Some of the people on this site have very short memories. It wasn't to long ago when our elected leaders decided to pass the Patriot Act. This greatly expanded law enforcement powers in who they could arrest, and what they could do when the word terrorism was involved. Take this for an example.
Take the case of Tamera Jo Freeman. Traveling from Los Angeles to Oklahoma City in 2007. Freeman gave each of her children three whacks on the backside when they spilled her airplane Bloody Mary in her lap.
A flight attendant confronted Freeman, who responded by hurling a few profanities and throwing what remained of a can of tomato juice on the floor.
The incident aboard the Frontier flight ultimately led to Freeman's arrest and conviction for a federal felony defined as an act of terrorism under the Patriot Act, the controversial federal law enacted after the 2001 attacks in New York and Washington.
"I had no idea I was breaking the law," said Freeman, 40, who spent three months in jail before pleading guilty.
Worse than that, Freeman lost custody of her children as a result of the conviction. Moreover, she was barred from flying and her probation required her to stay within Oklahoma which effectively prevented her from traveling to Hawaii for a custody hearing.
The severity of the incident was disputed by a witness that happened to also be a defense attorney. The attorney said that initially there was a loud exchange but Freeman calmed down BEFORE she became unruly. The attorney said that he sympathized with Freeman.
There is also the case of Warrantless Wiretapping during the Bush administration where he clearly violated Fisa statues (which is a felony) and spied on Americans communications. Certainly this would be considered a violation of the 4th amendment of the Constitution. What was heard then, as someone in a previous post pointed out was " If you have done nothing wrong you have nothing to worry about" That is as laughable now as it was back then.
My question I guess would have to be: Where were all you great defenders of the Constitution back then? For most of you, you defended these policies not realizing that the sword has two edges. These laws are pernicious in nature and we need to be vigilant and not get caught up in the moment and pass laws that infringe or violate the Constitution.
Mmmm yeah, or maybe there is more to it?
BTW- she pleaded GUILTY to the charges
JOHNSON: A shame that no one intervened earlier
By Bill Johnson, Rocky Mountain News (Contact)
Published July 21, 2007 at midnight
It is impossible to feel sorry for Tamera Jo Freeman.
No, you have to reserve that for her kids, a 2-year-old boy and 4-year-old girl, who for much of the past week have been living with strangers while their mom has sat in jail.
By now you have probably heard the story of how the 38-year-old woman single-handedly turned a San Francisco-to-Denver flight on Monday into a cussing, beating, finger-pointing episode of The Jerry Springer Show.
That it was even allowed to happen still stuns me.
Let us say you are in, oh, the supermarket. You see a woman, clearly drunk, simply smacking the bejeezus out of her 2-year-old boy and 4-year-old daughter.
What do you do?
In Tamera Jo Freeman's case, witnesses who later came forward told of the woman beating her kids even before they got on the plane. She had been drinking in the airport. And when the youngest of her kids bucked at going with her into the bathroom of the San Francisco airport, she slapped him and dropped him on his head.
What would you have done?
On the plane now, the woman, it is alleged, immediately sets in on the kids again, alternately cursing and slapping at them and then neglecting them. They were interfering with her ability to watch a movie. It gets worse.
The toddlers knock over yet another drink their mother had been working on. She starts hammering away at the kids with an open hand. The kids start wailing.
No one does anything.
Yet many, it turns out, had either seen or definitely heard the beatings, witnessed the kids spending most of the flight cowering, scared and crying.
Flight attendant Amy Fleming finally tries to intervene. "Mind your own business," Tamera Jo Freeman allegedly spits, before demanding another drink. Fleming refuses.
The woman then curses Amy Fleming and, amazingly, witnesses said, flings a drink at her. No one does anything.
Here's a part I really don't get. Tamera Jo Fleming allegedly leaves her seat and corners the flight attendant, screaming at her.
Not too long ago, such an act would have gotten you beaten up and handcuffed, or worse.
