Sunday, March 23, 2008

Real ID, Real Scary

(Photo Credit: Chris)

"I am convinced that if we are to get on the right side of the world revolution, we as a nation must undergo a radical revolution of values. We must rapidly begin... the shift from a thing-oriented society to a person-oriented society. When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights, are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, extreme materialism, and militarism are incapable of being conquered."
--Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Today, an entry at Kos shook me up.

I generally try not to count the ways that advanced technology in the wrong hands turns people into products and tracks our every move. I try to keep my mind off this topic because 1) it scares the living hell out of me worse than the most horrific horror film, 2) the insistence that people are being tracked or "remotely controlled" has traditionally been considered textbook paranoia, and 3) I try to preserve my sanity by focusing only on the surface of just how fucked humankind is in this brave new world.

But Real ID has bubbled over that surface. In case you've not heard of it, or like me, didn't want to think about it, in short, Real ID legislation is a federal mandate on states to gather extensive information on all driver license applicants (and renewers, too, of course) and link that information to a micro-chipped state driver license which will then be used as a valid "national ID card." The card will be necessary to conduct routine business, such as entering federal buildings or even opening bank accounts. The scope of the linked information on individuals can be widened at any time and the card, over time, is expected to become necessary for more and more routine transactions.

The good news is that 15 states have told the federal government to take a flying leap since funding for the Real ID is astronomical, and the federal government is not offering that funding to the states. As you might imagine, though, Louisiana, under Bobby Jindal, is not going to be one of those states. But I don't think that funding is the real problem here; the problem is the very concept.

There is currently anti-Real ID legislation, H.R. 1117, that you can find out about here.

Who opposes Real ID?

2) Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton (but both seem to oppose it because of the funding issues and not on principle).
3) Ron Paul and Mike Huckabee (on principle)
4) Anybody who does not believe that U.S.A., Inc, is inherently benevolent and trustworthy

Who supports Real ID?

1) George W. Bush et al (I doubt that a link is necessary)
2) John McCain
3) Bobby Jindal
4) Anyone who buys into the idea that we must give up our humanity/privacy/freedom to protect ourselves from terrorists/evil-doers/extremists/illegal immigrants

If anyone you know supports Real ID legislation, please furnish them with a copy of Orwell or Huxley or the work of any author who may help, and then hope to god that they can extrapolate.

Good grief.

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