In the Land of the Free, We Fight Terrorism

Discussion in 'Darkroom Developing and Printing' started by Jerome Bibuld, Oct 9, 2003.

  1. Dear Relatives, Friends and Associates in the World of Chess:

    Heil Dubya!

    Today is 8 October and I must appear in court on 15 October, so I am sending a
    reminder to everyone in my AOL "Address Book", except the three persons who
    were disturbed at the "impertinence" of my original message. I also am posting
    this "letter" to a number of usenet bbses that I frequent. My purpose in this
    is simple. In more than five decades of "questioning authority", I've found
    that "authority" respects the "questioner" much more if (s)he has backing from
    others. At one time, I was surprised by the influence that a few friendly
    witnesses in court had on their "honors", the "justices". Now, I rely on it,
    if I can.

    When I was in the sixth grade, I had a teacher, Mrs. Wilson, who used to tell
    us how wonderful it was to live in the United States. Her favorite reason was
    that, while people had to carry identification at all times in other countries,
    we could walk the streets with no identification at all and, as long as we were
    peaceful, we were safe from governmental interference. Oh, well, tempus fugit.

    Infringement of Human Rights and

    False Arrest in Grand Central Station

    On Wednesday morning, 10 September, I went to New York, as I do almost every
    Wednesday, to coach S. S., a dear friend, in chess. This is one of the small
    pleasures of my life, particularly because my friend is 97 years old and keeps
    alive in me the hope that I shall be as vital as she, if and when I reach my
    98th year.

    I planned to stop in Mount Vernon, on my way back, to visit another friend, so
    I purchased three tickets at the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) station
    in White Plains, where I live: one from White Plains to Grand Central Terminal;
    one from Grand Central Terminal to Mount Vernon; and one from Mount Vernon to
    White Plains. The charges were $4.00 for the first ticket, $3.50 for the
    second ticket and $1.00 for the third ticket. (I am 75 years old, so pay
    reduced fares, as a “senior citizenâ€.)

    As often is the case, I enjoyed myself so much at the home of S. S. that I left
    it much later than originally intended. I called my Mount Vernon friend, who
    found a late visit inconvenient, so we cancelled our appointment and arranged
    another date and time to meet. As the saying goes, “No problem.â€

    When I arrived at Grand Central Station, of course, I went to the ticket office
    to exchange my two tickets (GCT to MV and MV to W, as they were designated on
    the tickets) for a single ride to White Plains – and a fifty cent refund.
    There, the clerk asked me for identification.

    “Why?†I asked. “Where is it written?â€

    I don’t remember the exact response, but I do remember that my questions were
    not answered. Instead, I was ordered to provide identification, if I wanted to
    exchange my two tickets for one ticket and a fifty cent refund. Those were the
    regulations, I was told, and they didn’t have to show me where it was

    I refused to provide the ordered identification.

    The clerk told me to move on, if I wouldn’t show identification. I refused
    to do this, too, so we were at a brief impasse. This didn’t last long,
    because the clerk left her window to get a supervisor, who, when he arrived,
    supported the clerk’s position that identification was required, because
    those were the regulations: no identification, no exchange of tickets and no
    refund. (He also ignored the question about “where was it written.â€)

    I refused again, so the supervisor repeated the injunction of the clerk: move
    on. When I stood my ground at the ticket window, he summoned the MTA police.
    I am of average size (five feet nine inches and 185 pounds), so only four
    members of the force showed up. They wore badge numbers 2273, 2337, 2461 and

    They tried to “reason†with me. Essentially, their points were that it
    wasn’t worth my trouble to refuse to show identification over a fifty cent
    refund; that, were I to be arrested, it would be a terrible inconvenience for
    me and that I would be put in jail, probably overnight, with felons and other
    miscreants. (The former was their word, but I supply the latter.) Why not be
    a good boy (None of them was old enough to be, normally, my child; I believe
    all could have been my grandchildren.), show the identification and go home to
    White Plains. I think they did achieve one goal; they got me away from the
    ticket window.

    After a brief discussion, we went our separate ways and I returned to the
    ticket window where the quiet scene of five to ten minutes earlier was
    repeated. This time, when the MTA police were called, only two showed up.
    Apparently, they had met the enemy and decided that it was not imposing enough
    for four officers. This time, there was little discussion. I was arrested and
    brought to the MTA police station. It was an uncomfortable – but not
    frightening -- experience. What I disliked most was being handcuffed behind my
    back, with cuffs that were rather too tight (and left an impression on my skin,
    which I noticed when they were removed).

    In the police station, I was searched and had everything removed from my
    pockets. My money was removed from its wallet and, after being counted, was
    stuffed into my shirt pocket. Everything else was kept by the MTA police. I
    believe the arresting officer intended to keep all my medications, but I
    appealed to the sergeant on duty, who allowed me to have my nitroglycerine. I
    was told to remove my shoes, which they kept, and locked up. Despite having my
    identification, the arresting officer asked me several questions, to identify
    me, such as name, address and date of birth. The poor man was most annoyed.
    Here, he was, stuck arresting a 75-year-old eccentric, when, as he told me, he
    was needed for more important duties, like “the war on terroristsâ€.
    (“You are taking us away from serious things, like 9-11†and other such
    words of opprobrium, which I tuned out, after the first sentence,)

    The sergeant who allowed me to keep my nitroglycerine, seemed to want to get
    rid of this nuisance, so he asked me if I would go home quietly – not return
    to the ticket window – if I received a ticket to White Plains and fifty
    cents. I told him, “Of course. That’s what I wanted from the
    beginning.†He told me he would see what he could do. About a half hour or
    a little more later, he returned with the ticket to White Plains, the fifty
    cents and a summons to answer a charge of “DISCON†at 314 W 54 St, Summons
    Part AR 6, AT 9:30 A. M., on 15 October 2003. I plan to plead, “Not
    guiltyâ€, of course. I also plan to sue the MTA for infringement of my human
    rights and for false arrest. (If anyone knows a lawyer who is willing to take
    these cases on a pro bono basis, I would appreciate a contact.)

    (“Dammittohell!†in my favorite exclamation of Nils’s Uncle Chris. The
    15th of October is a Wednesday and I shall miss my date with S. S.)

    Heute Uhmuhrikkka, Afghanistan und Irak. Morgen die ganze Welt!

    Uhmuhrikkka, Uhmuhrikkka uber Alles!

    (Was 11 September 2001 Kristalnacht or the date of the Reichstag fire?)

    Fraternally (or lovingly, as the case may be),

    Jerome Bibuld (or the Old Man)
    gens una sumus
    Jerome Bibuld, Oct 9, 2003
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  2. Jerome Bibuld

    Tom Thackrey Guest

    (large post snipped)

    Since this is a I assume you forgot to include your
    question or story relating to r.p.d. I mean the part about you're being
    obnoxious to a bunch of clerks and standing firm on your right to be an ass
    was great, but I'm sure you wouldn't want to make a posting here unrelated
    to darkrooms. So, I assume you were going to ask what kind of developer they
    used to take your mug shot or perhaps the effect of tear gas on the latent
    image or maybe how to process the film you secretly shot of the MTA Police
    lockup with your Minox.
    Tom Thackrey, Oct 9, 2003
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