Wednesday, May 18, 2011

I stand with Lakeysha Beard -- "rudeness" shouldn't be illegal

The internets are abuzz with the scandalous story of Lakeysha Beard, a woman who allegedly violated the sanctity of an Amtrak train's "quiet car" by talking on her cell phone for 16 hours. As yahoo news puts it, Ms. Beard was removed from said "quiet car" by police:
A woman who was escorted off an Amtrak train by police this weekend after she allegedly refused to stop talking loudly on her cell-phone has the Internet cheering her fate.
So we're clear: "the Internet" is "cheering" the fact that a woman was arrested for talking on a cell phone. Let's ignore the subliteracy of that sentence for a minute and instead look at the implications. Supposedly the sentence means that the majority of people using the internet are happy about the fact that a woman was arrested for distracting a few delicate people on a train.

There is absolutely nothing about this story to "cheer." A woman was charged with a crime because she was allegedly rude. Should rudeness be a crime?
KOMO News reports that Lakeysha Beard says she felt "disrespected" by the incident, though passengers said it was Beard who was being rude by refusing to stop yapping while sitting in one of the train's designated quiet cars. She had not stopped talking since the train pulled out of Oakland, California, 16 hours before it reached Salem, Oregon, when a passenger confronted her about the talking [sic]. That's when Beard got "aggressive," KATU reports, and conductors stopped the train so that police could remove her and charge her with disorderly conduct.
Again, the yahoo story is subliterately written. Is that second sentence supposed to convey that Ms. Beard was talking for 16 hours straight, or that the trip was 16 hours? It makes no sense. And, all we know is that she was "confronted" by another passenger, and then Ms. Beard "got 'aggressive.'" We don't know how she was confronted. We don't know if this person shouted vituperations at her, we don't know if this person spat on her, we don't know anything.

The internet, however, is cheering.

And for crying out loud, why does it take 16 hours to get from Oakland California to Salem, Oregon? Amtrak SUCKS, that is the real crime here. Arrest Amtrak.

MSNBC also has the story, under the totally impartial headline "Cops kick cellphone blabbermouth off train
After 16 hours blathering, woman doesn't understand why she got the boot":
In an epic incident of the pot calling the kettle rude, a Tigard, Oregon woman said she felt "disrespected" after police escorted her from an Amtrak train mostly because she refused to get off her cellphone — for 16 hours.
(Emphasis added because see below.)

It's an "epic incident." Of "blathering."

The article links to a story at KATU, in which we learn:
Lakeysha Beard of Tigard was charged with disorderly conduct after police said she got into a “verbal altercation” with passengers on the train. The other passengers complained she refused to put down her cell phone, even after train staff made repeated announcements for passengers to not use cell phones, according to police.
Hold on a second! Yahoo's story said that it was "a passenger" who confronted Ms. Beard. KATU tells us that it was "passengers" -- plural -- who were confronting her. If you had a group of people confronting you, might you get defensive? Might that lead to a verbal altercation?

According to MSNBC, Ms. Beard was "blathering." What the hell does that even mean? Was she on her cell phone shouting? Was she saying things that the other passengers didn't like hearing? Was she speaking in a way that offended the delicate sensibilities of the Amtrak passengers?

(By the way, I've been on Amtrak trains -- you know who rides them? Poor people who can't afford plane tickets, wealthy retirees who are in no hurry to get where they're going, train fetishists who just love the oh so romantic idea of "riding the rails," and oddball environmentalists who think they're superior to everyone else because they're willing to put up with the inconvenience of riding in a train that takes 16 mothereffing hours to get from Oakland California to Salem Oregon -- Who do you think were the people who were confronting Ms. Beard?)

Back to KATU:
[Amtrak spokeswoman Verae] Graham said Amtrak has no formal policy that bans people from talking on cell phones while the train is moving.
Wait another second -- yahoo said that Ms. Beard was in a designated "quiet car." The yahoo story also contains this passage:
Meanwhile writer Christopher Buckley, a self-described quiet car Nazi, wonders why there would be any confusion as to the correct behavior in that part of the train: "The Quiet Car does not hide its light under a bushel. Prominent and explicit signs hang from the ceiling at five-foot intervals. They declare, unequivocally, that NO CELL PHONES ARE PERMITTED and that conversation must be kept to a minimum and in hushed tones."
(Emphasis added because one person's "minimum" is another's "too damn much.")

