Thursday, September 28, 2006

TSA: No Freedom of Speech at Airports

CNN, BoingBoing, and even Wonkette have stories about Ryan Bird, who was detained at the Milwaukee airport by TSA officials because he had written "Kip Hawley is an idiot" with a marker on a clear plastic bag containing toiletries. According to the story, Mr. Bird was told he had no freedom of speech rights. The TSA agent reportedly called local law enforcement, who ran background checks while Mr. Bird was detained.
He grabbed the baggie as it came out of the X-ray and asked if it was mine. After responding yes, he pointed at my comment and demanded to know "What is this supposed to mean?" "It could me a lot of things, it happens to be an opinion on mine." "You can't write things like this" he said, "You mean my First Amendment right to freedom of speech doesn't apply here?" "Out there (pointing pass the id checkers) not while in here (pointing down) was his response."

No Kissing on American Airlines

The New Yorker web site has a post from Lauren Collins about two men on American Airlines Flight 45, from France to New York, who were told by a stewardess that they could not kiss. When they, and other passengers, questioned the stewardess and purser about the demand, they were told to be quiet or else.
Maybe an hour later, the purser approached Tsikhiseli and said that the captain wanted to talk to him. Tsikhiseli went up to the galley and gave the captain his business card. The captain told Tsikhiseli that if they didn't stop arguing with the crew he would indeed divert the plane. "I want you to go back to your seat and behave the rest of the flight, and we'll see you in New York," he said. Tsikhiseli returned to coach.
A spokesman for American Airlines said the prohibition on kissing was "reasonable".

Sunday, September 17, 2006

CBS to Maher: Free If We Agree

There had been reports that Bill Maher was going to be part of a "Free Speech" segment on the new "CBS Evening News with Katie Couric", but it hasn't happened. Now it seems the reason for the missing Maher is that CBS wanted to limit him to a list of approved topics. Maybe he'll agree to an "Approved Speech" segment. No, I didn't think so.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Ney: Yup, I'm Guilty

CNN is reporting that Republican congressman Bob Ney of Ohio has agreed to plead guilty to corruption charges, even though he has claimed innocence for months. It not clear whether he was lying, or just drunk the whole time.
Ney entered an alcohol rehabilitation facility earlier this week and is not expected to be in court Friday, according to one of the sources.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Air Force Chief: Test Weapons on Civilians

The AP is reporting that Secretary of the Air Force Michael Wynne wants to test new "non-lethal" weapons on U.S. civilians before introducing those weapons into a military battle.

"If we're not willing to use it here against our fellow citizens, then we should not be willing to use it in a wartime situation," said Wynne.

During the 2000 Democratic National Convention in Los Angeles, the LAPD was accused of firing upon peaceful protestors, demonstrators, and observers, seriously injuring a number of them.

via BoingBoing