Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Make Him Learn

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.


  1. Let me explain the 'police state' comment.
    When me with guns show up at your work place, 'kidnap' (that's correct, kidnap) and seize the property of a non violent person who has never made any threats against another person or another persons property that is about the clearest example of a police state there is.
    There is no justification for this use of force against Lane, ever. And the fact that there is not outcry about this portends poorly for our future as a society. Somebody I don't know tweeted this today and it applies

  2. One further point, Trimet will do everything they can to crush Lane, you can believe it

  3. I love Al but his idea of police state is a bit silly. First police states are place where people are arrested and incarcerated without bail or release with trail or hearing. Police states do not concern them selves with procedure. Police state are intolerant of any questioning and would have arrested Lane day one of his blog not after a year.

    If phone harassment never lead to other issues there would not be law against it. Most jurisdiction have learned this at the cost of innocent lives lost that all started with harassment. Just like speeding not every case of harassment leads to blood shed or mayhem just like every case of speeding does not lead to a horrible accident. We would be fool to ignore the connection between cause and effect even if that cause may not have lead to the effect.

    Lane had a choice to make. He has been warned before and just as he likes digging up details rules and laws about the conduct of Trimet he cannot be surprised when he is faced with a violation of a common law.

    I think the problem is one of inhibition. I agree with his question he was repeatedly asking Trimet but not in the wording he was asking it and in the way he was asking it. Trying to force trimet to answer his question on his time and in his way showed lack of inhibition.

    Ultimately Lanes lack of inhibitions fueled by media attention and so called friends encouraging will bring about results not in his best interest and alienate those he seeks to serve and help and those who believe in his mission to hold Trimet Managers Accountable.

    I have known Lane longer than most and see repeating cycles of activities that are counter productive to his life and well being. Inhibitions and our ability to say no to our own wishes, desires and wants makes us a successful social animal. I really do wish the best for Lane and believe that if he ever finds the right venue to put all his energy into the world will only gain but feeding his negative actions will, if left unchecked, lead to a dismal and costly fate.

    I believe that effective punishment now may deter a future calamity. A calamity I for one would not like to see at all.

  4. There are a few ways you could define a police state. Use of the police for the political purposes of a governing body is one definition. Extended police control of people's activities, e.g. surveillance and threats, is another. To the extent that TriMet represents the state, I can see how using the police force to selectively detain someone who annoys TriMet would inspire the epithet.

  5. Men with guns using force on a citizen who is not a violent threat to a person or a persons property is a police state.
    The police could have walked in there and told Lane that if he didn't stop the texts right now he would land in jail and hand him some sort of violation notice to appear on court at a specified date.
    Hauling him off to jail and seizing his property is most certainly the police state in action


Please keep it clean! Thank you.