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Core Principles

By - November 25, 2005

200511251031This is not really search related, but…in a broader sense, in fact it is. Read this link. What do you think? If you think the woman should have to show ID when some low level bozo cop boards the bus, then prepare to have your entire clickstream similarly demanded, on equally flimsy pretense. Scary. I hope she wins.

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22 thoughts on “Core Principles

  1. ZF says:

    Follow the link to discover that it’s not a normal public bus, it’s route takes it through a Federal government facility guarded by a security gate, she was given every opportunity to continue using it until she both admitted she had ID and was refusing to show it, and she made herself obnoxious by continuing to talk on her cellphone while dealing with the security guards. She was actually begging to be either taken off the bus or arrested.

    What kind of partrician disdain, btw, requires a Federal security guard attempting to do his duty to be a ‘low level bozo cop’? This sort of hauteur has a pedigree going directly back to Marie Antoinette. Can you suggest some other way for the guards to have handled this which would not have left the Federal facility with no security at all? You might feel that the workers at that facility deserve no security protection, but should that be her call, or yours?

  2. Fishbane says:

    Can you suggest some other way for the guards to have handled this which would not have left the Federal facility with no security at all?

    Do you care to describe in what way, exactly, demanding an ID flips the scale from “no security at all” to (presumably) “secure enough”?

    Your Papers, Please doesn’t enhance security. It enhances control. Many people confuse the two.

  3. From that link: The bus she rides crosses the property of the Denver Federal Center, a collection of government offices such as the Veterans Administration, the U.S. Geological Survey, and part of the National Archives. The Denver Federal Center is not a high security area: it’s not Area 51 or NORAD.

    So what’s next? Every time I ride my bike past city hall, I have to show my ID? Every time I search for “city hall”, my searches are recorded and reviewed by some federal official? This is not the way to better security. It is, however, the way to a security state.

  4. curious says:

    Google runs shuttle buses from SF to the Googleplex everday as a service to its employees making tht commute. Does it require its employees to show a Google employee badge or some other identification before entering the bus?

  5. Andi says:

    I know you don’t want to hear this and will accuse me of fear-mongering but how about a dose of reality: we are at war. War is about killing people when they least expect it–especially this war.

    Americans are murdered for being Americans, must this happen more often on our soil before it is understood?

    Yes curious BTW, I would think that terrorists consider the Googleplex (and its bus full of Googlers) as juicy a target as the Twin Towers. Look around you, are you sitting on a target?

    Complacency, denial and ignorance gave us 9/11. These will probably also give us our next mass murder of Americans. And the next (worse) incarnation of the Patriot Act will surely follow.

    An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Still true.

  6. Matt Baldwin says:

    We betray the founding principles of this nation when you, Andi, urge us to give up just another freedom. Citizens are not suspects. This country is moving closer to a police state. At what point are all search engines required to submit my queries to a national “do not query” database where I get tagged and flagged for a knock the next week by a federal worker? When I read statements like yours, I’m reminded of the following in terms of each of my freedoms being taken away,

    First they came for the Jews
    and I did not speak out
    because I was not a Jew.
    Then they came for the Communists
    and I did not speak out
    because I was not a Communist.
    Then they came for the trade unionists
    and I did not speak out
    because I was not a trade unionist.
    Then they came for me
    and there was no one left
    to speak out for me.

    –Pastor Martin Niemöller

    I applaud the ACLU for coming to her defense and speaking out for her violation of freedom.


  7. domain says:


    the Denver Federal Center is not a high security area!
    and so i think this is no problem.

  8. Andi says:

    Matt, as a Jew and as an American I resent your characterization of the current situation as a Nazi purge. Your invocation of Hitler is reckless and insulting. Your tactic is underhanded and dangerous, the ACLU is anti-American and they would like to see our nation weakened.

  9. Show “ID” is a very broad request.

    No one appeared concern about the Validity of that ID that is being shown.

    Perhaps there could be a Warning Sign displayed for prospective passengers, who would find it objectionable, to pursue options.

    But if this goes to the Supreme Court – it will be interesting to see how the NEWEST Justices vote. 😕

  10. American identification cards are so inconsistent and are so easy to fake that it cannot possibly serve any legitimate national security interest to check them in this fashion. (This goes for ID checks at airports as well. Number of terrorist attacks foiled by ID checks at airports throughout history: zero.) The only reason why these checks are being done is for propaganda, to make people think that the government is doing something and to remind people that there are terrible people in this world who will blow us all up if we let our guard down for one second.

    If we were serious about using personal identification to fight terrorism we’d have some kind of national identity card (just like nearly every other country in the world does). But right wing conspiracy nuts — the same ones who we’re supposed to trust to protect us from the bad guys — shriek like little girls anytime anyone suggests this.

  11. ZF says:

    I’m all for improving real security in ways which incorporate and communicate respect, but the proper route, the constitutional route for doing so passes through Congress. That’s the way you change the rules in a country of laws.

