Open thread

The US Supreme Court is preparing to hear the “Bong Hits 4 Jesus” case:

The controversy erupted in 2002 after Joseph Frederick, then a senior at Juneau-Douglas High School, displayed a banner proclaiming “Bong Hits 4 Jesus” while standing across the street from the school as the Winter Olympics torch was passing through Juneau.

Then-Principal Deborah Morse confiscated the banner and suspended Frederick from school for 10 days.

Well, I’m pretty sure you can all guess where I stand on this issue, but I just enjoy hearing the righty trolls coming to my blog and argue for repressing the First Amendment rights of others.


  1. 1

    Libertarian spews:

    In case no one noticed, if you’re using email at work, your company must save every email you send now. That little gem went in to effect yesterday, and is a terrific intrusion into personal privacy.

    I used to hate the Democrats more than I dislike the Republicans, but it’s starting to shift to the other-way-around. I’m going to write letters to Murray, Cantwell, and Norm Dicks to urge them to put an end to this violation of personal privacy.

  2. 2

    harry poon spews:

    I wonder if the CEO’s e-mail is inspected as well? If not, then they are the lords and we are the serfs. If a corporation is a person and people own that person, isn’t that involuntary servitude?

    But I guess you’d have to really believe that a corporation is a person, wouldn’t you?

  3. 3

    Mark The Redneck KENNEDY spews:

    First Amendment covers political speech. Not all forms of speech are OK… the yelling “fire” in a theater example.

    First amendment allows librul media to spread their lies and hate. Most of us know better and ignore them, but they are free to do it.

    Is the case here political speech? Hardly…

  4. 4

    Truth2006 spews:

    Mother Jones reports that the hateful reverend Fred Phelps is a Democrat. Given how Democrats are specialists at bigotry and hatred, this should not be surprising to anybody.

    Phelps remained prominent in state and local politics, working for years as a major organizer for the state’s Democratic Party. (He still calls himself a Democrat, refusing to change just because his party has.) In 1988, Phelps housed campaign workers for Al Gore’s first presidential run; in 1989, his eldest son, Fred Jr., hosted a fundraiser for Gore’s Senate campaign at his home.

    Phelps has frequently run for public office — for governor in 1990, ’94, and ’98, for the Senate in ’92 — always losing the primaries by a landslide. Because of their years as loyal Democrats, the Phelpses have even been invited to — and attended — both of Clinton’s inaugurations. They protested at the second one. But Phelps’ campaign against homosexuality actually began in earnest just before the 1992 campaign, when politicians, especially Democrats, began to openly court gay voters.

    More can be found here.

  5. 5

    Truth2006 spews:

    As for the bong banner, if the kid wasn’t at school and this wasn’t a school event, first amendment applies. School principles only have the ability to regulate school activities. As I recall, there have been court cases in the past where the issue was restrictions on what a school paper could print. I believe that the finding was that school newspapers were under the control of the school administration and as such they had ultimate editorial control over the content.

  6. 6

    Dennis Savage spews:

    In case no one noticed, if you’re using email at work, your company must save every email you send now. That little gem went in to effect yesterday, and is a terrific intrusion into personal privacy.

    If you’re under Federal investigation. Really, some of the people here need to drop the bong/Fox News and take reading comprehension lessons.

    But then, what do you expect when corporations are legally unaccountable people and campaign contributions are considered free speech? (Gingrich advocated overturning limits on contributions for that reason in his speech where he suggested restricting other free speech during our Neverending War Against Terror this week.) Maybe racist Republican and domestic terrorist Tim McVeigh was just exercising his First Amendment rights! I’m sure Mark TR would agree.

  7. 7

    Truth2006 spews:

    Anti-American Democrat, American citizen throat slasher and Taliban soldier John Walker Lindh was just misunderstood, huh?

  8. 8

    skagit spews:

    For Yos and Goldy
    Am reposting Mel’s response from previous thread “At least someone from the Times gets it on ed…” because I want you to read it.

    Mel Westbrook says:

    Well, just to weigh in as a member of the CAC, first thank you to skagit for those kind words. I have been an activist in our district for over 10 years and put in my time both at my children’s schools and at Board meetings, committee meetings, etc.
    I would love to write a short piece someday about my time on the CAC. There were a lot of things not said and done and believe me, I fought for them. I had made a decision that I was working for a team (I wish the Board would feel this way at least some of the time.) and that MY personal opinions/desires were not the issue. But I did think, a few times, of leaving the group but I thought it would hurt more people than it would help to make a grand gesture and walk.)

