National Zoo Will Implement Annoying, Unnecessary Security Measures

"The days of strolling into the zoo unwatched will eventually come to an end."


Hal Brindley / VWPics/agefotostock/Newscom

Perhaps you're old enough to remember back when the zoos kept animals in cages, but people were free to roam about.

No more. The National Zoo in Washington, D.C., is going to close 10 of its 13 entrances and, perhaps inspired by the top dog in the White House, build a border wall. Or, as it's being called, "supplemental perimeter fencing." The idea is to keep out cars intent on ramming into the zoo like an angry rihinocerous.

This is strange logic, though. A determined driver could ram anyone else, any time, any place. Should we build walls separating the sidewalk from the street?

The Washington Business Journal reports that the wall is just the beginning and "the days of strolling into the zoo unwatched will eventually come to an end." Instead of pleasantly streaming into the zoo, as families, joggers, and tourists do today, visitors will have to pass through "screening pavilions."

The problem with the fortressing of the zoo is what it represents: security overkill. Once you start looking for danger, you will see it everywhere. Which means that once you decide a particular place could be a target and start imagining how to protect it, you go down the prairie dog hole of preventing something that isn't likely to happen.

And yet, you never truly feel secure. Think of the TSA, grabbing cans of Diet Sprite from diabetic 90-year-olds in wheelchairs because somehow they presented a threat. There's no evidence these intrusive security measures make anybody safer. But they will make visiting the zoo much more of a hassle.

NEXT: The USDA Is Considering Some Lousy GMO-Labeling Rules

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  1. In related news, New York City banned cars from Central Park roads. Now New Yorkers don’t have to live in fear of car exhaust.

    1. Distancing ourselves in parks from the loud, fast, linear motion of cars creates psychological and social possibilities, promoting social connection.

      The petroleum-driven automobile is an evolutionary novelty, barely 150 years old. Human and nonhuman bodies are ill adapted to this newcomer.

      Ban *cell-phones* from Central Park!

      1. My best friend’s ex-wife makes Bucks75/hr on the laptop. She has been unemployed for eight months but last month her income with big fat bonus was over Bucks9000 just working on the laptop for a few hours. Read more on this site…..

    2. Reads like an Ellsworth Toohey column.

    3. I make up to $90 a hour working from my home. My story is that I quit working at walmart to work on the web and with a little exertion I effectively acquire around $40h to $86h? Someone regarded me by imparting this connect to me, so now I am trusting I could help another person out there by sharing this connection.
      Attempt it, you will love it!……

  2. What’s up, Peanuts?

    Hey, remember that ACA “death spiral” you guys kept predicting?

    I’m counting over a dozen new entrants to 2019 #ACA Marketplaces…

    AZ: Oscar
    FL: Oscar
    IA: Wellmark
    ME: Anthem (if reinsurance)
    MI: Oscar
    NM: Presbyterian
    NC: Centene
    OH: 1-2 unknown companies
    OK: Medica
    TN: Bright
    UT: Molina
    VA: VA Premier
    WI: Molina

    …and zero exits

    Though some uncertainty still looms over Obamacare, insurers are in a much better place this year than last, experts said. Many have started making a profit in the individual market and the threat of Congress repealing the law has waned.

    Markets adjust – as I said back then. Peanuts don’t understand markets.

    1. Kicking your Block Yomomma ass up, down, forwards, backwards, and sideways all over Euclid Street has never felt better than it does these days.

      Two more days until Trump picks our next Supreme Court justice!

      1. Why do you hate markets, Mikey?

        1. Why do you hate black people PB?

      2. I know a vibrating cockring near Euclid Street close NYC’s A train. Do you know him?

    2. Yes, they do. But the more artificial obstacles, the more parasitic interactions, the less optimal they are.
      Look, people keep reifying ‘markets’ as if they were somehow a separable thing.
      A market is the connected set, the graph, of transactions between actors. That’s all.
      As long as there are transactions there are markets.
      It’s not that markets adjust. People engage in transactions in an environment, a set of constraints.
      Minimizing those constraints tends to maximize satisfactory transactions.

      1. “Yes, they do. But the more artificial obstacles, the more parasitic interactions, the less optimal they are.
        Look, people keep reifying ‘markets’ as if they were somehow a separable thing.”

        Turd, here, is the idiot who claimed ‘markets don’t work’ in ’08 when they ‘adjusted’ to massive government distortion.
        And who claims others ‘don’t understand’ markets.

    3. Mostly insurance companies you never heard of.

  3. Faceberg now officially richer than Warren Buffett.

    It’s really unfortunate though that he made almost his entire fortune selling the personal information of stupid idiots to governments and fuck knows who the hell else. I miss the days when the richest men in America actually made shit that was truly useful.

