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May 09, 2005
all the fallen leaves
The House of Representatives just passed an appropriations bill that provided more funding for the war in Iraq. Though I've never believed the war in Iraq was necessary or justified, and I saw through the lies the Bush administration told Congress, the American people, and the world, I've always felt that the soldiers in the field should have the absolute best weapons, armor, and support available.
Like George W. Bush, I've never seen combat. Unlike George W. Bush, I think supplying our military with the best armor and weapons, and taking care of our veterans and their families are two of the most important things a nation should do
during a war ever. Period. Even more important than repealing the estate tax. Most Americans and some Congressmen agree with me, so appropriations bills like these are almost always quickly passed. Cynical, Evil, Totalitarian Congressmen like Jim Sensenbrenner know this, so they sneak things into these bills that have failed when they were brought up on their own.
Herr Sensenbrenner's addition to this particular appropriations bill is a terrifying invasion of privacy: a national ID card.
If you're even moderately concerned about privacy and security, you're probably a regular reader of anything Bruce Schneier writes. If you're not concerned with privacy and security, you should be, and you should read Bruce's books, or at least his blog.
Today, Bruce breaks down the REAL ID act, and points out all the reasons it's such a bad idea. But the thing that got my blood boiling is this:
[The REAL ID Act] was voted down last fall, but has been reintroduced and attached to legislation that funds military actions in Iraq. This is a "must-pass" piece of legislation, which means that there has been no debate on REAL ID. No hearings, no debates in committees, no debates on the floor. Nothing. [Emphasis mine]
I believe that this is national ID card is incredibly stupid, expensive, invasive, and unnecessary. But whether you think it's a swell idea or not, ask yourself, "Do I want Congress passing laws that fundamentally change something as valuable as my right to privacy, without any discussion or debate at all?" If Congress is willing to force us all to submit to this invasion of privacy, without even allowing us to weigh in on it, how are they effectively representing us?
Does everyone understand what this means? The US Congress, the lawmakers who derive their power from the consent of the governed, are about to take a huge step toward turning our country into a police state, and they're doing it without any debate at all. Democrats urged Nuclear Bill Frist to allow some debate on REAL ID, but he refused, it was cynically attached to the appropriations bill, and it easily passed the House. Why are Republicans in Congress shutting the American people out of the legislative process? Could it be because Americans overwhelmingly reject the idea of a national ID card?
When the Social Security Number (SSN) was created in 1936, it was meant to be used only as an account number associated with the administration of the Social Security system. Though use of the SSN has expanded considerably, it is not a universal identifier and efforts to make it one have been consistently rejected. In 1971, the Social Security Administration task force on the SSN rejected the extension of the Social Security Number to the status of an ID card. In 1973, the Health, Education and Welfare Secretary's Advisory Committee on Automated Personal Data Systems concluded that a national identifier was not desirable. In 1976, the Federal Advisory Committee on False Identification rejected the idea of an identifier.
In 1977, the Carter Administration reiterated that the SSN was not to become an identifier, and in 1981 the Reagan Administration stated that it was "explicitly opposed" to the creation of a national ID card. The Clinton administration advocated a "Health Security Card" in 1993 and assured the public that the card, issued to every American, would have "full protection for privacy and confidentiality." Still, the idea was rejected and the health security card was never created. In 1999 Congress repealed a controversial provision in the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 which gave authorization to include Social Security Numbers on driver's licenses.
In response to the tragic events of Sept. 11, 2001, there has been renewed interest in the creation of national ID cards. Soon after the attacks, Larry Ellison, head of California-based software company Oracle Corporation, called for the development of a national identification system and offered to donate the technology to make this possible. He proposed ID cards with embedded digitized thumbprints and photographs of all legal residents in the U.S. There was much public debate about the issue, and Congressional hearings were held. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich testified that he "would not institute a national ID card because you do get into civil liberties issues."
The leadership in this Congress is out of touch and out of control. They are beholden to an extremist minority, and they're trying to force an extremist agenda on America.
Silencing the voice of the people on such an important issue sure doesn't sound like a Democracy, or a Representative Republc. This sounds an awful lot like fascism.
