Thursday, October 11, 2007

Unpublished letter to the editor

Dear Editor:

In the article, "Once again, Southwest tells a flier to change" (The Dispatch, Saturday October 6, 2007), Joe Winiecki of Largo, Florida cried foul when Southwest Airlines denied him a seat on one of their planes until he changed his offensive T-shirt. Winiecki "argued that the airline was violating his free speech" when they denied him a seat. Southwest has agreed to apologize.

So, now we have individuals demanding rights that do not exist, and property owners meekly acquiescing to those demands. What a sad state of affairs.

Winiecki, no such right exists. The right to free speech does no mean that I can say my fill on your property, so it follows that you cannot express what you choose on someone else's property: Southwest Airlines in this instance. Winiecki asks, “Who’s to say what's offensive and what's not?" The property owner has that right, absolutely.

The rights that founded this nation are protections from government, yet we continue to allow those rights to be misconstrued to mean the exact opposite. Now we allow government to abrogate our rights while we demand nonexistent rights over other's property. Shame on Winiecki and others who demand that which is not theirs. Shame on an education system that continually teaches and promotes such nonsense.

To Southwest: No apology is warranted. In fact, I would be upset having to sit on a plane with Winiecki and his perverse T-shirt. Moreover, I am now less likely to fly on your planes since you are unwilling to keep them clean.

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