Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Family Travels

I was very apprehensive to leave a little pocket of libertarian heaven that we've created here in New Hampshire. A desire to see my family tore me away. Not willing to submit to anyone commanding me to remove my belt or shoes I felt that holiday travels to my family would be impossible.

Luckily I thought of a solution, the train. Now I cursed the radio when I heard that random TSA style checkpoints were set up at a train stations. Having already bought my ticket I crossed my fingers and hopped aboard. My silent goal of traveling across country without being threatened. Now, near the end of my travels I felt that I have achieved my goal.

Don't get me wrong, coach on a train is not the lap of luxury. The train does take longer, and visits some train stations only at inconvenient hours. However, the seats are bigger, and there is a lounge car; you can stretch your legs.

In fact I am convinced that this is the only way for a libertarian to travel. The food is expensive, but you can bring your own. The ticket says that I must have I.D., but I haven't been asked to show one. In a world of X-ray scanners, I didn't pass through a medal detector. The spontaneous order that libertarians appreciate so much was even on display as everyone was invited to the lounge car to play instruments and sing. Here I am sharing time with humans, being treated as a human. Nice to know that it is still possible. In a world where fliers are treated like livestock, the human spirit can (and will) proceed unhampered.

Alas, this libertarian joy was squashed. It was a morning in Buffalo when I noticed an armed man on the train. He wore a outfit that was a drab green, the color of a tree when sick. He had a patch on his shoulder that said something like border safety officer. I thought it was strange, the train hasn't crossed any borders. There was no national border that I was crossing.

I put it out of my mind because I didn't see him bother anyone. I mainly thought about the waste of money. Come to find out the passenger in front of me was awakened in the middle of the night, and asked if he was an American citizen. I thought about what would happen if that were me. What If I just kept my mouth shut. Would the armed man claim that I was disturbing the peace while he disturbed my peace.

What do these armed men do to people who remain silent?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I have encountered that uniform 4 times never answering directly because I claim no citizenship. One time pretended to sleep and was not disturbed. The other 3 I stated I was an Ohio native. One of those times the officer said "an american citizen" I chose not to disabuse him his fantasy. No comment from the others. I wonder what others may think of my stand.