Posted by wil at May 9, 2005 12:37 PM
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» Big Brother's watching from The Zen of me
Wil's got an excellent summary of the dastardly REAL ID act which was passed by the House of Representatives without debate. Contact your reps and tell them how upset you are this was passed, particularly without any debate despite public... [Read More]
Tracked on May 9, 2005 01:35 PM
» Hey, everybody, it's a National ID Card! from The Phantom City
I figured this would be happening sooner or later, but I always thought it would just be more blatant. We're soon to have uniform standards on driver's licenses thanks to the REAL ID Act, creating a national ID card out of identification that once was ... [Read More]
Tracked on May 9, 2005 01:59 PM
» On National ID Cards from X-Tra Rant
What Wil said:
I believe that this is national ID card is incredibly stupid, expensive, invasive, and unnecessary. But whether you think it's a swell idea or not, ask yourself, "Do I want Congress passing laws that fundamentally change something as ... [Read More]
Tracked on May 9, 2005 04:04 PM
» Why you should urge your Senator to vote against REAL ID from Adam Fields weblog
In short, the Real ID Act is a huge waste of money that will likely have the opposite of the stated effect, but will enable other kinds of tracking that are not worth the cost at best and totalitarian at worst, while leaving huge vulnerabilities for le... [Read More]
Tracked on May 9, 2005 04:14 PM
» RealID Act from john dewar
Wil Wheaton writes as eloquently as ever about the RealID act that's about to be rammed through the legislature: Does everyone understand what this means? The US Congress, the lawmakers who derive their power from the consent of the governed,... [Read More]
Tracked on May 9, 2005 06:21 PM
» Wil Speaks-I Listen from Rook's Rant
WIL WHEATON dot NET: Where is my mind?: all the fallen leaves I believe that this is national ID card is incredibly stupid, expensive, invasive, and unnecessary. But whether you think it's a swell idea or not, ask yourself, "Do... [Read More]
Tracked on May 9, 2005 08:22 PM
» links for 2005-05-10 from seanbonner
candy blog mmmm, candy. (tags: cool) WWdN: all the fallen leaves great post on privacy, national ID card (tags:... [Read More]
Tracked on May 10, 2005 05:18 AM
» Life During Wartime from Piece O' Freedom
There's a lot of debate in Congress about creation of a new National ID Card. Wait, scratch that. As Wil Wheaton clearly spells out, there has been no debate in Congress about a National ID Card, which is being rammed... [Read More]
Tracked on May 10, 2005 11:00 AM
» Another leaf on the tree of freedom falls from Illiterate Poet
"Those who would sacrifice liberty for safety will have neither liberty nor safety." - "Benjamin Franklin. As many of you know, I support our troops and the war on terror wholeheartedly. Unfortunately, today is a sad day in American freedom.... [Read More]
Tracked on May 11, 2005 08:19 AM
» Another leaf on the tree of freedom falls from Illiterate Poet
"Those who would sacrifice liberty for safety will have neither liberty nor safety." - "Benjamin Franklin. As many of you know, I support our troops wholeheartedly. Unfortunately, today is a sad day in American freedom. Today the â€śREAL IDâ€ť act... [Read More]
Tracked on May 11, 2005 08:32 AM
» Link Roundup: RealID from Technosailor
In light of recent comments about RealID, I thought I’d post some links from the blogosphere:
Bruce Schneier says: “It’s a bad idea, and is going to make us all less safe. It’s also very expensive. And it’s all happenin... [Read More]
Tracked on May 11, 2005 10:19 AM
» This is not government Of The People. from Naiahdot
So, this morning I stumbled across an article on Ars Technica that left me shaking mad. I didn't get a chance to write it up, but my man Wil Wheaton's all over it, and so I send you to his entry about what we really need to fear in the Real ID Act. ... [Read More]
Tracked on May 11, 2005 11:59 AM
» REAL ID from Infinate Idiocy
I try not to stoke political fires, I also try to avoid politics since it inevitably comes down to fundamental differences in beliefs on a few minor (compared to everything else the government has to do ) issues that can not be resolved through any amo... [Read More]
Tracked on May 11, 2005 01:46 PM
"The leadership in this Congress is out of touch and out of control. They are beholden to an extremist minority, and they're trying to force an extremist agenda on America."
This comment perfectly describes what's been going on in Washington of late. Both the Real ID act and the push to eliminate the filibuster as it is used for the judicial nomination procedure are evidence of a majority desperate to maintain control, no matter who they hurt or whose rights they trample.
I have some quite conservative Republican friends, and even they are disturbed by this course of events. Call your Senators and Representatives, people. Write letters (do NOT e-mail - they receive too much e-mail as it is). Let them know we as a nation are watching and we are not happy.
Just another notch on the ladder heading down. The climate of America right now is pretty much doomed to continue in this direction, imho. The kind of democratic response required to fight this inertia requires broad grass-roots support, and right now the bulk of people care more about getting their next fix of American Idol or the next table of food for their family, depending on which side of the poverty line they're on.
