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View Poll Results: Do you agree or disagree with the action undertaken by MKEbound?
Agree 766 75.92%
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Old Sep 26, 06, 11:33 pm   #151
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cme2c
Regarding the previous posts about wearing a swastika to a synagogue... I agree that this is similar, but from a common sense perspective, not a civil rights perspective.
No, that wasn't a good analogy. Wearing a swastika to a synagogue might be analogous to wearing a badge with Bin Ladens face to a TSA checkpoint (wearing a symbol indicating support of a group of mass murderers in the face of people who relate to the victims). Going into a church with a sign calling the Pope a fool, or going to a synagogue with a banner calling the Rabbi a jerk, that is more analogous.

But even in those examples, the church or synagogue have more right to block you than the TSA did, since they are private institutions, rather than government employees in a public space.
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Old Sep 26, 06, 11:34 pm   #152
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bart
Out of all the times I did dirty little tricks on behalf of God and country, I never violated the Constitutional rights of any US citizen. Non-US citizens were fair game; and outside the US, I pretty much took it to the limit and beyond. Inside the US, we stuck to the rules of engagement.

From this perspective, this is not a major event. Yes, corrective action is needed, but c'mon, you're really carrying this thing a bit too far.
Maybe, maybe not. However, from the perspective I'm looking at it from, which includes the fact that our constitutional rights are being eroded away by things like the Patriot Act, this is an event.

It's not the first time it's happened either. PoliceStateSurvivor mentioned it before, only it was prefaced by "you foreigners" (he has an accent but is a US citizen).

The buck has to stop somewhere. I think we just found where it stops.
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Old Sep 26, 06, 11:37 pm   #153
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Last edited by Bart; Jan 5, 08 at 9:21 am
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Old Sep 26, 06, 11:39 pm   #154
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kaukau
Wouldn't freedom of expression apply to the TSA agent as well?
The freedom of expression line does not apply to government employees acting in an official capacity in this situation in the way it does to private citizens (i.e., non-government US persons for purposes of this discussion); that's the case for a whole litany of legal and politico-philosophical reasons which would be a new thread in and of itself. The reported actions of the government employees at MKE results in de facto intimidation and hostile discriminatory treatment on the basis of a private citizens engaging in constitutionally-protected forms of political expression.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kaukau
Wouldn't freedom of expression apply to the TSA agent as well? Afterall, he may have expressed it, but did he act on it? GUWonder?
Taking out the TSA wand and beating the passenger into a pulp for expressing legal political opinions is not the only means by which the government can violate the First Amendment.

Last edited by GUWonder; Sep 26, 06 at 11:45 pm
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Old Sep 26, 06, 11:51 pm   #155
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Originally Posted by Bart
Get a rope.
Can I bring the pitchforks and torches?
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Old Sep 27, 06, 12:13 am   #156
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kaukau
Wouldn't freedom of expression apply to the TSA agent as well?
Not in his capacity as state actor.

Quote:
Afterall, he may have expressed it, but did he act on it? GUWonder?
He did act on it -- he intimidated MKE and, in so doing, violated MKE's First Amendment rights.
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Old Sep 27, 06, 12:36 am   #157
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FWIW, pasted below is a copy of the complaint I sent to TSA.gov.

As always, writing this type of compliant is difficult; you don't want to be too wordy or stray from the point, but you want to include enough detail to get your point across.

When you use TSA.gov and click on "contact us" you have your choice of topic: complement, complaint, etc. and then space to type your comments. My text is posted below:
______________________________

I had a bad experience at the TSA checkpoint in MKE today.

My main complaint is that according to the TSA Supervisor on duty at the time - Edited out for Flyertalk - my First Amendment rights don't apply while I am in the presence of the TSA.

In the past few months it seems as if the TSA has really developed a mean streak; some front line TSA employees seem to enjoy their power a bit too much and are needlessly harassing and intimidating the traveling public. The general tone has changed so much at the airport that I am at the point of outrage at how me and my fellow travelers are being treated.

Anyway, this afternoon while passing though the TSA checkpoint in MKE I made a political statement. I wrote "Kip Hawley is an Idiot" on one of my belongings that passed though the X-ray. Not that it matters why, but I think the actions of the TSA over the past few months, first banning harmless water, then allowing small amounts or (still) harmless liquids and gels back on board, all while allowing unscreened cargo in the belly of passenger planes to be idiotic at best.

When one of the TSA personal saw the writing he called -Edited out- over, and after confirming it was my writing he told me that I couldn't say/write such things, and when I asked if my right to freedom of speech was no long protected by the Bill of Rights to the Constitution he told me "Out there you have rights (pointing past the start of the checkpoint), In here (pointing down) you don't."

After that bold statement I stated that I thought I still did, and at this point he called over the LEO on duty and together they continued to detainee me and question me for about 25 minutes. In the end common sense prevailed and they let me go but afterwards I approached -Edited out- at his desk and again asked if he still thought my basic Constitutional Rights didn't apply at the TSA checkpoint he still expressed that they did not.

