant act of “getting into another’s face,” particularly on an airplane.

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Don Bauder Sept. 2, 2015 @ 3:01 p.m.

Twister: They will say they have First Amendment rights. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Sept. 2, 2015 @ 7:33 a.m.

AlexClarke: Well, the defendants said it was discrimination. Why shouldn't a lawyer? Best, Don Bauder

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MURPHYJUNK Sept. 2, 2015 @ 8:44 a.m.

not the best way for grateful immigrants to act.

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Don Bauder Sept. 2, 2015 @ 3:03 p.m.

Murphyjunk: Do we know they are immigrants? Best, Don Bauder

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Visduh Sept. 2, 2015 @ 8:47 a.m.

As to Ponzi's recommendation that they be deported, I fear/expect that most if not all of them are US citizens by birthright. That one of them has the first name of Jonathan is a strong hint. The Chaldean community in the county has been assembling for years. Many of them become corner food store and liquor store owner-operators. As a result, when the state or cops pull stings, Chaldeans are often charged with selling alcohol to underage customers, and the same thing is now occurring with tobacco sales. For a group that claims to be a persecuted minority, better behavior would go a long way to legitimizing their claim of victimization.

Just recently the Light News ran a piece about how the Chaldeans (who are Christians, or so they claim) are now targeted by the IS (ISIS or ISIL, take your pick) for genocide. The implication was, of course, that the US should give asylum to massive numbers of Chaldeans. In fact, if you buy the story, the US should take in and shelter all of them.

So, again, if a group like this gives offense, it undermines their plea for help. They should be attempting to be totally above reproach. But then, if they are second generation and citizens, what the heck? Be a jerk, it's your American birthright!

A final point: a year or two ago a Chaldean man was convicted of bludgeoning his much-younger wife to death in El Cajon. She was about to file, or had filed, for divorce. He tried to make it look like a racist killing (or "hate" crime if you prefer) by planting some threatening notes at their home. So, even though he claimed to be a Christian, seemed to carry that Arab/Mulsim set of values of a wife as property, not partner, and killed her because a divorce would have caused him to lose face. Doing some quick math, it appeared as if she had been his arranged child bride in Iraq, in that she was 36, yet had a child who was 20.

Is that the sort of thing we want more of in the US?

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Don Bauder Sept. 2, 2015 @ 3:06 p.m.

Visduh: I suspect they are U.S. citizens by birthright. Best, Don Bauder

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Ponzi Sept. 2, 2015 @ 6:32 p.m.

Chaldeans are now 60% of the population of El Cajon (Pop. 102,000) Of that population, 80% of Iraqi men over age 40 are unemployed. They are pushing out the old-guard population of El Cajon (White, Blacks and Mexicans) by consuming a lot of the available Section 8 housing. Is that the kind of future we want in San Diego and America? While Trump bashes the Mexicans, we have a new welfare crowd that don't even bother to work unless it's at Uncle Dedah's liquor store.

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AlexClarke Sept. 3, 2015 @ 5:57 a.m.

The Cajon Zone is now a high crime third world toilet. I am not sure there that the 60% Chaldean figure is correct as many of the El Cajon Iraqi's are Muslim not "Christian". I thing the 60% Chaldean figure may apply to Rancho San Diego.

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Don Bauder Sept. 3, 2015 @ 7:07 a.m.

AlexClarke: Sixty percent Chaldean in Rancho San Diego? I would like some confirmation of that. Again, I am not saying you are wrong. I simply would like to know where you got the numbers. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Sept. 3, 2015 @ 7:05 a.m.

Ponzi: Where did you get those numbers? Sixty percent sounds high to me. The eighty percent number sounds high, too. I am not saying you are wrong. I would just like to see the official numbers. Best, Don Bauder

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Ponzi Sept. 3, 2015 @ 7:57 a.m.

There are various sources that I pull numbers from. The Iraqi population in El Cajon increases by about 400 every month according to one source. So when you see a figure of "50,000" in a 2013 story, the number is 60,000 in a more current account.

According to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study on the health of Iraqi refugees who settled in the United States after 2009, 67 percent of adults are unemployed, including 85 percent of those over 45 years old.

The US Census estimate for the population of El Cajon for 2014 is 103,000 and with 60,000 Iraqi's, that makes them 60% of the population. That does not include the grannies that came over to visit and never left... The illegal immigration of Iraqi's.

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Don Bauder Sept. 4, 2015 @ 10:39 a.m.

Ponzi: Hmm. Those are interesting figures. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Sept. 2, 2015 @ 3:08 p.m.

Mike Murphy: I don't know if Southwest has video cameras. I would imagine there are passengers, probably crew members, who would testify as to their behavior. Best, Don Bauder

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badcyclist Sept. 2, 2015 @ 7:23 p.m.

Agreed. There aren't many places to hide in the main cabin of an aircraft in flight. There should be plenty of witnesses, and a decent understanding of what transpired won't be too far off.

My understanding of the allegation from the involved passengers is that the flight attendant refused to serve them alcohol until they spoke English. That doesn't seem very likely to me, unless they were drunk and yelling at her in another language, in which case I would believe that the attendant would ask them to speak English. But it should all come out in the wash....

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Don Bauder Sept. 3, 2015 @ 7:09 a.m.

badcyclist: I really doubt that a Chicago-bound plane would have landed in Amarillo if the misbehavior was mild. Best, Don Bauder

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Ponzi Sept. 2, 2015 @ 8:08 p.m.

I doubt that the flight attendants asked them to speak English. That sounds like a load of BS. The airlines are cutting back on serving alcohol. It's not like the good old days of having several drinks on a flight. They are not serving people who are drinking too much. The flight attendants cut them off.

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Visduh Sept. 2, 2015 @ 8:44 p.m.

But you can get two alcoholic bevs on a SW flight if you want them. Better yet is when you have their complementary drink coupons. Problem: you have to be able to prove that you are at least 21 years of age, and not all of those arrested were even that old. So, it would appear that they might have been drunk when they boarded (I mean, what else is there to do in the boarding lounge but have a drink . . . or two . . . or more, while waiting for a delayed SW departure?) It was their extremely bad luck to have the flight diverted to Amarillo, which is in the much-maligned state of Texas, which doesn't have much tolerance for that sort of thing.

Today's Light News/LA Times report that they were taken into federal custody and are being charged with federal felonies. I think they're going to forfeit their soccer match--and maybe the next few months or years of their freedom.

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Ponzi Sept. 3, 2015 @ 5:15 a.m.

The Chaldeans have taken over the ownership of liquor stores in the East County part of San Diego. They all sell those little bottles of liquor, the type they have on airlines. The homeless buy those with their spare change, and I believe others buy them and pour them into cans of soda and drive. With Target and other big chain stores discontinuing the sale of cigarettes, the Iraqi owned liquor stores are standing out as merchants of vice; cigarettes, vaping, liquor and lottery tickets. Model citizens.

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Don Bauder Sept. 3, 2015 @ 7:14 a.m.

Ponzi: Yes, but cigarettes, liquor and lottery tickets are legal. The Chaldeans have dominated those East County liquor stores for a very long time. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Sept. 3, 2015 @ 7:12 a.m.

Visduh: Texans tolerate this kind of behavior if it comes from Texans. But this doesn't appear to be the case. Best, Don Bauder

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Ponzi Sept. 3, 2015 @ 5:22 a.m.

Welfare state: According to USA Today.

"More than half of the nation's immigrants receive some kind of government welfare, a figure that's far higher than the native-born population's, according to a report to be released Wednesday.

About 51% of immigrant-led households receive at least one kind of welfare benefit, including Medicaid, food stamps, school lunches and housing assistance, compared to 30% for native-led households, according to the report from the Center for Immigration Studies, a group that advocates for lower levels of immigration.

Those numbers increase for households with children, with 76% of immigrant-led households receiving welfare, compared to 52% for the native-born.

The findings are sure to fuel debate on the presidential campaign trail as Republican candidates focus on changing the nation's immigration laws, from calls for mass deportations to ending birthright citizenship."

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Don Bauder Sept. 3, 2015 @ 7:21 a.m.

Ponzi: Those numbers do not surprise me. I just hope that when some politicians stress how many immigrants receive welfare, somebody like Bernie Sanders will stress how many corporations receive welfare, particularly tax reduction welfare. And I hope that someone like Sanders will report how many of the rich, as well as corporations, pay very little in taxes.

