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Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The paranoid state - we don't even listen anymore

I am not taking a side in the merits of this case (h/t Bashman), and I wouldn't recommend reading too much of the case beyond the first two pages, as it is one of those 90% legal procedure - 10% susbstance. What is interesting is the facts recited:

According to [the plaintiff's] complaint, [the plaintiff] phoned Southwest Airlines in the spring of 2002 to buy tickets to fly to Nebraska to visit his family. At the end of the call, after [he] had provided Southwest with his name and contact information, the airline representative asked Tooley if he had any “comments,questions, or suggestions.” ... [He] responded that, in the wake of the September 11 attacks, Southwest should screen 100 percent of “everything,” and that without “proper security” [he] and other members of the traveling public were “less safe due to the potential that those who wish to harm American citizens could put a bomb on a plane.” ... The Southwest representative responded with alarm and declared “you said the ‘b’ word, you said the ‘b’ word.” ... [He] attempted to explain to the representative that she had not understood him correctly, but she nevertheless placed him on hold. After 20 minutes, T[he] finally hung up.

[He] claims that ..., more than a year after the call to Southwest, he began to notice problematic phone connections, including “telltale” intermittent clicking noises. Compl. ... He alleges, “[u]pon information and belief,” that his telephone problems were caused by illegal wiretaps placed on his residential landline phone, his landline phone at his former residence, his cellular phone, his wife’s cellular phone, the phones of his father, brother, sister, and inlaws, and his family’s phone in Lincoln, Nebraska, where relatives from “France made calls from France to the home, where Mr. Tooley was visiting his mother for the week.” ... [He] claims that these alleged wiretaps were placed in response to the comments he had made to Southwest’s representative.

Whether he will ever be able to prove the truth of these allegations is interesting, as he faces an uphill battle, but I have to commend him for doing this all himself (my reading of the case leads me to believe that he is representing himself). What is disturbing for me is how we are conditioned to react to certain code-words without even listening to the context in which they were uttered.

Posted by Moin A Yahya on February 24, 2009 | Permalink


Nonsense. Pure and utter nonsense.

Posted by: Zebulon Pike | 2009-02-24 11:25:34 AM

I hear clicking noises on my work phone all the time. So far no visits from Burnaby's finest.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-02-24 12:55:44 PM

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