But according to KATU, no less an authority than an Amtrak spokeswoman says that Amtrak has no formal policy banning people talking on their cell phones.

So why, exactly, was Ms. Beard removed from the train? For violating a non-existent policy? Or for saying something, or speaking in a way, that harmed the delicate sensibilities of the other Amtrak passengers?

Here is a video from the KATU website, showing the brave police officers arresting the "blathering" Ms. Beard:



And now, let's head back to yahoo. As of 8:28 PM PST on Wednesday May 17, there were three comments on the story. I took a screenshot of them:


Interesting. Ms. Beard is overweight, and African American (remember how MSNBC put it: "the pot calling the kettle rude"). I wonder if we could get a look at the passengers -- plural -- who were confronting Ms. Beard?

But it really doesn't matter who those people are, nor does it matter how they confronted her, since "the Internet" is "cheering" them. Back to MSNBC:
Just in case the severity of Beard's increasingly pervasive crime isn't obvious to all readers, KATU.com also took the time to consult social etiquette expert and instructor Jodi Blackwood, who confirmed that "too many people don't exercise basic courtesy when it comes to using their phones."

According to KATU.com, Blackwood went on to that when people speak too loudly and have personal conversations in public places they don't always realize the message they're sending.

"What does that say to them? It says that you're only thinking of yourself and that you are only aware of what you need and what you are doing and you are a less considerate person," Blackwood said.

Not for nothing, Beard doesn't seem like the sort to actually care what her cellphone screeching says to anyone but the person on the other end.

With all due respect to Blackwood's social etiquette expertise, Columbia University forensic psychiatrist Michael Stone might've made a more apt consultant for this particular crime. He's the dude who created the 22-point "Scale of Evil," which is further grouped into three distinctive tiers: Impulsive evil-doers, people who lack extreme psychopathic features, but may be psychotic, and finally, the profoundly psychopathic i.e. "They have no remorse for what they've done to other people."
This is breathtakingly nasty. MSNBC is accusing Ms. Beard of being a psychopath, because she allegedly blathered on her cell phone for 16 hours straight. (According to MSNBC, her "crime" is "obvious.") They make this assessment based on a story from a group of Amtrak train riders (again, a special group of people) who confronted -- ganged up on -- one other person. From that, a "social etiquette expert" alleges that Ms. Beard has no empathy for those around her -- because she has the temerity to talk on her cell phone in public.

Some people just don't know their place.

We don't know what happened on that train. We don't know how many people "confronted" Ms. Beard. We don't know how they confronted her. We don't know how Ms. Beard was talking on her cell phone. We don't know for how long she was talking on her cell phone. We don't know what's real about this story, what's exaggerated, and what's been made up entirely by a group of fantasists who are willing to spend 16 hours riding from Oakland, California to Salem, Oregon.

But "the Internet" is "cheering" the treatment of a woman who was arrested for talking on her cell phone.

31 comments:

Anonymous said...

She's a rude bitch. How would you feel if you were put in that same situtation that invovled a skinny white bitch? Probably the excact same way that these people felt. Stop pretending that it's racist (that shit is so played out). You come across as a fool defending ths women. As a society, we're sick of people that act like this. It's embarrassing.

Anonymous said...

A couple points:

1. Ms Beard selected a specially designated "quiet" car that has signage all over the car advising quiet conversation and no cell phones.

2. Rudeness: deliberate discourtesy; a discourteous manner that ignores accepted social usage; a manner that is generally disrespectful and contemptuous. Why is it or should it be acceptable for one person to subject an entire train car of others to an extended, loud personal conversation among a group that sought out a designated quiet car?

3. Ms Beard was arrested for her reaction to being asked to pipe down. This suggests that Ms Beard was the one who over reacted. We've all seen this play out a hundred times. Say something to her and now it's a fight because she's been disrespected.

Anonymous said...