If we are going to tell one side of the story, we should tell the other side, too. The welfare state benefits the poor and the rich. It's the middle class that has to pay the freight. Best, Don Bauder

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Ponzi Sept. 3, 2015 @ 7:43 a.m.

The upper class makes the middle class support the poor.

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Don Bauder Sept. 3, 2015 @ 1:26 p.m.

Ponzi: Yes, because that richest 1 percent -- or 10 percent if you like -- gets all kinds of tax breaks. So the middle class has to support the poor. Best, Don Bauder

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MURPHYJUNK Sept. 3, 2015 @ 3:51 p.m.

or in the case of the flight, the economy seats subsidize the business class seats ?

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Visduh Sept. 3, 2015 @ 4:46 p.m.

If you ever priced biz-class or first class seats, I don't think you would say that. But you might be right. However, this was Southwest Airlines, and all the seats on their 737's are economy class.

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Don Bauder Sept. 3, 2015 @ 4:56 p.m.

Murphyjunk: I really don't know if economy seats on airplanes subsidize the business class seats. Best, Don Bauder

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MURPHYJUNK Sept. 7, 2015 @ 8:30 a.m.

most of the better seats are used by frequent flyer points users

our last trip on jal buss class would have cost over $5k, but just 110k miles per seat.

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Twister Sept. 3, 2015 @ 8:42 a.m.

But when the middle class is gone . . . ?

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Don Bauder Sept. 3, 2015 @ 1:27 p.m.

Twister: When the middle class is gone, the revolution begins. Best, Don Bauder

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Twister Sept. 4, 2015 @ 8:58 a.m.

I think I'll move to the Rockies and live under a rock--or, if there was some multi-millionaire willing to take us in . . .

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Don Bauder Sept. 4, 2015 @ 10:43 a.m.

Twister: You mean you are not going to join us knocking heads off statues of saints and generals? Best, Don Bauder

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Twister Sept. 4, 2015 @ 4:56 p.m.

I couldn't even make a head bobble.

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Don Bauder Sept. 5, 2015 @ 11:45 a.m.

Twister: But I'll bet you could make a bobblehead. Best, Don Bauder

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Ian Anderson Sept. 4, 2015 @ 11:15 a.m.

Not sure why ethnicity or citizenship supposedly has bearing on this story. These guys were clearly behaving like bros, an unfortunate byproduct of San Diegan American culture. Hit PB on a Saturday night and you'll find hundreds of bros operating with the same rowdy pack mentality.

The only shame is there's no do not fly list for bros.

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Don Bauder Sept. 4, 2015 @ 1:15 p.m.

Ian Anderson: Good question: why does ethnicity enter into this? Best, Don Bauder

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Twister Sept. 4, 2015 @ 4:55 p.m.

In a bit of perverse irony, if you're part of a Pishston minority, you can be self-righteously Pishedoff, about any criticism and thus immune from persecution under the de facto Political Correctness Amendment to the Constitution.

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Don Bauder Sept. 5, 2015 @ 11:47 a.m.

Twister: I am familiar with the Russian Pishedoff. I even get that way once in awhile. I am not familiar with the Englishman Pishston. Best, Don Bauder

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Visduh Sept. 4, 2015 @ 8:07 p.m.

Don, ethnicity entered into this because the six clowns were self-identified as a Chaldean soccer team on the way to a Chaldean soccer tournament. As soon as they were arrested, they claimed some sort of discrimination, and their Chaldean church sprang to their defense. Today their spokes-mouth announced that they are going to sue Southwest Airlines for some sort of discriminatory actions. That's how and why ethnicity entered into this.

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Don Bauder Sept. 5, 2015 @ 11:48 a.m.

Visduh: You are correct. They claimed they were being discriminated against. That was while they were on the airplane. Best, Don Bauder

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Twister Sept. 5, 2015 @ 5:34 p.m.

But were they, or are they now, victims of prejudice?

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Twister Sept. 4, 2015 @ 5:02 p.m.

Waal, in my day, folks didn't cotton to sich shenanigans. We just did mild-mannered stuff like moving an old man's privy back a bit on Halloween. Harmless fun. Sepsis might have killed the old man, but hell, he was ready to go anyhow, eh?

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Don Bauder Sept. 5, 2015 @ 11:56 a.m.