    I would love to fully explain some of our thinking especially about our preliminary recommendations. (Yes, Yos Lib Bro, enrollment is increasing in the north end but there is alternative school capacity that isn’t being filled; we were not fully apprised of this and thus Sacajawea made the list. And, to anyone who thought it was because they were a mostly white, tee-shirt wearing, large group of parents…it wasn’t. The tee-shirts and singing had not a whit of impact on our decisons.)

    I fought very hard to put more of our reasoning out there (I was in charge of answering the e-mail and I managed to get some of it out but obviously, only on an individual basis) and was told no. To this day, I’m not sure why. The argument had been that we weren’t going to go into deep detail because we had been charged with making these recommendations but to my mind, a little explanation goes a long way.

    I do stand by our work. We had a lot of creative ideas shot down by the district staff. There were a couple that would have required some political courage and that just didn’t even see the light of day.

    I had my eyes opened with this work. There are people willing to think the worst of you without knowing you or considering the data. I also see the district staff as very hard-working people. Sadly, they have a “circle the wagons” and “my way or the highway” mentality and it is not really serving our district well. (The financial mismanagement that was caused by Olcheske was detailed in the report by the Moss-Adams firm. It’s a good read if you ever get the time. The district has, to its credit and the credit of Raj Manhas, implemented most of its recommendations. However, the one they should have and didn’t, is that the culture of the district bureaucracy needs to change. It did slightly but not enough to make a difference. Hence, the same mistakes keep getting made over and over.)
    12/02/2006 at 10:26 am

    Yos and Goldy: I was never wanting to close schools. Never. But, I am also against doing nothing. Constantly protecting your turf when good-intentioned, intelligent people try to help gets old. And, as Mel pointed out, true mistakes get made and corrected. The District will never form a plan that doesn’t gore somebody’s ox.

    Mel is saying that it is not perfect, communication poor – a really big problem – and, I agree, thinking is perhaps a little too safe. But something has to be done. If you are all so smart, get something on paper, present it to the District, lobby for its passage, and let’s move on. I’m assuming you guys care about all kids.

  9. 9

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    3 Mark The Redneck says: First amendment allows librul media to spread their lies and hate. 12/02/2006 at 12:14 pm

    Gee Welsher, thanks for the insight. Is there some reason why you forgot to mention the First Amendment also allows the conservative media to spread their lies and hate too?

  10. 11

    GJohn spews:

    Amendment I

    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

    Where does it say “political”?


  11. 12

    Jenna Bush spews:

    Tee-hee. Jesus didn’t use a bong; he used a hookah. I use a bong, but only after Daddy is stoned.

  12. 13

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Wingnut blowhard @7: What American’s throat did Lindh slash? Never happened. The only thing Lindh was convicted of was being a soldier in the Taliban army — BEFORE the U.S. invasion. He was fighting Afghans, dumbass! Is the guy misunderstood? No, he’s fucked up. But he didn’t do what you say he did — you’re a fucked-up liar.

  13. 14

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Regardless of what you think of Lindh’s activities in Afghanistan, the U.S. government’s treatment of Lindh in captivity was no better than what American G.I.s expected of the Nazis:

    “After being captured and taken to a room with the only window blocked off, Lindh had his clothes cut off him and was duct-taped to a stretcher and placed in a metal shipping container for transportation. Lindh was not even released from the stretcher when he needed to urinate. Instead, guards propped him upright. When interrogated, he was denied a lawyer despite several requests, and was threatened with denial of medical aid if he didn’t cooperate. It took more than a week in U. S. custody for his wound to be treated and the bullet removed.”

    Roger Rabbit Commentary: Yeah, you rightwing Nazi motherfuckers should be real proud of dragging America’s reputation through pig shit.

  14. 15

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Regarding e-mail at work, there is NO right to privacy! The employer owns the computer system and everything on it. Don’t put anything in e-mail that you don’t want to explain in your boss’s office or defend in court.

  15. 16

    David Wright spews:

    I’m afraid my post won’t give Goldy much pleasure, because I agree with him: the school is way out of line in this case, and I am quite confident that the court will rule in the student’s favor. But I do think that the case raises some illuminating issues.