I sure hope that it is not the official policy of the TSA that American Citizens don't enjoy their rights while at the airport, and that this supervisor simply got carried away. Furthermore I hope that the TSA, from Mr. Hawley down, might take a more common sense approach to airport security, firmly remind front line employees that harassing or intimidating passengers is not acceptable, and please consider screening cargo instead of confiscating my bottle of water.
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Old Sep 27, 06, 12:57 am   #158
  
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I think this highlights several important issues. You wrote a message on the bag expecting/hoping(?) to get a rise out of someone. This wasn't done in an effort to educate but to ruffle feathers. Trying to educate the TSA screeners (if such is possible) in the brief interaction you have with them about how their jobs aren't contributing to airline safety is like trying to tell a smoker who isn't ready to quit.

Would "You should be screening air cargo, not my toothpaste" have gotten the same response? With that particular set of screener/supervisor, perhaps. Would it be more educational than a "Kip Hawley is an idiot" message? Most likely. But would the idiot message get a rise out of someone? Clearly it did.

So inviting trouble, then complaining about the trouble you get for your efforts seems like a waste of effort. The screener's comments about your rights were inappropriate but you were clearly hoping for that type of confrontation.

In the end though everything worked out. The LEO made sure you weren't wanted for anything, you were detained for a brief period of time and got to make your point. Like the guy that tried to board a plane with a "We will not be silent" message in Arabic, you invited trouble and got it. Fortunately unlike Raed Jarrar it didn't escalate so dramatically.

Personally I feel his shirt was completely appropriate, ignoring the wearer's supposed history of trying to stir up trouble. But whenever you try to draw attention, be prepared for the consequences.
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Old Sep 27, 06, 1:07 am   #159
  
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TSA is trying protect us from the terror threat. If OP really wanted to make his opinion known, he could have wrote his senator or congressman, filed a complaint against TSA... but no, he wrote his comment down to get a reaction from the TSA. It's like you telling your friend a nasty joke about his mother and trying to get his reaction. And then he complains about his friend's reaction. Grow up! OP's action in my opinion was very immature.
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Old Sep 27, 06, 1:19 am   #160
  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skchin
TSA is trying protect us from the terror threat. If OP really wanted to make his opinion known, he could have wrote his senator or congressman, filed a complaint against TSA... but no, he wrote his comment down to get a reaction from the TSA. It's like you telling your friend a nasty joke about his mother and trying to get his reaction. And then he complains about his friend's reaction. Grow up! OP's action in my opinion was very immature.
If Hawley was the TSO's father, I might understand the reaction (and your analogy). Hawley is a political figure and subject to all the political rhetoric that comes with it. If a government employee can't deal with that reality, the employee (not the citizen) needs to grow up. This is about what is right and wrong, not about whose feelings got bent out of shape or why. TSA employees need to be better trained to deal with these things. They have to deal with much the same flack that LEO's get, but don't have the professionalism to deal with it properly (at least most don't seem to have it). This is a problem that Hawley and Chertoff won't address because they really are idiots when it comes to managing security and people.

Stealing toothpaste from people is not protecting us from any security threat.


- Alan
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Old Sep 27, 06, 1:55 am   #161
  
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Talking A couple of thoughts...

Did the OP do it to get a reaction? Yes
Did he have a constitutional right to? Positively Yes.
Did the TSA over-react? Absolutely.

The OP needs to contact the media and the ACLU. Why? You did it to get a reaction - to make a point - you have a obligation to carry it through.

One idea: Pick a day and have thousands of flyers go thru security with the same Kip message. I think TSA would get the message...they're slow..so repition is important.
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Old Sep 27, 06, 2:14 am   #162
  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by studentff
Huh? Produce an identification document? "Papers please?" Can you please cite examples (in the USA)?

I'm no lawyer, but I thought there was no requirement to produce ID at any time to engage in non-regulated/licensed activities (i.e., driving requires a license, so you have to show your DL to the cop). Walking down the street does not require a license. Nor does being a passenger in a car. Or standing in the airport.

I thought the Hiibel case established that the state (NV in that case) could require you to speak your name, but did not in any way say you had to show your papers to the cop.
Wow lookit all the traffic! Go out to dinner, put the baby to be and bam! 10 more pages of posts to sift through! I saw someone mentioned it briefly and I don't feel like citing too many articles but luckily, EPIC did a bang up job of summarizing things....

Hiibel v. Sixth Judicial District Court of Nevada
Supreme Court Upholds Constitutionality of Arrest for Refusal to Identify. In a 5-4 vote, the Supreme Court has narrowly upheld a Nevada law allowing law enforcement to arrest an individual when he refuses to identify himself, and reasonable suspicion--though not probable cause--exists that he has committed a crime. (June 21, 2004)

Keeping name private can be crime, court rules
The Supreme Court has again given police greater power to stop and question suspects, ruling Monday that a Nevada cowboy could not refuse to give his name to officers who tried to question him along a roadside.
...
The narrow 5-4 ruling was seen as a defeat for privacy advocates.

Larry "Dudley" Hiibel, the Nevada rancher at the center of the case, had become a minor celebrity for those who believed he was standing up for his constitutional rights.

