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Biggest Opprotunist Gasbag Award goes to...
September 20, 2001 4:18 PM   Subscribe

Biggest Opprotunist Gasbag Award goes to... Was anyone else turned off by faux-Detroiter Michael Moore's attempt to convert last weeks events into yet another opportunity to rant about his pet causes? Thousands of innocent people have been killed, and his next to initial response is that we need to reform minimum wage laws?!?
posted by justkurt (24 comments total)

 
Michael Moore made a lot of great points in that piece, especially how the CIA trained Bin Laden
posted by spork at 4:34 PM on September 20, 2001


Why was providing military aid to sovereign a country under attack a bad thing? It seems short sighted in light of current events, however at the time it was probably a reasonably moral (if self serving) decision.
posted by phatboy at 4:38 PM on September 20, 2001


"PET CAUSES" like the fact that US policy kills millions of people in IRAQ and really pisses off a lot of people in the middle east.
posted by ignu at 4:41 PM on September 20, 2001


they need our money to buy guns so we dont look like butchers on the TV when we invade them and they are throwing rocks.
posted by outsider at 4:42 PM on September 20, 2001


Hindsight is always 20/20, especially through the eyes of someone that never had to make the tough decisions in the first place.
posted by aaron at 4:42 PM on September 20, 2001


spork: we dont know that bin laden had anything to do with the attacks. it's likely, but we dont know for sure.

and as far as the cia training him - big friggin deal. are you suggesting the US shouldn't have helped run the Soviets out of Aghanistan? they were an univited, imperial, occupying force.
posted by justkurt at 4:42 PM on September 20, 2001


that link doesn't refer to minimum wage laws, it is just M stating that he doesn't like the fact that his life--and others--are in the hands of security guards that don't get paid enough and pilots that qualify for food stamps. Do i have a problem with that sentiment? No.
posted by th3ph17 at 4:43 PM on September 20, 2001


ignu: US policy does NOTHING to kill Iraqis -- Hussein policy kills Iraqis.
posted by justkurt at 4:44 PM on September 20, 2001


It's not the military aid to Afghanistan that was a bad thing in and of itself. It's WHO we chose to align ourselves with that is the problem. The biggest complaint I have with our country is how we choose to chum up to dictators, terrorists and other unsavory elements when it's convenient for us. Then afterwards there's no acknowledgement of responsibility or accountability when those people turn around and do us harm. There are TONS of examples where the CIA has helped to overturn democratically elected leaders in place of dictators who would suck up to us.

BTW, what makes Moore a "faux-Detroiter?"
posted by Neologian at 4:48 PM on September 20, 2001


justkurt, what do you mean "big friggin deal"??? That CIA training was training for many more people than just Bin Laden. After the Soviet war our star pupils ended up becoming a whos-who of today's militant extremists. We created monsters.
posted by fleener at 4:49 PM on September 20, 2001


th3ph17: his food stamp reference is to pilots, not security guards. in either case, more money would not have stopped the attacks - there was no bomb snuck past a guard and none of the pilots crashed the planes as a protest against low wages.
posted by justkurt at 4:51 PM on September 20, 2001


fleener: let me clue you in to a harsh fact of life -- soldiers are trained to kill. yes, it's true! providing the rebels training in photoshop would not have run the soviets out.
posted by justkurt at 4:54 PM on September 20, 2001


Neologian, Moore usually tries to identify himself with Michigan even though he now lives in New York.
posted by mrbula at 4:56 PM on September 20, 2001


Too harsh, you say? Well, chew on this: a first-year pilot on American Eagle (the commuter arm of American Airlines) receives around $15,000 a year in annual pay.

That's actually fairly standard policy in the airlines for the first year to have drastically low pay. Step Dad's a pilot for american, have heard this before. By the fifth year, salaries are usually over $70,000. He fails to mention that no one gets hired as a Captain--they spend time as a flight engineer or a first officer (with no seniority) first. If they stick with it, they get major pay off though.

Seems fair and reasonable to me--helps weed out the folks who see piloting as just another job.

The rest of the article quickly descends into ridiculous statements:

Am I being asked to believe that this guy who sleeps in a tent in a desert has been training pilots to fly our most modern, sophisticated jumbo jets

Hey, Ross Perot drives a 20 year old Buick. Gosh, he must not be a billionaire at the head of a major corporation, cause no billionaire would drive a 20 year old buick. Give me a freaking break.

Am I being asked to believe that there were four religious/political fanatics who JUST HAPPENED to be skilled airline pilots who JUST HAPPENED to want to kill themselves today?

No, you're not. You're being asked to believe that a multimillionaire, who has long been noted as stating he wanted to kill US citizens and destroy US property, paid for folks who were willing to die for their cause to learn how to fly a plane.

Yet, our recent domestic terrorism bombings have not been conducted by a guy from the desert but rather by our own citizens: a couple of ex-military guys who hated the federal government.

From the first minutes of today’s events, I never heard that possibility suggested. Why is that?


ONE domestic terrorism bombing 6 years ago, versus multiple attacks from the same middle eastern terrorist organization in the past few years. Good lord, an opinion piece is one thing, but outright lies and distortions is another story. Several people DID suggest it could be domestic, until it became clear that suggestion is wrong.

Gah, I could go on. The silly people today.
posted by Swifty at 4:58 PM on September 20, 2001


Neologian: yes, mrbula is correct. note the ever-present Detroit Tigers ballcap.

