Friday, January 11, 2008

Driver's License Time!

Hmph. This caught my eye this morning. If you are born after 12/1/1964, then you will be required by the Department of Homeland Security to get a new driver's license in the next 6 years. Why in the world should the federal government care if you have a new state-issued license? (all emphasis added)

Terrorism. Illegal immigrants. Con artists.

The Homeland Security Department has spent years crafting the final regulations for the REAL ID Act, a law designed to make it harder for terrorists, illegal immigrants and con artists to get government-issued identification.

By 2014, anyone seeking to board an airplane or enter a federal building would have to present a REAL ID-compliant driver's license, with the notable exception of those more than 50 years old, Homeland Security officials said.

There's even a slogan!

The hijacker-pilot who flew into the Pentagon, Hani Hanjour, had a total of four driver's licenses and ID cards from three states. The DHS, which was created in response to the attacks, has created a slogan for REAL ID: "One driver, one license."

Cleverness. Really. And it took them YEARS to come up with this.

Random thoughts: What are we going to do with those stubborn people who refuse to get a driver's license due to living in a city with good transportation alternatives (obviously, nobody in Atlanta would fall into that category)? Also, what about terrorists too young to drive?

The cards will have three layers of security measures but will not contain microchips as some had expected.

Yes. NOW I feel better. No microchips. I wish Fox had specified these curiously vague "security measures." I can't possibly research this until I've had coffee. But they will make checking your SSN a requirement, which is already in place in most states. Also, your immigration status will be checked. What about those states that allow or want to allow illegals to get driver's licenses? What, will there be a new checkbox category: Legal, Illegal, Terrorist, Con Artist?

Why are they picking on the under-50 crowd?

The over-50 exemption was created to give states more time to get everyone new licenses, and officials say the risk of someone in that age group being a terrorist, illegal immigrant or con artist is much less. By 2017, even those over 50 must have a REAL ID-compliant card to board a plane.

That's hilarious! That, to me, appears to be an invitation for the Baby Boomer set to supplement their dwindling Social Security checks with a little Con Artist Action. Retirees need hobbies, you know. Not only that--isn't the government supposed to be against profiling for PC reasons? I'm feeling profiled here! I'm not 50, therefore I'm more likely to commit one of these crimes. (Don't worry, the ACLU already has some lackeys working on this.) Here's a thought--if they're going to profile, why not actually do it, instead of this pseudo "You're Under 50 So You MIGHT Be A Terrorist, Illegal or Con Artist" profiling.

Some states (don't know if GA is one) are objecting--not on principle, alas, but due to implementation costs--but then how will their residents be able to board a plane, especially if they are traveling to a state that DOES comply? Resistance is futile. It'll happen.

I thought this sentence was very comical:

In order to make the plan more appealing to cost-conscious states, federal authorities drastically reduced the expected cost from $14.6 billion to $3.9 billion, a 73 percent decline, according to Homeland Security officials familiar with the plan.

Cost-conscious! Oh, they're killing me!

So . . . let me get this straight. One (or possibly more) of the 9/11 terrorists had some fake driver's licenses. So now everyone under 50, most of us non-terrorists actually, will be compelled by the federal government to submit to extra "security measurements" in order to drive on the roads legally, take an airplane ride, and visit a federal building. It's going to cost lots of extra money, too.

Bad news for college kids trying to get fake ids, I guess. Here's a prediction: SOMEBODY will figure out how to fake these new REAL IDs. People have been making fake ids for years, for beer purposes, sometimes for terrorist purposes. It will be faked. Not a doubt in my mind. Veronica Mars could totally do it.

Aren't you feeling safer?

My driver's license expires in November, so I'll get to write an On The Scene Follow Up Post.


hippietrip said...

This is absolutely ridiculous. If you ever needed a reason to vote here is your chance. Aside from tremendous amount of money it is going to cost, to be able to track a person's every move via REAL ID, is a fundamental violation of civil rights. I am disgusted by this proposal. And to suggest this in the name of Homeland Security....?? It's sick. What the hell is wrong with this country?

Anonymous said...

It's a good thing they choose people over 50 to not have to get these REAL IDs, since they were less likely to be terrorists. That way Osama, born in 1957, can get as many fake IDs as he wants!

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

You have to be kidding. Ummmm, terrorists are less likely to be the over 50 crowd? Let’s see, the best guess from our government’s intelligence (contradiction in terms) agencies is that Osama bin Laden was born in 1957. Cool, I guess he won’t have to get a Real I.D. when he comes to live here and carry out his humanitarian work. Maybe, he will be unable to teach the under 50 crowd how to fly planes and use various chemical and biological compounds to make bipartisan political changes. Has anyone looked at the major world terrorists and despotic leaders. Seems like there are very few in the under 50 crowd making the decisions. As always go to the bottom of the problem not its source. We stopped Sadam… oh wait he was over 50 too. It looks like the goal is to stop their minions so it looks like Homeland Security is doing something while leaving us scared so we continue to behave like good little patriots.

Anonymous said...

