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When I first read the good news that Maine had decided to not be bullied into enforcing the ill-conceived Real ID act, I thought it was a nice gesture but would be a minor footnote once the entire story was written years from now. But as I learned more about what other states are doing in regard to this intermediate step towards a national ID I was joyous to find that several of them are also taking a hard look at how best to respond to the law and the conerns appear to cross party lines.

In fact, the future of Real ID looks very uncertain at this time. So far only Maine has actually passed legislation to not follow the federal recommendations, however several other states have laws in their state legislatures saying the same thing. And with at least one state standing up and saying no, with several others following, those still on the fence may find the courage to join them.

One such opponent is Brady Wiseman of Montana who has said

We don't want it, we can't afford it, get rid of it. Out West, people are very protective of their privacy and against an intrusive federal government that wants to collect a lot of data. There’s a good whiff of a corporate boondoggle around this thing and they (state lawmakers) are finding reasons to reject it. They don't see much benefit to support the cost.

Brady Wiseman has introduced legislation that has passed the State House of Representatives of Montana that would order the state not to participate with the program and governor Brian Schweitzer has spoken in support of the bill. In addition, a companion measure that was included with the bill challenges the Real ID law on constitutional grounds.

Maine and Montana are just two of ten states that are actively looking to oppose the Real ID law. Other states with pending legislation opposing the law include Hawaii, Georgia, Massachusetts, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Vermont and Washington. On the other side, thirteen states have passed or are voting on laws ordering their states to follow the federal guidelines.

According to the Great Falls Tribune

Missouri state Rep. Jim Guest is forwarding Montana's bills to other states interested in fighting Real ID. So far, more than 30 states have expressed interest, he said.

"There's a groundswell out there," Guest said Wednesday in a telephone interview. Maine has already passed a resolution rejecting Real ID, and other states also are considering bills or resolutions, said Guest, a Republican.

Maryland is another state who has an issue with the guidelines. The Real ID law states that a person's social security number must be on the ID. Maryland does not require this and many people have an issue with having this information on their drivers license. In Indiana I have the option of leaving mine off and routinely do. In addition, Maryland also issues IDs for people who are not citizens. This practice would have to stop under the law that was passed as a rider to Iraq war funding and Tsunami relief. In fact, he Real ID Act has never been debated on the US Senate floor. They've never talked about it in any committee. How many congresscritters do you think read the bill, written by Wisconsin representative F. James Sensenbrenner, Jr.

What is worse is that Homeland Security just finished writing the standards, one year late. Standards which are suppose to be in place by May 2008. That's a pretty quick turnaround that all 50 states would have to go through in order to ensure that not only are they in compliance but that they do so in a way that protects the sensitive information of the citizen in question. And with recent knowledge that citizens' personal information is already being routinely made available unintentionally by state governments having yet another method for this to occur and a timeline that almost ensures it will happen is an ominous turn of events.

And worse, the original requirement by the 9/11 commission that this is supposed to be addressing called for fraud-resistant ID systems. Anyone who has some experience in the computer field will tell you stores about how RFID chips, which are used now in passports and being suggested as part of the guidelines of Real ID, are anything BUT fraud-resistant. In fact, a person can read the information from a RFID chip, duplicate the contents and then steal the identify of that individual. Not a theoretical occurrence, something that has already been proven to be achievable.

Even some of our US congressmen are showing concern about the law and there is talk of repealing it. In fact, Daniel Akaka and John Sununu introduced a bill to repeal the Real ID act at the end of last year's congress. Now with a Democratically controlled congress, perhaps this is one of the things that they were talking about when complaining about the overreaching of the federal government during the past six years.

We shall see.

Posted by Rhinehold at February 1, 2007 9:05 PM
Comments
Comment #206248

Why are you supporting illegal immigration? The only way to reliably identify illegals at nation-wide police checkpoints (coming soon to a road near you) is to make sure only US citizens have an ID.

Posted by: American Pundit at February 1, 2007 11:30 PM
Comment #206258

AP,

Don’t you know that the only fool proof measure is a solar powered computer chip inserted under the skin of the left wrist that is only readable by satellite tracking.
It will save money on the police check points.

Posted by: Rocky at February 2, 2007 12:18 AM
Comment #206267

Yes, daily checkpoints for our entire citizenry has become an extremely important need in America. The evil-doing terr-ists who hate us for our freedoms can’t be allowed to change our way of life. After all, “our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people” — so neither should we.
AP has raised a good point, and Rocky’s idea is totally brilliant, but I was thinking that perhaps a simple bar code tatoo on the backs of our hands along with strategically placed offical-government scanning devices might be even an even cheaper solution to meet our constant daily monitoring needs…

Posted by: Adrienne at February 2, 2007 2:10 AM
Comment #206274

It is just so bizarre that Americans will support weakening or ignoring Habeas Corpus and allow government entry into their homes and businesses without a warrant, but, object to Americans carrying an ID card so our government can check on who ISN’T an American when we know from our Intelligence community that Hezbollah has been crossing into the U.S. over the Mexican border.

What a mental disconnect.

Posted by: David R. Remer at February 2, 2007 6:03 AM
Comment #206282

David,

“Americans will support weakening or ignoring Habeas Corpus and allow government entry into their homes and businesses without a warrant”

On Habeas Corpus you are assuming facts not in evidence. At least as far as I, myself am concerned.

On a national Id card, what exactly is the point if it can be falsified.

Until someone comes up with a totally foolproof identification, we will continue to have these incursions anyway.

This has been my concern about the “security” fence idea all along, it will not be truly secure.

While a fence will stop those that are less devious, a security fence won’t be secure from those that truly wish to do us harm, and may lead to an unfounded sense of “security”.

