June 06, 2005

A Target and a Reply

This brief, vague editorial in the Connellsville Daily Courier (Pennsylvania, near Pittsburgh) is the epitome of the simplistic mindset the Real ID Rebellion needs to counter. Here's the entire piece:
If the National Governors Association really wanted illegal immigration reduced and homeland security increased, it would support the Real ID Act of 2005.

This legislation kills two birds with one stone. It requires states to issue more uniform driver's licenses and verify the citizenship or legal status of applicants. States have three years to comply.

Even though some of the 19 hijackers were in this country illegally on 9/11, and even though they had several driver's licenses, the governors' association claims the act would impose unrealistic standards and burdensome verification procedures on the states.

Since the nation's governors think creating national standards and procedures might be beyond them, what does this say about their competence and concern for the survival of the republic?

The states also say the bill is a costly unfunded mandate.

But when passing for American becomes more difficult, illegal aliens are less likely to sneak across the border to overburden state agencies. Or burst into cockpits to blow up buildings.

When did self-preservation become unrealistic and burdensome?

I trust I don't need to elaborate on the many problems in this target-rich mewling, so I'll simply turn to an excellent rejoinder to it: Papiere Bitte by Doris Colmes. The full article is a must-read, but here's a sample to help persuade you:
What I ran away from so desperately in 1938 is coming back full circle. Only the jack-boots have not yet arrived. ....

This ID [mandated by the Real ID Act] will be based on driver's license applications, although it isn't just for driving. Just like the infamous "Internal Passport" of Nazi Germany, no one will need it unless needing to fly, cash checks, apply for jobs, walk the streets, enter federal buildings - or drive. As stated in Time magazine on May 15, 2005, "If you are a wealthy recluse with liquid assets, it doesn't concern you." Everyone else better watch out! Well, maybe that wealthy recluse had better watch out also. After all, he/she might be of a forbidden religion, or of suspicious racial origin.

Legal "ID Theft" and legal "illegal surveillance"? The Real ID Act links driver's licenses of all states, creating a data base including the private details of every single U.S. citizen. It mandates that your driver's license share a common machine-readable digital photo of you, all the better to track your every movement. It hands the federal government unfunded mandate power to dictate what data all states must collect for license holders, including everything from fingerprints to retinal scans. And, if you don't drive, you'll still need to submit to the national ID card. How else, after all, will the cop who doesn't like the shape of your face, or the fact that you are (God Forbid) wearing a turban get to arrest you? Yes, "Papiere Bitte" has come home to roost.

Every newspaper that publishes an op-ed or letter to the editor along the lines of the one above needs to have a flurry of letters in reply that are similar in tone to Doris Colmes' excellent piece.

Unfortunately, the Nazi comparisons have been largely worn out already in some circles, so using that analogy may or may not be successful. But our letters don't have to rely on them -- the chilling facts of what the Real ID Act mandates speak for themselves.

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