Our government keeps trying to prove to us that they are trying to protect us without actually taking the actions needed to truly protect and secure our individual identities. Checking with other states for duplicate licenses is not going to solve the issue when some states (ahem California) can't even check within thier own system! At one point my husband had two CA driver's licenses, one his own and one "ownded" by a person who stole his identity 6 years ago. Six years and all governement (state and federal) agencies refuse to do anything about it.

alienbinary said...
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alienbinary said...
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alienbinary said...

In studying for the law school entry exam, you learn a lot about logic and arguments. Reading the article about this on Reuters, I couldn't not pick out logical errors in the reasoning.

In talking this over with my office mate, she pointed out to the often used argument that one of the alleged hijackers had four drivers' licences. So I asked her and I ask you (anyone reading this) what is the correlation between proper behavior and sitting on a plane? If a person is of the mindset that they want to take a plane out of the sky or do some other horrible act, what do they care if their reputation is sullied as a result? Is this just so we know exactly who did the attack? After all, once I'm on the plane, which I can do as a born-in-America American citizen, there's nothing whatsoever to stop me from committing some violent act.

The truth is, there is little to no correlation between REAL ID and stopping terrorists.

If I kill someone, does it matter what name I'm using at the time? Aren't I still guilty? Am I any less dangerous because I'm a natural citizen? Last time I checked, the news was peppered with stories about Americans killing Americans.

What about social security numbers? Just because I have a valid checksummed social security number doesn't logically have to follow that I have MY social security number.

What if they match a face to a name to a valid social security number? In this case, we have a situation where the REAL ID is working correctly, and the card holder is identified. So what next?

Well, if you've run through the REAL ID and now that you know who I am, how do you determine if I can enter a Federal building? Do you check my credit? Do you see if I have any outstanding warrants, do you actually do anything you can't do with a current driver's license? The only thing this will insure is that only hardened criminals with sufficient access to technical equipment will be able to circumvent security measures. Congratulations, you've just established a system that keeps out everyone EXCEPT the ONLY PEOPLE you claim to be looking for.

Don't feed me a line that this is for my own safety either. How safe am I when I LOSE MY REAL ID? Do you arrest me? I suppose you would have to, because clearly only criminals would want to remain anonymous?

So now the woman who wants to avoid being stalked has no prayer of avoiding a full information compromise when they go to purchase a plane ticket. Now those with the power of reading the REAL ID have a godlike ability to manipulate and mutilate your lifestyle based on a stupid card.

The REAL ID act is built on "guilty until proven innocent" which is contrary to the spirit of the American legal system. In America, the country who we claim we are trying to protect, we don't assume someone of wrong doing without probably cause. Forcing someone to identify themselves as a non criminal assumes the position that we're only innocent once we have established that we are. So much for "better than the French system," which many snide so-called "patriots" use when defending our justice system.

In a free country, people should have the freedom to stay out of the public eye. In a free country, people should be able to travel without being presumed a potential terrorist or dissident.

In a free country, we wouldn't even CONSIDER something like the REAL ID act.

Rational Jenn said...

Thanks everyone for your comments. I'm at a loss here. Between this and the American Community Survey (search the phrase on this blog to read about my "invitation" to participate in that), there will be no privacy left for honest, law-abiding citizens in the Land of the Free.

It's appalling.

Terry said...

This Real-ID proposal has been a farse from day one. Fifteen of the original nineteen hijackers on 9-11 were issued valid VISA's by the U.S. State Department. In other words, they were welcomed into the country with open arms by the federal government - not the states.

Further, the U.S. State Dept. issued two additional VISA's to two of the hijackers six months after they had rammed an airliner into the side of one of the two towers. How's that for competence?

Even worse, the Government Accounting Office conducted an audit of U.S. State Department practices and policies two years after the fact and concluded the department had made no significant modifications to its VISA policies that would prevent a similar occurrence from taking place in the future.

State driver's licenses have never been the problem. Federal incompetence and bad policies at every level have. 9-11 has just been a convenient excuse for the federal government to further erode the fundamental principles of federalism and gain more control over the states and individuals.

With DHS now regulating state driver's licenses along with conducting suspicionless 'citizenship' checkpoints in the interior of the country (see video of my recent stop at one of these checkpoints):

you can bet it wont be long before Homeland Security agents will be demanding Real-ID compliant drivers licenses from everyone being stopped.

Rational Jenn said...

State driver's licenses have never been the problem. Federal incompetence and bad policies at every level have. 9-11 has just been a convenient excuse for the federal government to further erode the fundamental principles of federalism and gain more control over the states and individuals.

Terry--you are absolutely right. The government no longer protects our rights, it uses "public safety" and fear as an excuse to whittle away at our freedoms.

Real ID, the American Community Survey, the "phasing out" of incandescent light bulbs, even calls for additional regulation of homeschooling families--these are only the most recent examples of how individual liberty--a founding principle of our country!--is in serious danger of being exterminated forever.

I cannot stress this enough. War is being waged on US citizens (in addition to war by terrorists), an insidious war all the more dangerous because most citizens are either unaware that it is going on, or else are blissfully embracing these controls in the name of safety.