    We express in our constitution some core ideas about limits on government. For example, that it shouldn’t discriminate against people for expressing their opinions, or on the basis of race or sex, etc. We don’t think that no one should be allowed to allowed to descriminate on these basis; if you don’t want to have Republican friends, or white friends, or you prefer an opposite-sex partner, most people would agree that you’re within your rights to act on those descriminatory preferences. And if we imagine an ideal (private) school for our children, many of us could imagine it taking some decisions on these bases. For example, that students who express the opinion that they would like to shoot their classmates should be expelled, that it might preferentially admit minority students in order to create more racially diverse classrooms, even that it might consider seperating middle-school boys and girls for math classes, if research suggesting that this helps both pans out.

    The fact that we would allow, and in many cases even want, our educational institutions to descriminate on bases which we fundamentally believe government should not, is a good hint that perhaps government should not be running educational institutions. That isn’t to say that it shouldn’t fund education, but if running such institutions well requires ignoring the limitations that our constitution places on government, government shouldn’t operatate them.

  16. 17

    dumb kid spews:

    I am no con law expert but the first amendment doesn’t only apply to political speech. According to Justice Holmes in Schenck v United States, regarding when the first amendment does not apply: “the question in every case is whether the words used are in such circumstances and are of such a nature as to create a clear and present danger that they will bring about the substantive evils that Congress has a right to prevent.” So yes, yelling “fire” in a crowded theater is clearly dangerous, and is thus prohibited. If you are advocating overthrowing the United States government through violent means–even if you do not take any action–that can present clear and present danger.

    Regardless, there are other situations where your rights do not apply, such as when you are attending public school as a student. In Bong Hits 4 Jesus, I don’t know exactly what the situation was; if it was an officially sanctioned school event based around the running of the torch, then I think the administrator certainly has authority. It’s the same thing as a field trip; just because it is not on-site, you are still at a school event and thus your rights do not apply as normal. If the torch’s path just happened to run past the school and it was an informal event not officially related to the school, and they were across the street, then I think not.

  17. 18

    David Wright spews:

    Mark @ 3 says: [the] First Amendment covers political speech

    The Court has ruled that 1st Amendment protections of political speech are particularly strong, but not that the 1st Amendment only protects political speech. For example, bans on the sexually explicit but rather non-political novels “Fanny Hill”, “Tropic of Cancer”, and “Lady Chatterly’s Lover” were overturned on the basis of the 1st Amendment.

  18. 19

    K spews:

    Truth2006 @ 4-

    Do you even read the excerpts you post? Let me repeat an essential part for you:

    (He still calls himself a Democrat, refusing to change just because his party has.)

    Does that part have any significance to you?

  19. 20

    My Left Foot spews:

    I see that proudofherfatlyingcheatingthreateningass (truth2006) is back at it.

    Here is some freedom of speech for you. IN MY HUMBLE OPINION you are a RightWing slut. Why don’t you regale us with stories of you “childern” and “family business” (though I don’t think that picking up Johns on Aurora can be considered a “family business”, unless maybe you were pregant.God forbid that you should reproduce).

    Now, you fucking crack using whore, shove that up your fatlyingcheatingthreateningass.

  20. 21

    Janet S spews:

    I suspect that this kid is going to win this case. The school has no authority over behavior off school grounds or activities.

    A much clearer support for authorities in restricting behavior is the Flying Imams. It seems that most of what the Imams said is disputed by everyone else, and the reports that the Imams were acting suspiciously were defended by everyone else.

    Who to believe? One said he was handcuffed, then later said he wasn’t. So the Imams don’t even believe their own reports.

    This was clearly an act to either intimidate the airlines against charges of discrimination, or a well-organized testing of airline security procedures.

    But all of you here will continue to be pawns of these guys, and defend their right to scare the bejeebers out of everyone on board.

  21. 22

    My Left Foot spews:


    Janet continues to see things that no one else see. Her powers of clairvoyance are astounding. She knows more than the conservative FBI and all of its assets.

    What a dumb bitch!

  22. 23

    RightEqualsStupid spews:

    Well it looks like Rummy wanted to cut and run before the election but Baby Bush didn’t let him. Can you imagine what we’re going to find out once we can start investigating these cowardly traitors? Americans should be prepared to be shocked by the level of hubris, greed, incompetence and criminal activity sponsored by the Bush regime on behalf of the American People.

  23. 24

    Dave Gibney spews:

    I do all personal and political email using resources I personally pay for.
    I avoid using my work email for anything but work related messages.
    I work for WSU, I acknowledge their and the State of Washington’s right to monitor my use of the internet using taxpaye resources. That is why I’ve had a private ISP from almost the day it was possible.