Two years ago, a half-dozen or so passengers tackled and beat a 37-year-old man who rushed a flight attendant on Southwest Airlines Flight 2161 from Philadelphia to West Palm Beach, Fla., after she asked him to stop bothering others.
Only last month, an off-duty sheriff's deputy had to wrestle and beat a man who went nuts and tried to open a door of a US Airways plane as it began its descent.
Amy Fleming had to ask a corrections officer who happened to be on the plane to sit next to Tamera Jo Fleming, you know, just in case. She also retrieved the plane's duct tape and stood next to the woman in case they had to strap her down.
Tamera Jo Freeman appeared in federal court Friday and was ordered held until Thursday. She is charged with assaulting her children and interfering with a flight crew, according to federal court documents.
The Federal Aviation Administration, in its latest report on the subject, says there have been only 33 reported instances of air rage between Jan. 1 and June 7. This compares with the 131 reported cases last year, light-years behind the 299 reported in 2001.
"We have no idea of the reason behind this trend," said Victoria Day, a spokeswoman for the Air Transport Association, an airline industry group, and none too willing to discuss the subject.
It could be post-9/11 hangover, the knowledge that fellow passengers will not now sit idly by when a flight crew comes under attack, says Diana Fairechild, an authority on air travel, health and safety who runs flyana.com, a Web site for those taking to the air.
She has read of Tamera Jo Freeman's case, and takes a different view: The woman, she says, may be a victim in all of this.
"This happens because people are herded in long lines onto planes, are treated like cargo in seats smaller than those on subways, with no food, no liquids and little, badly contaminated air," she said.
Well, she did apparently have liquids.
"It sounds to me," Diana Fairechild said, "like she just flipped. Every day, all over the country, ordinary people are cracking. I feel sorry for her. She's in trouble."
The reason no one intervened is likely because no one viewed her as a terrorist, she said. With a man, the outcome probably would have been different.
"For her, it was a good thing," Diana Fairechild said.
I still say nine out of 10 people would have held her down for the cops had Tamera Jo Freeman done the same thing to her kids on, say, the 16th Street Mall. We owe it not to her, but to the children.
"We can't know for certain," Diana Fairechild said, "what was actually going on in that space, at that exact moment. Most people have a sense of when to get involved. She was just a berserk passenger."
It is still a shame.
You can tell a story many ways.......... Becasue she did not try to open the door does not mean they knew she would not or what esle a drunk crazy person could do. Now I guess if she was not DRUNK and BEATING her kids, and Assulting the crew this would be a lot like getting stopped for having a bumper sticker on her car :rolleyes:
I'm confused... are YOU saying that you think that stopping an american conservative is the same as stopping a known muslim jihadist? Or are you saying that JDogger thinks they are both examples of "justified profiling?"
Anyway, thanks for the clarification.
I personally think that JDogger DOES think both are fine.
In my opinion not linked to whatever poorly conceived notions JD has, the MAJOR difference is one (conservatives) has opinions of the country he loves, and the other (radical-extremist-jihadists) takes action against a country and people he hates.
I think even JD could agree with that, and maybe even be convinced that stopping a car over a historic Americana flag is interpreting the meaning of that flag and for what it stands for then and now, is unreasonable?
I do however stick to my original premise, as most here agree that, an expansion of laws by the government with a total disregard to the tenets and values of the Constitution are an evil and pernicious undertaken.
Is no one but me a little disturbed that anyone could be ignorant of the image in question?
Ignorance plus overzealous profiling, no matter what administration is in charge, is a pretty poor combination.
That said, the groundwork has been laid by the executive, legislative, and judicial branches both liberal and conservative over the extent of my own personal political consciousness, and surely for some time before it.
The blame game has little sway on this one, unless we are willing to point the finger at ourselves, whichever left or right persuasion we lean towards.
All the indignation here rings a bit hollow, frankly. It's our own darn fault.