Fwd: [IP] Gilmore bounced from plane; and Farber censors Gilmore's email

Dave Howe DaveHowe at gmx.co.uk
Mon Jul 21 03:41:42 PDT 2003

John Kozubik wrote:
> Where do these ridiculous ideas come from ?  If I own a piece of
> private property, like an airplane (or an entire airline) for
> instance, I can impose whatever senseless and arbitrary conditions on
> your use of it as I please.
  Not really - there are quite clear rules in most societies against
discrimination of various sorts when you offer a public service. If you
say to passenger xxx "you can't fly with me because I don't like your
haircut/face/tattoo" then odds are good that you will get away with it. If
you say to passenger xxx "you can't fly on *this* plane because I belive
you are a security risk" and you are the captain, then you are guaranteed
to get away with it (no matter how undeserved it is) but may get hell from
head office later. If you say to *every* black passenger (or jew, or
muslim) "you can't fly with my airline" or even "your ticket will cost
double because I don't like you" then you will get slapped down, and
rightly so.
  Of course, if you have a private plane and invite a few friends to miami
with you (or even the entire bar) except for any blacks, jews or muslims
that might be wanting to come along, then that's fine - the plane is your
private property and the Political Correctness Police can go play
someplace else. Its when you are offering a public service that the rules
  All the above said - if a particular captain finds a 1" badge saying
"suspected terrorist" sufficiently convincing that he then suspects you
are a terrorist, he is in his rights to throw you off his plane. Certainly
the cabin steward has no such right though, and is probably some dickless
little jobsworth that gets a kick from being able to order passengers
about. That a blanket ban on his travel (and further, that of his wife)
was imposed, simply for possession of the badge, is clearly wrong and
anti-terrorist-fever gone mad.
I also don't understand how a "federal crime" can be committed on a
english airplane - I thought the legal fiction was that from boarding the
plane to disembarking (and sometimes not even then, if you are
transferring between flights without ever legally "landing") you were in
the sovereign territory of whatever flag the airline is registered under?
  Oh, and as to the "murder" bit, IIRC the captain of a ship or plane may
legally kill you if he believes this is required for the safety of his
vessel and passengers as a whole - I would hate to see the paperwork
though unless you were actually standing there with a bomb and a gun at
the time :)

> All fine and good - and I appreciate your efforts at uncovering the
> secret directives and generally resisting the erosion of liberties,
> however it bothers me greatly that when the obvious is pointed out -
> that if the _private airlines_ become unburdened by the ID
> requirement, they will simply require it themselves - that you
> consider this unjust as well.
If any one airline decides to impose a blanket requirement (all passengers
must show ID) then that is fine. If all airlines decide to do so
independently (or even as a joint response to a situation) then that is
fine, but probably could do with a little scrutiny to make sure it really
was their idea.  However, false ID is easily enough obtained.
If the federal government decides to impose (or even "strongly recommend")
such a scheme, and further provides a list of "no fly" people (purely on
name, so you can't tell if the joe bloggs you have at your desk is a
terrorist threat, someone who wrote a purple-ink letter to the president
last year, or some other joe bloggs who is really unlucky in his choice of
name) then this is a major erosion of liberties, a deeply frightening
development, or both.

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