No sufficient number of people will speak up on this until things get bad enough for them to realise just what they're losing with their freedoms. What remains to be seen is whether they'll still have the freedom under the government to correct this issue, or whether it will have gotten bad enough by then that it'll be neccesary to overthrow the government.
The third possibility is that government control will always be two steps ahead of the people's motivation to fix it, and we'll see some variant of 1984's predictions come to fruition. As you can probabbly tell from my predictions of the first two possibilities, I'm too much of an optimist to seriously consider this one.
That's a lot of political drama!!! Makes me SOOOO happy to be a Canadian... :-p (Luv you guys to death, but wouldn't wanna live there, personally!)
As mentioned in places like BoingBoing and Slashdot, here's a quick way to let your senators know that you're not happy with this:
Boo. Hiss. I can't believe I voted for Bush. It is looking more and more like a big mistake.
This illustrates why we really need some rule, Constitutional amendment, whatever, that requires that bills be about one issue and one issue only, and eliminates "offtopic" riders. Both parties are guilty of this sort of thing; this is just the latest example.
The only part of REAL ID I could get behind is the denial of driver's licenses to illegal aliens. However, that's not going to do a hell of a lot of good without a number of other measures to buttress it, such as tighter immigration enforcement (both at the borders and elsewhere), immigration status tests for other Federal and state benefits, and real sanctions, with teeth, against businesses that hire illegal aliens. None of this is in the offing on the Federal level. Given that, Sensenbrenner's claim that this is an immigration-related measure is specious at best, and closer to outright "Liar, liar, pants on fire."
Could it be that there's a Wisconsin-based company that's aiming to get the contract to implement this new ID technology?
And now you see why some of us, even those of us that voted Republican, refer to Republicans as "The Stupid Party." It's maddening.
The Real Id Act is just bringing us closer to becoming a police state. What is next? Are the police going to start stopping people to check their papers? The act is fundamentally wrong and it conflicts with the ideals that this nation was founded on. This is something that needs to be brought to the attention of the American public. I guess person privacy is not as important as an illusion of safety.
Interestingly enough, as I understand it, we (American citizens) don't actually have any legal "rights" to privacy. The constitution doesn't lay out any particular wording as to defining or guaranteeing privacy for the citizens.
Maybe we should start there with a constitutional amendment that defines and guarantees privacy to all citizens. Anything from there, like this id card, would then be unconstitutional. Otherwise, this belief in privacy is just fantasy.
I'm so so sad about the state of our country, and sad to think that had I worked a little harder, met a few more people, we wouldn't be sitting in this spot right now.
I'm sitting here, watching Around the Horn on ESPN, and it all of a sudden seems petty and pointless.
Ever since the extremists took over the Republican Party and then the federal government, I've taken to wearing "Depends" adult diapers. I swear, everytime I read what they're up to now or see it on television I just sh** my pants!
If you wanna see an almost embarrassing interview Bush gave on Irish TV last year about the war in Iraq, Click here
I've been following the politics of the Bush Administration since 911 and things aren't looking good. From media-deregulation which served as a form of advanced payment to big media to play softball journalism in favor of this administration, to the 911 report snow-job, the Witehouse outing of one of our CIA operatives Valerie Plume, (in punishment) who's husbands work debunk'd the Nigera Uranium sales to Iraq claim(investigation on the felony leak seems to have stalled), and disenfranchising of minority voters and electronic voting machines and other election irregularities. Including the underhanded tactics of Karl Rove. This all adds-up to some serious problems now, and for the future of this Republic. People in-power don't give-it-up voluntarily and I have news for you; the elite in this country don't play by the rules and couldn't care-less about the Constitution. How they are able to get away with this is through fear; fear of terrorism, fear of homosexuality (dividing the electorate) and fear of an economic crash. This administration is preparing for something big and it looks like it's happening in our life-time.
"The leadership in this Congress is out of touch and out of control. They are beholden to an extremist minority, and they're trying to force an extremist agenda on America."
It's sounding a lot like Iran's revolution in the 70's isn't it?
//in a slow boil.
I am an extremely middle of the road person, and I too can't agree with a national ID card. It seems to me there are people on both sides who only want state's rights when it applies to their viewpoint.
The constant bickering and name calling on both sides is making me depressed. It's kind of like watching your parents fight. There's just a bunch of yelling and insults and nothing contructive ever happens.
How did it get to be that extremists are taking over everything?
Next thing you know, we're going to have to have "marks" on our hands or foreheads to buy or sell anything. Gettin' closer, guys... and scarier.