I too am so sick of people playing the race card! It has nothing to do with the color of this woman's skin, she was a rude, obnoxious bitch, that's it. Every damned time a person who is called on the carpet for their bad behavior also happens to be black, the first thing they do is scream "Racist!" NEVER do you hear any other race doing this, not whites, nor asians, nor hispanics, nor Native Americans. Almost always, it is only the blacks who do this and I am sick of it! Quit using the past and your race as an excuse to be an ass! Quit playing the "poor me" card! The blacks in this country have more advantages than any other race, and it is STILL not good enough for them. (Can you imagine the reaction if someone created a "White College Fund" or a "Miss Caucasian America Pageant" or a "Native American Only University"?) I don't care what color you are, if you are a citizen of this country, you are an American, period! And no I am not white, so you can't play the racist card here either. Why don't people just grow up and take responsibility for their own behavior and its consequences? What a bunch of whine bags! Enough already!

Anonymous said...

This post is pure, over-written trollage, but I bet your hits have increased dramatically.

Ricky Sprague said...

Anonymous 1: I am offering a critical commentary of those who are attacking her on "the Internet." Without facts.

As for the racial angle, I brought it up specifically because of the comments on the yahoo post -- the comments of which I took a screenshot.

Anonymous 2: As I stated in the post, we don't know how she actually reacted -- we only know what was said about how she reacted. We don't know what was said to her to get such a reaction, whatever it was.

Anonymous 3: Again, see the yahoo comments screenshot. I would reiterate that I don't know what actually happened on that train, I don't know anything about those who accused this woman of being "rude", so I have no idea if there was a racial component to it. I suppose we'll just have to wait until the other Amtrak riders, those traumatized by this incident, bravely come forward to tell their story. In the meantime, Ms. Beard is being attacked by "the Internet," and accused of being a psychopath.

Anonymous 4: Assuming that a contrary opinion is "trollage" is a tedious deflection. He's not "cheering" like the rest of "the Internet," so he must be a troll. But, calling a woman a psychopath because she is allegedly a "blabbermouth," well, that's perfectly rational.

As always, I appreciate anonymous comments.

shawn_collins24 said...

Ya know, to the person who attempted to DEFEND the loudmouth:

Amtrak, although a federally-owned corporation, has the right to have rules in place on their property. Ya know, if you get arrested for shoplifting, on top of it all you are (generally) BANNED from stepping foot on that property again, WHICH INCLUDES THE PARKING LOT. If it's a mall, that COULD include the ENTIRE property! If caught on the property again, you would be arrested for trespassing. Amtrak owns the trains, Amtrak sets the rules. Now, her "supporters" are gonna get into the "it's a federally-owned corporation" debate. Well, sit down and explain the Federal Reserve Bank (as a corporation which is NOT a government entity...sorta. If you understand THAT, then you have SOME standing to debate Amtrak's rights!) I'm not saying *I* fully understand it, but the sparse supporters on here apparently have NO legal understanding whatsoever.

In Amtrak's case, unless I am missing something, they can set whatever rules they want (within reason). Their profit -which they haven't made in years- depends on satisfied customers. They DO rely on profit; that's why the gov't has to keep bailing them out. Really, do I HAVE to go into all this???

The one, perhaps two, people that are sticking up for this lady are either arguing for the sake of argument or are just plain ignorant of the legal concepts.

Let's forget the law for a second and address those that are SUPPORTING her again: WHY? Do you REALLY need a "cause" to support that badly? THEIR rallying point over-simplifies things. They claim the "bottom line" is that "this woman was arrested for talking on her cell-phone". Well, no, that's not why she was arrested. Complete the story; put it in context! I just don't know what else to say. This is such an APPARENT case of "social ignorance" (my term), "legal ignorance", my term, "psychopathy"...I don't need to go on.

Methinks SOME people are just:
1) Looking for an argument;
2) Looking for a "cause"

Anonymous said...

Let me start off by saying that Ricky has the right to his own opinion and I applaude him for having the stones to step up and speak his mind, in spite of the fact that he is probably in the minority on this one. That said, I think that some common sense needs to be exercised here. Although possible, I find it highly improbable that an entire railcar cooked up a story to get her kicked off of the train. I don't buy it that she talked for 16 hrs straight, but I'd bet that she talked for a good portion of the trip. And you're right, rudeness is not illegal, but "Disturbing the Peace" and related unruly beahvior will get you a trip to the police station. At the end of the day, this should be a lesson to those sho are bereft of basic common courtesy for others. She is allowed to act anyway that she wants within the confines of her own property, but she (and many other people) need to understand that you should have respect for others when in public. I'm a little shocked and disturbed that it took the police to clue her in to her ignorance of being accountable for your actions. Hopefully, she'll use this as an opportunity to mature a little bit.

