Frozen body falls from plane en route from Moscow
September 18, 2000 7:01 AM   Subscribe

Frozen body falls from plane en route from Moscow
Pretty sad story when you think about it, that someone could be so desperate to get to a better world that they would attempt something so dangerous.
posted by tomcosgrave (10 comments total)
This is indeed sad. Yes, communism is evil, but this sorta stuff didn't really happen, people didn't consume more alcohol than food, death rate didn't rise at 40% each year. I talk to friends and family from there, things are horrible. When you talk about freedom, little really changed, instead of the communist govn't keeping people inside, the us govn't does. There is little future for Russia, for the 'put-on' govn't does very little, everyone's in it for their quick share, steal this, steal that. I guess the Russian people are destined to live this way.
posted by tiaka at 7:41 AM on September 18, 2000

Happens all the time, man. Several times a year. Different nationalities, different airlines, different destinations.
posted by Mo Nickels at 1:22 PM on September 18, 2000

People all over the world, West and East just kill themselves because they feel there is no hope. At least these people had some hope that there might be something better somewhere.
posted by daveymog at 3:30 PM on September 18, 2000

little really changed, instead of the communist govn't keeping people inside, the us govn't does

Care to explain in a bit more depth?
posted by chaz at 4:21 PM on September 18, 2000

Gee, this sounds like something out of a Spider Robinson novel. :-)
posted by baylink at 8:42 AM on September 19, 2000

actually, when i first saw this link posted, my thought was of Tom Godwin's "The Cold Equations". a---if you will pardon the pun---chilling little story.
posted by Sapphireblue at 12:33 PM on September 19, 2000

Back when there was mass exodus from VietNam via boats (remember the infamous "Boat People") I used to feel cold-hearted about it. "Send 'em back. If they don't like what's going on in their country, let 'em change the country."

But for a long time I worked with a guy who was Viet Namese. A thoroughly nice guy: smart, hard working, happily married and a good father, fun to be around, and one of the best people I've ever known.

He escaped from VietNam in an overloaded boat when he was 12 years old, which I only found out about two years after I started working with him. He was the only member of his family to leave, because they couldn't afford to send anyone else.

He won't talk about what the experience was like. In his case, he was granted political asylum here in the US, and grew up in a couple of foster homes. One of those he also won't talk about; it apparently wasn't a good experience.

But he's an asset -- a MAJOR asset. The US is much better off with him than without him. He is more than earning his way. It's easy to say "send 'em back" when you don't know them, when they don't have faces, when they don't have names, when they don't have stories. Knowing Than has made it very difficult for me to know what to do about this kind of thing.

The US cannot absorb all the people who want to come here to live. There have to be limits.

I read somewhere that the US already permits more immigration each year than every other country on earth combined, and I think that may be true. The birth rate in the US is now sufficiently low that if it were not for immigration, our population would be falling. And whenever I've met and gotten to know immigrants, invariably they've turned out to be among the most conscientious and hard working people I've met. To most of us, "The American Dream" is something of a cliche. To them it's real; that's what they actually wanted and that's what they live: a chance to be left alone, and to succeed or fail depending on how talented you are and how hard you're willing to work. The mythology of the "immigrant who immediately goes on welfare" is a complete crock of shit; they want nothing more than freedom and a chance to make a success of their lives, and they are motivated like no-one else I know.

There's a Cambodian woman who runs a doughnut shop near here. She works 14 hour days, 7 days a week. She had to escape from Cambodia; her husband was killed during the escape attempt. Some other members of her family escaped with her; her cousin works as a hairdresser in the salon next door and also helps out with the doughnut shop. Her two daughters were born here. She is invariablycheerful, and she speaks five languages (most with a heavy accent) and so when Spanish people come in she speaks to them in spanish; she speaks to me in English.

How many Americans do you know who work those kind of hours, willingly or otherwise?
posted by Steven Den Beste at 4:10 PM on September 19, 2000

At least one. A Cambodian-born woman with a donut shop near your house ...
posted by sylloge at 4:36 PM on September 19, 2000

You know what I meant: How many native-born Americans are willing to work those kind of hours?

Those of us who were born here don't realize most of the time just how lucky we really are.

Another immigrant friend, this time Iranian, naturalized during the time I knew him. And election day came and he came to me and said "OK, how do I vote?"

Well, it turned out he hadn't registered, so he wasn't able to. I had to explain to him all the barriers Massachusetts puts in your way to prevent you from voting. (They REALLY don't want you to there; I've never seen anything like it. You can lose your voter registration more easily than you'd possibly believe.) And I had to tell him other things about the process, too, which he didn't know.

But he was eager to use his newly-earned franchise. When half the people in the US don't bother to show up for most elections (in some special elections, a 30% turnout is considered a cause for celebration) this immigrant was eager to vote.

(And he was another hard working major asset, by the way.)
posted by Steven Den Beste at 6:55 PM on September 19, 2000

hmm. it's your responsibility [civic duty!] to realize how lucky you are to be an american. don't congratulate yourself too much for overcoming such major prejudice. i guess you think you're pretty special for learning to love those clever, dilligent, hard-working, patriotic, adorable immigrants. next up: learn to accept people as people, judge each on their individual merits and not overcome one stereotype by replacing it with another.
posted by palegirl at 1:14 AM on September 20, 2000

« Older The last message of Carlos Caceras, Killed in West...   |   Vote Bush! Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments