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CNN is Wrong, the “No Fly” List is Un-Constitutional

CNN is Wrong, the “No Fly” List is Un-Constitutional

I happened to be reading a CNN op-ed about putting unruly passengers on the “no fly list.”  Sorry, but this p&*%sed me off.

The article is about verbal attacks and physical assaults on airline staff, apparently mostly because of mask mandates. The author suggested a federal “no fly” list for such passengers.

First, either the behavior is legal (perhaps rude, but still legal) or it is not. These are things for courts to decide. It is not up to the airline or even some government body to put someone on a “list” that does not allow them to fly. Airline personnel are not a “protected class” and they are not the only people to be confronted by rude customers. The Constitution of the United States of America requires due process.

If you do violence against someone and the courts find you guilty then the court decides what your sentence will be, perhaps even jail time. The airlines are not part of our Constitutional process.

With CNN’s suggestion, we have not only encountered the slippery slope but are now sliding downwards. If this suggestion is taken, then saying a bad word to a flight attendant means YOUR TRAVEL INSIDE THE U.S. IS RESTRICTED. And you have no recourse.

I have ALWAYS been against “no fly” lists, even in the case of potential terrorists. Punishment by the authorities outside of due process is illegal. Putting un-Constitutional powers in the hands of un-elected bureaucrats is stupid and dangerous.

Since we are sliding the slippery slope, how about if someone just smells bad? Maybe they put their foot in the aisle a bit too much? Talking too loud? OK, what about the next step? Maybe the flight attendant doesn’t like you? Or you spurned his/her advances?  Or they pick a fight and then demand money so that you might fly again?  Sound ridiculous? No, it’s not. Unchecked power is always abused.

Maybe we should provide a “no restaurant” list for people who are rude to waiters. Maybe a “no drive” list for people who shoot you the bird when you cut them off. The commonality here is the intrusive identification and the desire to abuse that identification to impose penalties outside of the courts.

The “no fly” list is a tool of power.  There have been many such, like Hitler’s list of Jews, like McCarthy’s list of Communists, like China’s list of Uighurs, like some I’ve heard about in the old Soviet Union, and many more. It is not the job of our government to make lists of citizens it wants to restrict.

Frankly, I would much rather endure the complete security search (which they do anyway) to make sure 100% that I am not carrying a weapon, than to have to provide ID, endure a background search, and to be subjected to facial recognition as seems to be the new trend. My preference would be to go back to anonymous travel inside the country (and if you ask “what do you have to hide” I will punch you…).

And screw you CNN, your understanding of America is unbelievably poor.

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  1. frank stetson

    Well on this one, we agree. Pass a law. Or let the business ban them. It’s their business, after all.

    The No Fly List is a subset of the U.S. government Terrorist Screening Database containing the identity of known/suspected as maintained by the FBI’s Terrorist Screening Center. Given 9/11, one can understand it’s existence even if I can not understand the legality or non involvement of the court system. However, even the ACLU objects to the lack of a notification process, not the list itself.

    Like the patriot act, time to review to see IF this makes sense, and I am sure it does, but within the court system, not just the FBI’s jurisdiction .

    And screw you for saying “screw you CNN.” It’s an op ed, not a CNN news piece. You, of all people, should know what it’s like to post unsavory views under the guise of free speech. But yeah, the no-fly list is seen as racist too giving Muslims priority no-seating on the list. Probably not Saudis though……

    And unruly passengers —- take them to court. Let the court ban them.

    • Homer wallace

      Ban all blm scumbags Or let them ride in the wheel section.

    • Joe Gilbertson

      We should have scrapped most of the patriot act long ago. I understand why it was done, but its been more than 20 years.

      And no, I’m not talking about racism, which you seem to see everywhere. I see an unconstitutional mechanism that threatens freedom.

      Op-eds, by definition are an expression of the organization. So screw CNN.

      • Frank stetson

        Reengineer the patriot act, not destroy, IMO. Re-engineer it to include more court approvals; instant approvals if so needed. I’d say like FISA but that’s a four letter word.

        So, I mention ACLU and you jump to racism? Getting a little paranoid? Heck, Homo Wallass jumped all the way to BLM.

        I hear you on the CNN; but where does it stop? Are you to be judged by your comments section? Better yet, can you be judged by just the racist filth you allow to be posted? In for a peck in for a pound.

        • Joe Gilbertson

          So you are liberal in FAVOR of the Patriot Act?

          As I mentioned, we will tolerate a bit of racism because we know you can’t help it, and we appreciate your entertainment value.

          • frank stetson

            You point out my racist speech on this site and I will walk in back, apologize, and check in for re-training.

            Yes, I am a liberal in favor on the patriot act, after 9.11. Many did. Perhaps zealot-see has tainted your vision. Like many laws, time for a re-engineer. IMO.