Holy dictatorship Batman!
No, but seriously. I wasn't all too concerned about security, until I got into insurance. I see people's lives everyday. Joe Nobody has a wife and three kids. He also has HIV and severe problems with his anus. Put those two together and what do we have? A crap load of assumptions that may or may not be true but do you want everyone making them? Absolutely not! Then there is the fact that we are still using SSN's as the ID numbers. Dude, if I wanted to steal someone's identity, I could totally do it...and someone could totally do it to me!
A national ID card? No no no. Don't want that.
Ah Wil, I've missed your political rants, it's been awhile. This is scary stuff indeed, the right wingers are drunk with power at this point. Thanks for all the informative links, I want to learn more about this. Good work stirring the outrage, Wil.
The ACLU did this great Flash animation that makes the point about the National ID card and tying together all the corporate data (the ultimate goal) with humor and class:
Access it here.
Glad to see you piping in on a political subject. You have a very high tolerance for the Republicans' political crimes. The Plume outing or the earpiece or the lies about SS #'s or, oh heck, where to stop?
Anyway, keep up the good work.
Republicans lie and innocent people die.
Republicans steal and give to their rich friends, leaving just an IOU for our kids to pay off.
Republicans cheat and think they are "moral."
We must flush away all Republicans in '06 and '08.
The UK government has been going on about compulsory ID cards for the last 3 years. I have to say that to a certain extent I don't have a problem with them, I do however have a problem with paying for them.
The current government is looking at the average person paying the equivalent of about $60 per ID card. Factor into that the approx. $40 cost for a passpsort and whatever it is for a driving licence - and all 3 can't be combined - it's going to cost a heck of a lot of money and will fail (http://www.theregister.co.uk/2005/03/21/lse_idcard_report/). All of them are a waste of tax payers money and designed to allegedly give the government more "control" over terroism and immigration.
As for your other point, my Brother works for the Ministry of Defense (MOD) here in England and the worrying thing is that more body armour vests are returned to his depot as defective than are available to the troops - hence them going into battle without body armour.
Has no-one heard of quality control?
I first heard about the Real ID a few weeks ago, but it didn't really sink in...until this morning. I was cruising Boing Boing and saw the piece on it, and the link to unrealid.com. Then, I started looking more and more into this "national ID card". Now, I am conservative on some things, liberal on most. I see black and white in a lot of issues, mainly because I have to due to the nature of my job- law enforcement. But this is NOT a good idea. And it is another in a long string of not good ideas that this administration has had. Iraq- ok to a point, but now its time to get the hell out and bring the troops home. National ID- sounds good on its surface, but looking underneath its rotten. I can go to the streets of our nations capitol and buy a drivers license for any state in the union. This won't help. It will be just another card for sale, only these will have some poor saps SSN and other info on it, to take his money, his credit, and in the end his lifestyle. And everyone else's when we are required to have these cards.
I'm not as good with politics as others, but from what I read this sounds a lot like the Patriot Act. How it was never debated, many people never read it, it simply passed.
I'm getting a little miffed about GW. I moved out of Texas because of him. I didn't go to my college graduation (Grad School) because he was the keynote. All in all, I dislike his politics a great deal. That's can't be misconstrewed as anything else.
I simply wish that people cared a little more about what's going on with the country and the power-holders than what they are.
I'm not going to say anything negative about the preponderance of voters, or the apathy of the younger generation, but it does make a difference.
Ok, I'm done ranting.
On this, I agree with you, Wil. When my home state of Georgia started requiring fingerprints on driver's licenses in 1996 some people fought it, but not many. Now it's so commonplace hardly anyone is fighting it anymore. A repeal bill has been in the state legislature and buried in committee for a long time and no one takes it seriously. The fingerprint law in the Georgia was passed because it was attached to another law that was re-written suddenly - this is exactly what is happening with this appropriations bill on the national level. I have said for many years that if we allow state licenses to have fingerprints it's only a matter of time before we get a national ID. That day may be closer than I thought.
The national ID is invasive but I don't think the idea is totally without merit. In your defense, I do believe there are some serious issues that need to be resolved before implementing such a project.I personally believe everyone should carry an ID at all times. I work in a hospital. I have worked in a hospital almost my entire adult life. Let me give you a couple examples of when I think an ID would have been appropriate. 1. *Signing into the emergency room.* I have seen the same medicaid card passed from one person to the next several nights in a row. An ID proving the person holding the medicaid card was actually the person using it would have been nice. Funny how more than half the people who sign into the emergency room don't have an ID and can't remember their address, phone number or where they work. But they have the medicaid card.
