When My Wife Ceased Being Clancy

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Will Truman

Will Truman is the Editor-in-Chief of Ordinary Times. He is also on Twitter.

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33 Responses

  1. Avatar Saul Degraw says:

    Perhaps your wife is a spy? I mean how do we really know.

    🙂Report

  2. I’m not much of a traveler, less so as I get older. But my passport is current and tucked away in the safe deposit box, brought out at need when I know someone is going to demand that I identify myself.Report

  3. Avatar trizzlor says:

    The weirdest is when bars are sticklers for current ID, because there the only thing that’s relevant is your DOB, and the high damage of a terrorist attack doesn’t even apply. I guess there’s some risk that a person will give their expired ID to a younger sibling, but does that really justify *every single adult* having to keep their license current?Report

    • Avatar Will Truman in reply to trizzlor says:

      I guess there’s some risk that a person will give their expired ID to a younger sibling

      {shifts uncomfortably} I’ve done that. Sort of. My brother took me to see a college football game. He gave me an old student ID with his picture on it and they didn’t look closely. (At all, because we’re hardly twins.)

      Showing fake ID to precure alcohol or get into an age-restricted club was serious, serious business back home. You could get your DL revoked or a hold on getting one. I purchased alcohol underage, but through bluffing. While using a sibling’s ID isn’t a fake ID, I think it did carry the same penalty.

      But yeah, seems to me that’s just overkill. And beyond which, still doesn’t assure anything because not all expired DL’s are hole-punched or marked. If you lose one, get a duplicate, and find the original later. That’s what happened in the linked case. So I had two ostensibly valid Arapaho DLs.Report

    • Avatar Michael Cain in reply to trizzlor says:

      Police departments who routinely send in minors or people with IDs that don’t meet the state standard. Lose your liquor license, effectively lose your business. Bars have the best reason possible to do a thorough ID check, and when in doubt, don’t serve.Report

  4. Avatar Patrick says:

    The point of having identification at the airport is not to make sure that you have your papers in order (unless you’re leaving the country). The point of having identification at the airport is to ascertain or validate your identity.

    No, it isn’t. That’s the rationalization.

    There is no compelling interest for the government to know who you are and where you are traveling. There is no compelling interest, even, for an airline to know who you are. It’s not Southwest’s business who I am. It’s Southwest’s business to get me where I want to go, in exchange for money.

    The real reason why there are ID requirements in air travel is because the airlines jumped on the opportunity to prevent people from reselling tickets for cheaper than list.Report

    • Avatar greginak in reply to Patrick says:

      I’m not sure about that Pat. I thought ID requirements were instituted after a rash of hijackings in the 60’s and 70’s.

      ID does serve a rational purpose: It can make it harder for a fugitive from justice to hop a flight to Freedomstan, it can prevent known terrorists from boarding a flight easily and makes it easier to track who might have blown up a plane after it has happened.Report

      • Avatar Patrick in reply to greginak says:

        ID does serve a rational purpose: It can make it harder for a fugitive from justice to hop a flight to Freedomstan, it can prevent known terrorists from boarding a flight easily and makes it easier to track who might have blown up a plane after it has happened.

        You know how every once in a while someone says, “Tough cookies on the consequences, them’s the breaks here in the old US of A”?

        All of those purposes are rational all right.. or they would be, if they were based upon a rational risk analysis (and they’re not, but we can argue that some other day).

        They also have something else in common, they would therefore require that I provide evidence I’m not a fugitive, or a terrorist.

        Even presupposing that an ID is a worthwhile bit of evidence in this regard (and it’s not, but we could get down into that argument another day, too), it’s one of those pesky bits of Constitutionalism here.

        You don’t really have grounds to assume that I am a bad guy based upon the fact that I don’t want to show you my identification.Report

      • Avatar Mad Rocket Scientist in reply to greginak says:

        But only a bad guy would refuse to show identification!

        Are you a bad guy, Patrick? Trust me, you don’t want to be a bad guy. Then we have to break out the taser…Report

      • Avatar Mad Rocket Scientist in reply to greginak says:

        The problem with requiring people to show IDs is that IDs can be faked, very easily, especially if they don’t have to hold up for very long (like, just long enough to get on a plane to Freedomstan). Printed E-Tickets can be altered quite easily as well. Basically an ID check is only going to catch the stupid & the unprepared.

        Which means we all sit in long lines and get the stink eye from overpaid & undertrained TSA agents so they can occasionally grab some low hanging fruit.Report

    • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Patrick says:

      Yeah. When I was in college a kabillion years ago, there was a corkboard set up in each of the dorms that acted like classified ads. One of the big things was people selling plane tickets they no longer needed. I seem to remember that the ads mentioned the gender of the ticket holder… so there would be ads for “plane ticket on 10/5, one way, to Toledo Ohio, Female”. So I’m guessing the tickets required that sort of thing.

      Now you just need a name and to prove you’re you. Papers, please.Report

      • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Jaybird says:

        MetroNorth railroad sells monthly, unlimited use passes. You simply flash these at the ticket taker once on board. They are non-transferable and all that. But MNR probably decided it wasn’t worth it to individually print tickets with people’s names on them and have the ticket taker check these against ID. But what do they do to cut down on people sharing tickets? They make them gender specific. When purchasing, you specify whether you are male or female and this is noted on the ticket. That meant I couldn’t grab Zazzy’s monthly pass — which she used to get to work during the week — and head into the city on weekends.

        Yet again, the gays win.

