Monday, May 16, 2005

National ID? It's here, folks!

This Tuesday, yet ANOTHER "minor infringement" upon the civil liberties of Americans was perpetrated against the People by the U.S. Senate in the form of a bill called the "Real ID Act of 2005". Oh, and as usual, this was tucked into, and a part of, that same bill you've been hearing about that gives $82 billion dollars to help the troops win the War Against Terrorism. Don't you hate when they do that? Pork barrel politickin' at it's WORST.
Let's ban that pork barrel crap too while we're at it, shall we?

Anyhoo, the BAD news is - this bill passed with no debate and the President is expected to sign it into Federal law soon. I have no problem at all with the $82 billion. I have no problem with states being forced to only grant drivers licenses to LEGAL residents. I also have no problem with the Federal Government's prohibition of illegal aliens to fly on our planes, open bank accounts, or gain entry into Federal buildings. In fact, I wonder why the U.S. Government doesn't see it fit for illegal aliens to enter ANY building other than a JAIL but that's our Government for ya.

The "Real ID Act of 2005" is SUPPOSEDLY, "the answer" to illegal immigration into our country by foreigners who have snuck in here to kill us. As if I am supposed to believe this LOAD OF CRAP. As if I am supposed to believe those terrorist BASTARDS who attacked us on 9/11 would not have been able to do so if they had just been required to carry a national ID card. Yeah, RIGHT. Nope...
what has happened here is the Government has just snuck itself into your body again, and robbed it of it's supposed, "unalienable rights" given to it and you under the Constitution of the U.S.A.! Again, YOU are giving up your rights (and your state has just took another shot on the chin as well, for IT'S Constitutional rights) because, and ONLY because we are governed by incompetent people who cannot, or WILL not secure the borders of our country! That is NOT acceptable, People!

Think I'm getting all worked up over nothing? Do you think it's fair that a lawful, U.S. citizen will now be required to carry an ID card with RFID chip in it? DO YOU??? If YOU think that is ok, then you had no problem with Hitler's Germany where THOSE citizens were forced to carry their "papers" at all times! The fact that the new National ID is not made out of paper is INVALID so don't even try to go there, okay? If it LOOKS like "papers", SEEMS like "papers", and STINKS TO ALL HOLY HELL like "papers", then you will INDEED be responsible to carry "papers" with you at all times from now on, should this bill pass... IN THESE UNITED STATES... IN OUR AMERICA!

Assuming you're one of those people (notice no capital "P"?) who think the USA Patriot Act is a great idea, let me ask you something...

Don't you think that a National ID card system with a tracking device and all of your PERSONAL (VERY personal) information, including YOUR PICTURE, stored into one central database poses a little bit of a national security hazard in itself? What about the potential for ID theft and/or exploitation? Now the terrorists will be able to concentrate on a central computer system to delve deeply into your own personal and PRIVATE information... and in MY opinion, the only thing worse than the Government having you under their thumb like this is the thought of some terrorist group of bastards getting into this type of a system! Do you NOT agree this database will become a PRIME target for our enemies, both foreign and domestic (oops - there I go with that outdated "Constitutional talk" again)?

Aigh't, let's just forget about the terrorists and illegal aliens for a moment. Let's think about a CROOK, or a MURDERER breaking into this database system and gaining access to your personal info and a clear, digital photograph of you. I won't bother going into possible scenarios
because if you have a brain, it's already swirling with the horrific possibilities. Think it's "far-fetched"? I don't know how ANYBODY can trust THIS Government with such responsibility but that's just ME.

HOW DID WE LET THIS HAPPEN? "No debate" in the Senate, that is how. The folks on Capitol Hill didn't even bring this forth to the People, they SNUCK IT IN ON US! How many of you heard of this a month ago in the MSM? Answer: Not very damned many. We didn't even have a chance to threaten these people with the loss of their cushy jobs if they were to go ahead and do this to us. But they DID do it. And I'm PISSED OFF about it, too.

But thankfully, Jay's favorite organization, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), is fighting this on all levels. And folks (including Jay), THIS is why I am FOR the ACLU. They're hypocritical, they defend some of the most disgusting people and organizations in our society, but they're here for us on THIS one when nobody else seems to care enough about what just happened here. This is yet another sad day for America. It appears we must now have our "papers" to travel in what was once a free land for it's Citizens. We are losing the War on the Constitution, folks, because we need more footsoldiers who GIVE A CRAP about our civil liberties that were guaran-damn-TEED us under the Constitution. Now hopefully, the ACLU can take this piece of crap (should it be finalized by the President) to the Supreme Court where it can be flushed down into the sewer where it belongs, alongside of all OTHER failed, MISERABLE attempts of robbing the People of this country of their Constitutional, God-given rights.

Multiple Choice (pick one, then scroll down for the right answer)

Terrorism can be defeated by:

A) A National ID Card system that uses RFID for tracking American Citizens.
B) By putting troops on our borders and firing incompetent politicians with
no "gonies" who are

unable, and/or unwilling to guard our borders.

The answer was "B".

I hope you picked the right answer.