    Vilifying security staff for doing their jobs is an unhelpful, self-indulgent, 1960’s-style elitist cop-out.

  12. Agree with Jeff McManus on the need for a capable, national ID card. But my oh my how haughty-taughty everyone gets around this topic! The reality is we have local, state and federal elections to ensure the people are represented by those they see fit to do so, THEN, those people enact laws (to protect us from terrorists in this case) and we all live by those laws. If we don’t like the laws we vote for people who we’re confident will change them.

    Neither the ACLU nor the Supreme Court should be involved, IMO. The law already exists, so focus your efforts there if you have a problem with it.

    One of my pet peeves is people who don’t care enough to vote for legislation that suits them, or who having lost an election aren’t willing to be good citizens and support our elected officials and provide constructive criticism.

  13. in France , Belgium and few other places in Europe, you have to show your ID card on demand, if the cops request it.

    i dont see a problem with that. i really dont. I mean, Belgium hasnt exactly turned into a proto-fascist state just because you have to carry your ID card around.

  14. can_I_search_that_engine? says:

    We all can (and should) go back and forth on the merits of incrementally stepping up state control over previously assumed rights, driven by a heightened state of security. However, IMHO, this is the kind of “slippery slope risk” to human rights that needs to be vetted through open protest and debate. Exposure of these situations bring clarity and visibility to things that should not be left to misinterpretation. Claiming this to be an illegitimate argument misses the point and does nobody a service.

    You can be on one side or the other, but to suggest we suppress the debate is the most dangerous and repressive thing I can think of.

  15. Markus says:

    Jeffrey says: “American identification cards are so inconsistent and are so easy to fake that it cannot possibly serve any legitimate national security interest to check them in this fashion.”

    we in germany hear every time that the americans are hyper sensitive in aspect with security. and every 2nd word is … “you can fake it easy” … but why can you fake all so easy? what is secure today, if i read the comments?


  16. Andi says:

    Security will continually relax until a serious breach causes an over-reaction, the history of security is always written in blood or lost treasure. The old ‘horse out of the barn’ cliché.

    Unfortunately this is human nature it has been repeated many times in many places and will always be the case, especially when a generation passes between catastrophes.

    But remember this: Every war in American history (save the Gulf War, 1991) has seen a curtailment of rights greater than we have now and **freedom has always recovered.**

    Americans fight for freedom, it’s what we do damnit! opps, I mean darnit.

  17. oldfox says:

    Of course she has to show her pass, which is her receipt for the service. If people won’t show their ticket when asked then they have no right to ride. Isn’t that obvious?

  18. Bozo the Cop says:

    Hey you! No ticket–no ride. Get off the bus. Every one else has a ticket and you don’t. Off the bus lady.

  19. Greg Andrew says:

    Andi, as a Jew and as an American and a person of reason, I deeply resent your characterization of Matt’s post as a comparison with “a Nazi purge.” No one who reads Matt’s post could possibly interpret it that way, so I assume you must have some other motive for your attack on him. Matt did not “involve Hitler” – he did not even mention Hitler. Your implication that he did is is reckless and insulting. and the tactics of your post are underhanded and dangerous. Niemöller’s words are, of course, not about the Jews and aren’t even meant to imply just the Holocause; they are about every nation in every time where men have stood by and let others be the victims of tyranny. The quotation has been justifiably used in many different situations, and few of those situations resemble Europe under the Nazis. Those who threaten liberty are only rarely Nazi-like, and some even have good intentions in their own way, but that does not mean that our liberty is not threatened and that we are not on the very same path that Niemöller described. You may not realize it, but you are clearly anti-American and would like to see our nation weakened by the removal of the very liberties that make America the great country that it is. I for one will fight for America against people like you who , knowingly or not, seek to sabotage this country by using threats from the rest of the world as an excuse to destroy what this country is all about.

  20. Andi says:

    Greg, it was cute to parrot my post that way but your thinking represents the worst kind of polarization.

    Niemöller WAS a Nazi and supported Hitler.

  21. aaron wall says:

    >Niemöller WAS a Nazi and supported Hitler

    Is that why he was held in concentration camps?

  22. Andi says:

    >>>Is that why he was held in concentration camps?

    No, dropped his support for Hitler early in the regime. But you are proving my point.

    Greg Andrew asserted that I was the first to invoke Hitler, but no I was not. Matt Baldwin quoted Niemöller in an effort to paint me as as Nazi.

    I am well schooled in history and American history in particular, I am an American and will fight to the death to protect our freedoms. If you have a problem with that I do doubt your loyalties.

    I was born into a family of Democrats and voted for Clinton and Gore. Most of my positions are left of center, pro choice, pro stem cell research, pro gay marriage, pro evolution, and on and on. But the Democratic party is no longer allowing dissent in their ranks and are throwing their lot in with those who would appease the Islamofascists. To hell with them.

    Do you recall Godwin’s Law?