Friday, September 22, 2006

11 Billion Reasons To Oppose REAL ID

As if we needed even the single reason that a National ID scheme was a honkin' bad idea, here comes the National Governors Association, the National Conference of Legislatures and even the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators to put a price tag on REAL ID. More than $11 billion over a five year period and that's just the cost in tax dollars. The average citizen being forced to obtain a REAL ID compliant drivers license will likely spend a couple of hundred dollars or better and lose who knows how much time.

The Washington Post is reporting that the cost to re-ID 750,000 transportation and port workers will be in the area of $140 each. The costs for government workers will run $100-150 to make them all compliant...and that's just more tax dollars and time, (which boils down to money). REAL ID just keeps getting worse and worse, despite the protestations of its perpetrator, James Sensenbrenner. As with any government program we can look for the real price tag on this one to continue to climb, especially when we factor in lost productivity due to extremely long waits, system failures and multiple visits. How many people possess, at this time a certified copy of their birth certificate and all the other necessary documentation that will be required?

What will these new licenses cost the average person? Hard to say, but it will likely be well over $100, especially when you start factoring in lost time, cost of obtaining documentation and the rest. The cost to each state will be much higher and will ultimately fall right back into the taxpayers laps, as usual.

The cost in lost freedom will be much greater. Failure to comply with the National ID scheme, (its supporters have now ceased even attempting to say that it is not a National ID) will result in people being barred from a variety of places and things. They'll be unable to fly, enter federal facilities and possibly even be denied any federal services, such as Social Security. The entire REAL ID scheme rests on our new Department of Homeland Security to draft requirements for new ID's, something its creators failed to do. The creation of this Homeland Security ID, which is what it boils down to, should be of great concern to everyone. It puts one last nail in the illusion of 50 independent and sovereign states. DHS has already established offices in every state and most large towns and cities. As someone who has lived under communist rule, in police states and in Middle Eastern dictatorships all of this looks exceedingly familiar to me. "You want the papers you must have? Show us some more money."

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Sunday, September 17, 2006

Bush's War On Dissent

Taking a page from the Bill and Hillary Clinton book of Evil, King George's administration has decided to use the IRS as a tool to quash dissent by religious institutions. Most of us who remember the Klintonista misuse of government agencies, (primarily the IRS) for purposes of political retribution find the Republican hypocrisy immensely gratifying and frightening. There can be no doubt now that there is no difference between this inhabitant of the White House and his predecessor. Using the IRS in exactly the same manner which Republicans, neo-Conservatives and even neo-Libertarian talking heads have decried, Bush is finally showing his true colours. By using the Infernal Revenue Service as a tool of retribution and intimidation George Bush is showing himself to be no better that Bill Clinton in the socialist thuggery department. In fact, it is quite clear that Bush's use is even worse, given the neo-Con squawking over Clintons misuse of the same agency against his enemies.

This is a continuation of an event which I touched on some time back and points out the primary reason there should be a separation of church and state. Churches of all religious stripes are at the mercy of the State as long as they seek permission to exist from that State, as this most recent event clearly shows. Churches which seek permission to exist from the government lose their power to speak out against the evils of that State. One of the things which our Founders tried to avoid by calling for the separation of church was State sponsored religion and now we have that very thing. State approved churches are the norm in this country and no-one seems to mind, until events such as this and others occur.

That no-one seems to be picking up on this says quite a lot. The Left doesn't care because it's a religious institution and the Right doesn't give a damn because it's an anti-war/anti-Bush organisation. I feel for this church, (even tho I am not an adherent of their particular mythology) for they are seemingly all alone in this matter. Will no-one be siding with them against this blatantly evil government attack? It's doubtful, since there is a history of people turning their backs on religious institutions who buck the State. The reasons for ignoring events like these are many and varied and range from support of the State to dislike of religion to just being happy to see someone getting theirs. These institutions are doing the right thing and deserve our support when things such as this occur.

Political speech in churches is a long established tradition in this country and dates back to before the Revolution. Many of the most inflammatory speeches of the Revolutionary period were made in churches. Patrick Henry and many others uttered their famous speeches in churches and the pastors in the many churches across the land spoke eloquently to their congregations, exhorting them to embrace freedom and oppose tyranny.

That people like George Bush, who is supposedly a religious person (altho there is proof that he is, in actuality a heretic) would seek to persecute a church for exercising their right to free speech is an affront to all who value Freedom, Liberty and all the things which this country was founded upon. That the very act is an act of blatant hypocrisy should be infuriating to everyone, especially those who make a habit of criticising the naked emperor. Today it is a church in Pasadena speaking out against war. Will it be you and your fellow bloggers tomorrow? It will if you don't stand up and make yourself known.

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