  24. 25

    Mike Webb SUCKS spews:

    From Pig Fucker Furball: ohn_Walker_Lindh Roger Rabbit Commentary: Yeah, you rightwing Nazi motherfuckers should be real proud of dragging America’s reputation through pig shit.

    Of course Pig Fucker Furball has no comment on what happened to Michael “Johnny” Spann, US Citizen, CIA interrogator who Lindh help kill. Why is that Pig Fucker Furball?

  25. 27

    Mike Webb SUCKS spews:

    Senator John F. Kerry’s election-eve “botched joke” about the war in Iraq — and the fierce denunciations his comments drew from fellow Democrats — has led him to reevaluate whether to mount a run for the presidency in 2008 and has led him to delay an announcement about his decision, according to Kerry associates.

    The Massachusetts Democrat is now leaning toward waiting until late spring before declaring his intentions, even as other candidates jump into the race and begin building organizing and fund-raising teams in early-primary states. Before the joke derailed his comeback, Kerry had signaled that he would decide whether to run by the end of January.

    Kerry — who had methodically resurrected his political standing after a tough loss to President Bush in 2004 — was stunned by the swift, angry reaction to his Oct. 30 statement that underachieving students would end up “stuck in Iraq.” Aides and friends say the senator was particularly stung by the fact that so many Democrats had joined Republicans in rebuking him.

    The incident laid bare to the senator the lingering skepticism and resentment of him two years after he failed to unseat Bush, according to Kerry advisers who spoke on condition of anonymity.

    MWS Commentary – What a bunch of crap. Kerry and gang spin spin spin. This continuing image of Democrats as elitist snobs that sneer at the military and the men and women that comprise it was continued by Charlie Rangel last week.

    Read it in the Boston Globe friends of Pig Fucker Furball.

    Remember: Bush has an MBA and obviously pursued his education. Bush got slightly better grades than John Kerry did as an undergraduate.

  26. 28

    Janet S spews:

    I would link my references, but you all are too closed minded to go to what is perceived as a right-wing site (Pajamas Media). Of course, the site has a copy of the police report that was filed, and various eyewitness accounts. Please don’t let facts get in the way of your world view.

    Like I said, for the kid in Alaska, it is a win-win. He will be vindicated, and his cause is getting lots of free publicity. The internet is great!

    BTW, Left Foot, you are usually a gracious gentleman, even to those with whom you disagree. Why the foul words and tone?

  27. 29

    Janet S spews:

    So, do you all think Muslims should have their own private room to pray at airports? At schools?

    Are you ready to give the same exclusivity to Jews, Christians, Buddhists, Animists, Wiccans, whoever? That sure will take up a lot of tax-paid public space!

  28. 30

    Roger Rabbit spews:


    “WASHINGTON — U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld told the White House before he resigned last month the Bush administration’s strategy in Iraq was not working and he proposed changes, including possible troop reductions, The New York Times reported Saturday.”

  29. 32

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    “Long accused by Democrats of ignoring their advice on Iraq, Bush in his radio address acknowledged violence there was unsettling for many Americans. ‘Success in Iraq will require leaders in Washington — Republicans and Democrats alike — to come together and find greater consensus on the best path forward. So I will work with leaders in both parties to achieve this goal,’ he said.” 008286/

    Roger Rabbit Commentary: I know what this means … “Do it my way or hit the highway.”

  30. 33

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    27 “Read it in the Boston Globe friends of Pig Fucker Furball.”

    You’re confused — you guys are the pigfuckers. Latest exhibit: Larry Corrigan.

  31. 35

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    16 Congrats, Wright. That is the lamest fucking argument against public schools I’ve ever seen. Anywhere. Anytime. Nobody has EVER said you can’t send your kid to a private school! All we’ve ever said is you’re not entitled to pay for it with public school funds. Universal free public education was the greatest idea to come out of the 19th century. It became the bedrock of America’s economic strength and the century-and-a-half of prosperity that followed.

  32. 36

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    4, 19

    I say let Fred Phelps show up at any Democratic Party gathering of his choosing and find out whether Democrats think he’s a Democrat.

  33. 37

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    25 “Of course Pig Fucker Furball has no comment on what happened to Michael ‘Johnny’ Spann, US Citizen, CIA interrogator who Lindh help kill. Why is that Pig Fucker Furball?”