Carl - The Gun-Toting Liberal

--responses are listed in alphabetical order from the host.--

The REAL ID card has both its blessings and its vices. Unfortunately, I see the vices as much worse than any good its blessings will bring us.

I would first like to point out that this legislation, which deserved debate, passed unanimously in the U.S. Senate but only after passing the U.S. House of Representatives largely along Party-lines in February, 261-161. The reason it passed so was because it was tagged to an Iraq funding bill, which anyone voting against would have been labeled “un-patriotic” by the Republican Central Committee. That counts for Democrats, Republicans and Independents. Most Democrats have opposed a national ID for a long time because they fear the government could use it to keep tabs on its citizens in an unwholesome, unwanted way. When Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) heard the Republicans had attached it to the Iraq funding, he said this: "They did it on purpose. They put it on a supplemental, which they knew you couldn't stop. I've had a senator come to me and say, 'We're going to filibuster this.' I said, 'Get real. It's not going to happen. It's a defense bill.' " This is how the Republican Party, which supposedly believes in small government and American freedom, has decided to interpret "small" and "free" as derived from the Bill of Rights. This is proof that anyone who pays attention to politics and values the American way of life should not vote Republican, not after this. Their claims of small government count only towards cutting social programs and their "protection" of freedom counts only for the rich and powerful, not for those of us who will now be forced to wear a brand, a mark, which is utterly too close to "the mark of the beast" to suit any good Christian.

Despite the negative impact on civil liberties, there are advantages to a national id. With a national id, it will be easier to verify drinking age from state-to-state. This id will also make it easier to track crimes to ensure that criminals pay their penalties. Traveling abroad might even be easier now, having but one little card as opposed to both a driver's license and a passport (though I imagine passports will still be required so will have to hold breath for awhile.) Yes, this card might even help catch a terrorist or two. That is as far as the blessings will go. This card will do little good other than what I have already mentioned.

On the flip side, a national id will have many more negative effects than good ones. For one thing, it will not help fight illegal-immigration. To do so, this legislation would have to deny citizenship to children born of pregnant mothers who sneak over the border, which it doesn't. It would have to make holding a job illegal without this card, which it doesn't. This card does virtually nothing about illegal immigration. For another thing, would we really want it to work that way? This card opens the doors to all sorts of abuses of American rights. How would we like it if we couldn't get a job without carrying this card everywhere? How would we like it if the government slipped a tracking device into these cards so they always knew where we were? We would like to think they would tell us about such a thing first, but did they tell us about passing the id act in the first place? No. Republicans didn't mention it because it wasn't in their Party directive to do so and Democrats were silent because they were worried about being labeled un-patriotic by Republican decree. This national id will do little to fight illegal immigration yet will open doors to all sorts of rights and privacy violations. If anyone values the good old days, now is the time to stand up and fight for them. When this legislation takes effect, those days will be gone. The government will now be able to catch you anywhere in the nation for any transgression and make sure you are held accountable for it, no matter how small and insignificant. Guess what else? This national database will extend across the world. When you go to Canada or Japan or Europe or anywhere else, the local government can call the U.S Embassy and ask them to look up your card # and the government will tell them whatever they want to know. Does this sound just a little like Communism or Fascism? If so, that's because this is the system that both Hitler and Stalin always wanted but couldn’t afford.

As anyone can see, the national id is and will always be a volatile issue. No matter how pretty a picture is painted, it still does more harm than good. It is a method of control that only an extremist government would even consider using. As far as I can tell, there are only four reasons that people support this legislation: A) They support it because Democrats don't; B) They are brainwashed not to think for themselves; C) They are part of the power structure and thus immune to most of its negative effects; D) They have allowed George W. Bush to scare them with images from the apocalypse, which cannot come to pass until just before the return of the true Christ. This legislation is evil and should never be allowed to bear fruit.

Joseph - The New Oklahoma Democrat

Here is my opinion.

I think you may be a little overboard with paranoia Carl. An infringement of civil liberties? Despite it being part of another bill, it really says a lot when something passes Congress with no debate 100-0!

I agree with you that illegals should not be granted any of the privileges that a U.S. citizen has. I think the REAL ID helps…maybe not much, but something is better than nothing. It may not be THE answer, but it is a piece of the puzzle.

You said: Do you think it's fair that a lawful, citizen will now be required to carry an ID card with RFID chip in it? DO YOU???

Well, I don't see how it would be unfair. I am in the military….We already have these chips in our military I.D.'s. And for any Florida resident's out there, they already have them in their driver's licenses. All this is about is standardizing across state lines.

You said: If YOU think that is ok, then you had no problem with Hitler's Germany where THOSE citizens were forced to carry their "papers" at all times!

I think you are going overboard here quite a bit. Why didn't you throw in that Bush is Hitler reincarnated while you were at it. I think the only time you have to carry a driver's license is when you drive. Are you not already required to do so?

You said: Don't you think that a National ID card system with a tracking device and all of your PERSONAL (VERY personal) information, including YOUR PICTURE, stored into one central database poses a little bit of a national security hazard in itself?