Posted by: Rocky at February 2, 2007 8:48 AM
Comment #206283

Silly David R. Remer.

There is nothing strange about this. Americans will only object if it affects them PERSONALLY.

Its like Gay Marriage and Divorce. 90% of Americans will ban gay marriage in order to “protect the sanctity of marriage”. 0% of Americans will ban divorce regardless of how damaging to families its proven. Why? Because 90% of Americans aren’t gay but 100% MIGHT want to get divorced someday!!!

Its the same with Habeas Corpus and ID Cards. The vast majority of Americans don’t care about Habeas Corpus because they believe it will never affect them. How many Americans do you think get arrested for terrorism? ID Cards, on the other hand, are DEFINITELY going to cramp the lifestyle of Average Joe Shmoe. Why… the IRS might find out about your trip to Vegas and your suddenly large bank account!!!

Simple really…

Posted by: Juan dela Cruz at February 2, 2007 8:53 AM
Comment #206294

Rocky, I love your argument. Why should we have laws against murder, rape, and robbery. Some are going to commit those crimes anyway.

Why have any immigration policy at all, the Mexicans will just keep coming anyway. Let’s open the airlines and our east coast airports to any who can afford a ticket. We are discriminating against illegals who don’t live on a connected border.

Sheesh! What a mental disconnect.

Posted by: David R. Remer at February 2, 2007 10:03 AM
Comment #206300

Identification is important in many areas of life for many obvious reasons:

  • drivers licenses

  • pass ports, visas

  • voting

  • accessing your banks, credit cards, checking, check writing, ATMs

  • access to secret, classified, proprietary information

  • access to public airlines, mass transit systems

  • time-in/time-out (e.g. similar to time cards)

  • access to work areas

  • access to computer systems

  • access to weapons and weapon systems

  • access to homes, apartments

  • access to public buildings, courts, hospitals, etc.

  • access to private buildings

  • access to laboratories

  • access to dangerous zones

  • access to storage / supply / inventory rooms

  • access to safes

  • access to Social Security, Medicare, other benefits

  • access to medical information

  • access to personal information / property

  • access to vehicles, machines, instruments

  • access to any area where restricted access is required

  • pilot licenses, law-enforcement licenses, medical licenses, etc.

  • tracking non-citizens with expired visas

  • tracking escaped criminals

  • tracking repeat offenders trespassing national borders illegally

  • finding missing children

  • making it difficult to not leave a trail

Obviously, we can not function without some form of IDentification.
There would be many benefits.

ID cards are too easy to falsify.
One obvious problem with an ID cards is that there is nothing about it that guarantees uniqueness.
Not like the iris in your eyeball.
Especially not like a combination of three or more biometrics.
The obvious proof of it is the current state of things.
Identity theft is one of the fastest growing crimes in the U.S.
Millions drive around with fake drivers’ licenses and fake Social Security numbers.
Criminals easily assume other identities, and steal others’ identities.
Credit card fraud is rampant.

We need a form of IDentification that is more reliable and much more difficult to falsify.
Biometrics could eliminate the need to carry ANY form of IDentification card, because each person’s own unique biometrics (not just one, but three or more) would be difficult (not impossible) to falsify. Again, not just one biometric, but three or more, such as the :following:

  • [01] iris scan

  • [02] fingerprint

  • [03] finger geometry

  • [04] hand geometry

  • [05] facial geometry

  • [06] eye color

  • [07] voice pattern

  • [08] retina

  • [09] hand vein geometry

  • [10] signature

  • [11] facial thermogram

  • [12] facial vein geometry

  • [13] DNA

  • [14] ear geometry

  • [15] odor

  • [16] keystroke dynamics

  • [17] height

  • [18] weight

  • [19] skin color

  • [20] age

  • [21] and password(s)

And the list is growing fast.

Currently, the following already appear on most drivers’ licenses:

  • a persons photo,

  • usually height,

  • gender,

  • eye color,

  • age,

  • address

Due to the current problem with IDentity theft, it seems completely crazy to put a Social Security number on a drivers’ license (or any form of IDentificaiton), since that one piece of information can be used for identity theft, and the victims have little recourse or any way to avoid the tremendous cost and time to repair the damage done.

Of course, Biometrics (nor any system) is perfect, and Biometrics could be more costly at first, but no other system can accomplish the goal of identification, which requires uniqueness. An obvious advantage of biometrics is the elimination of an IDentification cards or papers of any kind, since unique individual is essentially their own IDentification card, and that’s damn hard to falsify. How easy can one steal your biometrics? And if they did steal your biometric information, what good is it to them, when they don’t have the physical biometrics to go with it?

Some Biometrics systems are already in use now, and the use is growing fast, because of the obvious benefits.
As the technology matures, it will become cheaper and more reliable.

Some will argue that they do not want the government to have that information.
The fact is, the government and corporations ALREADY have a lot of information about us in their computers.
So, a few more pieces of data, added to records that ALREADY exist, is not really a big deal.

Rocky wrote: On a national Id card, what exactly is the point if it can be falsified. Until someone comes up with a totally foolproof identification, we will continue to have these incursions anyway.
Precisely. We should concentrate our efforts and resources on a much better system that is growing fast in popularity and applications.
  • Posted by: d.a.n at February 2, 2007 10:26 AM
    Comment #206301

    David,

    “Rocky, I love your argument. Why should we have laws against murder, rape, and robbery. Some are going to commit those crimes anyway.”

    Baloney.

    If I can prove someone committed murder, etc, there is no reason not to have laws.

