Los Angeles, CA. Police were called to quell a disturbance this morning at the annual stockholders meeting of Baja Pacific Airlines.
A melee occurred when a outraged stockholder tried to propose a motion to terminate a very lucrative contract with the Trump administration. Under the agreement, Baja Pacific flies rejected asylum-seekers back to a repressive Honduras and an uncertain fate. The Baja Pacific CEO had just noted that the company, which has been on the verge of bankruptcy for years, turned a profit for the first time since 2015, largely due to the deportation flights.
"If the only way this company can make a profit is through blood money, we ought to go out of business," shouted one stockholder, rising from his seat in the middle of the auditorium. "I move that Baja Pacific withdraw from this contract with Trump. I'm ashamed that I own stock in this partnership with evil."
"Sell your stock if you don't like what we're doing," came a shout in response.
"Who'd want to buy it?" was heard as an aside from somewhere in the crowd.
The CEO called for order and tried to quiet the dissenters, some of whom held signs denouncing the flights. "We fly people wherever they want to go. That's how we make money," the CEO explained.
"But these people don't want to fly on our airline. Trump makes them fly. And we're returning them to a hell-hole you wouldn't want to live in."
"Our only obligation is to you, the stockholders," the CEO responded. "If we failed to take advantage of a legitimate chance to turn a profit, we, as your directors, would be in violation of our duty. The government pays us well and we are happy to cooperate. And our stockholders benefit on the bottom line."
Another protester arose in disbelief. "Good God, I don't believe it. From what you just said, if we were stockholders in the Auschwitz Gas Company in 1944 you'd be telling us that, if the government wants to use our gas, we're happy to oblige, as long as we get paid."
"How dare you compare us to The Holocaust? Millions died there, not one or two!" yelled an angry supporter of the flights.
"John Donne had it right," was the answer from one of the dissenters. [Mumbling, everywhere: "Who's this John Donne?"] " 'EVERY man's death diminishes me.' We can't ignore injustice. We can't be a part of it."
"Ah, shut up."
With that, the room was in an uproar. The signs that some protesting stockholders held, opposing the flights, were pulled down by the pro-contract majority, and slats holding the signs became clubs. The police, already on alert, moved in, and in a few minutes, the turmoil was over.
At the suggestion of the CEO, one stockholder took the mike and offered a motion of support for the Trump contracts to fly deportees to Honduras. The "Ayes" were overwhelming. Only a few scattered "Nays," shouted loudly by the dissenters, were heard. The CEO, relieved, expressed approval.
But the opposition was not quite through. An elderly gentleman arose and asked for the floor. The CEO, reluctantly, accorded him that right.
"Fellow stockholders, for several months now, our TV ads have featured a cute little bird sitting on the tail of one of our planes in flight. I've frequently wondered what kind of bird he is. Today, after what I just heard and witnessed, I now know. Our bird's a vulture."
And with that, the CEO declared the meeting adjourned. [Ed. note: Six months later Trump gave the contract to a competing airline. Baja Pacific went out of business.]