    How’s that again? Explain how Lindh “helped kill” CIA Agent Spann when Lindh was hiding in a hole? Spann was killed by rioting Taliban prisoners, Lindh had nothing to do with it, you pig fucking liar.

    P.S., you’re confused about who’s fucking pigs. I do cute fluffy female bunnies! You wanna know who fucks pigs, look in a mirror.

  34. 38

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    28 Janet Slut says: I would link my references, but you all are too closed minded to go to what is perceived as a right-wing site (Pajamas Media). 12/02/2006 at 5:29 pm

    The penchant of rightwing blogs for lying, fabricating, photoshopping, and swiftboating might have something to do with that, Janet! We prefer credible sources.

  35. 39

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    29 No. I think Muslims have the same right to pray in public that you do. Try reading the First Amendment sometime.

  36. 41

    me spews:

    From the LA Times

    “In August, former U.S. Solicitor Gen. Kenneth W. Starr and his law firm took up the case free of charge and appealed to the Supreme Court on behalf of the principal and the Juneau school.”

    If Ken Starr is for it then I’m against it.

  37. 42

    Don Joe spews:

    You know, I think everyone should read the actual police report (warning: link is to a .pdf), and see just how much crap the WA Times and the NY Post have cooked up about this. The facts are:

    1) They prayed before they got on the plane;

    2) They expressed an opinion, amongst themselves, about the trial of Saddam Hussein;

    3) One of he Imams traded seats with another passenger so that he could sit next to one of the other Imams;

    4) Some of them asked for seat belt extensions, but didn’t use them right away; and

    5) They spoke to each other in their native language.

    Now, which one of you paranoid wingnuts is going to try to argue that if 6 Armenian, Christian Priests had done all of these things, people would have found it just as suspicious?

  38. 43

    Don Joe spews:


    The funny prart is that, when Phelps shows up at Democratic events now, he protests them. But, he’s still a Democrat. I guess.

  39. 44

    LauraBushKilledAGuy spews:

    I love watching Janet S / AKA Pam Roach trying to justify the fact that she is in fact, against freedom of religion, especially when that religion is any religion other than her own.

    The righties are really showing their colors on this one and it’s just reason 1 of 828,929 that the American people collectively BITCH SLAPPED every republican cock-sucker that lost last November, giving the Dems a net gain in state legislatures of 13, a net gain of six Dem governors, the US House and Senate. How’s that taste Janet S? Get that dirty cock out of your mouth long enough to suck on that bitch!

  40. 45

    Janet S spews:

    I’m always amazed how the arguments against me devolve into sexual attacks. One might think you are all deviants, but I would never accuse you of such.

    So far no one has disputed the fact that US Air, the pilots on board, the flight crew and several passengers have reported that the behavior was not just praying on an airplane. The FBI report is consistent with these accounts. The Imams engaged in provacative behavior. Why? Those truly religious would not want to provoke fear in others, yet these Imams did.

    You all are apologists for those who have a dislike for Western civilization and thought. Do you really think that if we became the nation that Islamists invisioned that you would have any ability to voice the thoughts and views that you do here? Check out how bloggers are dealt with in Iran and Egypt.

    Have a clue – no matter how much you dislike Christians, or think that Evangelicals are out to suppress your freedoms, so far it there is no evidence to support that view. On the other hand, there is ample evidence that Islamists want to impose their religious view on us all. They will do so either through coercion or death to the infidel.

  41. 46

    Janet S spews:

    Hey, I noticed that no one answered my question about giving public space to private prayer for Muslims! Should they get their own designated room, separate from everyone else, and no other religions allowed in?

    Should this also apply to schools? They have their private space in some Seattle schools.

    Wow, what a dilemma! For freedom of religion, but also for separation of church and state.

  42. 47

    Don Joe spews:

    Wow, Janet. Did you even read my comment at 42?

    And thank you for painting me with the same brush as some of the more vulgar denizens of this place. It seems fine distinctions just aren’t your forte.

  43. 48

    Don Joe spews:

    Two questions for MtWR:

    1) What happens to a crane tower in high winds when the boom is in a locked position?

    2) Who is responsible for ensuring that the boom is not in a locked position during high winds.

  44. 49

    Don Joe spews:

    Janet, you so very rarely actually answer my questions, so why should I answer yours–especially when the question you’re asking is based on a profound level of ignorance?