        And what they do about people who do not conform to the traditional gender binary, I don’t know. I’m smelling a lawsuit.Report

      • Avatar veronica d in reply to Jaybird says:

        @kazzy — This would suck for my friend Julie, who on some days is a girl and on other days is a boy.Report

      • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Jaybird says:

        @veronica-d

        I smell a lawsuit. I mean, were I to take my wife’s ticket and insist that I’m female… What then? Crotch check? Even then, given that tickets are bought online and users self-select their gender (from the two choices), they’re really creating a pickle for themselves.

        Worth noting that this was the case three years ago. Perhaps they’ve changed their system. And I don’t think their system was based in animus but rather efficiency that probably worked with little problem for most of its existence.Report

      • Avatar veronica d in reply to Jaybird says:

        @kazzy — I don’t know NY law on this, but in MA there are currently few public accommodation laws. Of course, if they get any federal money, Title IX might apply. (A few anti-discrimination cases have won under the general umbrella of “gender discrimination,” even when that law did not specifically spell out “gender identity.” Which I thoroughly support.)Report

    • The real reason why there are ID requirements in air travel is because the airlines jumped on the opportunity to prevent people from reselling tickets for cheaper than list.

      If that’s true, wouldn’t it then indeed be Southwest’s business you are who you say you are?Report

    • Avatar Mad Rocket Scientist in reply to Patrick says:

      @greginak

      IIRC, Patrick is right. Back in the day, airlines would oversell flights as a matter of course, because they always knew there’d be a few no-shows & cancellations. People who resold tickets mucked that up and forced the airlines to spend money dealing with the flights that had more passengers than seats available.

      Forcing ID requirements helps the airlines avoid having to deal with oversold flights. They still do it today, even though it is technically illegal.Report

      • Avatar greginak in reply to Mad Rocket Scientist says:

        @mad-rocket-scientist That is certainly possible. However my only point was that there are rational reasons for asking for ID. My other point, because what good is just one point, is that most security measures we took for granted before 911 came in direct response to a mad rash of hijackings in the late 60’s/early 70’s. Those were mostly the quaint “take this plane to Cuba” deal where no one got hurt but got a good story out of it.Report

  5. Avatar veronica d says:

    Funny thing, when I got my new “veronica” powered d/l, they were supposed to collect my old d/l (at least as far as I understand it). But the day I showed up at the d/l bureau, the dude behind the counter was a very obvious gay man. Which, yay!

    (In fact, when I handed him my gender change document, he gave me the biggest smile ever and said, “Oh, honey, congratulations.” Which, OMG, I melted.)

    Anyway, he ended up letting me keep my old d/l, saying, “You know, you might need this for a while.”

    Which, I didn’t, turns out. But still, I now have two totally legit d/l’s with different names.

    (I cannot even look at the old one. Seriously it makes me cringe.)Report

    • Avatar James Hanley in reply to veronica d says:

      @veronica-d
      The fates were smiling at you on that day, weren’t they?Report

      • Avatar veronica d in reply to James Hanley says:

        @james-hanley — OMG yes!

        And this was still early and I had fewer skills for dealing with stuff. Like, I mean, I would force myself to get dressed and walk out the door, fully en femme, but I felt like everyone was looking at me and judging me all the time. A friendly face was priceless.Report

      • Avatar James Hanley in reply to James Hanley says:

        FWIW, your comments over the past few months have made it so that I can really grasp something of how this must have felt for you. Obviously not at the depth you felt it, but at a more emotional level, not just as an intellectual understanding.Report

  6. Avatar Road Scholar says:

    Well I hope my identity isn’t seriously at issue for the next few days, possibly longer. My dl expired on my birthday this year so the last time I was home I went into the dmv to get it renewed. They took my $26, snapped my photo, and handed me a temporary printed dl telling me the real one would be in the mail in 2nd-3 weeks.

    So I pulled it out of my wallet to show the gate guard at a shipper and it’s completely blank! If you hold it just right you can barely make out a ghostly image. You’d play hell trying to actually read it. Thermal paper of course, but I’ve had plenty of atm receipts and such tucked in my wallet and they’ll all do this of course, but not in a fricken’ week! And it’s supposed to be good for two months. I just hope the real one’s waiting for me when I get home in a few days.Report

  7. Avatar Damon says:

    More examples of “security theatre”. Anyone who really wants to do harm to a flight by being on board will get good fake ids, or even use his real one.

    Example of how useless this is: I was coming back from Switzerland when the gate agent noticed that I hadn’t signed my passport–I’d made it through American security with nary a complaint…..

    Another interesting story, a few weeks ago, I was in line behind a 13 year old girl flying alone on a domestic flight. When she was checking bags, the agent asked for ID. She didn’t have any. I wonder if she got through TSA security?Report

    • Avatar Mad Rocket Scientist in reply to Damon says:

      My cousin is a pilot for SW. He has to go through airport security, as do all flight crew.

      Airport staff & ground crew, they flash their badge at the door and walk right in.

      Work that over in your mind & see if you can find the gaping security holes.Report

      • Avatar Damon in reply to Mad Rocket Scientist says:

        Better yet…

        The recent instances where civillians wandered onto the tarmac or entered restricted areas from outside the airport (the guy in NY I think who wandered in from the ocean side comes to mind)

        The wide openness of the baggage handling “security”. It’s all a joke….

        I don’t have a security background, but I see examples every time I go to the airport.Report

      • Avatar Kim in reply to Mad Rocket Scientist says:

        Damon,
        Around here they arrest folks for hunting deer on airport land (so, um, with rifles).
        (Our Airport is 30 miles from center of town. Quite rural actually)Report

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