    Until I can prove that a national ID card holder is actually who the card says he is, then why bother?
    Let’s spend the money and do it right, or not do it at all.
    As for border security, we’re putting unarmed National Guardsmen on the Mexican border and trying and convicting people in the Border Patrol for doing their jobs.

    So what exactly is your point?

    Posted by: Rocky at February 2, 2007 10:28 AM
    Comment #206303
    Rocky wrote: This has been my concern about the “security” fence idea all along, it will not be truly secure. While a fence will stop those that are less devious, a security fence won’t be secure from those that truly wish to do us harm, and may lead to an unfounded sense of “security”.
    The logic of securing the borders and ports is as sound as the reason we lock our doors at night, lock our car, put our valuables in a secure place, etc. Would you leave your home unlocked at night (or even during the day)? Especially if you have children? Of course not. Would you let an uninvited stranger come into your home, eat your food, and make themselves at home, etc.? Of course not. Then why would you allow uninvited strangers to illegally enter your nation, and your community to use your schools, hospitals, jobs, welfare, Social Security, Medicare, drive about with no drivers’ license or auto-insurance, and fraudulently vote in you elections?

    Just because something isn’t perfect is no reason to completely abandon security and stop trying altogether.

    One of the federal government’s most basic duties is to protect the nation’s borders … a duty that it is failing at miserably (among many others), due to far too many irresponsible incumbent politicians that ignore the majority of voters that want illegal immigration stopped now, want the borders and ports secured now, and don’t want another amnesty like the one in 1986 that quadrupled the problems.

    There is more than one reason to securing the borders and ports. It is an issue of national security and the growing problem of illegal immigration. Also, the government must enforce the existing laws too and stop allowing employers of illegal aliens to keep breaking the law. The politicians need to start doing their job and stop pitting American citizens and illegal aliens against each other. The majority of Americans want it stopped now, but politicians are ignoring them.

    Currently, 79% of Americans polled want secured borders.

    In 1999, a poll in Minnesota asked:
    (1) Do you feel the number of legal immigrants should be cut?
    … (a) Yes = 74.7% (b) No

    (2) Should illegal aliens be allowed to stay?
    … (a) Yes (b) No = 81%

    (3) Should English be our national language?
    … (a) Yes = 93% (b) No

    (4) Do you think congress should give amnesty to any group or groups of illegal immigrants now living in the U.S.?
    … (a) Yes (b) No = 75.7%

    A poll in 2005 reveals even more reject amnesty.

    Another Polling Station poll asked:
    President Bush wants amnesty for illegal aliens. Do you agree with the President?
    Persons polled: 9,174
    Margin of Error: +/- 1.0%
    ________ Yes ______ No _______ Undecided
    Dem ____ 27.6% ____ 60.1% ____ 12.3%
    Ind ____ 16.5% ____ 72.5% ____ 11.0%
    Rep ____ 10.9% ____ 81.3% ____ 7.8%
    Overall Percentages:
    18.4% believe amnesty is a good idea.
    71.2% do not believe amnesty is a good idea.
    10.4% were undecided.

    Seems pretty clear, eh?
    But not to politicians, who are too busy gettin’ theirs, votin’ themselves raises (8 times between 1997 and 2006) and cu$hy perks, and making their cu$hy incumbencies and golden parachutes ever more secure, and pitting Americans and illegal aliens against each other.

    Posted by: d.a.n at February 2, 2007 10:36 AM
    Comment #206306

    Dan,

    Not once in any one of my posts here on the subject of “the fence” have I argued against border security.
    I do not wish to get off a tangent and derail this thread, which I feel is an important discussion, so I will leave it with one more thought about “the fence”, and let that subject drop.

    “The fence” would be just that, a fence. It wouldn’t secure the border, but merely give the illusion of security.
    Would it stop the majority of those that cross merely seeking jobs?
    Probably.
    Would it secure the United States from continued incursions by small numbers of terrorists?

    Absolutely not, and neither you, nor anyone else can guarantee otherwise.

    Posted by: Rocky at February 2, 2007 11:01 AM
    Comment #206335

    I don’t want my SS number on my ID, I aint getting any stupid tattoos, and NOBODY is gonna put anything into my body. Specially if it sends and receives radio waves.
    Anyone of these is a recipe for losing your privacy and freedom. Once any of these are in place the government can tack you easier and then start telling you where you can and can’t go and when you can go there.

    Posted by: Ron Brown at February 2, 2007 12:31 PM
    Comment #206347

    Anonymity is quickly leaving us. Yes it will mean catching those con artists and child predators, but it will also mean the loss of freedom. We have entered an age where you can be tracked by sattelite through your cellphone, tracked by securty cam, and tracked by transaction and IP.

    I am very leary of all this. It may be safer in a 24/7 tracked world, but I suspect it will become totalitarian by inches. Wedo not have the freedom or risk of 100 years ago. Today we talk of economic slavery, but it will pale in comparison. We will be pigeon-holed from birth to serve our queen as loyal little workers or killed off.


    Resist. Avoid. Revolt. Or resign yourself to submission before the state. It’s always for our safety and efficiency’s sake that we give up freedom.

    Posted by: gergle at February 2, 2007 1:01 PM
    Comment #206353

    In a land swarming with illegals and criminals, it is important that the society be able to distinguish them from law abiding citizens.

    Nothing could be more apparent.

    Rocky, come up with a better solution, or your opinion becomes helps grow the problem.

    Posted by: David R. Remer at February 2, 2007 1:21 PM
    Comment #206354

    Gergle, the revolution is coming. Revolutions don’t occur when the majority are enjoying middle class living styles. But, the day is coming, to be sure.