  45. 50

    bill spews:

    Since I answered that two weeks ago, I didn’t think you really wanted an answer, it appeared to be more rhetoric. If and only if the same is accorded to all. Since we can’t afford to do so, then either any prayers should be allowed in public or none, depending on how coercive you want to allow this to be. As a separation of church and state issue, I would think none in schools and any in airports.

    I disagree with your assesment about evangelicals, the push to impose fundamentalist christian views on homosexuality and abortion are identical in nature to fundamentalist islam trying to impose sharia.

    But then I grew up in a time and place where blue laws still were in effect as an effort to legally force membership in christian churches.

  46. 51

    bill spews:

    Further, don’t you think threatening to boycott someone saying ‘happy holidays’ instead of ‘merry christmas’ is a little coercive as well?

  47. 52

    bill spews:

    Putting a cross on the front lawn of the courthouse is not an attempt to force conversion to christianity?

  48. 53

    bill spews:

    A judge putting a ban on a minor child of two wiccans attending wiccan ceremonies in a divorce decree as ‘confusing to the minor’ is not an attempt at restricting freedom?

  49. 54

    bill spews:

    Oh I see, since you were in fact involved in discussions of each of those topic on this board in the past, you meant, no evidence [has been presented] today “that Evangelicals are out to suppress your freedoms”, and feel like you can ignore any evidence presented to you previously, since reality changes when you go to sleep at night.

  50. 55

    Janet S spews:

    Don Joe,
    Yeah, but six Armenian priests didn’t do this, did they?

    None of the actions by itself warrants concern. It is the combination of them that raised suspicion. None of the acts were illegal. That is why they were all released by the FBI. Experienced pilots have agreed that USAir acted correctly, something here was hinky.

    One of the Imams originally claimed to be handcuffed, later he admitted he wasn’t. So was he trying to draw a little publicity in his direction when the incident first happened? And then he realized that eye witnesses weren’t going to support his account?

    You don’t take a seat on in first class unless you have a ticket for the seat. Sorry, I don’t buy the argument that one of the Imams was just joining his buddy. Your statement verifies that at least one of them took a seat that he was not assigned to. No one does this these days. This is a private means of transportation, and you just follow the rules. If you want to be a rebel, don’t fly.

  51. 56

    Don Joe spews:

    “As a separation of church and state issue, I would think none in schools and any in airports.”

    The problem with that idea is that Islam has obligatory prayer five times a day, at which point it becomes an issue involving the free exercise of religion.

  52. 57

    Don Joe spews:

    Janet, you’re avoiding the question, and the question was designed to address just the point you’re making about the combination of actions. The fact that you’re avoiding the question says, quite loudly, that the most significant fact, here, is that these Imams happened to be Muslim. That’s prejudice, no matter how you want to slice or dice it.

    By the way, there is nothing in the police reports about one of the Imams trying to sit in first class without a first class ticket. Someone, somewhere, seems to have made that one up. Read the report. I posted the link that you chose not to.

  53. 58

    Don Joe spews:


    Let’s take this one in more detail:

    “Your statement verifies that at least one of them took a seat that he was not assigned to.”

    Let’s get the fact straight, shall we? The police report says that one of them exchanged seats with another passenger.

    “No one does this these days.”

    Bullshit. I did just that on the last flight I took down to San Jose a few months ago. A couple hadn’t been able to get seats together, and I exchanged mine with one of them so they could sit together. By the way, they were newlyweds on their honeymoon.

    Now, is there anything else you want to make up about this in order to feel better about your anti-Muslim prejudice?

  54. 59

    Janet S spews:

    Bill – putting a burning cross, or any other burning object, on public or private property is a crime.

    You can probably come up with some obscure nutcase Evangelical with threatening death to someone. But the mainstream do not condone violence, and are not in favor of forcible conversion. They work within the confines of our laws and our democracy.

    Islamists, on the other hand, are not committed to our way of life. They are committed to sharia law, and implementing it however possible. I’m not going to do the research for you. The evidence is out there. You choose to ignore it and slander Christians.

    You are truly out of your mind if you think wishing some one Happy Holidays is right up there with beheading the infidel.

  55. 60

    Mike Webb SUCKS spews:

    Don Joe says: Wow, Janet. Did you even read my comment at 42? And thank you for painting me with the same brush as some of the more vulgar denizens of this place. It seems fine distinctions just aren’t your forte. 12/02/2006 at 8:19 pm

    Why. So many factual inaccuracies too funny to enumerate!