Anonymous said...

Lakeysha was probably ordering Jimmy Johns = 1 minute phone call. The remainining 15 hours and 59 minutes of her blabbering on the phone was with Jimmy Johns wondering (a) where her order was (she couldn't figure out that she was on a moving train) and (b) why JJ wouldn't take food stamps. How Darwin hasn't taken this POS out yet is unbelievable...

Anonymous said...

Hey Ricky,

I read the 3 Yahoo posts that you "captured" before they suspended posting on Yahoo. Which, if any, of the 3 posts do you consider racist?

1.Mike's comment "Fat stupid & Ignorant seem to go together." had a 2.3:1 Favorable to unfavorable ratio on the Yahoo board. Don't see anything racist here. Factual, yes, but not racist.

2. Jane S' comment about Lakeysha being an AA had a 1.47:1 ratio of Fav to Unfav ratio on Yahoo. Yes, it is factual based on the photo - Lakeysha appears to be an AA.

3. Dan's comment about Monkeys being Monkeys is factually correct. A monkey cannot, in fact, turn itself into another animal. It will always be a Monkey. Again, a factual statement.

So, what is your beef with these 3 comments? They are all factual statements. You, arguing phony empathy against facts, are an idiot. Again, a factual statement. Try again, libtard.

Anonymous said...

Let us look at it for what it is...There is a policy, rule, request, whatever. Ms. Beard decided it did not pertain to her. The moment she picked up her phone and did not make motion to move from the car she disrespected everyone in that car. She was "asked" I'm sure at first, and either ignored or became defensive to the fact that she was infringing on the right yes the right of everyone else in that car. So call the kettle what? Rude. She was arrested because the situation was possibly going to become a safety issue for everyone on that train. Cheers from the internet come from it being a huge source of information for the masses.

Anonymous said...

You are a tool.

Ricky Sprague said...

Shawn Collins: The Amtrak spokesperson herself says that there's no policy against talking on cell phones while the train is in motion. There seems to be some kind of schizophrenia regarding Amtrak's policy on this matter. Ms. Beard has been quoted as saying she doesn't understand what the fuss was about -- I submit that there might there just MIGHT be more to the story than we're getting.

Amtrak as a business is a failure. I have ridden a few Amtrak trains, and it's an overall unpleasant and inconvenient experience. They don't make a profit because they don't have to make a profit -- they keep getting bailouts, as you suggest in your comment.

Anonymous 5: Thanks for your comment. I don't know that I'd suggest that the entire train car intentionally and willfully ganged up on Ms. Beard, but I do think it's entirely possible that there was some exaggeration at work. Especially given what I consider to be an over-reaction to this situation -- "the Internet" "cheering" her fate.

I've ridden a lot of trains and especially buses in my life, and I've had to deal with a lot of people that I find to be inconsiderate and rude. Many of those people were sanctimonious, smug elitists who thought that they knew how everyone else on the bus should behave. I have actually seen people who were speaking quietly on their cell phones, bothering no one else, get yelled at for it. There are some people who believe that the mere act of talking on a cell phone in public is rude. Why? I don't know -- maybe they want to be in on the conversation, and can't stand that something is going on about which they know nothing.

It's possible that's what happened in this case.

Ms. Beard might be the most obnoxious person in the world who deserved to be escorted off the train. She might have been threatening other people. I don't know. What bothers me is the way so many on "the Internet" are so quick to judge this woman based on... what's been in a couple of stories that keep getting repeated over and over again.

Anonymous 6: I actually really like Jimmy Johns. I'm confident that JJ employees could have figured out that Ms. Beard was on a moving train, in such a case. The rest of your comment is offensive -- she is a "POS" ("Piece of Sh*t") because of what you've read about her in relation to this story? The mention of "Darwin taking her out" is also exceptionally troubling... do you want her dead because of this?

Anonymous 7: You are the first person, to my knowledge, to ever call me a "libtard." You are not, however, the first person to call me an "idiot." Sucks to be me.

The first comment I screenshotted was not racist, merely fattist. It was exceptionally nasty. Do you really think it's "factual"? I can't look into the heart of the person who made the second comment, so I won't try. It struck me as being racist. The third comment, in this context, given the despicable history of referring to black people in animalistic terms, in particular as "monkeys,", seems most likely to have been motivated by racism. I think it's a fair assumption; but then, I would think that, given the "fact" that I'm an "idiot."