    I share your concerns over an ID, I have opposed it myself. But, that was before 9/11 and learning of up to 20 million illegals stealing my daughter’s future away from her, the future she would have had without them and their consequences on our economy, on our rule of law, on our law enforcement, on our government’s tug o war between reelection and securing my daughter’s future prosperity, liberty, and security.

    Posted by: David R. Remer at February 2, 2007 1:24 PM
    Comment #206356

    Gergle, there is nothing wrong with giving up liberty for a time if the cause is just. Our military do it everyday of the year, and have for centuries. It has always been a positive thing that they did give up their liberty for a time, because the cause was both good and just.

    You know, most people don’t realize that when the false prophets of democracy ask the question: “Doesn’t every individual wish to be free?”, that the true answer is NO!

    The true prophets of democracy ask the far more relevant question: “Do you want your neighbors, family, and fellow citizens to be free?” For a democracy cannot exist unless the answer to that question is yes. Iraq is a perfect example of a BAD democracy.

    Democracy is not an end. It is a means. A means to order, rule of law not men, and a means to mutual sharing of prosperity, liberty, and security for all members of a society.

    Something our government has lost sight of, almost entirely. Bad democracies is not an oxymoron. Even Saddam Hussein was elected by the people. Musharraf was elected. Putin of Russia was elected, and the government in Russia is a fine example of Bad Democracy. It is a democracy without checks and balances on power and authoritarian governorship. Similar to what our government has been evolving toward.

    Posted by: David R. Remer at February 2, 2007 1:32 PM
    Comment #206369
    Rocky wrote: d.a.n , Not once in any one of my posts here on the subject of “the fence” have I argued against border security.
    Oh. Then, what would you propose to secure the borders?

    The fence is not merely a fence.
    And, as you conceded already (below), it would reduce illegal immigration.
    Hence, it will have served one important purpose.

    Rocky wrote: Would it stop the majority of those that cross merely seeking jobs? Probably.

    “The fence” is a bad choice of words.
    So is “the wall”.
    Those are clever phrases to disparage the solutions being suggested.

    It is more appropriately, a “security barrier”, with a road, a ditch, cameras, sensors, and personnel along it.
    That provides a very important purpose.
    It is a deterrent and provides an important delay factor.
    It takes time to breach a barrier and increases the likelihood of detection.

    Without barriers, or any delaying factors, trespassers can simply cross the border and quickly scatter, making interdiction and apprehension very difficult.
    With a barrier, it takes time to breach, and makes it difficult to do undetected.

    Will it be perfect?
    No, but that doesn’t diminish the need for secure borders.

    Lots of people want to come to the U.S. and enjoy what we have built, but we can not make the pie bigger. If we continue to allow this problem to grow, there won’t be anything worth a damn left for anyone. Since nations can not control other nations, and if no nations had the sovereign right to control immigration, too many would always descend upon greener pastures, use it all up, leave it barren and desolate, and then find a new target to descend upon. Massive, uncontrolled immigration breeds chaos, societal disorder, racism, resentments, and burdens on tax payers. It is despicable for irresponsible incumbent politicians to use immigration as a tool to manipulate economies and demographics, and pit American citizens and illegal aliens against each other.

    An accurate and reliable IDenfication system is important and necessary.
    It will also help to reduce illegal immigration and improve security of our own identities.
    Unfortunately, the proposed IDentification card won’t accomplish that, because it still lacks uniqueness and can be too easily falsified.
    Only biometrics and passwords (not just one or two, but three or more) could provide a high level of accuracy. It would be damn difficult to fake someones’ iris scan, fingerprint, hand-geometry, and a password. Those things are already being used in some places and will become more reliable and cheaper over time.

    The fears people have of government abuses are important and should not be ignored.
    Totalitarianism is always a threat.
    Will an accurate IDentification system make that threat worse?
    Not unless the people allow government to abuse it.
    However, the fact is, the government already has all the information it needs about you.
    That problem is actually a separate issue of law enforcement and responsible government, and the voters will never get that by continually rewarding bad politicians by repeatedly re-electing them.

    Voters can’t merely complain about bad government and then reward it for being bad by repeatedly re-electing irresponsible incumbent politicians, letting them enjoy a 90% re-election rate for continuing to ignore the voters and the nation’s most pressing problems.

    Posted by: d.a.n at February 2, 2007 2:25 PM
    Comment #206387

    David Remer,

    You wrote:

    “Gergle, there is nothing wrong with giving up liberty for a time if the cause is just. Our military do it everyday of the year, and have for centuries. It has always been a positive thing that they did give up their liberty for a time, because the cause was both good and just”

    I must admit I am surprised to hear you take this stance. Whether you support adopting a “Real ID” or not, it is hard for me to equate it with someone exercising their own FREEWILL to VOLUNTARILY enlist in the Military, and in my opinion, no cause is “just” enough for nationwide surrender of our liberties.

    I know in both West Virginia and our neighbor state of Ohio, our Driver’s licenses have always carried our Social Security numbers. I just checked and it is “optional.” One may request NOT to have it on the license. Mine does and I never questioned it, because Driving is a privelage and not a right. So for me its not about having personal information on an ID card. It is about having a corrupt government blatantly flaunting our laws and doing whatever they darn well feel like “in the name of security.”


    You said,

    “I share your concerns over an ID, I have opposed it myself. But, that was before 9/11 and learning of up to 20 million illegals stealing my daughter’s future away from her…”

    I for one am NOT afraid of terrorists. I REFUSE to surrender what we as Americans have held so dear for the last 230 years.

    In my opinion the only way to defeat terrorism is to take away their ability to instill terror. Im sorry, but I am far more afraid of our own government than any terrorist. Freedom always comes with a price, but the price of freedom cant be less freedom.