Twister: More than a century ago, knocking over outhouses was young folks' favorite mischief. The misbehavior became so widespread that there were health concerns -- the spread of sepsis among them. The president set up a national organization consisting of some of the leading academics and business executives to address this problem. It was called the Privy Council. Best, Don Bauder

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Twister Sept. 5, 2015 @ 5:33 p.m.

I'll bet that the report was flushed with em bare ass ment. In any case, I'm glad that the gummint will no longer brook any scat from the cat in his hat.

The report is still Top Secret. Better check the primary sources like their Farcebook accounts . . .

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Don Bauder Sept. 6, 2015 @ 1:47 p.m.

Twister: Trouble is, the number of outhouses in the nation has declined very sharply since the task force (the Privy Council) was set up. But like all task forces, it is still in existence, still meeting once a week, still getting paid by the government. Best, Don Bauder

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Ponzi Sept. 5, 2015 @ 10:44 p.m.

Ian, I have enjoyed your food stories. I never have seen you posting to other stories. Just curious, do you have a dog in this fight? If so please share, because it seems you are trying to deflect the "Chaldean" angle. Please see my comment below about Mark Arabo, the clumsy self-anointed Chaldean PR wonk that brought an ethnic identity to this story.

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Don Bauder Sept. 6, 2015 @ 1:48 p.m.

Ponzi: Ian has a champion Chaldean Chow Chow. Best, Don Baudeer

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Ian Anderson Sept. 6, 2015 @ 5:07 p.m.

If they're charging racism, then they've decided to make it about race, and hope they can make peace with that within their community if it turns out they're FOS. Obv I wasn't there enough to know, I just chafe at seeing people blame asinine behavior on a culture or ethnicity. I've known a-holes of every stripe, and many of them have been 19-23 yrs old.

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Twister Sept. 5, 2015 @ 5:27 p.m.

Re: "When the middle class is gone, the revolution begins." --Don Bauder

Everybody should see the movie, "Lonely Are the Brave," and/or read the book upon which it is based, "Brave Cowboy."

In the movie, the military guy in the helicopter who has permission to shoot a real human being, personifies the personality which, given a little authority, drools at the possibility of being able to be coldly, cowardly, brutal and get away with it.

Remember the Occupy Movement? Remember Kent State? That is our future. Total control. No Sci-Fi author has yet, with the wildest of imaginations, realized that 1984 has passed and the Brave New World has long been with us. History accelerates exponentially. Terminal velocity is not far away . . .

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Visduh Sept. 5, 2015 @ 7:55 p.m.

Twister, yes I remember Kent State. What did you take from it? My suspicion is that you took a lesson from it that was quite different than I did. If you'd like to pursue the matter, we can do it here. Just share some of your detailed impressions, and I'll share mine. We may both find the exchange informative.

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Don Bauder Sept. 6, 2015 @ 1:54 p.m.

Visduh: The lesson of Kent State is never to give live ammunition to National Guardsmen. I was in the National Guard. Our unit couldn't have successfully fought an army of quadruple amputees. These Guardsmen should NOT have been given live ammunition in this situation. I understand the decision to deploy the armed Guard came from the governor, whose name escapes me. Thank goodness he didn't advance in politics. Best, Don Bauder

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Visduh Sept. 6, 2015 @ 8:38 p.m.

On the whole I can't disagree. I'm still awaiting Twister's take, and I'll leave it at that.

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Twister Sept. 7, 2015 @ 1:17 a.m.

There's the even seedier act of a symbolic show of force, demonstrating that intimidation remains the tool of the wealthy bully.

I was taught never to threaten anyone any time. I consider any threat to be putting my life or those of others in danger, which should, in a truly civilized society, be answered with more than enough counterforce to ELIMINATE the threat. As a result of this social more, I had the good fortune to grow up in a safe, peaceful community. As to guns, everybody had them, but the rule was never to use them to threaten. "If your gun clears leather, it'd better be smoking."

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Twister Sept. 7, 2015 @ 12:48 a.m.

Lesson 1. You don't have to be armed to get shot; all you have to do is oppose the "government."

Lesson 2. A little major muscle and protest diminishes.

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Visduh Sept. 9, 2015 @ 4:52 p.m.