    1. Hey dipshit, by definition, if people use teh product, it is useful.

      Fuck off, slaver. “Usefulness” is a personal choice.

      1. Mark, is that you?

      2. But I wonder what percentage of his idiot users would still use his “product” if they had even the first clue of what the fuck was actually going on.

        I would argue that what he is doing is very close to fraud.

        1. I think you overestimate the intelligence of people. The first thing you will hear from the vast majority is, “I don’t have anything useful or illegal for them to find so I don’t care!”. You will never convince them that assembling myriad disparate pieces of information actually leads to new and fruitful information that they don’t want others to know.

    2. Facebook employs 25,000 people and has 2.2 billion monthly users. Sounds pretty useful to me.

      1. By those criteria, the US government is even more useful.

        1. Facebook has 2.2 billion users. The US Government has 300 million usees.

          1. But are they 2.2 billion unique users? Just asking as someone who had as many as five accounts at one point with none using my real name.

            1. I’m 20% of the people on facebook

      2. 1000 real employees, 24,000 censors.

    3. Zuckerberg became rich by automating Havard’s business model and then opening it up to others gradually. In a video, the president of Harvard explained that the main advantage of going to Harvard is meeting people who go to Harvard. Membership in Facebook originally required an email account at an Ivy league school, then any college email account would do, then any email would do.

      1. Now it doesn’t even require an email: a cell phone number is used instead.

        FB is a noxious entity, but one that is also fairly benign. Zuckerberg, on the other hand, is a parasitical individual with no scruples. He stole the idea for FB, he has lied repeatedly to his userbase, he has constantly modified FB policies in an effort to obfuscate his company’s actions, and now he rent-seeks with Congress.

        Zuck is a cuck.

  4. But we all know it won’t work because walls don’t stop anything… ever…

  5. I guess you didn’t see the CBS TV show Zoo. It shows us that animals can be violent so they can’t be let out into the world by a car crashing into a gate. At least, I think that’s what it’s about. I never actually saw the show.

    1. I think it’s one of the cooking shows. “Out of the zoo and into my belly!”

  6. A zoo is fortifying it’s perimeter in preparation to better defend itself from attack? What a time to be alive.

    1. We libertarians prefer this method of defense.

      1. Dats rayciss

  7. Should we build walls separating the sidewalk from the street?

    Think of the JOBS!

    1. The shovels aren’t ready. The tariffs on them are too high now.

      1. Guess we’ll just have to use spoons.

  8. Don’t we WANT the lions and tigers and bears (oh my) to get a taste for terrorists blood?

  9. From a libertarian perspective, two-thirds of the Smithsonian’s budget comes from the taxpayers. Why should libertarians support a National Zoo?

    I’d bet there are credible threats from animal rights activists. These days, I’m surprised something as politically incorrect as the National Zoo still exists. If ever there were a prime target for animal rights radicals, surely the National Zoo would be it.

    Animal rights radicals are among the most unreasonable people in America, probably more okay with violence than anti-abortion radicals . . .

    Earth Crisis wrote a song about a vegan, straight edge guy who served time for burning down a meth lab. From the video, apparently the guy warned the dealer to stop selling meth to his brother. The dealer didn’t stop, and . . .

    After getting out of prison for that, he plead guilty to burning down a sheepskin factory and was suspected to be behind the arson of a restaurant that served foie gras:…..ry-5857662

    I suppose nothing makes average people want to keep a zoo open like animal rights activists wanting to shut it down, but from a libertarian perspective, maybe nothing makes me want to see something shut down like the government squandering taxpayer money to keep doing something that they have no business doing in the first place.

    Privatize the National Zoo, please.

    1. Sounds libertarian to me.

    2. —Why should libertarians support a National Zoo?—

      Why should libertarians support a big, beautiful wall, or tariffs (taxes on my purchasing decisions)?

      Privatize commerce. Privatize immigration.

      1. Do you imagine I’m in favor of tariffs for some reason?

  10. Owl this tiger security is irrelephant and turtley egrettable.

    1. Tgose tiny cellphon keybords, right? Annoiyng.

  11. Maybe it’s just a new exhibit.

    1. You mean, maybe we’re the ones on display?

      It’s a cookbook!

  12. “In this hypothetical debate, Mr. Trump said he would toss her a genealogy test kit when she mentioned her ancestry. “But we have to do it gently because we’re in the Me Too generation, so we have to be very gentle,” he said, referencing current concerns about sexual harassment and abuse.

    The president said he would pay $1 million to Ms. Warren’s favorite charity if she would take the test “and it shows you’re an Indian.”

    Ms. Warren responded to Mr. Trump on Twitter by pointing to his administration’s efforts to use DNA tests to reunite families separated at the border, after children were placed in government care when their parents were arrested.…..530843896?