    We must secure our borders and take measures to keep them secure. I admit I don’t know what the answers are…but I do know what they are not.

    Thanks, Sassyliberal

    PS Hey Adrienne…still lurking around this site.

    Posted by: sassyliberal at February 2, 2007 4:25 PM
    Comment #206392

    Sassyliberal said: “someone exercising their own FREEWILL to VOLUNTARILY enlist in the Military,”

    You missed the point. They enlisted to give up many civilian liberties for a cause more important than themselves.

    There are some causes worth giving a bit of liberty up for. And your argument makes no sense. You are already tracked and monitored with almost every action you take after leaving your front doorstep. What is your problem with showing law enforcement your ID when asked? You already submit to that when driving.

    A national ID is no panacea, won’t solve all our problems. It will help however to deal with the illegal immigration issue and very possibly folks with terrorist intent. Will it stop them all. No. Could it allow apprehending some or many, YES!

    Could they be misused? Yes. Will they be? Yes, in a few cases. What public records aren’t? I am not advocating a piece of paper ID. That is worthless. However, a picture ID with an encoded fingerprint ID would be very difficult to fake if scanning of the holder’s finger is used for a match to the ID’s print.

    Posted by: David R. Remer at February 2, 2007 4:56 PM
    Comment #206407

    Sorry, David, but their is no need for a ‘national’ ID card that must be carried at all times. I do not have to have my driver’s license on me when I drive, I just have to be able to produce one. I do not need my ID to do most things in my life. I do require that a cashier check my photo ID when I use my credit card (by writing See ID on the back instead of a signature) and for that purpose I carry an ID. It is not and never should be mandatory that I carry one. If I don’t chose to vote I don’t need my picture ID, however if I do choose to vote I simply show up with the ID, vote, then go home and put the ID up if I wish.

    I don’t understand the desire to require one, even when combating illegal immigration. Do you think the illegal immigrants are incapable of getting forged IDs? Could you please explain why it would help and how it makes it ok that we are tracked enough as it is anyway would we want to put this information in a national database, that has already been determined to be outsourced to a PRIVATE company, that I’m sure would never be misused and sold to anyone, that includes Radio Frequency Identifiers in them so that people can see you coming?

    (I can see it now, walking through a walmart, and an advertising display changes as I walk around a corner to show me a deal that my buying habits show would be beneficial to me by simply looking up my information in a database after checking my ID through the RFID chip reader…)

    Posted by: Rhinehold at February 2, 2007 6:52 PM
    Comment #206413

    Rhinehold,
    What about biometrics alone?
    No ID card required at all.
    You are your ID card.

    Posted by: d.a.n at February 2, 2007 7:40 PM
    Comment #206416

    Rhinehold, I don’t disagree at all with you. If you want privileges of citizenship, show your ID. Otherwise, don’t expect much.

    I have no problem with that.

    Posted by: David R. Remer at February 2, 2007 8:30 PM
    Comment #206455

    Dan,

    “Without barriers, or any delaying factors, trespassers can simply cross the border and quickly scatter, making interdiction and apprehension very difficult.
    With a barrier, it takes time to breach, and makes it difficult to do undetected”

    Again, we are talking about “security”, not those whose intentions are more benign.
    A “security” whatever (fence, wall, etc…), will not stop, detain, slow down, or otherwise deter those whose goal is to create mayhem in America.
    Proper “legal”, intelligence, and surveillance could.
    A proper national identification, that cannot be falsified, might be a step in the right direction, but even that would depend too much on serendipitous events such as a lucky traffic stop.

    That said, check points where one would have to show “papers” is tyranny, and thus is unacceptable.


    David,

    Do I have a better answer?
    At this time, no.

    That doesn’t mean however that I think that America should run around, willy nilly, accepting any hair brained scheme that might offer a modicum of security at an outrageous price.
    We here in America have been known to spend an awful lot of money on a project, only to do things half-assedly, and then have to go back and spend even more money to fix the “unforeseen” problems that we have created by not doing it right the first time.

    Let’s do the proper research, the proper planning, and the proper execution.

    In other words, let’s do this right the first time, for once.

    Posted by: Rocky at February 3, 2007 11:24 AM
    Comment #206473
    Rocky wrote:A “security” whatever (fence, wall, etc.), will not stop, detain, slow down, or otherwise deter those whose goal is to create mayhem in America.
    That’s debatable.

    One thing is for certain. There is certainly more risk and more difficulty at stopping terrorism once they have ALREADY trespassed our borders, which is currently all too easy to do.

    There is definitely the possibility of stopping trespassers at the border.

    Rocky wrote: Proper “legal”, intelligence, and surveillance could.
    Sure, it might help, but that’s for afterward (i.e after terrorists have already found a way across our borders). But why wait until they have already crossed the borders?

    Border security and a security barrier are no different than the locked door on one’s house, or automobile, each with security/alarm systems, or the fences and cameras around airports, etc.

    Besides, as you already conceded, it would reduce illegal immigration:

    Rocky wrote:
    Would it stop the majority of those that cross merely seeking jobs? Probably.

    So, since, as you say, a security barrier would “probably” “stop” or reduce illegal immigration, then it provides that additional benefit, along with the possibility of stopping terrorists at the border.

    Rocky wrote: Do I have a better answer? At this time, no.
    A “security barrier” (with a ditch, fence, road, cameras, surveillance, motion sensors, and border patrol personnel) is worth a try, since doing nothing will solve nothing.

