The common theme right now is Lane Jensen's telephonic mishap. Again, there are about 7.1 billion people in the world, and all of them would agree that he shouldn't have done what he did. But there is a lot of debate as to what the consequences should be. Here I offer my take.
First, let me reiterate that I was one of the people who verbally told him multiple times that he shouldn't be calling and texting TriMet managers and board members. There was no excuse for that, regardless of the reasoning. Maybe if he had done it a couple times, he would have been fine. But repeated messaging is not a good idea and all it becomes is an annoyance. So there was a wise way to go, and he didn't choose that way.
Nevertheless, there is much disagreement about how he should learn his lesson. Which is the point, learning a lesson. He is not a criminal. He didn't rob a bank. He didn't kill a dog. He didn't physically assault anybody in TriMet blue. He was telephonically annoying. He had a message, and he felt that they weren't listening to him through normal channels (i.e. not taking his emails seriously). So he found a way to get his point through, and instead of sending it and hoping for the best, he decided to keep sending it until he got the result he wanted. It was a bad choice, but as one of my mentors who is from Jamaica always says when things don't go as planned, "Nobody died."
So my question is: What should be done to make him learn? Isn't that the point of all of this? If he stops doing that, this won't be a problem ever again. So an arrest? Okay, that serves as a great wake-up call. A court trial? Maybe, as it gets Lane out of his own little TriMet bubble and helps him realize what he can and cannot do. But a large fine, potential jail time, and a ban from board meetings? That's too much. He's not a threat to attack people. If the person who reported it doesn't want him talking to her, then the police should make it clear that there would be consequences if he makes the effort to start a dialogue again. However, this type of treatment is blowing the thing way out of proportion. Let Lane learn, and be done with it.
I'm not fully on board with Al Margulies' opinion of this being an example of a 'police state.' But I know that TriMet has wanted to silence Lane for some time. They fear not for their safety or their comfort personally, but they know that he brings such potential to thwart any questional practice they undertake. He has already made waves and forced change through valid research and actions that the average person may not know about. He has become the leading face in the fight for TriMet's future, regardless of certain opinions of him. And since we know that they want him to be quiet, it makes me wonder whether their efforts in this are less about making him learn his lesson and more about trying to silence the most prominent voice for change.
So, I challenge the critics to not ignore the actions but also not ignore the reactions. He did goof up. But by supporting TriMet's attempts to take Lane out, you may be playing right into their plan to get rid of him. I truly hope I am wrong in this.
Please prove me wrong in this, TriMet management.