Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Union Station Again

I want to thank everyone who wrote in to comment on yesterday's post re: the police and Union Station. I received more comments on that entry than any other I've done.

I guess it touched a nerve.

Those of us who came of age in the mid- to- late 1960's may have felt a sense of deja vu- I know I did as it was unfolding. But to those readers who grew up before or after events during the misnamed "hippy era", perhaps all of the behavior described, mine included, may have seemed a tiny bit extreme.

Unfortunately, all of us in this post 9/11 world have to remember that heightened paranoia is merely another security tool these days. As inconvenient or humiliating as it may be, the times serve to justify this kind of behavior. Or so I was told yesterday, and perhaps it is so.

Anyway, thanks again- it's always nice to know someone's out there reading.


Anonymous said...

I've been thinking a lot about this since I read your post yesterday, and I think one of the things that bothers me the most is the fact that so many people hear a story like this and think, "Well, this is the post 9/11 world we live in." The thing is, though (and the fact that this took place at a train station is just sort of cruel irony), there is absolutely no security whatsoever on Amtrak. No one checks your ID, no one scans your suitcase, no one even looks in your handbag. Anyone could just walk onto one of those NE corridor trains and blow something up at any time. But instead of implementing any security measures that might serve to track or prevent this sort of thing from happening, cops at the station are taking people to task for taking pictures of freight trains. Why? I mean, was the thought that you were taking pictures of the trains so you could go back to your terrorist friends and figure out how to hop on a moving freight train, like a hobo, and hitch a ride from D.C. to Richmond? Yeah, what a threat. I mean, yes, I'm being sarcastic, but in the grand scheme of things someone taking pictures of a freight train is pretty small potatoes. Plus it's a frigging digital camera. Don't want someone to have the pictures? DELETE THEM.

Okay my rant is done. But I had to get those things off my chest.

Bret Littlehales said...

As you know, I'm on the fence about safety measures. I kind of feel that by causing the authorities to impose these things on us, the terrorists have already won in some small measure. I resent having to remove my shoes in the airport, for instance.

The other thing was I hadn't actually taken any pictures of trains (which you can see or photograph easily on the Metro as you ride to Union Station.) But they were truly not interested in that. I had simply violated the asshole rule when I didn't grovel to the Amtrak employee.

When it was apparent that I was "clean", the show was over. Oddly enough, if I'd had a ticket and needed to board a train, I would have missed it. But, since I had a lot of time, no harm done. Good blog material.

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