Does your driver's license not already have a picture and personal information on it? Just because it is stored on a little chip now, why is that scary? The only time I ever had my license swiped was when I got a speeding ticket. They just run it through a database to make sure you don't have other violations, or a warrant out for my arrest.It makes the police's job easier.

Identity theft is already out there. Your personal information is all over the place. If you make a purchase over the internet you take that risk.

Having completely disagreed with you now...if I had a choice...I would pick your answer B. However, I would have liked an answer C. All of the Above.

Your personal info is stored on the chip...not a database. The requirements to get a driver's license haven't changed. Why shouldn't you have to be Legal to get one? And there is no more personal information stored on this chip than is stored in the Social Security database. Are you paranoid about that? Your social, your pic, your name, your age...etc. Most of this is already on your driver's license. I think your being paranoid. The chip is not a camera that reports what goes on in your bedroom to the government. You sound like it's the mark of the Beast or something.

Take a chill pill and call me in the morning.

John - Stop the ACLU

The former Soviet Union, Red China, Vietnam. This is not exactly a group that the US should feel comfortable joining the ranks of, but that is exactly what it has done with the passage of the Real ID Act. For all intents and purposes, we will now have a national ID in 2008.

Of course, there will be and have been those who will extol all the great anti-terror aspects of this bill, but this is laughable at best. This will not prevent a single terrorist from carrying out his mission, what it will do is provide a means to track the movements of virtually every legal US citizen above the age of 16 in this country.

You will need this to fly, to take a train, to take a long distance bus, and for who knows what else.

It will create vast databases of information ripe for the picking by identity thieves, which in itself is ironic since its author, James "I think you have no rights" Sensenbrenner, touts this on his website.

It is also yet another assault on the principles of Federalism. Apparently years of the Courts perversion of the Commerce Clause has led Congress to believe the States hold no power of their own. The bill does allow States to opt out, but like the decision to make 21 the legal age to purchase alcohol, there are stiff penalties for non-compliance.

I just don't know what the hell our politicians are thinking. It passed 261-161 in the House and 100-0 in the Senate. Senate Democrats (and those Republicans opposed to it) will, of course, try to defend their actions by pointing out that it was piggybacked onto an appropriation bill for the troops and tsunami relief. That however, is no excuse. They knew it was part of the larger bill and rather than do the rights thing, they cowered like pathetic school girls for fear of being labeled anti-troops if they didn't vote for the larger bill.

I find their actions just as despicable, if not more so, than the clowns that introduced it in the first place. I find cowardice to be extremely unpalatable. Though they probably didn't have the numbers to stop it, they could have voted against it and then defended their actions in the press. Instead, they choose to do nothing, knowing that more than 600 organizations of every political persuasion opposed its passage.

The only bright side is that it does not take affect until 2008. There is still time to stop this before it is put into place. Please write your Congressman and Senators and let them know that this is wrong and will not help protect us.

Liberty Dog - One Billion Red Chinese and a Dog Named Liberty

Well, here we go...Carl, Carl, Carl...I don’t know how you could be more worked up over a non-issue.

The U.S. House of Representatives approved a Republican-backed measure that would compel states to design their driver's licenses by 2008 to comply with federal antiterrorist standards. Federal employees would reject licenses or identity cards that don't comply.CNet

The Government is simply trying to standardize what we already have, to try to make law enforcement and security personnel's job easier. It's not as if they are requiring something we don’t already have required of us.

You cannot currently travel on aircraft etc. without a valid state or federal issued I.D. This act simply redefines and standardizes what a valid I.D. is. It's not as if the RFID chips you speak of can track you from long distances or anything, heck, they barely work unless they are right next to a proximity reader, I know, I use one at work that is identical to what they are proposing.

As far as the database that you worry so much already exists, picture and all in most states, and you already have been living with it for years. Besides most of this critical info you are so concerned about is on the chip, not the database, and can only be read by properly set-up proximity readers. Anyone with the skills to access the info on your card can do so right now from the aforementioned existing databases.

All that being said...the question I have is, is such a standard "real ID" necessary? Personally I think not, the states are already taking measures to make their I.D.'s harder to forge, my state for example has moved to the "credit card & hologram" style cards. Hard to forge, but not impossible.

Does "real ID" deter illegals? Not really, they just won’t travel by plane (they don't really now, do they?).

Would a "real ID" type system have prevented 9/11? Possibly, only if the terrorists had not been very careful, they might not have been able to obtain these cards, but then yet they might have, hard to say.

Does "real ID" make it any harder to get the ID in the first place? No, the same proof of existence is needed (birth certificate, social security card etc..)

So, do I think "real ID" is necessary? No. Do I care about this issue enough to fight for or against it? The answer again is, No. To me it is a non-issue, sorry, I just don’t find it to be such a pain in the butt as you do. To be honest, I hadn't even given it much thought before you brought it up, and I had heard of it.

I do agree, Carl, that this is not the security solution we may want it to be. Stepping up border security and more vigilant enforcement are the key.

Zaphriel - Birth of a Neocon

Wow, this is the most we have been divided so far, OK it's only week 2, but I think this is going to be interesting.
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