  56. 61

    Janet S spews:

    Don Joe, I’m tired of this argument. I’m glad you were such a sweet person that you switched around so a newlywed couple could sit together. I suspect, though, that you did not give up a first class seat so you could seat in the back. The report says that one Imam had a first class ticket, the one sitting next to him did not.

    The pilot saw suspicious activity. I’m glad you are smarter than him and the entire flight crew who did not feel comfortable in this situation. Good for you. You are open minded.

    Are you arguing that because Islam requires prayer five times a day that our society has to accommodate it? I have no problem with providing space for someone. But I don’t agree that the space should be the exclusive use of one religion over all others. Do you?

    I’m trying to answer your questions directly. I’m just not sure what it is I have said that isn’t clear.

  57. 62

    Don Joe spews:


    “The report says that one Imam had a first class ticket, the one sitting next to him did not.”

    Actually, information in the police report says the exchanged seat was in row 9. On most domestic flights, that’s not in first class. Read the police report. Only one is listed as having actually been seated in first class. That’s from the written report of the flight attendant. The only thing I can guess is that, somehow, the request for a first-class upgrade got confused with the non-first class seat exchange.

    Note that I’m not saying that the pilot, or anyone else for that matter, didn’t honestly believe that the behavior was suspicious. I am, however, saying that the suspicion has way more to do with the fact that these guys were Muslim than with anything else that actually happened.

    As for accommodating prayer, I think the only relevant principle is that people should not have to be put out in order to obey the laws of their religion–that is, of course, where those religious laws don’t involve some behavior that’s detrimental to society as a whole (e.g. smoking peyote five times a day isn’t quite in the same class as saying prayers five times a day). Other than that, I don’t know that I really care how accommodations are made.

  58. 63

    Mark The Redneck KENNEDY spews:

    DonJoe 48 – It’s called “weather vaning”. Is there some evidence that it didn’t happen?

  59. 64

    Janet S spews:

    Don Joe – what is apparent is that the facts in this situation are subject to much interpretation. I am very willing to believe what the FBI and flight crew has to say.

    I am all for freedom of religion. But where is the for accommodation?

  60. 65

    Don Joe spews:


    “Weather vaning” is what happens when the boom is not in a locked positioin. I asked what happens when the boom is left in a locked position.


    I’m not sure what you mean by believing the pilots. I specificially said that I don’t think they’re lying, so I’m not sure what your point is.

    As for accommodations, I think there’s a gray area where failing to provide minimal accommodations constitutes a prohibition on the free exercise of religion.

  61. 66

    RightEqualsStupid spews:

    The next time I see some Christian asshole praying on an airplane – I am calling the FBI to report their suspicious, provocative behavior.

  62. 67

    RightEqualsStupid spews:

    By the way Janet / AKA Pam, facts are facts. You can have your own opinion, but not your own facts. And looking for myself, it’s clear you have mis-stated the facts; a certain sign that your argument is bullshit.

    How’s your son doing since you got him out of prison? When can we expect to see him enlist? Or won’t the military take him now that he’s a felon?

  63. 68

    Yer Killin Me spews:

    Here’s a little thought exercise for the HA community.

    Let’s say you’re at an airport. You see six men clustered together in the waiting area for a plane. They have long beards and they’re wearing robes. They appear to be praying in a foreign language. You get on the plane with them. Some of these men request seat extenders. One asks to exchange seats with someone else.

    What do you do? Not what should you do, what do you do?

  64. 69

    Yer Killin Me spews:

    Now let me add one small piece of the puzzle that I deliberately left out of my previous post.

    These men are Orthodox priests — Christians, in other words — and the language they were praying in was Russian.

    Now think about that for a second, especially considering that most people my age were brought up to think that “Commies” — Russians, specifically — were out to destroy America and were used as the justification for actions that admittedly look pretty tame by the standards set during the last six years.

  65. 70

    bill spews:

    Janet, where did I say burning cross? Using the laws to put a religious icon on public property is using the laws to try to force conversion. Hence why it is the same as trying to establish sharia as law, rather than trying to enforce sharia using physical violence.

    You are comparing apples to oranges, I was not comparing these tactics to violent enforcement of sharia, I was comparing them to the tactic of trying to make laws based on sharia, which is what you complained about previously. If you are seeing attempts to make laws based on fundamentalist concepts of right and wrong, there is no difference.