----- Original Message -----
From: "D P Ingram" <[log in to unmask]>
> they decided we couldn't cross their
> magical border (U.S. side) without paying some special fee that seems
> only to be in force at Niagra Falls crossing (maybe this is c 10
> years ago). Then when we wouldn't pay it we were "refused entry" to
> the U.S. This was a concern but my friend (who I was with) was
> visiting with me his brother who just happened to be a senior embassy
> official and was able to check that this was a bit of B.S. and that
> nothing untoward was on our passport or file. He also said the U.S.
> tried it on even with him once when travelling with his passport
> until he very carefully pointed out that paragraph x.x.x. sub
> paragraph Y of some regulation was in force and kindly shut up and do
> his job properly or he would raise the issue. He got tired of being
> polite and having a border guard act like John Wayne.
> Mind you, once in Germany flying back from Germany to the UK, I had a
> German customs guy try to take apart my very early, very heavy, very
> large "GSM" mobile telephone, giving it back to me in bits to run to
> the gate as they were threatening dire things to my luggage (we will
> close the door and leave your luggage on the runway) (sic). I had
> arrived in good time, had bought some duty free (that dates it for
> intra EU travel, maybe c 1993?) and I am sure everyone on board
> thought I was late due to bottle shopping when they heard the clinks
> as I run what seemed like a marathon, juggling briefcase, phone bits
> and two bags of bottles.
> And my mother says I have a nice, honest face !
Sadly, there exists a certain subclass of human beings who will
gladly accept any position which grants them an "official" uniform
and some situation-specific authority...and thus moves them a bit
higher in the dominance hierarchy inherent in our being a primate
We are instinctively driven to improve our rank in this hierarchy
(aka "status") and have no undertanding why this occurs. In its
worst case, it becomes "I'm bigger than you are...give me all your
money, or I'll whup yer raggedy <fundament>"...as one moves up,
it changes into people in uniforms and official-looking badges
telling lesser beings "You can't do whatever it is that you want
without MY official approval, and MY signature on Form <wotever>,
and that will cost you <some ridiculous sum of money> should I
deign to grant it...!
Welcome to the XXI Jahrhundert...
Steven C. Barr