We’re trying something new here at AMB, shorter issue-oriented things where we hope to get a lot of discussion, in between the longer stuff we usually post, but which take a long time to write. Better known as actually blogging, I suppose.

To this end, I offer the very first one, the Carol Gotbaum case. Gotbaum was an alcoholic from Upper West Side Manhattan, traveling through Phoenix to Tuscon to go to rehab (it’s where everyone who is anyone these days goes). Depressed, relapsed (i.e., drunk) and facing the… insanity of modern air travel, she freaked out in the Phoenix airport. She got hauled off in cuffs. She died in her cell. Beyond that, wait for the inquest?

We discussed the issue of police brutality a fair bit over the last few months with Andrew “Don’t Tase Me, Bro” Meyer and that guy with a totally unpronounceable last name from UCLA, plus another one with a case from St. Louis. Now we’ve got Carol Gotbaum. Here’s the NY Times story and Judith Warner’s blog, which had some very interesting commentary. Some questions, then:

  • Was this brutality?
  • What should have happened here?
  • Being honest with yourself, what do you think you would have done?
  • Just how petty are airline bureaucrats these days, anyway?
  • Would you pay more for a plane ticket if you got better service? (Carol Gotbaum got pretty much the worst service possible.)

Have at…. I’m sure there are some other good links to this one, too.