Free speech in America.

Two quickies: A woman was kicked off a Southwest Airlines flight for refusing to take off a shirt that showed Bush administration officials with the headline "Meet the Fuckers" (a take-off on the film Meet the Fokkers). And a North Carolina high school student got a visit from the Secret Service after a Wal-Mart photo lab employee narced him out for having taken a photo of a magazine image of the president he'd hung on the wall with a thumb tack. Ironically, the photo was part of an assignment for social studies class “to take photographs to illustrate their rights in the Bill of Rights.” What's most surprising about these cases is corporate America's happy willingness to be complicit in stripping rights from citizens.


Ted Sherarts said...

Gotta be more careful these days. Freedom ain't what it used to be.

Jim R said...

Maybe they were pissed about the copyright infringment.

Paul Schmelzer said...

Maybe. The Global War on Piracy?

Anonymous said...

Hypothetical situation: You're on a bus with your kids and somebody walks on with a shirt that says Fuck, Shit,Cock,Dick or any other obscene word. How would you feel? This has nothing to do with Freedom of speech.

Paul said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

So why is it you feel you can say fuck, shit, cock, and dick on my blog--a free, all-ages, public site--but this woman can't, on a flight she paid for, wear a shirt where, in the context of political satire, the word "fuckers" is used?

And the question: "How would you feel" is irrelevant. Free speech laws aren't made so you feel comfortable at all times; they protect unpopular speech.


ALJ said...

"What's most surprising about these cases is corporate America's happy willingness to be complicit in stripping rights from citizens."

oh come on man. we're not that complicit what do you suggest? we've tried letter writing, ads in periodicals (although no one seems to ever target any periodicals aside from say the new york times or the san francisco whatever), people have marched, a few in Florida were pelted by rocks for marching against the Iraq war. I mean complicit while our rights are stripped away? No one is complicit, people are pissed.


ALJ said...

oh wait "corporate america" you mean walmart and southwest. hey compare that to what google is doing in China and they look pretty good in juxtaposition:


or yahoo. but yeah, companies are strange beasts, not beholden to the changes in autocrarcies that we in the democratic world look forward to.