Anonymous 8: Again, we don't know how she was "asked" to stop talking on her phone. We don't even know if she actually was asked. You're assuming something that you can't know, unless you were actually on the train.

Cheers to the internet as an information source!

Anonymous 9: I'm also a "libtard" and an "idiot."

Anonymous said...

Your comment "if she was even asked", I seriously doubt the police would have responded to a situation like that had some sort of altercation not occured, And again, I seriously doubt it started as a defensive fight but maybe a mear suuggestion to heed the sign. We have created a sub-culture of entitlist. All colors shapes, sexes and religions. We give achievement ribbons just for showing up. Give me a break.

Anonymous said...

Quiet Car
Many trains feature Quiet Car service, intended to provide a peaceful, quiet atmosphere for those who want to work or rest without distraction.

To help ensure that our Quiet Cars live up to their name, please follow the guidelines below.

Quiet Talking Only, Please: Customers must strictly limit conversation and speak only in quiet, subdued tones. If you'd like to carry on an extended conversation, please relocate to another car.

Mute Your Device: Customers may not use any devices making noise, including:

cellular phones pagers handheld games without headphones laptop computers with audible features enabled portable CD or DVD players without headphones Customers using headphones must keep the volume low enough so that the audio cannot be heard by neighboring passengers.

Amtrak personnel may ask passengers who fail to follow these guidelines to relocate to another car.

Lighting and Luggage Bins: Conductors may dim overhead lighting, but reading lights may be used and emergency lights will remain lit. Luggage bin doors will remain closed during and between stops.

Seating: Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis, and cannot be reserved. There is no additional charge for a seat in a Quiet Car.

To provide space for all who want to ride in the Quiet Car, passengers may occupy only one seat. Please do not use seat space for personal belongings.

Finding the Quiet Car: Announcements are made in stations and onboard trains indicating the location of the Quiet Car. You may also ask train personnel to direct you to the Quiet Car.

This was copied from the Amtrak website. Im sure signage was available in the car. She should not even have had to been asked. Chosing her seat she knew. Even those who cannot read can understand a sign with a picture of a cell phone with the dreaded red circle and a slash. She has no excuse and no ground to claim she was disrespected. She offended first.

Anonymous said...

horrible woman.. rude and stupid..

Anonymous said...

I agree, a stupid, ignorant, selfish woman. I hope she was mightily inconvenienced by getting thrown off the train.

Anonymous said...

I, as a church-going, God-fearing Christian, like to believe that people, in general, are kind at heart. I, also, believe in following society's rules, especially, when I am in the company of others, since it's the nice thing to do. I've travelled to all parts of this planet and experienced everything from segregated restaurants in Saudi Arabia to the police state of Moscow to the random violence in South America to the random kindness in Canada. The one thing I have learned is that one is expected to follow "the rules" when one is a guest in another's house, car, country, etc. That being said, if this person was talking loudly on the cell phone for 16 hours (what kind of battery does she have on her phone??) in a "Quiet Zone" Train Car, then she got what she deserved. In other countries, she would be treated less desirably that what she apparently received here in this story. I, for one, feel sorry for this lady. Obviously, when God was handing out "brains", Lakeysha must have thought she heard "trains" and didn't bother to stand in line. When she did go for her train ticket, though, she certainly should have been charged for 2 seats, as I know she would not have been able to sit that fat, black hiney down into 1 train seat. I know, I know, I'm going to confession tonight and I needed something to talk about to the priest. :-)

Rikcy, I guess if you claim to be a libtard, then we all needn't say any more! :-)

Anonymous said...

Your comment: "There is absolutely nothing about this story to "cheer." A woman was charged with a crime because she was allegedly rude. Should rudeness be a crime." Her crime was not her rudeness but her "agressive" behavior when confronted with her inconsiderate behavior. And yes Psychopath. She made a deliberate decision with no consideration to anyone around her showing no empathy for their choice and desire to sit in a quite car with the intention of QUIET. Fits the defination I think perfectly. Remember she got off expressing that she did no see what all the fuss was about, ppl exhibiting psychopathic behavior never see themselves as possibly ever doing anything wrong...they are victims of the world.

Anonymous said...

