By R.C. Seely

LAST WEEK SOCIAL MEDIA WAS IN AN UPROAR over the forced ejection of a passenger from United Airlines. Dr. Donald Dao was removed from the flight by police after he was asked to leave due to overbooking and was offered $800. The doctor was not the only passenger asked to leave but he was the only one who refused to do so. Many critics of are using this incident as “another case of the evils of capitalism.” Are they right or is the story simply inaccurate?

We all know how reliable the initial reports are, full of accurate details that aren’t rushed or incomplete… if only. Point of fact the initial reports are generally full of obvious errors and entire narratives that are incorrect. Take the 1999 Columbine shooting, the first reports didn’t get anything right. The police and media got the number of shooters and victims wrong, the accounts of what happened wrong and the motive wrong. There was no connection to Satanism, violent video games and movies, or the NRA. Both assailant’s families were normal and vanilla Rockwellian, who raised their children as many of us do. Everything was considered except for the most obvious–they were just a couple of mean violent teens with no respect for human life.

Could that be the case here? Yes, and as the details are coming to light, the images of the good, dedicated Dr. Dao is starting to change.

From a Daily Mail article:

“An official report detailed the findings of medical exams performed on Dr. Dao and spelled out concerns over his mental state. A court case brought by him would inevitably have to consider whether the documents could be used by United.

Among the findings were:

Dr. Mary Gannon ‘noted that Dr. Dao “lacked the foundation to navigate difficult situations, both interpersonally and in a complex profession”. Dr. Gannon noted a need to control, avoidance, withholding information and magical thinking as problematic.’ 

The report went on: ‘Dr. Montgomery noted that Dr. Dao appeared to have difficulties with information processing. Neuropsychological screening did not suggest gross difficulties. 

‘However, in reviewing records, it was noted that Dr. Dao tends to have poor decision-making despite his overall level of ability. 

‘His choices have resulted in significant consequences over the years yet he continues to function in this manner. 

‘He is generally not forthright regarding details of events unless challenged and at times he will tell different versions of a story to different interviewers. ‘

Later in the report it found: ‘As far back as April, 2002, Dr. Brady notes ” … he would unilaterally chose to do his own thing’. 

‘This remains a concern to this day and without a high degree of structure and accountability he is at risk for further boundary related practice issues.'”

    Along with his propensity towards bad judgment in general, he has had charges of ethics violations from patients, including sexual assault charges. Normally I would agree that these are immaterial, but in this case it does question his state of mind at the time of the incident. Why didn’t he take the money like the others? Do the airlines have a right to remove you in the case of a voluntary transaction–such as this–as long as you are compensated? And where does the fault go as for Dao’s injuries, with the airlines or the police? Or possibly with Dao himself for resisting, since that is how he was injured.

    Before judging the airlines to harshly, you might consider the report of Dr. Gannon, it sounds like Dr. Dao was a possible risk to the other passengers, that should be in the discussion as well. Not everyone with mental disorders are inherently dangerous but Dao sounds like he could have been. Thankfully the Daily Mail wasn’t the only outlet to raise the question of the doctor’s past. TMZ, The New York Daily News, the Washington Times and the Chicago Sun Times are only a few that did, and they should. It’s all part of the story and the only way to state an unbiased report.

    Dao will need extensive reconstructive surgery, suffering a concussion, a broken nose and missing teeth, all from the trauma of hitting the headrest in front of him. He said the incident was “scarier than fleeing Vietnam.” United has lost $800 million in market share and will continue to lose business because of the negative publicity. It’s unclear if the police will be included in the lawsuit, but United will be and will surely settle. At this point it probably won’t do them much good.

    All this is bad enough but it’s what to follow that is really scary. Already there is talk about government action, Chris Christie has already proposed legislation making overbooking illegal. Christie is not alone and there will more than likely be further calls to “fix this problem” to come. Of course, all the calls will be federal intervention and not free market solutions, so don’t expect any positive results. If you like the way the TSA handles things, that’s the future if this goes that way. Such incidents are rare and occur because a lack of competition, something that only seems to get exasperated by government.

R.C. Seely is the founder of americanuslibertae.com and ALTV. His current book Victims of White Male: How Victim Culture Victimizes Society is available at Amazon.

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