I will add that MM also tries to identify himself as a working class hero in the street as well, but winds up looking more like a poorly dressed limosine liberal with a gut.
posted by justkurt at 5:02 PM on September 20, 2001


It's true what you're saying, Justkurt, but evidence exists that the CIA sought out the most brutal, unsavory warriors in order to make the Soviet Union's defeat all the more crushing and brutal. In other words, our goal was not to liberate Afghanistan, but instead to make sure the Soviets endured a punishing defeat.

As for the question of Iraq sanctions, I have seen the evidence that Hussein is 100% to blame in that case. But that seems to diverge with the fact that every other country in the world, besides maybe Britain, wants to drop the sanctions. Furthermore several UN officials have resigned over that very issue. Are they being snowed by Saddam? It seems unlikely that all of those people would be that naive. Does anyone know why all the other countries in the world want to lift the sanctions?
posted by cell divide at 5:03 PM on September 20, 2001


Michael Moore has always made good points (and been quite funny as well), but he lost me around the time he started shilling for Nader. Moore claims to be on the side of labor and the working man, but can anyone see an AFL-CIO or IBEW worker throwing in with a no-chance "make a statement with your vote" candidate?

Gore, for all his faults, actually got behind things like raising the mininum wage. Bush didn't. Gore's our man, as working people then, right? Sure, he may compromise and have weaknesses and faults much as WJC did, but he's obviously the best choice for the job, right?

No, don't vote for the lesser of two evils. There is such thing as a candidate whose decision's you'll never have to question or whose statements you'll never disagree with.
Vote for a navel gazing cypher like Ralph Nader, and he will never ever let you down because he'll never have the chance to do so.

Nader is the Left's Pat Buchanan, and Michael Moore is the Left's Rush Limbaugh.
posted by GriffX at 5:03 PM on September 20, 2001


are you suggesting the US shouldn't have helped run the Soviets out of Aghanistan? they were an univited, imperial, occupying force.

Well, given that the Najibullah regime was, in general terms, better for the Afghan people than the Taliban, very possibly. (The communists, at least, educated both sexes.) No-one could have predicted that outcome, for sure, though those who armed the mujahedin in order to win the war can perhaps be held responsible for not winning the peace. That, aaron, is the really tough decision: anyone can throw arms and military training at a combat zone, but it takes a huge effort to turn your toy soldiers into democratic rulers. (Look at West Africa, or Angola, for cases in point.)

helps weed out the folks who see piloting as just another job.

I suspect that the cost of pilot training might be better at separating the wheat from the chaff than paying first-year pilots subsistance wages. (Oh, I suppose you'll be arguing that they have the perk of getting to travel.)
posted by holgate at 5:09 PM on September 20, 2001


th3ph17: his food stamp reference is to pilots, not security guards

well, ummm...yeah. thats what i said. security guards that don't get paid enough and pilots that qualify for food stamps.

there was no bomb snuck past a guard no, just knives and apparently fake bombs etc...which was enough. The point he is trying to make there is that maybe if they were paid more they would do a better job.

say...i go to taco bell and my order gets messed up by the new kid, because he doesn't care whether or not i get extra cheese. I probably won't drive back and complain. But if the manager makes my order, it will be done correctly since they are paid more and most likely take more pride in their work, realizing that a taco without extra cheese may hijack my car. Or something.

if you dislike MM just say so or mock him, thats what i'd do...don't build arguements into his writing that are merely implied, especially in something he wrote so soon after when nobody knew what was really going on. He has plenty of essays that are more direct if you want to bash his pet peeves--and many more points in that essay that are more questionable than wage reforms.
posted by th3ph17 at 5:18 PM on September 20, 2001


I suspect that the cost of pilot training might be better at separating the wheat from the chaff than paying first-year pilots subsistance wages. (Oh, I suppose you'll be arguing that they have the perk of getting to travel.)

Let's not forgot, shall we, that an overwhelming majority of commercial US pilots were trained for free in the Military.

A growing number, indeed, are going to commercial pilot school. However, impoverished folks make it into private colleges every year and pay for it with financial aid.

And, finally, who cares--his point was there are folks on welfare flying the planes. The folks he's talking about are little more than _trainees_, though, while the $70-200k a year captains are the ones calling the shots and making sure the plane gets where its going. His argument is groundless, no matter how you look at it.

Jobs all over the place pay lower salaries during training periods until you get the hang of things. It's just how things are done.
posted by Swifty at 5:21 PM on September 20, 2001


If the question was "was I turned off by Moore's comments," the answer is "no." Moore's concerns are for worker's rights and that issue is always foremost on his mind. Of course he's going to relate recent events to that issue. Everyone brings their own frame of reference to these events.

Moore spends a lot of time traveling and a lot of time talking to people along the way. I would doubt that his comments about airline worker's wages were crafted in a vacuum. You don't exactly read a whole lot about worker satisfaction when it comes to people in the airline industry. It's a tough business with tight margins and historically the burden of those margins has fallen on the people doing the actual work (as opposed to upper management).

Let's face it, everyone's going to bring their own issues to the table when it comes to addressing this crisis. We all have our own agendas and pet issues.
posted by Neologian at 5:42 PM on September 20, 2001


I don't care how good the future loyalty pay-off is - I do NOT want to fly on a commercial plane where the pilot is making 15 grand a year. American made billions in profits last year.
posted by sixdifferentways at 6:21 PM on September 20, 2001


Nader is the Left's Pat Buchanan, and Michael Moore is the Left's Rush Limbaugh.

Maybe, but Nader was really the only one calling politicians and corporate america on the deeds. Considering most Nader voters are protest voters, he makes a hell of a protest vote compared to others on the fringe.
posted by skallas at 8:28 PM on September 20, 2001


Michael's commentary was well thought out and made a lot of good points.
posted by dgeiser13 at 10:18 PM on September 20, 2001


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