            How’s your search for 2020 voter fraud coming? We got four Repubs using dead relatives to vote extra, one got three days, oh the horror of the white supremacy in the courts. Haven’t seen any proof of fraud from you yet. But those ballot boxes are coming down. You know, a box, a camera —– will never replace a long line, a crowded polling place, an untrained volunteer spotter, a box, and a camera. The Ripper Trump can really engineer improvements. But he doesn’t run the party as Wisconsin Trumpulbicans trash the ballot boxes they had just put in because it was a great idea. Until Trumpy lost, cried, and had to find the reason that he wasn’t a one-time wonder, twice impeached fool. As are his supporters at this point.

          • Joe Gilbertson

            You said “Do you know what they say, if you fund black, you’ll never give back. White conservatives being ripped off to fund black support groups. Ain’t it a marvelous world.” There is plenty more where that came from.

            Shall I make a reservation for you at the re-training center?

          • Frank stetson

            I’m sorry. You need to specifically point out the racism?

            Isn’t the problem that go fund me is sponsoring BLM and therefore donated money may end up being funneled to BLM? Or is it that I think it’s funny that conservatives are being ripped off and the beneficiary is BLM? Don’t you hate the NFL for the same exact reason?

            Well I can understand you’re not seeing the humor in that, I’m hard pressed to see the racism. Much less which race? I thought it was legitimate political discourse. Whatever that is?

        • Homer wallace

          Homo? Getting a little homophobic, I see. I thought that you liberals liked faggots.

          • Frank stetson

            Let’s see, you don’t like blacks, you don’t like gay people, you don’t like liberals. What a swell guy.

            Well, maybe you just hate activists..

            The big tent party has become the pup tent party., whites only need apply, less education preferred.

  2. R. Hamilton

    I’m not fond of the idea of a no-fly list, and it may well be unconstitutional. But an airplane (even more than a ship) is a closed environment, pulling over to the side of the road is not an option, and diverting is at best very disruptive and expensive.

    And while walking is a right, driving (requiring some skill) is a privilege; some public transportation may be a right yet you still have to pay. Maybe given the risks, flying is a privilege, not a right; freedom of movement may not require all modes of travel to be open to everyone absent due process to deny them access, as long as some still are.

    There are some serious penalties for some behavior in law (requiring, to be sure, a trial); up to 20 years for either interfering with flight crew or attendant or intimidating them; up to life if a weapon was used. You don’t get 20 years for intimidating a waiter, and there’s a reason for the difference; so I wouldn’t be too quick to suppose things should be the way we want them to be.

    • Joe Gilbertson

      I’ve heard that before, driving is a “privilege” (which is BS), and now you want flying to be a “privilege.” Who “grants” these “privileges”? Who sets the qualifications for “privileges”? Do you want a flight attendant to make those judgements? If I travel for business, is my career in the hands of an incompetent flight attendant who spills something on me and then puts me on the list because I said a swear word?

      And that is the point of the article. We have courts and constitutional processes for dealing with people who break laws. Allowing anyone except a court to mete out punishment means that someone thinks our constitution is not good enough.

      • frank stetson

        Oh hell, it’s a private business that uses Federal airspace. I agree courts should be used. As they should for any FBI list that precludes goods and services.

        But courts could be used to approve admittance to the no-fly list OR the business could create their own, They have every right to deny service. I hear Republicans even allow bakers to refuse to make cakes for gays.

        • Joe Gilbertson

          I could see how an airline might want to ban someone from their business. But not a universal list.

          Courts have their remedies for crimes, and the ones in question are quite stiff. But that is the court’s decision. Computer hackers are often restricted from using computers. But that is between the court and the criminal. They are not imposing a rule that Best Buy is not allowed to sell them a computer.

          China is implementing their “social credit” system that says if you are an asshole, then your travel is restricted. Is that what CNN wants? In the U.S. everyone has the right to be an asshole, that is part of our freedom. Hell, with that I wouldn’t be able to go anywhere…

          • Frank stetson

            According to your own rules, it is their business and they can deny service to anyone for almost any reason.

            I can’t say that it works like this, because it’s probably a federal law, but if the airlines wanted to use a no-fly list, and they co-opted the FBI’s list, and every airline used the same FBI list, that’s the same as the business denying service to anyone they want for almost any reason.

            If it works for a baker to deny service to a gay couple then it certainly has to apply to an airline to be able to deny service to a suspected, possible, terrorist.

            Last time I checked, a terrorist in a plane is much more dangerous than a gay couple with a cake.

          • Joe Gilbertson

            So you are in favor of a conspiracy to create the unconstitutional list? The FBI should not have such a list. If people are not convicted of anything by a jury of their peers, then they should not be on a list. If they are convicted then the only punishment should be what the courts decide. “Suspected” and “Possible” are not words that the Constitution recognizes. Just because I suspect you, ben and bruder of being terrorists does not make you terrorists.

            And by the way, a terrorist (past, future or suspected) on an airplane with no bombs or weapons is just a passenger.

      • Homer wallace

        Homo? Getting a little homophobic, I see. I thought that you liberals loved fags

  3. Chooch

    Resist , Refuse ,Organize

  4. Ben

    Makes you wonder why Republicans would pass such a bill that allowed private businesses to not serve potential customers… oh wait. ..

    But I do agree that Republicans used 9-11 to let authoritarian policies creep into acceptance. It was ok when it was used against brown people, not so much now.