Twister, I was expecting something else, and now conclude that your two posts above are your Kent State take. For a very long time, I've been aware that people remember that as "when the government shot protesters in cold blood." When that invasion of Cambodia was revealed, it was a rare college or university campus that DIDN'T have protests. Most of them got rowdy, but were handled by the administrations and their campus cops with some backup from other police agencies. (Here in California there was something similar at UC, Santa Barbara and in Isla Vista and parts of Goleta that involved the national guard.) Kent State turned into a riot, including the torching of a building that burned down. Rhodes, the Ohio governor, got indignant and sent in armed national guard troops. By the middle of their second long day on duty, dealing with the crowds, and probably in equal degrees tired, scared, and angry, there was some firing heard (or maybe not.) Nonetheless with no order given by anyone with rank higher than a sergeant, some of the troops turned to the crowd and fired. The record says 67 shots were fired. Four students were killed, and most of them were far away from the scene. Two were just passing by, minding their own business, far away. (My take, and I speak as a longtime user of the M-! rifle, is that many of those guys fired one or two shots, and didn't aim to kill anyone up close, but shot high. But they forgot that what goes up also comes down, and their bullets did strike innocent passersby.) If they had really wanted to shoot down those in close, they would have killed far more than they did. In the aftermath, few of the guardsmen admitted to firing at all. A few were charged criminally, none were convicted.

It could have been avoided if they had not loaded their rifles and pistols. It was an option to carry ammunition, but having the officer in charge give the order to "lock and load." So, Don is right that they should not have had loaded weapons. They were untrained in riot/crowd control at that time. Such training came AFTER Kent State.

There was irony in this mess, in that most of the lower ranking NG types had joined the guard to avoid active military service and stay clear of Vietnam. They were going up against students (and not just a few agitators and non-student types) who wanted to see the war go away. Neither group was supporting the war, and yet they ended up in a face-down that turned tragic. Did Nixon want that to happen? Despite his cold personality he was horrified, and that one incident caused him more grief than any other in the latter days of the war.

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Don Bauder Sept. 6, 2015 @ 12:13 p.m.

Twister: Then there is the recent incident with Donald Trump. Some people were protesting his appearance, carrying signs. Trump's longtime bodyguard grabbed the signs and walked away. A protester tried to grab the sign back. Trump's goon then slugged him. Guess what? Trump is suing the protester -- not the other way around. Best, Don Bauder

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Twister Sept. 7, 2015 @ 12:53 a.m.

I protest his appearance too; he looks like a sucker-fish with a whisk broom on his head. I also protest his appearing almost anywhere in public.

Why was the goon not arrested for petty theft, aggravated assault, and assault with intent to commit great bodily harm?

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Ponzi Sept. 5, 2015 @ 10:35 p.m.

Ah, ethnicity came to bear in this story because the self-appointed "Chaldean representative" Mark Arabo could not resist engaging his big mouth into the affair. Now, thanks to Arabo, it is a "Chaldean issue." Personally, if I were a Chaldean in El Cajon, I would ask him to stay out of these things. Arabo is a loose cannon that shines a light on the bad behaviors of his community while in pursuit of his own selfish personal and political agenda.

Memo to El Cajon Chaldeans: Tell Mark Arabo to shut the f__k up and you will all be better off.

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Visduh Sept. 6, 2015 @ 8:57 a.m.

Ponzi, Mark "Mealy Mouth" Arabo is performing a service for all of us. As you point out, he does shine light on bad behaviors, enabling us all to see them. The more light is shed on those behaviors, the sooner they might cease.

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Don Bauder Sept. 6, 2015 @ 12:19 p.m.

Visduh: Trouble is, hooligans strive for publicity. So light may not be the best disinfectant in that case. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Sept. 6, 2015 @ 12:17 p.m.

Ponzi: "I'm the Sheik of Arabo...." Best, Don Bauder

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Darren Sept. 7, 2015 @ 4:16 p.m.

Just because the group was a bunch of Chaldeans, does not give them special rights to be jerks with foul mouths, who were abusive to the flight attendants and others. And now they are proclaiming they are victims of prejudiced, and are filing suit against Southwest Airlines. This is a symptom in our nation of the ills of teaching specific groups they are victims and/or entitled. I am sorry there were no Federal Air Marshals that were on that flight who could have taken those punks down hard. It is well known inside and outside Chaldean circles, that the Chaldean male children are treated like little kings, who can do no wrong/harm. You get 5-6 of them together, and there you go.

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