I am really sorry that I jumped here and gave this idiocy a hit, but since I am here already...

I chose not to read all of the comments, so I might repost something.

To the "author", you stated "What bothers me is the way so many on "the Internet" are so quick to judge this woman based on... what's been in a couple of stories that keep getting repeated over and over again." - Hello...I am the INTERNET and I will be your bane for the rest of your life. The internet made William Hung famous, and you are questioning the intelligence of the internet? I mean, YOUR piece of twisted-fact rantings are on the internet…

You go on to speak of how “a group of Amtrak train riders (again, a special group of people)” who you defined as (Poor people who can't afford plane tickets, wealthy retirees who are in no hurry to get where they're going, train fetishists who just love the oh so romantic idea of "riding the rails," and oddball environmentalists who think they're superior to everyone else because they're willing to put up with the inconvenience of riding in a train that takes 16 mothereffing hours to get from Oakland California to Salem Oregon -- Who do you think were the people who were confronting Ms. Beard?) so let’s just group people together based on your limited experience. Because I highly doubt that you are the know-all, end-all to train riding knowledge, but you feel as if you know enough to make a generalized statement about the types of people who ride trains. Going off your description, let’s just see which one Lakeysha Beard “might” probably be…

Now, I am just going off her picture, but she does not seem to be old enough to be retire, so she is probably not a “wealthy retiree”. Scratch that one. Since the whole story is about her talking on her cell phone during pretty much the whole trip, I am guessing she wasn’t just enjoying “riding the rails”, so scratch train fetishists (which, I think you meant enthusiast but were trying to be “edgy). And she was talking on a cell phone the whole time AND had a plastic bag, it is also doubtful that she is an oddball environmentalist. So you just placed this lady into the category of Poor people who can’t afford plane ticket category. Great job on labeling someone without knowing anything about them!

You also commented on how people had used racist comments about her. Again I say - Hello...I am the INTERNET and I will be your bane for the rest of your life I bet within 10 seconds you can find a video on YouTube of a puppy playing with a little ball that is cute as can be and there will be at least one posting calling the puppy, the poster, or the ball some sort of derogatory racial slur. So…HEY! Great point there! This is the ONLY story ever where someone has called someone fat, racial slur, idiot, gay, pick-your-favorite.

And, why can’t those people make the comments that they made out in public? If this woman can talk loudly on her cell phone in front of a group of people who request she stop, why can’t anyone else say what they want when they want? What is stopping them? Because you don’t like what they say? Now how about if they said that for 16 hours straight in an area that you cannot leave?

A saying I have always been fond of is that winning an argument on the internet is like kissing your sister…nobody really wins. So, have fun kissing your sister, “author”. I wish you good luck and fair travels on your sanctimonious suicide mission against the internet. (If you get the time, can you fix all the problems in the Middle East? And my sink needs to be unclogged…no rush on that one.)

By the way, I am leaving this as ANON just to rile you up.

A.Jaye said...

Congratulations Ricky on the volume of hatemail recieved for sticking your head above the parapet in defence of another human being.

When good people do something see how it enrages the demons.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, but you cannot fix stupid! Same protocol in a library. Have some respect for those around you.

Ricky Sprague said...

Anonymous 10: Sadly, police do occasionally over-react to situations that require a subtle touch. How many people die every year because of Taser attacks, for instance?

Anonymous 11: Thanks for the information from the Amtrak website. One of the lines you pasted states,

"Amtrak personnel may ask passengers who fail to follow these guidelines to relocate to another car."

Allegedly, Ms. Beard "blabbed" loudly on her cell phone for 16 hours. Where were the Amtrak personnel during that time? This raises more questions than answers.

Anonymous 12: That's your expert, informed opinion.

Anonymous 13: That's your expert, informed opinion.

Anonymous 14: America isn't Saudi Arabia, South America, Moscow, or even Canada.

You forgot that I also "claimed" to be an idiot. And you misspelled my name. Please discuss that with your priest, as well.

Anonymous 15: That's your expert, informed opinion.

A.Jaye: Many thanks, I appreciate it. I am surprised by the sustained vitriol against this woman, in the complete absence of facts. In America -- as opposed to Saudi Arabia, etc (see above) -- one is supposed to be presumed to be innocent until proven guilty. Unless of course "the Internet" starts "cheering" your fate. Then I guess you're a psychopath.