2. *You must be fourteen to enter this unit.* I have seen parents lie and say their 10 year old is fourteen. Please, I have 5 children of my own! An ID proving the child was 14 would have been nice and avoided conflict.
3. For some reason, weekly we have moms in the Neonatal intensive care unit who can't remember who their baby's daddy is. The mom gives us a name and then brings in three different men claiming to be the Dad. Of course, no one brings an ID to the hospital.
We here is New York can relate to your comments about elected representatives passing legislation with little or no debate. That's pretty much been the M.O. for our state government for years now.
Three men - Gov. Pataki, Sen. Silver and Rep. Bruno pretty much hammer out all of the legislation that is destined to pass amongst themselves, then present it to the legislature, which typically rubber stamps anything that comes to it. We also have 'empty seat' voting, which means that if a legislator is at a committee meeting or for whatever reason not on the floor, any votes for that person are automatically logged as yes.
We also have a huge amount of partisan acrimony. Democrats dominate the state senate, Republicans the assembly. Minorities in each house effectively have no power at all, much less than in the federal government.
I fear that NY is showing us our future at the federal level. God help us all.
In Pennsylvania we don't (yet) have fingerprints on our licenses, but the state began capturing our photos and keeping them in a database when license photos turned digital a few years ago. I complained about that (to no effect, but it did keep my petition signing and sign waving skills fresh), and the (un)Real ID is far worse.
Any national id is obscene. It's an invitation to government malfeasance. Even the Right Wing thought so - back when they claimed Clinton was going to bring it in. Now, of course, it's for our own good. Our own security. Our safety. Coming in 2006: king-size crib rails, so you won't fall and hurt yourself when the conservative bedroom and sexuality police pay their next midnight visit.
Gods preserve me from wanting to be quite that safe.
This government relies on fear to manipulate people. Their use of fear, their deliberate nurturing of it, is hateful.
Meanwhile, while the right to privacy may not be explicitly stated in the Bill of Rights, it is implied in Amendment IV (right to be secure from unreasonable searches and seizures), and Amendment IX makes it clear that not all rights held by the people are enumerated in the Constitution. Some rights follow from common law.
Please, please, let the courts strike this monstrosity down (she said, while reaching for her checkbook to donate to the ACLU again...)
I can see how this could be a good thing. Barely. But mostly, it scares the heck out of me. The government just keeps getting more invasive, which is interesting, because really the Republican stance is usually one of less control, yet they want total control over certain things. The country is getting further and further away from what it claims to be, which is a "free democracy". How can Bush talk so much about freedom, then control its citizens more and more each passing second. It makes me wonder where we'll be in four years. Or rather, where I'll be. Canada?
It is my understanding that the National ID Card law may be an infringment of states rights. That is, it may be very difficult for the Federal government to force states to implement the card they way they want. The painful thing is that it is going to link up a bunch of databases that are currently not linked. This is a good thing for doing things like tracking down deadbeat dads and parole skippers but it also means things like civil disobedience or political contributions could follow you around (possibly keep you from getting jobs) forever.
It is interesting that the party of fundamentalist Christians doing this stuff. I would think that this legislation would set off all sorts of warning flags about the "mark of the beast" as described in Revelations.
On another note, did you know that if you are suspected of being a terrorist the Federal government can arrest you and hold you in secret for as long as they feel like it? It happened to a 16 year old girl in New York (http://news.google.com/news?q=Adama%20Bah). She was held and questioned for 6 weeks before being released with no charges.
As a German, I think it's more than sad that, at a time when the whole world is celebrating the 60th anniversary of the end of World War II and the fall of the Nazi regime in Germany, these shabby methods are being applied to pass a law that cuts the people's rights in such a strong way... methods (and a law) that would have done honor to every single one of them "politicians" that were members of the Hitler "government".
I completely agree with you about the national ID card. Terrifying notion, this invasion of privacy. Personally, I don't like the Democrats or the Republicans as a whole - they're all too corrupt. Don't believe what all the Hollywood whacks tell you about Bush, though. He's probably the most personally honest and honorable president we've had since... well, since just about Lincoln.
I'm not saying his administration didn't over-emphasize the WMD angle because it would sell better when their actual primary reason for going to war was, in reality, much more philosophical. (Basically, the "true" argument they used to justify the attack as to say, "we're living in a different world since 9/11, and we are justified in pre-emptively attacking those who have attacked us in the past. Of course, "us" being our "friends" in the middle east.) I think the President could probably very accurately be criticized as surrounding himself with people who are not as honest and forthright as himself. Calling the President a stupid moron and a "loser" (as Harry Reid did this past weekend to a group of Vegas High Schoolers) is simply irresponsible and underestimating the man's integrity, however. Not to mention showing a historically significant lack of respect for the position of President, no matter who holds it.