    National security and defense is the basic purpose of the military.
    Can it afford to ignore the borders?
    If so, then why do we have any border patrol at all?
    It is a joke to pretend Homeland Security is important when borders and sea-ports are wide-open.
    As for cost, it can be done for about $8 billion initially, and about $10 billion annually for over 153,000 border patrol (three shifts of 51,000). $10 billion per year is minuscule compared to the $70 billion in annual net losses due to illegal aliens burdening our education, healthcare, hospital, ER, welfare, Medicaid, Social Security, Medicare, border patrol, insurance, law enforcement, prison, and voting systems.

    $10 billion per year is less than the $10.5 billion in annual losses for California alone, due to illegal aliens.

    $10 billion per year is far less than the $28 billion for pork-barrel for year 2006.

    Posted by: d.a.n at February 3, 2007 2:15 PM
    Comment #206482

    Dan,

    You just don’t get it.

    The Chinese built their “Great Wall” through terrain that we can’t build your fence through.
    The Mongol Horde still invaded and ruled China for more than a century.

    The French built the Maginot line.
    The Germans went around it.

    The Israelis have built their fence.
    There are still suicide bombings in Israel.

    I have read the proposal for your “fence”, hell, you’ve posted it often enough that I seriously doubt there is a even a single cell organism in the galaxy that hasn’t read it yet.

    I am not against creating a barrier of some sort, between us and “them”, but no matter how “high tech” that barrier is, it will not be guaranteed to be totally, 100%, secure.

    My comment to David, which you apparently missed, was that we should take the time to do the proper “do diligence”.

    Let’s do this right, the first time, so we don’t have to do it again.

    Posted by: Rocky at February 3, 2007 3:03 PM
    Comment #206494
    Rocky wrote: You just don’t get it.
    No, unfortunately, you don’t get it, because the security barrier is not to stop invading armies, as implied by your weak example of the “Great Wall” and “Magino Line”. The Israelis’ fence has not eliminated suicide bombings, but it has been effective in reducing them. But, now that you bring it up, an added benefit of a security barrier could possibly be early detection of such a thing (however improbable such an invading army is at this time).
    Rocky wrote: I have read the proposal for your “fence”, hell, you’ve posted it often enough that I seriously doubt there is a even a single cell organism in the galaxy that hasn’t read it yet.
    Rocky, WeNeedAFence.com is not my plan. I just happen to agree with it.

    Also, it may come as a surprise to you, but there are many other visitors to this blog.
    Thousands of people read this blog daily. Few are regulars that post. You are not the only audience. If ever there is something someone has written that you disagree with, or do not wish to read, then you don’t have to. It’s very easy to just scroll right past it.
    Besides, I believe many here have also heard your opinions on this subject before, eh?

    Rocky wrote: I am not against creating a barrier of some sort, between us and “them”, but no matter how “high tech” that barrier is, it will not be guaranteed to be totally, 100%, secure.
    Nobody ever said it would be. In fact, everyone has acknowledged that already. The 100% argument is the typical, lame argument. Is the logic: “It won’t be perfect, so why try?
    Rocky wrote: My comment to David, which you apparently missed,
    I didn’t miss it.
    Rocky wrote: … was that we should take the time to do the proper “do diligence”. Let’s do this right, the first time, so we don’t have to do it again.
    Do it right? Absolutely. But, it isn’t that complicated. It’s already been studied at great length. In fact, a BILL has already been passed to permit the fence.

    We don’t need:

    • 14 White House aids to appear on the Sunday morning news to discuss the formation of a committee to discuss the way to go about it,

    • nor 8 White House aids to blame the previous administrations,

    • nor 14 Major news anchors to call us xenophobes,

    • or 253 illegal aliens to stand behind Bush to explain the impact of fence on their periodic trips across our borders,

    • or 1 first lady to say the buidling of the fence takes a village,

    • or 19 Hollywood stars to testify as experts because they played a movie/TV role in which they were a border agent,

    • or 15 White House spin doctors to put the best spin on it,

    • or 103 US Representatives to tell us that only Washington D.C. really knows how to build a fence,

    • or 1 President to tell us that he feels our pain,

    • or 18 new federal programs for guest worker programs to reduce the status of illegal alien,

    • or 1 Vice President to inform us of the environmental impact of the fence,

    • or 2 White House advisors to devise a tax to pay for the fence,

    • or 1 White House lawyer who can be blamed for anything that can’t be pinned on the OTHER party,

    • or 5,000 Bureaucrats to make sure that the fence is installed correctly, doesn’t offend anyone, doesn’t impact the environment, doesn’t unfairly benefit one group, doesn’t harm anyone during the installation, and is up to 1945 specifications for fences.

    We can’t talk about it forever either.
    Otherwise, nothing will ever get done.
    The illegal immigration problem has already quadrupled (or more) since the last ill-advised amnesty of 1986.
    Also, the Washington Times and other reports have reported some terrorists have already crossed our borders.
    Also, the Constitution is very clear. The federal government has the duty to secure the borders.

    Sometimes you have to go with the best solution available at the time, and incorporate better methods later as they become available.

    Posted by: d.a.n at February 3, 2007 4:23 PM
    Comment #206502

    Dan,

    “Rocky wrote: I am not against creating a barrier of some sort, between us and “them”, but no matter how “high tech” that barrier is, it will not be guaranteed to be totally, 100%, secure.
    Nobody ever said it would be.”

    Funny, that’s not what you wrote earlier today.

    “Rocky wrote:A “security” whatever (fence, wall, etc.), will not stop, detain, slow down, or otherwise deter those whose goal is to create mayhem in America.
    That’s debatable.”
    Posted by: d.a.n at February 3, 2007 02:15 PM


    “Also, it may come as a surprise to you, but there are many other visitors to this blog.
    Thousands of people read this blog daily. Few are regulars that post. You are not the only audience.”