I would not want to be treated in such a manner, myself.

Anonymous 16: I agree, we should have some respect for those around us. To that I would add: Have some respect for those who are being vilified on "the Internet" without having all the facts in.

Iced Borscht said...

Great stuff, Ricky, as usual.

I can see both sides. My buddy and I have taken Amtrak from Portland to Seattle with our 6-year-old boys, and the boys have gotten the snob treatment from wealthy banker dudes who clearly had no rush to get where they were going. Of course though, the Snobby Banker Dudes chose the six-year-old boy's preferred mode of transport, the train, and had the audacity to be annoyed by the 'ruckus' caused by said six-year-old boys (i.e. talking in an enthusiastic manner about the train).

So yeah, Amtrak certainly does suck in terms of ridership demographics and efficiency. Honestly, those banker dudes are the only people in recent memory that I regret NOT getting hostile and confrontational with.

Still, on the other side of the spectrum, every day I somehow manage to snag the seat next to the loudest cell-phone talker on the bus, and I hate such individuals with the fire/intensity/plasma of a thousand suns.

So it's all a big messy wad of hopelessness, really. Just like the gaseous blue orb we inhabit.

Anonymous said...

"Amtrak personnel may ask passengers who fail to follow these guidelines to relocate to another car

They did with repeated announcements.

Anonymous said...

Reality check, Lakeysha Beard was taken off the train by police for responding with aggression when another passenger point out that cell phone use is not permitted in quiet cars. Threatening behavior on public transportation is taken very seriously, for good reason.

Lakeysha Beard was not kicked off for cell phone use.

That said, many of the comments about her weight and ethnic origin are rude and racist.

I remember Judge Judy having a hard time not grinning in response to a plaintiff who chose the wording, "Ms. ... is a large and eccentric woman" when asked to explain why she did not confront a tall obese white woman who repeatedly demonstrated inconsiderate and outrageous conduct in a condominium parking area and other areas around the condominium common areas.

It isn't often that JJ has someone in front of her with such a nuanced command of the english language. Usually she has to teach them how to speak and behave.

JJ was a bit more blunt in her use of language when explaining to the eccentric lady that her parents did her a disservice by not teaching her not to be an inconsiderate intimidating bully.

Anonymous said...

The OP is obviously a troll. Perhaps he should sit next to Lakeysha on a train and see if he still defends her.

Anonymous said...

Funny, I just got on the train. There were no seats left but on the quiet car. I did not know it was the quiet car as I rushed on to the train. I made a quick call to my mom to tell her what time i was arriving. An old man took it upon himself to scold me. I was not being very loud.

I felt that this was rude that he yelled at me. I did not know it was the quiet car. Also he has been having conversations with his wife.

I think that it is unfair to train riders that I have paid a full price ticket and if there are not enough seats in other areas that you should be subjected to abuse from the "quiet car" passengers.

I think the self-policing is taken to seriously and that quiet cars should not be allowed. If you want to have a quiet place, drive a car or better yet get a private jet.

Anonymous said...

I think people should have to pay a premium to sit in quiet cars. This would alleviate problems on both ends. Most "quiet car" people are too cheap when it comes to spending and some of the louder passengers may not be willing to spend the extra money. As a result quiet cars would not be full after awhile and would go away. :)

I am still upset about being scolded. Unfortunatly, it is racial. I am an African American professional who is very well educated. A white gentleman just had the same type of phone call as me and know one said anything.

Anonymous said...

Let us cut to the chase. Why did Ms. Beard decline to follow the rules and be quiet, or move to another car. That is the real question. You don't have a train stop and kick somebody off unless there is justification for it. I find it difficult to believe that someone would defend this woman unless they are a troll. There are plenty of people who deserve to be defended. Not Ms. Beard.

Charles said...

There were at least FIVE other Amtrak cars where she would have had the option blather away to her heart's content on her cell phone. If she hadn't been in the Quiet Car, there wouldn't be any story. I have zero sympathy for people who violate the Quiet Car rules. There are at least five other cars for them to do what they do!!! I think the police arrested her so she wouldn't be facing a lynch mob.

Anonymous said...

"There were at least FIVE other Amtrak cars where she would have had the option blather away to her heart's content on her cell phone."

But those other cars would be too noisy to be comfortable having a long and loud conversation in!