I always feel like I'm taking up some banner of Republicans when I defend the President, and I want to do anything but that. It's just obvious to me how raw a deal the President's gotten personally, though, and it pisses me off to see people (not you that I've seen, Wil, but others) try to nail him with irresponsible, inaccurate, and unfair personal monikers like being "stupid," "moronic," "illiterate," "retarded," and "loser."
Hmm... [frown] I seem to have gotten up here on my soapbox again... sorry. [/soapbox]
While expressing my opinions above, let me say that I in no way condemn your conscientious objection on the grounds of the war being unjustified. I totally see that point of view, and although I disagree, I respect that you feel that way. I just wish the different arguments could disagree, and even argue about it, in a civil way rather that stooping to call the leaders silly and childish names. (Obligatory Rodney King reference - "Can't we all just get along?") I wasn't trying to accuse you of doing that, either... I guess I just got up on my soapbox. :)
Hmm... that reminds me of a Mark Twain joke... "Suppose you were a member of Congress. Now suppose you were an idiot. But I repeat myself."
"...did you know that if you are suspected of being a terrorist the Federal government can arrest you and hold you in secret for as long as they feel like it?"
I am surprised this is news to you. Everyone I know has been aghast at this for a few years now - since shortly after 9/11. Though, I am Canadian.
If you think the story about the girls is scary, take a look at this 60 Minutes report from August of 2003. They interview a few of the reportedly 1,200 people who were illegally detained by the US govt. after 9/11 - some for many months without being allowed to make a phone call, speak with their families or procure any kind of legal council.
If that's not fascist I don't know what is.
What amazes me is that this is even *possible*. I'm in the U.K., and I'm pretty sure you can't just put a *whole new different law* in with another bill.
Americal politics is just weird.
Its a real sign of the times, governments are pushing more and more outlandish security bills, and some people are grumbling. STOP MOANING,do something!
Nobody has any fight anymore, if you dont like the bill, get you and your buddys to not be a part of it, exclude yourself from its control and it will be useless, tell your friends, tell their friends, tell people that it will only work if everybody excepts it. This is true of anything, it can also be negatively enforced.
Sure you could write your representatives, but its unlikely to work, like Wil sez, how often has this thing been pushed back before? and now tacked on the back of something else to force you to endure it. So, if you dont like it do something, occupy a civil building, (please don't do anything violent, you'll be a laughing stock) hold up traffic, anything, everything, everybody can do something to bring awarness to a cause, get a leader and SORT IT OUT!
I live in the UK so this doesnt effect me directly, but you USAians dont seem to realise how much you lead by example. whats good for you is probably better for us, but ours is louder. stop this now before the idea infects other civilised countries!
I am opposed to a National ID card as presented. The idea of one I am in favor of if implemented correctly if it would eliminate a passport/SS card, etc.
You liberals who are whining and moaning about everything - do you realize most of the mess Bush is dealing with is a result of 8 years of Billy boy's antics of having Monica get down on him while he should have been running the country.
Wil, I respect your views, I enjoy your writings but your rants make me sick. Just how out of touch are you out there in the coast?
It's about time the liberals grow up and join the rest of us at the big peoples table.
Go George! Draft Cheney in 08!
I wish the solution were as simple as putting blame on one party or the other. Whichever party is in power at any given time usually takes the brunt of the criticism. Unfortunately, I think we're getting screwed from both sides on a regular basis on different issues before Congress. The national ID card has been rejected by both parties during different administrations.It's not generally a partisan issue.
I think the bigger issue is the fact that the two party system we have doesn't work the way it was intended to work. You have no alternative but to choose between 2 candidates who are endorsed by their respective parties. Yes, we have primaries, but choosing between the candidates on the ballot is often nothing more than choosing between the lesser of 2 evils. We have people running who are career politicians, and I think those words should never be used together in the same sentence. When you have a small group of people who make the decisions for the rest of us, who also have the power to vote themselves raises and who make more money than most of their constituents will ever see, we have a problem. That alone shows they are out of touch with the rest of us. There is no way for a viable 3rd party candidate to launch an effective bid for national, or even state office without a ton of cash, and even then people are afraid to vote for them. They are afraid a vote for a different candidate will really take a vote away from either of the 2 mainstream parties. Um, yeah...that's the point. I think that having basically only 2 choices absolves the people of having to really, honestly think for themselves. People will vote either R or D, based on their party affiliation, without stopping to see which person, if either, is really the better candidate. We need to think for ourselves and vote according to our best interests, without regard to party affiliation. I am a registered R, albeit a bad one based on many "requirements" but our D Governor in NJ is fantastic. (now, not everyone votes without thought, but there's a reason we refer to many people by terms like "the masses")
I am in total agreement about the military. My father is a retired Colonel, US Army, so I am pro-military. That doesn't mean I am pro-war at all. But since our armed services are at war, we need to support them financially and emotionally.