He was arrested after he told a deputy that he didn't have to reveal his name or show an ID during an encounter on a rural road in 2000. Hiibel was prosecuted, based on his silence and fined $250. The Nevada Supreme Court sided with police on a 4-3 vote.

In its ruling announced Monday, the justices upheld Hiibel's misdemeanor conviction. Writing for the majority, Justice Anthony Kennedy said, "Asking questions is an essential part of police investigation. In the ordinary sense a police officer is free to ask a person for identification without implicating the Fourth Amendment."
Mind you, I'm not in agreement with this but as I said, most jurisdictions require you to identify yourself to LEOs when requested. Now the best form of "identification" is personal knowledge ie you have some sort of personal relationship with the officer. Notice that most notary blocks says something like "having been personally known to me or having produced proper identification" because if the notary knows you personally then you don't need an ID.

Since it's unlikely the LEO will know you personally, the most common form of identifying yourself is by the use of an acceptable identification document--eg DL, state ID card, passport etc. I say acceptable because Officer Fife of the Outer Jabip PD will probably not know what a US Passport looks like... So, if she stops you on the sidewalk because you "fit the general description" of a suspect and you produce a passport, she may not be able to easily call that in over the radio. In certain closed/homogeneous communities (college campus, large office facilities, military bases) accepted identification may be in the form of locally issued IDs. I remember going to several bars in my college town that would accept student IDs for getting in because the school put your birthdate on the back of the ID and many students didn't bother carrying their DL since it was all within walking distance.

But, if you're unable to produce acceptable identification then the LEO may decide to detain you until your identity can be confirmed. That may be accomplished by hauling you down to the PD so they can run your fingerprints and/or you can have someone bring your ID or come vouch for you. And they now have the backing of Hiibel.

Does this mean "Papers please?" well, my interpretation is "sort of". It's not a practical thing to do and it hasn't been widespread or a wholesale dragnet with a cop on every street corner....but there have been a few times around here where the police were looking for a suspect downtown or in the Heights so they had "information roadblocks" and don't you know they pulled aside everyone driving a "vehicle matching the description" and ran the IDs of all young Hispanic males. Both the demand for ID and the roadblocks (under a differnent decision) have been upheld by SCOTUS. Similar searches have happened around the country.
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Old Sep 27, 06, 2:16 am   #163
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skchin
If OP really wanted to make his opinion known, he could have wrote his senator or congressman, filed a complaint against TSA... but no, he wrote his comment down to get a reaction from the TSA. It's like you telling your friend a nasty joke about his mother and trying to get his reaction. And then he complains about his friend's reaction. Grow up! OP's action in my opinion was very immature.
You're entitled to your opinion. The SCOTUS sez so, over and over and over.

In fact, they also ruled that you're also entitled to outrageous political opinions. To wit, Falwell v. Hustler.

Cheif Justice Rehnquist delivered the (unanimous) opinion of the Court:

Quote:
[...]At the heart of the First Amendment is the recognition of the fundamental importance of the free flow of ideas and opinions on matters of public interest and concern.

[...]

Despite their sometimes caustic nature, from the early cartoon portraying George Washington as an ... down to the present day, graphic depictions and satirical cartoons have played a prominent role in public and political debate ... From the viewpoint of history it is clear that our political discourse would have been considerably poorer without them.

[...]

An "outrageousness" standard thus runs afoul of our longstanding refusal to allow damages to be awarded because the speech in question may have an adverse emotional impact on the audience. See NAACP v. Claiborne Hardware Co., 458 U.S. 886, 910 (1982) ("Speech does not lose its protected character . . . simply because it may embarrass others or coerce them into action"). And, as we stated in FCC v. Pacifica Foundation, 438 U.S. 726 (1978):
"[T]he fact that society may find speech offensive is not a sufficient reason for suppressing it. Indeed, if it is the speaker's opinion that gives offense, that consequence is a reason for according it constitutional protection. [485 U.S. 46, 56] For it is a central tenet of the First Amendment that the government must remain neutral in the marketplace of ideas." Id., at 745-746.
While we have the right not to be harassed or persecuted about our political opinions, none of us have the right *not* to be annoyed. Hawley's Angels have no right to parlay their personal annoyances into pax harassment.

Last edited by essxjay; Sep 27, 06 at 2:27 am
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Old Sep 27, 06, 2:26 am   #164
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jonesing
In a 5-4 vote, the Supreme Court has narrowly upheld a Nevada law allowing law enforcement to arrest an individual when he refuses to identify himself, and reasonable suspicion--though not probable cause--exists that he has committed a crime. (June 21, 2004)
Thanks for the cite.

For the purposes of this thread, given this decision did the LEO involved in the OP's incident have reasonable suspicion to ask for ID? Or was the LEO entitled to it simply for the purposes of filing a report? I'm a little fuzzy about whether the above decision applies at a TSA checkpoint.
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Old Sep 27, 06, 3:48 am   #165
  
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OP sez: ...I wrote my original post on the flight to MSP and just had enough time to log on and post before catching my flight to California. I was a bit surprised that 5 hours later it had so many replies.

You'll probably be getting some more - it's the top post on Wonkette this morning.

http://www.wonkette.com/
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