    Trump offered her a cool $1 million to her favorite charity to take the test, and she still turned it down.

    My guess is that she’s already privately taken the test and failed. If she could make it all go away by taking the test and publicly revealing the results, she already would have done so.

    1. Yes this babyish racist fixation definitely paints Trump in the better light.

      1. “…babyish race fixation…”

        Sounds like a progressive band name.

        1. Sounds like a fucking orange retard with his finger up the snukes or whatever.

      2. I agree. Warren is a horrible racist for pretending to be something she isn’t.

        1. My 8% Cherokee self won’t stand for this.

          Maybe I’ll kneel.

    2. A DNA test would most likely show she’s 12.5% Choctaw and 25% Hungarian. You know, like in those commercials.

      Whether Warren is a bullshitter or not, the Birther and Pvssy Grabber-in-chief is mostly engaging in showing shiny objects to his horde of mindless supporters who, by the way, now dedicate their time berating Americans for looking too brown for their taste.

      1. Yeah, like the one where the guy thought he was Italian, but he found out Grandma was banging the Croatian handyman that remodeled their kitchen.

    3. There’s just about 0% chance she’s as she claims.
      Google Sam Morningstar.
      The historical record is somewhat damning

      1. Point is, she’s almost certainly taken the test by now–to see if she could make it all go away by releasing the results.

        The fact that she hasn’t released a test probably indicates that the results came back negative.

        She could make it all go away for a $200 test but hasn’t bothered because . . . why?

        Most likely it’s because the test shows that she’s a liar.

        1. The test would be pointless. She only claimed to be 1/64 Cherokee, that is, one Cherokee ancestor six generations back. If that is true, each “Native American” genetic marker has a 1 in 64 chance of remaining in her genome. I would be surprised if those genetic tests look for enough genetic markers to give someone with 1/64 Native American ancestry even a 50% chance of having one of the Native American markers from that single ancestor.

          The other thing is that these markers are not nearly that precise. A pure-blooded Cherokee would not have all of them, and a pure-blooded European might have a few mutations that are close enough to the Native American markers to be identified as such by the tests. I’m pretty sure that a test result showing 1 or 2% Native American is as likely to be the result of random chance as of an actual Native American great-great-great-great-grandparent.

          Anecdotally, the tests seem to be far less precise than this. People who know their ancestry quite well for a couple of centuries back will often get results claiming over 10% of their ancestry came from a whole other part of the world.

          1. “The test would be pointless.”

            The test would not be pointless if it showed that she was part Native American.

            That was my point.

          2. I was identified as having under 0.1% but non-zero sub- saharan ancestry. They can find 1/64

          3. It actually seems to work quite well. My mother was 1/128th native american and my grandfather kept all the records dating back to the 1500s and it matches up with the DNA almost exactly when she took the test after my sister, who shown as being 0.2-0.5% native american. Seems pretty accurate to me.

            My guess is those with DNA from another part of the world may have been a milkman stopping by somewhere along the line.

          4. My mother’s test came back showing a Mohican ancestor, which was a complete surprise to us.

            We’ve had several members of our family do genealogies, and searching through those we found where the genes came from, which was interestingly a fairly vocal anti-indian female from the days of the founding of New York.

    4. Trump has never paid out a bet.

      Not one time. He does not even pay taxes. He defaults on loans and investments. He does not pay contractors. He has produced nothing of value. Trump University. First lesson you just got taken for $3000 you wish to go deeper?

      Trump ties, cologne, steaks, shirts, vodka, wine, golf courses, casinos, airline, hotels, restaurants, all overpriced crap.

      But some of you pulled the lever.

      “Regrettable” says Kim. “Productive” says Pompeo.


      1. “He does not even pay taxes.”

        This is ridiculous.

      2. Gee, an excellent economy would say different.

        I really have a hard time understanding how someone can just ignore the huge benefits the Trump administration has brought to a significant amount of the country.

        There is no doubt he has negatives, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t extremely significant positives.

    5. Why would an educated, accomplished, modern person wish to engage with a discredited birther and his gullible, downscale, malcontent followers?

    1. The way Democrats are reacting to current employment numbers is the logical conclusion of something.

      I’m not sure what that is, but it’s crazy as fuck.

      1. I think that the Democrats look at government employment as the defining metric of a good economy.

        I can’t come up with any other explanation why they could see the Obama years as good for workers and the Trump years as bad.

    2. Let’s go Crips. They’ve got a good non-discrimination policy and will spread Hollywood style tolerance to the nation. Never by your meth from the Bloods. Those Bloods are a bunch of drunk haters.

