Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Hello Big Brother...

I have heard some rumblings about what became known as the Real ID Act late last year. There really is a a reason to be scared of this thing. The quick and dirty on the bill lays out the purpose of this evil piece of legislation. The full text of the bill at its inception can be found here.

Lets think about this one for a second. The Real ID is basically a national driver's license. This impinges on the state's ability to regulate their drivers, systematically destroying entire state-created administrative agencies. The Secretary of State in Illinois has a hard enough time keeping track of the 20 million or so drivers in Illinois. Could you imagine having the Transportation Safety Administration, you know those guys at the checkpoint at the airport most of which haven't graduated from highs school and strip-search people for fun, dealing with the several hundreds of Millions of names. Wait, didn't a government agency just lose 20 thousand names and social security numbers. Ignoring the civil liberty implications for just a moment, shouldn't we also fear the risk of identity theft inherent in this whole system? Regardless, this is a massive grab for power by the federal government over the states, creating a uniform system for issuance historically controlled by the states. Moreover, any argument that this can control illegal immigration is baseless since California is the only state in the nation that has considered allowing illegal immigrants to obtain drivers' licenses. Did we mention the implications on Fourth Amendment Rights? This dilutes the concept of probable cause to nothingness and allows any federal agent to search or seize your papers. It could take months to get a driver's license back from a state agency, what about the federal government, are we talking years?

To summarize, the most disorganized and fiscally irresponsible government to date passes a law as part of a spending bill to create national standards for driver's licenses and ID cards in order to control terrorism and illegal immigration, but only U.S. citizens can obtain them. For some reason, this doesn't sound any different than current driver's license systems. The reality is because it's not, the whole concept is redundant, and would allow federal agents to check your personal papers at their own initiative in violation of the Fourth Amendment. Just another example of how an over-reactionist, fear-mongering, government can take actions through appropriations bills to obliterate the liberty of its citizens, under the auspices of protecting us from terrorist attacks that are preventable without gross violations of the Constitution.


John Rush said...

The Real ID Act is a bad piece of legislation. It -- it's underlying philosoph-- should be sent to the trash heap.

A Conservative Against REAL ID

The Donnybrook said...

I completely agree with you John. This is the kind of thing that everyone should really be against given the dangers it exposes us to among other things.

Are you bothered by the fact that it was appended to an appropriations bill?