    Dan, you have linked weneedafence.com three times in just your last two posts.
    How could anybody miss it?

    Unlike some that post here (don’t take that as any accusation), I actually take the time to read fully any post I comment on.

    Posted by: Rocky at February 3, 2007 5:31 PM
    Comment #206517

    Rocky,

    I don’t see the contradiction you’re claiming.
    That is, you wrote …

    Rocky wrote:
    A “security” whatever (fence, wall, etc.), will not stop, detain, slow down, or otherwise deter those whose goal is to create mayhem in America.

    And, I wrote: “That’s debatable”
    which still does not imply nor equate to a system that is 100% perfect.

    So, I’m not sure what you mean?

    Rocky wrote: Unlike some that post here (don’t take that as any accusation), I actually take the time to read fully any post I comment on.
    I commend you for doing that. It is a wise practice. As you point out, since some people do not read every comment, and I don’t always remember my previous comments, I may post relevant links in more than one comment to help each comment stand-alone. They are harmless, since users are not required to click on them, much less even read any comment. BTW, if you merely hover your mouse (don’t click) over a link, it shows the URL in your browser’s status bar (lower-left). Or, you can right-click and view a URL’s properties. Also, to avoid leaving the current page, any link can be opened in a new window by right-clicking on the URL (e.g. WeNeedAFence.com) link, and clicking on “Open in New Window”.

    Also, people have their pet issues.
    Some like to discuss the same things (e.g. debt, poverty, corruption, Iraq, interest rates, religion, illegal immigration, etc.).
    The same issues get recycled here repeatedly. That’s OK though, because that is how people learn new things. They hone and refine their positions, and read differing positions. And, over time, their positions sometimes change.

    Ultimately, after two people see the same facts, and draw different conclusions, it becomes a dead-lock; a mere difference of opinion.

    For instance, we both agree border security and national security are important, we just do not both agree that a “security barrier” like that described by WeNeedAFence.com is the right approach. As for the National IDentification card, we seem to both agree that the one being proposed will solve much.

    So, how do you feel about biometrics and passwords, instead of any form of IDentification card?
    Or, for that matter, do you think there is some need for some kind of accurate IDentification system?


  • Posted by: d.a.n at February 3, 2007 7:37 PM
    Comment #206518

    CORRECTION (next to last paragraph):
    As for the National IDentification card, we seem to both agree that the one being proposed will won’t solve much.

    Posted by: d.a.n at February 3, 2007 7:41 PM
    Comment #206523

    Dan,

    I don’t know enough at this time to make an informed decision on “Biometrics”, however,

    This from wikipedia;

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biometrics#Identity_theft_and_privacy_issues

    “The television program Mythbusters attempted to break into a commercial security door equipped with biometric authentication as well as a personal laptop so equipped. While the laptop system proved more difficult to bypass, the advanced commercial security door with “live” sensing was fooled with a printed scan of a fingerprint after it had been licked. Assuming the tested security door is representative of the current typical state of biometric authentication, that it was so easily bypassed suggests biometrics may not yet be reliable as a strong form of authentication.”

    At this time it doesn’t sound as if this technology is completely foolproof.
    Also it appears that at least some personal contact is required.

    Therefore my serendipitous comment again applies.


    Posted by: Rocky at February 3, 2007 8:10 PM
    Comment #206560

    We often see ourselves in a different age than that of our predecessors, and to be sure things are different. I had a wonderful English Literature teacher in high school while teaching us about ancient tragedies pointed out that basic human traits of jealousy, greed, love and so on, have not really changed. That has stayed with me through the years.

    I worry about the way the huge anonymous “state” and the huge anonymous “business” interests desire to track and define us. I worry about being unable to escape being pigeon holed as a sex predator if you make the mistake at 17 of sleeping with a 16 year old in some states. I worry about being labeled a poor credit risk and unemployable, if you become financially devastated by some tragedy. I worry about being labeled criminal if you become homeless and sleep on park bench or feed a homeless person in some cities. I worry about being labeled illegal if you are unable to produce documents. I worry about being labeled a terrorist for supporting unpopular political notions.

    These things are happening in our society today. They have happened in the past. In small towns people know everything about you, which was usually true of our forefathers society. But if things became unbearable, you could move on. Today we have replaced this with data bases, which may be immpossible to escape. There is no frontier to escape to. There is no America to go to escape persecution. I wonder have we lost what it was that our founders attempted to establish? Have we become 18th century Europe?

    Posted by: gergle at February 4, 2007 6:06 AM
    Comment #206588
    Rocky wrote: d.a.n , … this from wikipedia “The television program Mythbusters attempted to break … the current typical state of biometric authentication, that it was so easily bypassed suggests biometrics may not yet be reliable as a strong form of authentication.”
    Yes, that’s true. None are perfect, and never will be. The newer fingerprint systems also measure temperature to help defeat the trick mentioned above. But, that is why no system should rely on only one biometric. It should rely on three or more biometrics, and possibly a password too.

    Also, the accuracy is improving and the use is growing.
    I’ve seen several in use already (iris, handprint, fingerprint, height, eye-color, and passwords of course).
    Few (if any) system is 100% fool-proof, so the goal is really to make fraud and identity theft as difficult as possible.
    Certainly, almost anything is better than an ID card.
    I’d prefer improving biometrics, rather than a national ID card, which would still be easy to falsify and reproduce.

    Even if we get a national ID card, it’s not hard to see more and more biometics systems being put in use due to the advantages of accurate identification.
    However, the abuse of it by government is a valid concern. Voters must not allow it, and one way voters allow it is by rewarding irresponsible politicians by repeatedly re-electing them.

