Now it’s the no-fly lists

For the past year, our ruling class has used all tools at its disposal to erode our liberties.  They have censored our speech, restricted commerce, and denied us assembly (both religious and political).  Now the corporate boardroom wing of the ruling class is attacking our ability to travel freely about the country.

Last week, fellow passengers confronted Mitt Romney at the Salt Lake City airport.  They didn’t assault him.  They didn’t threaten him.  They did ask a lot of very uncomfortable questions.  Some may have even called him names (the horror!). 

Delta Airlines has responded to this unacceptable expression of free speech by placing these passengers on their no-fly list.  Don’t think this is an isolated case.  The FBI is still deliberating placing January 6 protesters on the national no-fly list.  Remember the schoolyard taunt, “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can get my airline privileges cancelled.”  Or something like that.

No-fly lists (and there are more than one of them) were created to keep people deemed too dangerous, from traveling on airliners.  These lists were intended to keep people from flying airplanes into buildings, not to keep people from being rude during air travel.  If rudeness is the new standard, I’ve got a few flight attendants I’d like added to the list.

Prior to 9/11, the national no-fly list contained 16 people.  Current estimates are that it may contain as many as 47,000 people.  From an interview that Delta Airlines CEO Ed Bastian did with Reuters, it seems that airlines are also maintaining their own private no-fly lists.  With no oversight, and no means of appeal, one can only imagine how many people may be on these private lists.  Is it unreasonable to suspect that all of these lists, government and private, are morphing into lists of unfavored Americans?  Apparently confronting a politician at an airport can get an American placed on one of these lists.  Attending a political rally can as well.  What else might be used as justification to put citizens on a no-fly list?

Who at the ACLU or among our political ruling class are challenging this?  Where is Mitt Romney during this brouhaha?  Shouldn’t a principled U.S. senator make a statement about it?  He could just turn to one of those reporters he keeps in tow and say something like, “Those are my constituents and they have a constitutionally protected right to confront me.  I’ll be speaking to the airlines, the FAA, and the Department of Homeland Security to get to the bottom of this.”  That would be so easy to do -- if freedom of speech is one of his guiding principles.

This constant assault on our inalienable rights has to stop.  They are God-given rights because they come from a yearning of our hearts.  They cannot be regulated away, and there is a limit to what Americans will tolerate -- so knock it off!

John Green is a political refugee from Minnesota, now residing in Star, Idaho. He is a retired engineer with over 40 years of experience in the areas of product development, quality assurance, organizational development, and corporate strategic planning. He can be reached at

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