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Talk:United States of America/Respect and Warnings

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We have had some activity in the past few days where warnings and modifications to the United States of America about entry into this country and the dangers involved with starting political discussions with the TSA security/CBP at airports. I believe that talking about the issue here is much better then edit wars. The question is do we need a warning or mention of the dangers of discussing politics with security people upon entry to the USA? In my mind it may be useful and needed. Recient changes being made to the laws of the United States makes this more then just a danger of being detained and now there is the chance someone could be taken away and all their rights to a court hearing taken away. So, do we need a warning? If so, how should it be worded? We have to remember our goal is to help the traveler and not make a political statement. -- Tom Holland (xltel) 11:24, 7 October 2006 (EDT)

I think some type of warning is pretty important. It would be negligent to omit. I'm not sure what the argument would be against some time of warning.. I think something along the lines of "Be mindful that aiport security is probably not the best venue for discussing politics..." and then some specifics about how Civil Liberties are a little "different" in airports. Maj 12:02, 7 October 2006 (EDT)
An argument against it is that it's not terribly specific to the US. It isn't incredibly bright to say, "These restrictions are idiotic, why can't I buy Bailey's at duty free any more, I'm not going to use it blow up the plane," when you're in line at Heathrow. Anyway, I'm not terribly opposed to a (short) sentence in the "Get In" section telling people something like, "It's best not to discuss politics with airport security; they may overreact." Just don't over-do it. -- Jonboy 12:47, 7 October 2006 (EDT)
I don't see a real need for such a warning, for the reasons that Jonboy cites, but OTOH, it wouldn't hurt to have one if it's well crafted. The problem is that the previous "attempts" at such a thing (I'm being generous here) were not well crafted. Maybe someone could research (at a lay level) the court cases dealing with "yelling 'Fire!' in a crowded theater," to take the standard example of a situation in which absolute freedom of speech doesn't apply (in the US or anywhere else). An analogy between that and the border situation could then provide some small value. Maybe. -- Bill-on-the-Hill 13:18, 7 October 2006 (EDT)
We do not need any type of warning box because the issues are so universal anyone already knows not to say "I want to kill (nationality inserted)" upon arrival into any country. Dan (If that's his real name) knows this and he has some tired beef with the U.S. and instead of contacting Senator Voinovich [1] and express his concerns in a civil manner he's decided to take U.S. foreign policy out on Wikitravel. Let's consider that Dan in the past has created ridiculous warning boxes to state "America is fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan" (I know, that's somewhat tamer than he's put it). There's no need for that type of warning box, because, well... everyone in the world knows about the wars! Secondly, try flying into any country and say "Kim Jong Il and Osama bin Laden you are heros!" In Sudan or North Korea that may go somewhat unnoticed but in the rest of the world both people are viewed as threats to the current political structure and stability of many nations so you will be interrogated. I don't know what the U.S. Border Control would do if someone yelled that at JFK airport, but I'd imagine that it would require sitting in a bland, windowless room for six hours before Sparky, the security agent came in with two rubber gloves on. You'd receive the same warm welcome any where else in the world so if we're give in to outrageous politically driven vandalism let's be sure to slap any similar warning box to the top of the United Kingdom, Venezuela, Iraq, China, Russia, and North Korea articles. -- Sapphire 13:56, 7 October 2006 (EDT)

I think this all sounds pretty hypothetical: I've never been asked about my politics at any border anywhere. When coming to the US, the INS is interested in one thing only: are you going to become an illegal alien, or do you have a legitimate reason to be there? Their questions are directed solely at this end, and terrorism has nothing to do with it. Jpatokal 22:17, 7 October 2006 (EDT)

What is being discussed is there a need to a warn someone entering the USA about making comments to the TSA agent such as "Do you think the US is correct to be in Iraq and killing all the people there?" or "Do you think it is good for people to own guns?" or "I love Osama!" and the likely results of such comments such as being detained, fined, being labeled as a terrorist or the additional new danger with recent US law being passed where the right to writ of habeas corpus has been suspended as part of the war on terror. I believe the anon Wikitraveler(s) that were posting warnings were concerned about an elderly lady that was detained due to commnets made to a security agent and they were likely only interested in making a political statement. But, do to edit wars the page was protected for a period and I felt that we should discuss the issue. Thanks, we would be interested in your additional comments. -- Tom Holland (xltel) 09:50, 8 October 2006 (EDT)
Yes, I saw the edit war and the discussion above, and I still think this is entirely hypothetical. First of all, there are two things being confused here: when you enter the US, you're questioned by CBP, not TSA. During this entry examination, you are being questioned by the agent, not the other way around; you're going to have issues if you talk back or do anything other than answer their questions in any country, not just the US. And, as stated, they're not there to screen for terrorists (it's a bit late for that!), they're concerned about illegal immigration.
Now, any elderly ladies making political statements were most probably dealing with the TSA goons who inspect your carryons when flying out of an airport, not in. Any warnings related to this belong in "Get around", not "Get in". Jpatokal 10:41, 8 October 2006 (EDT)
Thank you for the input. The TSA thing was my fault as I fly mostly domestic in the US. Thank you for clearing that. -- Tom Holland (xltel) 11:37, 8 October 2006 (EDT)
I feel very strongly feel that no warnings are needed in any section because of the universality of the problem. Tom are you referring to the PATRIOT Act? The PATRIOT Act has very little to do about fools at the airport. It's more concerned with obtaining records easier through the court created by the FISA Act in the '70s. Anyhow, these types of warnings do not have any place within individual country articles because of its universality. The only article that I would support having the information in is Tips for flying, but the information is already provided there:
From Tips for flying
Don't make jokes about bombs, weapons, or other security threats. There is no room for humor on this topic; rather than relying on their individual subjective judgment, security personnel are required to take any such joke as a serious statement. You will be checked more thoroughly, or even escorted off the premises in some cases. -- Sapphire 13:51, 8 October 2006 (EDT)
I was just trying to start a place where "reasonable" discussion can be had for all parties. To be honest I don't really care if there is a warning or not. I am not sure I understand your question about the PATRIOT Act, I have not refered to it, just the genenal issue at hand. If there is something that appears like I was refering to it, then I will clearly say I was not. If I have mis-stated the issue or issues then I am also sorry about that. I was hoping to get the discussion going and back out. There seems to have been a lot of tension that has been generated by this issue and it also appears the party or parties that stated the whole thing have not put in their comments as I was hoping they would. The only reason I started this page is because there was an implication I was in an "out of control" edit war and I just wanted to try and help with a solution and not be part of the problem. It looks like by creating this page all I have done is add fuel to a fire and made it worse. I can see you have very stong feelings about this. All I can say, is if I upset you by starting this page, then I am sorry. -- Tom Holland (xltel) 15:15, 8 October 2006 (EDT)