We need to extend the Miranda Warning to circumstances such as these. "You are not under arrest and you have the right to refuse a search. If you consent to a search, and something illegal is found, it can be admitted into evidence against you in court." If every interaction started with those words, you'd see a lot more people exercising their right to refuse.
It's legal to search people because they have a right to decline? I think the author meant it's legal to request a search. Of course, it's legal for anyone to _request_ anything. Small change in wording but I'd say it matters.
Just as doctors tend to prescribe what worked last time - easier to do what’s at the top of your mind than critically appraise the evidence.
For example, according to rules of evidence, any exculpatory statements you make to police are hearsay and therefore cannot be mentioned in a trial. The police _can_, however, try to use that information against you and then use information derived from your original statement at trial.
There's a pretty popular lecture on this. It covers a lot of edge cases and common arguments against "don't talk to the police".
Typically the only probable cause they have is their own racist bias and once I point that out, a hit dog will holler.
And in any case, so what? If that's the attitude we take to overreaches, why not just pre-emptively empty our pockets at any patrolling law enforcement officer?
Usually they keep questioning you for a while, but it's not hard to respond in a way that doesn't give them probable cause.
You should try exercising your fifth amendment right to remain silent. The police explicitly remind people who are arrested that anything they say "can and will" be used against them in a court of law.
Less travelled routes have a chicken-and-egg problem: nobody uses them, so they’re not a priority, so they get even worse. NYC to Montreal, for example, should be 2x as fast as it currently is....
personally I find traveling on amtrak to be a lovely experience. even on the NE regional I usually get a whole row to myself if it isn't a holiday weekend. of course, this is probably why it's so expensive. on the other hand if the ridership went up, it wouldn't be such a nice experience anymore.
The days/times when you can get through the Puget Sound, JBLM corridor in less than 2 or more hours for that segment alone are rapidly declining. It can easily take 2h+ to get from Federal Way to Olympia, even in non peak hours.
I’m sure that line accounts for some wildly disproportionate revenue for Amtrak, but in most other places people prefer to pay cheaper fares and don’t care about the surrounding quality properties enough to pay more for them.
In principle, this could easily be fixed—-and cracking down operators ignoring the preference rules did help a lot—-but people have to want it.
The last time I rode coach on NE regional lines, my girlfriend & I arrived over an hour early for the train & we had to stand up and hold our suitcases for the first 90 minutes of the ride because there were simply no seats. We walked back to front every coach car and every seat was taken and all of the luggage racks were filled. I get frazzled by hectic transportation experiences so it was especially nasty for me.
For a $70-80 fare, I expect easy access to a comfortable seat, ample space for 1-2 bags / suitcases directly at my seat area, and easy ability for multiple people in the same party to get seats directly next to each other.
I hate that Amtrak locks these (basic) amenities behind business & first class fares, and essentially acts like a slumlord towards their coach class service.
The gist of the essay is that the railroads incrementally made the passenger experience worse and then as demand declined they used the declining demand to justify further worsening the passenger experience. From the railroads' perspective this was a virtuous positive feedback loop, insofar as it got them out of the relatively low margin passenger business. That then got dumped on Amtrak, which is awful for many reasons, not least of which is their trains are the lowest priority on the tracks they lease, so they are virtually never on time. I imagine Amtrak executives would also love to get out of the passenger transport business too, if they could somehow swing it to keep getting federal money. Anyhow it really is a great essay and I highly recommend reading it since my summary can't do it justice.
 A lesson corporations now apply with disappointing prevalence.
This is wrong. Amtrack has a subordinate lease to almost all of the freight lines it leases access to, meaning that they have lower priority to the lines than the cargo trains. Acela is the only Amtrack route in the nation that might have priority over cargo trains sharing the rails.
He came back not 5 minutes more and claimed that it was my bag, basically insuating that I was lying. I told him again, this time rudely, that it was not my bag and to leave me and my wife alone. He looked pissed and left us alone.
Most people who travel Amtrak, especially the long hauls, don't have as much money as people flying. I'd like to see the DEA try these tactics with rich people and see how far they get.
why is this the case? I've only price shopped on the east coast, but I usually find that it's actually cheaper by plane than by train. sad because I am usually trying to justify taking the train.
Plus (for me) 24 hours driving is time lost where I cannot work. I was able to work quite effectively on the train.
It's because the system is setup to reward them for a 0.1% success rate. These people don't see themselves as invading your privacy, they see themselves as climbing the DEA ladder.
You find those in every country.
Sounds like someone has been gagged by a National Security Letter.
So searching the train let's you search people who may have boarded at a dozen different stations.
But yeah those of us who take the train instead of flying have been counting our lucky stars that the security theater has skipped Amtrak so far. It's so nice to travel from one city to another without being treated like a criminal. All good things must come to an end.
Response by the public has been pretty negative - they know what airports have become and don't want to be hassled in other locations.
This is what drives me mad. This is such a violation of every principle of good hospitality. By delegating responsibility for one's safety away from oneself to the responsibility of the purveyors (or overseers) of the mode of transportation, we all end up being treated as threats until proven otherwise.