  13. Seems to me we are letting the terrorists win.

    1. Nah, the government found that they can do all kinds of stuff if they can keep the people in a constant state of fear. Whenever the fear of terrorism is wearing off a bit they just need to make up some new threat to keep us scared.

      1. Media learned that trick too: fear increases their revenues. How could the govt spread its message of fear without the greedy help of the media?

  14. Any public space that invites crowds ought to take reasonable precautions to make people safer. Didn’t Reason advocate for non-intrusive countermeasures such as concrete barriers in earlier articles?

    Now, why the taxpayers have to fund a national zoo is another matter.

  15. I really can’t get too outraged about better security around public places.

    1. This isn’t better security. It’s expensive and inconvenient set dressing for the exact same amount of security as there was before.

      1. Which is basically none because killing random strangers is the easiest crime to commit.

        1. Correct. Security is an illusion.

          1. 100% security is an illusion.

            Wearing a helmet will never make riding a motorcycle 100% safe, but generally speaking, it’s a shrewd investment anyway.

            Building a wall on our southern border won’t keep 100% of illegal aliens from crossing anyway. There’s still some benefit associated with that–if you think keeping illegal aliens out is a good thing. The question is still whether the benefit justifies the cost.

            Nothing we can do will prevent all terrorist attacks, but some things give us more protection for less of an investment.

            If they’re letting people stroll into the National Zoo without charging admission, then they’ve probably got a perverse sense of costs and benefits.

    2. You’d get a lot more bang for your buck by eliminating the power and money hungry from constantly showering us with divisive rhetoric.

      You could accomplish a lot of that by downsizing the federal government to fit within it’s strict constitutional bounds.

      The power and money hungry wouldn’t be very interested in a government like that.

  16. And what’s to stop someone from ramming a car into the long lines waiting to go through the 3 entrances?

    1. Nothing. But then it’s not the Smithsonian’s responsibility, since they’re not inside the zoo.

    2. A wall!

  17. Someone is getting paid. That’s all this is. It’s an excuse to give someone a multimillion dollar contract. Nothing more.

  18. Shouldn’t an actual libertarian magazine argue against the whole point of a national zoo? Since I’m pretty sure that wasn’t mentioned in the Constitution.

    1. I brought that up, but when I write something, people generally focus on debunking absurd exceptions to it or responding to voices in their heads.

    2. incidentally, the National Zoo is technically run by the Smithsonian Institute, which (I believe) is a “private” organization–two thirds of which is funded by the taxpayers.

      That’s presumably why they don’t feel it necessary to charge admission.

      It may be that no private institution would keep the zoo open. The location of the zoo may not be conducive to the kind of open layout a private operator would want–like they have at the San Diego Zoo or its Safari/Wild Animal Park. Add in the potential for animal rights controversy, . . .

      Even the San Diego Zoo has had PR problems in the past. Circuses with animals are shutting down. People seem to want to free Shamu and Sea World’s dolphins, too. Privatization probably means just shutting it down. If they want to talk to me about converting it into a mixed use development, I’ll be happy to help. Maybe we’ll keep an aviary and some other exhibits as amenities. I’ll put up some lofts, some entertainment venues, some office, some restaurants on the ground floor. We’ll keep it pedestrian friendly.

      It won’t cost the taxpayers a goddamn thing, but privatization means there probably wouldn’t be a zoo.

      Maybe a zoo themed casino!

    3. What does the constitution have to do with libertarianism?

      1. You’re a retard.

        1. Are both testaments of the Bible also libertarian? Maybe just one of them? What about Darwin’s On the Origin of Species? Also a masterpiece of human thought that confirms in total your weird little 20th century cult?

          1. Origin of Species is one of the great works about the free market.

            1. Most perish so that the lucky few survive?

              1. Lucky few? Where do you live that you think life is so fragile?

                In the few short months between snowfalls my yard generates tons of biomass. Anything I ignore for more than a few days becomes a tangled mess. There isn’t anywhere on this planet where life hasn’t figured out a way to thrive, and I doubt we are recognizing all the different life forms that exist around us.

                This is a world in a continual riot of diverse expression. I find that exhilarating, but then again I find most things that are out of any one’s control and doing what they do best pretty wonderful.

  19. That’s a face only a mother could love.

  20. Should we secure zoos first or schools? I like animals more than people so that’s a tough one. Why don’t they just put up signs at the zoo that say No asshole Zone? That should work.

    1. Gorilla security

      1. Plus lions.

        1. Arm the bears.

          1. I tried that once but they couldn’t work the safety on an AR-15. Pistol grips are a bitch when you don’t have opposable thumbs.

          2. They do have the right to bear arms.

  21. Would diet soda do anything for a diabetic?

    1. Quench their thirst?

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