    Posted by: d.a.n at February 4, 2007 11:41 AM
    Comment #206597

    “Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both.”


    -Ben Franklin

    Posted by: R3v0lut10n at February 4, 2007 2:33 PM
    Comment #206610

    I don’t see a system of IDentification (e.g. biometrics) as giving up liberty.

    • When one withdraws funds from the bank, don’t you want the bank to be sure it isn’t someone else posing as you?

    • Do you want terrorists boarding your flight? Terrorists that could be identified, and possibly stopped in advance; possibly before even crossing our borders?

    • If you work in a secure area (e.g. a nuclear power plant), don’t you want to be as certain as possible that only those with authorization are permitted access?

    • When people request social benefits (e.g. Social Security, Medicare, welfare, etc.), or vote, don’t you want to be as certain as possible that only U.S. citizens can do so?

    • Don’t you want people driving on the same roads as your to be qualified to drive (having passed a competence test)? Or have auto-liability insurance.

    • When people request social benefits (e.g. Social Security, Medicare, welfare, etc.), or vote, don’t you want to be as certain as possible that only U.S. citizens can do so?

    That requires IDentification.
    We need an IDentification that is as reliable as possible.

    We already have it, and rely upon it.
    But, it is not accurate enough, as evidenced by the rampant identity theft.
    It is too easy to steal anothers’ identity.
    Something better is needed.
    The more accurate, the better.
    Something that is unique and difficult to fake.
    A mere IDentification card won’t help much, because it lacks uniqueness, and it won’t be long before they are easily reproduced.
    Biometrics (especially three or more, with passwords) provides uniqueness and makes it very difficult to steal someone’s identity, one of the fastest growing crimes in the U.S.

    It also eliminates the need to carry any form of identity. Already, the most simple forms of biometrics could be used (e.g. iris, finger-print, height, age, eye-color, photo) along with passwords.
    Later, other biometrics could be added (e.g. retina, hand geometry, DNA, voice pattern, etc.) without making new IDentification cards. The new biometric could be registered after confirming the previously recorded biometrics.
    The database systems would be similar to the credit-card databases and networks used worldwide. Online purchases would still require password(s). Some computers (e.g. notebooks) are already on the market that require a fingerprint for log on.

    Ensuring the system isn’t abused by government is important, but the potential for abuse doesn’t preclude or diminish the need for an accurate IDentification system.

    Posted by: d.a.n at February 4, 2007 4:35 PM
    Comment #206908

    Would a national ID card have stopped the terrorist that perpetrated the 9/11 attacks? or the OKC bombing? I didnt think so.

    Posted by: j2t2 at February 7, 2007 9:12 AM
    Comment #207793

    j2t2,
    Not likely.
    Some had valid passport VISAs.
    Some had expired passport VISAs.
    Yet, no one was looking to find and deport them.
    Our government failed miserably.
    They ignored warnings about using hijacked planes being used as missles.
    They ignored warnings from Russia and Israel about not securing cock-pit doors.
    They ignored warnings about suspiciious persons in pilot training.
    They ignored warnings about Al-Qaeda attacks the day before 9/11 .
    It’s not merely the failure to connect the dots.
    It is corruption and a miserable failure to do anything

    But we keep rewarding them by repeatedly re-electing them.
    As the corruption grows, it becomes harder and harder to stop it.

    The FAA had the primary responsibility for ordering the measures to prevent airliners being hijacked. Congressional hearings, and the 9/11 Commission, conveniently ignored that because of corruption in the FAA.

    The FBI and CIA had the primary responsibility for discovering and acting on the hijacking scheme. The hearings focused conveniently ignored the corruption within the FBI and CIA. Some who tried to reveal it suffered the consequences.

    The government corruption and incompetence made the 3,000 deaths of 9/11 possible. A former federal agent, Rodney Stich, a former Navy pilot in WWII, tried repeatedly to report the corruption in the aviation safety offices related to several airline disasters. He discovered three airline disasters caused by the same problems he previously reported, and were ignored.

    He recommended installing heavier cockpit doors and removing cockpit door keys from the flight attendants, which might have prevented many of the fatal hijackings that subsequently occurred, including the September 11, 2001, hijackings.
    The FAA refused to act on this obvious safety problem, among many other air safety problems and recommendations. In fact, the FAA destroyed many of the inspectors’ reports. They didn’t want such reports filed, because when the predicted disaster finally occurred, it would make the FAA look bad. This corrupt culture in the FAA subverted the legal and moral responsibilities to act on safety problems and violations discovered by highly trained and highly experienced federal air safety inspectors.

    He filed law suits seeking to expose the corruption in the FAA and the NTSB, and published the 4 books in a serious of “Unfriendly Skies”, describing the corruption, the crashes and deaths caused by the corruption.

    The publicity led other government agents (FBI, CIA, ONI, DEA, FAA) to help him with more information and evidence of criminal activities by government officials. He sought to report these criminal activities only to be ignored again. Federal judges and DOJ prosecutors then charged him with criminal contempt of court for having filed papers in federal court. Despite the facts (facts that many others knew of), denied a jury trial (a clear rights violation), at the age of 67, shortly after a multiple-bypass coronary surgery, Stich was sent to federal prison for 6 months, where he spent two months in solitary confinement. From 1986 through 1995, Stich was either in prison or awaiting trial for criminal contempt of court.

    Unfortunately, most Americans simply dismiss such things as mere “conspiracy theory”.
    And when terrorists finally really do get WMD, there will be little to stop them from strolling right across the border with it.

    Posted by: d.a.n at February 12, 2007 10:40 PM
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