It is such a tenuous balance. Excessive restriction of the conditions under which hospitality is granted leads to a breakdown of social reciprocity, intensification of in-group mentality, and alienation of the outsider. This stratifies and jeopardizes the ability of these myriad in-groups to coexist and transact peaceably, detracting from the possibility of maintaining any semblance of a national/international unity, or at least peaceful polity.
It's diplomacy, in essence, at smaller and more localized scales. Most societies have carveouts for providing for the need of the outsider, because tit-for-tat is such an easy state of affairs to end up in. Mind, the tit-for-tat part is implicit, not explicit, as most text on hospitality emphasizes the duty of the host to care without concern for [individual] reciprocity. Collectively speaking however, the way one culture recieves another does have an impact on overall relations between polities.
I just wish there was greater emphasis placed on this. I get it, lofty ideals tend to be the first to get binned, but sometimes the ideal is worth tolerating a greater degree of perceived immediate risk in order to facilitate a much larger payoff in terms of unity of action across non-emphasized in-groups.
Sometimes it's the difference between all travelers looking at and being suspicious of each other in transit, perpetuating macro-level conflict into every strata of everyday life, and a group of strangers coming together, and momentarily sharing the unique opportunity of traveling together, and being able to freely exchange in an environment of goodwill and camaraderie, and to be assured of unity of action through dissolution of fear at having to react to defuse violence on behalf of the traveling group.
Dissolution of macro-scale tension must begin at the bottom Of the social pyramid. Trying to work from the top down is a fool's errand.
Ironically, in the months after 9/11 I experienced the latter comraderie flying. It was the beat time to fly, IMO, if you could look past the soldiers w/ automatic rifles loitering around. In fact, the soldiers were quite peraonable once engaged, as well. Go figure.
I think buying a big house, staying in the same area 98% of the year if lucky enough to even go on a vacation and collecting junk would be boring. I know some couples have so much junk, they argue about it and have cluttered houses. Then people load everything on credit, which if used responsibly and paid back monthly you get reward points, but some people just let it get to them. I rather have more experiences than collecting things, and the things I have should have a purpose. Then even if you pay off your house in full, you don't really own it. If the state decides to build a new highway or high speed rail, they'll just knock it down. At least with a RV or Tiny house on wheels you can move it. Someone with a $250,000 RV probably owns it more than someone living in a 5 million dollar mansion, yet they are more homeless than someone living in a $100,000 house.
So much to see and do, people dream about this all the time but money is a stopper sadly. There's a guy who owns his own business and decided to just cruise non stop, makes him happy and don't have much to take care of but he stays on the same ship about 6 months at a time booked back to back so he can have the same stateroom, I rather check out different ships and itineraries but everyone has different travel styles and wants. I know they have routes between Seattle and California, so maybe if booked 2 cruises with time to spare in between taking a train instead of a plane would be more scenic and a different experience, something to try at least once in a lifetime.
Also, I heard they cut the diner car out, and it's more airline type food now in an effort to save money. There's even a site called Amtrak Vacations too, so I figured one-way trips would be more common... People might fly and ride the train and fly back home or whatever next if they are a nomad.
It makes me sad people don't know their rights, even corporate media too... I seen recently a news story where they blur the video of the police, which I'm surprised since they are public officials. I feel like our founding fathers are tossing in their graves at what America is turning into, but I doubt any other country is much better anyways since some places are even worse.
I know officials get sworn in to uphold the constitution, but I don't think they even read it... Just raise their hand and repeat what they are told to be sworn in. Should quiz them on it.
Also surprised they don't search bags beforehand or tickets before getting on... I always figured it'd be similar to an airport. I know I heard a conductor goes seat to seat checking tickets at random, so seems a bit backward to me. I figured they would check everything before you board.
Then also traveling solo is a red flag too I heard which can get you sent to secondary, so if you aren't married or have a boyfriend or girlfriend that can slow you down... but I seen on the news solo travel is more popular than it is but I guess customs assumes a person is a drug smuggler, but I've heard it happens to woman more for some reason...
It seems like people who think for themselves and have alternative lifestyles such as digital nomads or even retired couples who RV get hassled more too, maybe due to stereotypes or profiling... Not a criminal, but just because you don't fit a profile you can be treated like one. Like I know in some states, nomads such as full-time RVers can't get a driver license or state ID unless they lie about living with someone else. Michigan is one I know of off the top of my head. So most people head to South Dakota and fill out an affidavit they are a full-time traveler, seems like that's making the state a bunch of money for catering to this niche. Seen a story about a couple who sold their house and got threatened by the Michigan DMV for not owning a house anymore because they used a mail forwarder. South Dakota and Texas allow mail forwarders. Florida does too depending on the county. One says if it's possible to live there even if don't park their full time, and not required to even lease a spot 365 days a year just possible to spend a night and it's good enough for them, so there's a campground that forwards mail and its allowed by the county. While another county, Clay County has interpreted something different and tried to take away voting rights recently. So If you live in a RV, boat or living out of a suitcase traveling you are basically a homeless person with money, so some states will discriminate against you. But then again by Michigan discriminating against them, they saved on taxes on their investment income by switching states so it ended up working out for them... I think maybe some states are tougher on residency requirements maybe because they have more social programs too, and you being a resident is a liability to them.