Archive for February, 2008

REAL ID – what’s in it for me?

Wednesday, February 6th, 2008

First you get an ID.

Then you need that ID to fly.

Then you need that ID to leave the country.

Then you need that ID to get into the country.

Then you need that ID to vote.

Then you need that ID to cross state borders.

Then you need that ID to buy gas.

Then you need that ID to be a legal citizen.

Slowly but surely, it will become a ‘Show me your papers’ issue. Imagine just walking down the street, a cop sees you, maybe he’s having a bad day, maybe you roughly match the description of a wanted criminal, he approaches you and asks for you national ID. You don’t have it though, because you were just going for a walk. Next thing you know, you’re heading down town, handcuffed in the back of a crown vic. Sure, they’ll let you out, once you can get a friend to bring your ID in, or go through the red tape to get the State to produce the paper work, but by that point you’ve been printed, your arrest has been recorded, and you’re out a few hours to a few days getting everything straightened out.

Fear mongers will use it as a tool against illegal immigrants first. By requiring the national ID to be able to do the most mundane of things, they’ll push aliens further out of the legal realm. Then all it would take is another attack to spur off a series of knee jerk reactions that lead to certain racial/ethnic groups having their cards pulled, leaving them as 2nd class citizens, virtually outlaws because they have no ID to prove their legitimacy in the US.

Yes, it’s a paranoid delusion. But so was the idea that the US would use black site prisons, suspend habeas corpus, and invade a sovereign nation on manufactured intelligence. Given enough time, the system will be abused, and civil liberties will be eroded. And the whole time, this card will do nothing to make our country more secure.

There are several things wrong with this:

– Adds another layer of unnecessary bureaucracy to the monstrosity that is the US federal government.
– 10 years down the road the Federal government (needing health care funds) will sell/lease the database to the highest bidder.
– The database is subject to abuse by Federal employees.
– The war on the Islamic radicals is supposed to be temporary. Why restrict what your citizens can do permanently?
– The Government workers will somehow screw up the identities of John Smith in Oregon and John Smith in Georgia. And neither John Smith will be able to clear his name.

I was born here, I pay taxes (property, sales, federal), I own a home, I have kids. I think thats proof enough that I’m not a radical bent on destroying the United States. I should be able to go/do what I God dammed like without further proof. The Feds can kiss my ass.

What happened to America?

Friday, February 1st, 2008

There once was a time when people living in the richest country in the world had a reasonable expectation that they could share in that wealth as long as they worked hard and played by the rules. It’s not an unfair “expectation”. After all, the 50’s era was a time where you could get a good job with great security and live well for the rest of your life. You would have health insurance, life inusrance, pension, the whole 9 yards. If someone brought that up today, they would be accused of being a communist, yet this era was considered the capitalist ideal – the idea of the American Dream came from this time period in history.

Even crappy retail jobs that are being derided on this site had these kind of benefits. A retail person COULD own a house, believe it or not… almost impossible today. Of course, back then we had control over markets, imposed trade barriers, and the population had significant union representation. We also actually manufactured things, as opposed to today. Conservatives who want to go back to the 50’s conveniently forget these facts.

But, it is irrelevant… at some point we became so jaded when these ideals were stripped from our society, that we now resent and try to bring down anyone who still has health insurance, union membership, or a pension plan. Instead of demanding more for ourselves, we are demanding less for everyone else–somehow it is better for everyone to be dragged down rather than lifting everyone up.

It’s a little depressing that Americans have been so beaten down by the system that they are afraid to stand up for themselves. What’s even sadder is that people seem intent on cutting off your nose to spite their face.

It is no wonder that the United States of America is in such a bad state. It’s time for America to rise up and demand the America Dream again. It is our birthright, but only if we stand up for it.