I recently claimed that,
The Republican national convention and the protests it inpires seem like a decent field test of the hypothesis that it’s still a free country. I am mildly confident that thanks to the the work of the NYCLU and other groups like it, we will again fail to invalidate this hypothesis.
Well, here's our first two data points.
A BB reader sez: “Thanks to the RNC, there are manditory bag searches happening on the NJ-NY Ferry. This fellow first got hassled with a re-search for carrying The Player's Guide to Faerun a D&D book, and then the next day, security tried to confiscate his copy of Exalted: The Abyssals as 'inappropriate.'”
This morning, they're doing bag searches again to get on the ferry. And the guy doing the searches pulls me aside and says, “Sir, I feel that I need to confiscate this book.”
I pause and say, in that tone of voice that most people would recognize as meaning, “have you lost your grip completely, chuckles?”: “You need to confiscate… a book.”
“Yes. I feel it's inappropriate for the other people on the ferry to be exposed to it.”
He gets all pissy at me and says, “Don't you understand this is for your safety?”
And, second, the followup:
Greg Costikyan: Just spoke with people from New York Waterway, who say:
1. They're trying to track down mephron (the original poster) to get more detailed information from him—e.g., time and ferry route.
2. If the story is true, it is not only a violation of company policy, but also of martime regulations, and if it is true, they wish to correct the situation as quickly as possible.
3. Anyone with further information about it are invited to contact them directly.