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rants and raves

So much for free speech in the US II

I can’t help but wonder what goes on in the heads of the airlines staff throwing off people because of buttons. No matter the text on it.

John Gilmore: I was ejected from a plane for wearing “Suspected Terrorist

Shouldn’t we be able to expect more in a free, democratic society?

16 replies on “So much for free speech in the US II”

If he had worn a button stating “Too Stupid to Live”, the gate people would have let him right through. So what’s the problem?

Right on, ericd. Couldn’t say it better myself. Free speech is vital, but that guy wins an award for “poor taste”.

So this guy holds a plane full of people hostage to his idiot libertarianism and he’s some kind of hero? What if the button said “I’ve got a bomb”? What about my “right” not to have to suffer assholes?

Did you read his story? Nobody in the plane objected, except the crew.

The small button had a political message, one which was supposed to communicate that all people in the US now are de-facto terrorist suspects, with the way they are treated by the government.

But I guess that is a lost cause.

If you want to know how bad it really is, read the writings of people that has lived in totalitarian societies and are seeing the same in todays America:

http://www.kia.net/maggy/2002_09_01_log.php#20020917

And I already know that some of you will just scoff of such sentiments, and claim that anyone saying anything like what Maggy are saying are just ungrateful for the help they have gotten in the past.

Sure, I read it. And I find it impossible to believe that no one objected to him holding up the flight by refusing to take off the pin. An airplane is not a public forum, and it’s absurd to expect protections for speech there. Let’s put it back in context: he was wearing a pin that made the crew uncomfortable, and they asked him to remove it — it’s /their/ plane, after all. I’m pretty sure the fine print on your ticket says you must take orders from the crew. This is a small “freedom” we trade for the ability to get from one place to another very quickly. This isn’t about his imagined right to be a jerk, it’s about his responsibilities as a client of the airline’s services.

And, no, it’s not a slippery slope. When they keep you from wearing your clever terrorist pin on an airplane, they’re not going to come for you in the middle of the night.

Free speech? Gilmore was nothing more than a s**t stirrer. Besides, the British captain on the British-flagged plane was in charge of the plane…he had every right to throw Gilmore off.

I fly throughout the US all the time and the government does not treat us like de-facto terrorist suspects. We have the same freedoms we had prior to 9/11. There are SILLY FEW people in the US who believe that the innocuous showing of one’s ID at the airport or other ports of entry is an infringement upon their rights. Our rights have not been taken away. Jarle, please don’t believe everything you read and a do a little more research.

The issue here, isn’t one of free speech. It one of a bumbling idiot costing an airline company thosands of pounds in expenses. Whilst I can understand and suport every mans right to express his or her free will, and make a political statement – There has to be a reasonable time and place for such things. John is badly mistaken if he thinks he is in the right here. Here’s why.

The terms and conditions of passage on the plane are very clear. If the captain or crew feel uncomfortable with your presence then they have everyright to refuse you passage. Weither you like these rules or not (tis a bit unfair when an industry regulates itself dont you think) they are there – and you have to abide by them.

Secondly – he had made his point. Was it realy such a deal to remove it for the 8 or so hours left of the flight ? He could have replaced it the moment he stepped of the plane. In my opinion John just ended up making a fool of him self, and inconviencing a plane full of passangers. He can be thankfull I wasnt on the plane. If so I’d be suing his ass for causing me to be late. More to the point, dont be suprissed if he gets a visit from the BA lawyers, chasing costs incurred in turning the flight arround. This is standard practice for BA when single passangers cause a disruption to the normal flight plan.

Weather of no the other passangers minded his ‘badge’ or not is irrelevant. The simple fact is the BA staff (bumbling baffoon’s 99% of them are) still have the human right to be allowed to go about their job without being put under unessacery stress.

John appears, IMHO to be looking for a fight each and everytime he gets on a plane. The whole ID card objection is pathetic – if you have nothing to hide then wahts the problem ?

Quote: “If the captain or crew feel uncomfortable with your presence then they have everyright to refuse you passage”

Well Pete, let’s take that argument to the extreme. Say the captain was a racist and felt uncomfortable seating coloured people, would you still support his right to throw off people?

As I see it, the law provides for the captain to unseat someone that might be a threat. I do not think the rules were ever made to empower the air plane captains to unseat anyone they might dislike. In any case, something tells me that there might be a ruling about just that in an american court before too long.

Quote: “if you have nothing to hide then wahts the problem ?”

I really think you need to stop being so naive Pete. Why should we all go along with being suspects. After all, isn’t the holy principle that all are innocent till proven guilty?

Take your argument to the extreme, and you open up for a society where all citizens are monitored 24/7. Do you really want that?

Another point to make regarding airlines request for ID. This is nothing new…this has been the norm for years, not only in the US, but South America, Europe, and Asia (at least where I’ve travelled). The airlines NEED to know who is on the flight manifests in case of a crash (be it in the ground or the World Trade Center). The airlines and the relatives of the deceased would like positive identification. I’ve discussed this over the past few weeks with major US carriers and international carriers and they’ve all said the same thing about ID. Prior to 9/11 they all required ID…at the very least during check-in. Oh, horrors, what an infringement!!! Please.

Lets take it to another extreme … becuase of this guys actions. Wheither you agrree withthem or not A WHOLE PLANE FULL OF PAASANGERS was disadvatanged bacuase of this one mans actions.

What about MY RIGHT to not miss a conection because of another passangers actions.

Jarle, I’m not disagreeing with the principle here. You exreme example is pointless. Course a captain would never discriminate against a black, and throw him off purley because he/she had a different colour skin. Thankfully we live in a society where this is unaceptable – and captain who tries this deserves ejecting at 30,000 ft.

My point was this. Johns actions were inherintly selfish. A commercial areoplane is quite simple NOT the place for political statements. What if another passanger HAD seen the badege AND objected to it. What if that person had started a fight on board. What if that person had a gun … What if … What if….

I relaise there’s lots of “What If’s” here – But the saftey of a flight relies on as many ‘What If’s being counted for.

Sadly we live in a world now, where terorism, is a major threat to civalised society. Is it so much to ask, that we as citazens of what ever nation do our upmost to insure this threat cant not continue.

Is it so much to show an ID on a flight? Is it so much to trun on you laptop when requested ? Is it so much to respond to a polite reply to remove an ‘offensive*’ statement from our apparel (be it a t-shirt or badge?

To stop this threat. EVERYBODY has to be treated as a suspect. Sad as it is – real terrorists dont tatoo it to their foreheads (or weare a small badge) and shout it from the roof tops. What are the powers that are emploed to protect us to do ?

Only when John has answered this, can his statement’s be vaild. untill that point, sadly, all his actions are doing is lining the already fat pockets of the legal teams involved.

* By offensive I mean, not personaly, but maybee considered by anybody in the imediate vecinity.

Pete:

“Jarle, I’m not disagreeing with the principle here. You exreme example is pointless. Course a captain would never discriminate against a black, and throw him off purley because he/she had a different colour skin. Thankfully we live in a society where this is unaceptable – and captain who tries this deserves ejecting at 30,000 ft.”

Really! What if the person was middle eastern? How about a 14 year old Arabic boy, or couple of bussiness men from India, or a US secret service agent that looked middle eastern?

Unfortunately those innocent people were kicked off planes in US, simply because of the captain or flight crew’s ignorance.

If you don’t think you are being treated as a suspected terrorist, consider youself lucky to be of the right color and race.

There are certain values that we pride ourselves of: equality and free speech. We should not have to bargain those values away for a false sense of security.

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