Sorry for the length. I've ranted about this very thing on my blog, actually. I just believe whole-heartedly that government has become the biggest business on the planet, at our expense.
Sorry to hear it's the same game over in America.
Here in Europe they're playing the same game at a higher level:
If the national Parliament votes down some law, some minister brings it to the Eurepean Council. As the European Parliament has less power, laws pass easier. Afterwards they come back to Germany, telling you "We tried but could not do anything against it, and now we will have to live with that." They even vote it down at home themselves, so noone knows who brought in the law (EP has no right to come up with laws, but Ministers in Council can. Voting down a law in (national) public keeps people off their back)
With the European Constitution, this will not get any better.
This has (nearly) happened with the patents law, and soon will happen with long term storage of communication data.
Yes, one step closer to Fascism.
Wil, move to Canada while you still can! Soon they won't let anyone out of the country... :)
I think dear Ben Franklin said it best:
"They that give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety"
I was born the day we dropped an A-bomb on innocent women and children. I have worked for civil rights and women's right to choose....and I will protest giving away my identity to be used for "whatever"..SEE, THAT is the problem...for whatever GOOD we perceive an ID being, it is the unknown possible BAD uses we cannot protect against.
Just a few short decades ago, A certain Senator named McCarthy railroaded many innocent people and ruined their lives. It could happen again. WHO do you want knowing everything about YOU?
...object! never give up!
I love my country. However, I distrust, dislike and fear my government.
1984, Gattaca, Minority Report - they're all starting to sound less and less like science fiction and more and more like the "20 Year Plan".
There's about 24 hours left to protest this, and the website here is a place to do it. If you have 2 minutes, go there, and sign like I did. Do your duty as a Citizen. Thanks!
Your comments are well spoken. As soon as I read through your post/article, I basically just sent off several letters to senators in my residence state as well as those outside of my local area, asking for opinions and pushing them to get with the program and see what it is that this "Bill" will do to the privacy of their constituents, not to mention themselves.
And to anyone that live in places like the UK, you have no clue as to the worthlessness of the communicative powers our so-called representatives "have". Not to mention the now legendary laziness of the majority of Americans. Most people I have talked to on this topic, as well as many other topics relevant to personal rights to privacy, have no idea that these things are going on.
There is next to no communication to the general populace as to what is going on behind closed doors during sessions in senate and congress. They don't push for constituent interaction, except during an election year. At any other time it's pretty much free roam for these people.
We need a fresh legislative and executive branch. I say fire 'em all and get new people into place. These new people can't have had more than 2 years in a federal office and must have an idea as to what the government is meant to do, PROTECT ITS PEOPLE, not the interests of some Fortune 100 corporations. They must know that they need to communicate with their constituents outside of election years or they won't recieve electoral funding.
The checks and balances of so long ago are falling apart, and something new must be established.
Glyn wrote: I was born the day we dropped an A-bomb on innocent women and children.
What are you nuts? Did you phrase it the same way when the Japanese killed "innocent" people at Pearl Harbor? How about when the terrorists sawed the heads of the "innocent" civilians in Iraq? How about when the middle easterners flew planes filled with "innocents" into the WTT? How about the lives of the US marines that dropping the bomb saved - will you refer to them as saved "innocents"?
You're nuts. The only problem with the A bomb is we didn't have it sooner and we won't use the modern version on Iraq.
Hey, buildersent, calm down. This isn't Yahoo message boards, okay?
In response to buildersent 's comment:
"It's about time the liberals grow up and join the rest of us at the big peoples table,"
all I can say is, "Huh???" I don't even know what this means, or how it relates to the discussion.
I'm not a liberal (I am more like an anarcho-socialist, with a zesty dash of leftism and a bit of free thinking & salty language tossed in), and I am pretty sure that I am NOT at the "big peoples" table, whatever that is.
