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SubTalk: HBLR railfanning => police action. An attempt at a comprehensive reply (700964)

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HBLR railfanning => police action. An attempt at a comprehensive reply

Posted by Stefan on Mon May 3 01:39:38 2004, in response to HBLR railfanning => police action. Personal impressions,
posted by Stefan on Sat May 1 19:14:06 2004.

Thanks much for all your responses! At the very least, it's really nice to see that
people do care. That said, a special word of thanks to those who reminded me the
hardcore UNIXer that CF cards use the FAT filesystem! On the offchance that my new
uniformed acquaintances read this forum, I am taking the Fifth on the question of
precisely what use I have made of that reminder .... ;-)

Chris R27-R30:

What makes you think things would be different if Bush wasn't president?

The fact that I believe his, and/or his aides', personal stance contributes to the
measures whose effect I just felt upon myself, whose only purpose, to my deep
conviction, is to brainwash the people into feeling cared about, and which will have
zero to negative effect as far as preventing terrorism goes.

I certainly may be wrong with my beliefs.

And why are you complaining after you meekly agreed to erase your photos without
offering any kind of resistance? I'm getting sick and tired of all this whining.

If there's anything I didn't do here, that's whining.

I felt the need to share the story with others, so that (i) they know about it
and be more careful themselves, (ii) whatever minuscule contribution to the public
opinion against such police behavior I could make, I wanted to make it.


Yes, I am fully aware that by behaving the way I did I effectively encouraged them to do
this again in the future, and I do feel sorry about it. Unfortunately, as I mentioned, I
am a busy person, and besides I wouldn't enjoy the prospect of the FBI talking to my employer
(to begin with). I chose what I considered to be the lesser evil, and now that I have
been reminded about FAT, I will do it again in 10 cases out of 10. I know this is
egoistic. Too bad.


Do you speak with a foreign accent?

A slight one but yes.

And you weren't asked about your immigration status?

Of course I was (including when my green card expires, and what I would have to do if I
wanted to become a citizen - basic fool tests, the way I heard it).

And I always carry a spare CF card :-)


So this whole permit charade (like the vast majority of the other "security" measures
enacted since 9/11) provide little, if any - make that NO - security benefit while
infringing, in some cases markedly so (i.e. indefinite detainment), on the fundamental
rights of law-abiding citizens and visitors to this country. The only reason they're
done is because they're visible and public measures, and to a citizenry of sheeple who
don't bother to think too deeply about these issues (what would Jefferson say about
that?), it makes them feel "safer."

Could I have put it better myself?..
Perhaps just augment 'feel "safer"' with the intrinsic 'and vote for them'.

If I, for one, didn't like this country, I wouldn't be here. And so I'd love to see this
country act in a reasonable manner.
Granted, people may and will have differing opinions on what's "reasonable" and what's
not. In my opinion, launching an investigation on a railfan in a situation like mine
doesn't qualify as reasonable.

John J. Blair:

Yeah, There has to be a balance. Smart police interviey people and get to know the
"regulars" This rapport pays off by giving the officer many sets of eyes and ears. I
have NO QUARREL with an officer who asks questions.

Same here.
If all there was to this story was questions asked, images reviewed, case closed, - none
of my negative sentiments would have been expressed.
My friend and I have cooperated anyway (and we did get a "Thank you for your
cooperation" at the end of the conversation). But by coercing us to delete the pictures,
I claim that the powers-that-be have overplayed it big time. Which I didn't like at all.

Bad guys go to jail, wiseasses go thru hell and honest railfans get my cell

Guess what - the officed DID give us his number at the end. Perhaps I should have
mentioned this.


And even in Communist Soviet Union it was perfectally legal to take a picture of the

Ray De Groote, whom a few here probably know, visited my native town of Kiev in 1959.
(The following is what he himself told me.) He took a picture of a tram, and was
approached by a police (i.e., militia) officer. As it turned out, the problem was that
the railway station building got into the picture. "I'm sorry, - he said, - I didn't
know. But is taking pictures of trams per se OK?" - "Yes, it is."


Sorry to say it fellas but photography of buses and subways has been ILLEGAL since 9-11.
NYPD, who was a poster here is in the NYPD Police Academy and has brought up the
question of photography in the Transit System. According to his instructors, fellow
Police Officers, they stated that since 9-11, photography in the NYC Subway, Bus and
Rail Systems has been ILLEGAL and a summons can be issued to any violators. The proof
that this law has been actually updated is unknown and has to be looked up at the 1st
possible free chance.

Now that's complete news to me.
I don't know about NJT (and will still try to find out), but I have read the actual NYCT
regulations - well after Sep 11 - and it is specifically stated here that photography in
the subway IS allowed, as long as you don't use flashes, tripods, blah blah.

All the more, how can photography of buses be prohibited, if virtually any bus anywhere
can be photographed while standing on public property??


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