Miscellaneous musings from the perspective of a lefty (both senses) atheist with a warped sense of humor.

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Location: Madison, WI, United States

I am a geek, but I do have some redeeming social skills. I love other people's dogs, cats, and kids. Snow sucks, but I'm willing to put up with it just to live in Madison.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

The Idiot REAL ID Regulations

The ACLU, among other national organizations, is orchestrating a campaign to have citizens comment on proposed federal regulations requiring everyone to carry federally approved ID cards. It's called the "REAL ID" program, and you can learn more about it at:

I think the whole idea stinks to high heaven, for a flock of different reasons, but the following is the one I picked out to complain about when I submitted my formal comments on the proposal. I encourage my fellow Americans (especially those named David Nelson, Mary Smith, or Robert Johnson, who already have experience with the DHS terrorist watch list) to go to the website below and submit their own comments in their own words.

Date: 2007 Apr. 21

To: Department of Homeland Security

Re: Docket ID DHS-2006-0030

Let us assume for a moment that my home town has a problem with wolves running wild in the streets. The city council COULD address this problem by putting a bounty on them, or hiring trappers, or bringing in packs of trained hunting dogs. Instead, it decides to import more wolves.

What kind of sense does this make?

Well, about the same kind of sense as the proposed REAL ID law. Our nation is faced with the problem of too FEW people being allowed to vote. Long lines, faulty machinery, onerous registration requirements, outright cheating by people like Katherine Harris and Kenneth Blackwell, arbitrarily purged voter-registration lists, and so on have contributed to the US having the lowest voter-turnout percentages of ANY industrialized nation. (Go ahead, look it up; I'll wait.)

Contrarily, there is practically ZERO unauthorized, duplicate, or fraudulent voting. Virtually every case you see trumpeted in the headlines at the accusation stage gets quietly resolved in the back pages a month or so later, after the evidence comes in and shows that the case was groundless.

So what does DHS propose? Let's make it HARDER to vote! (Heck, while we're at it, let's import packs of wolves. THAT'LL keep 'em away from the polls!)

The very foundation of a democracy is letting EVERY voice be heard. The REAL ID regulations would make our current problems worse, not better.

I know, I know, you're going to express faux amazement and say "But our proposal doesn't have anything in it about voting." Right. That's just as disingenuous as our hypothetical city-council members saying "But who knew that our imported wolves would actually BITE people?".

In case I'm being too subtle with all of the foregoing, let me cut directly to the point: Your proposed REAL ID regulations suck ditch water. They are undemocratic verging on evil. Don't just revise them, revoke them. Go away and do what we hired you to do: guard America against foreign terrorists, not its own citizens.


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