I also know that I am not a fascist (or a Fascist), and, as Wil eloquently pointed out, overt things like the National ID and covert things like circumventing debate and deceiving the popular opinion take the US a little closer to fulfilling that definition. For more info, check out http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Facism, at least the "Definition" section. A very uncomplicated definition, but enough to get one thinking. It's really not so far away. . . .
I used to fear for my children; now I'm kinda afraid for myself.
So punish the all for the actions of a few, buildersent? If you believe in that, then why not turn the logic back on itself? If that was true, wouldn't we have it coming?
Not every Japanese man, woman, and child believed in bombing Pearl Harbor. Not every Muslim nor every Arab believed in sawing off people's heads. Not every individual of Middle Eastern descent believed in the actions of those few madmen who caused misery to America on September 11, 2001.
If you truly believe that every member of an ethnic group or every citizen of a country should be held responsible for the actions of their government or of a minority within same country, then we're all in a hell of a lot of trouble, given Abu Gharib.
Man, I'm glad that in Canada we only have to put up with politicians who are incompetent and greedy, and not outright megalomaniacs like GW. I feel sorry for 'mericans and scared of what the US government will do to Canada once they finish consolidating their dictatorship down there.
Done is done, but there's an even more disturbing aspect to it all than the 'national ID card'. See here:
That's great--the secretary of DHS can now waive laws that are inconvenient to creating 'barriers & roads' along borders' and have those decisions immune to judicial review. He can also waive payments, etc to people whose property is taken under Emminent Domain conditions. Yup, just take it. No compansation; sorry, Charlie (the Libertarians are going to love this...)
Oh, and how long until the term 'barriers' is open to interpretation? How many processes, actions, and bureaucratic, invasive hoops will they get to add--FREE of jucicial constituationality review--at the borders? Hell, how long before 'borders' is up for review??? Even just here on WWdN, there are readers from all over the world. Does that qualify as an IP border?
Buildersent - I believe you did not read the posts correctly. I didn't say that :) Though I disagree with you completely :D
Using the modern version on Iraq is a preposterous and immature statement. (In my extremely humble and unimportant opinion)
It does seem rather odd that such obviously irrelevant additions could be made. Shouldn't there be regulation stipulating that any additions deemed totally irrelevant to the matter at hand be excluded?
Welcome to 1984 all. Let's piggy-back something bad on something not only acceptable but necessary. Even if they don't relate to each other at all.
Wil, I applaude you for your excellent political sense, and your rational "geek" mind that works like mine. Good for you for ripping the fascists a new one. Rage! I encourage you to do more political writing. You write well, and you have a convincing style. I am happy to know that you are with us. Keep up the good work. Alibaba199, you wrote: "Interestingly enough, as I understand it, we (American citizens) don't actually have any legal "rights" to privacy. The constitution doesn't lay out any particular wording as to defining or guaranteeing privacy for the citizens." "Maybe we should start there with a constitutional amendment that defines and guarantees privacy to all citizens. Anything from there, like this id card, would then be unconstitutional. Otherwise, this belief in privacy is just fantasy." Alibaba, You should read the Bill of RIGHTS which you are unfamiliar with, especially the fourth amendment, which clearly indicates a RIGHT to privacy. No additional constitutional amendments required. Here it is, Alibaba. Please read it, and know that the RIGHT of privacy is *very* real. "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized." http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/data/constitution/amendment04/ The unREALID is unconstitutional in the way that it was buried in another legislative bill. Article IV, Section 4 states: "The United States shall guarantee to every state in this union a republican form of government" Since it was buried deliberately in an appropriations bill, this violates the "republican" representative "form of government", and creates a situation where taxpaying citizens have no representation. It's illegal, according to the constitution. This bill did not pass when procedures were followed, so Republicans violated the law to get it passed. unREALID also will do absolutely nothing to prevent terrorist acts, according to Bruce Schneier, security expert. In fact, it will make things worse. http://www.schneier.com/blog/ "It's a bad idea, and is going to make us all less safe. It's also very expensive. And it's all happening without any serious debate in Congress." Americans need to be secure, it's true, but Republicans have done nothing to secure us. Our ports are not secured. The Bush administration has cut the budget for first responders. Cybercrimes are rising dramatically. The Justice Department has illegally imprisoned people without due process, but they have ensured the privacy of Osama bin Laden. This evil government is protecting the man who takes credit for killing thousands. It is the Republicans who are living in a fantasy if they believe that Americans are safe.
I have trouble understanding how you can reconcile your first paragraph of this post, with your choice of supporting the man in the last election voted against the 81 billion for the support of the troops... well, I guess he actually voted for it, before he voted against it... *chuckles*
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