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Maine Rejects Federally Mandated ID Cards 621

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the marks-of-the-beast dept.
WebHostingGuy writes "The State of Maine rejected the federally mandated ID cards passed by Congress. In a non-partisan vote the legislature flatly stated that they would not force its citizens to use driver's licenses that comply with digital ID standards, which were established under the 2005 Real ID Act. It also asked Congress to repeal the law."
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Maine Rejects Federally Mandated ID Cards

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  • by jleq (766550) <jleq96@nosPAm.gmail.com> on Friday January 26, 2007 @12:07AM (#17763550)
    I thought we got rid of the Doctrine of Nullification after the civil war?
    • by Samuel Dravis (964810) on Friday January 26, 2007 @12:11AM (#17763596)
      I think this is similar to how SD created the anti-abortion law. They are deliberately saying no to get the law tested in court.
      • by Raul654 (453029) on Friday January 26, 2007 @12:49AM (#17764026) Homepage
        They are indeed questioning the constitutionality of the law. And, to (roughly) quote Larry Lessig, "In America, the way to ask a legal question is to sue somebody". Passing a state law rejecting the Federal one is just the first stepping stone to the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals, which is really where this question will be authoritatively answered.
        • by joeljkp (254783) <joeljkparkerNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Friday January 26, 2007 @02:01AM (#17764718)
          The Federal law doesn't technically force states to implement the ID stuff, it just says that if they don't, they won't get their federal highway money.
          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by uncreativ (793402)
            Just like the federal government doesn't require the drinking age to be 21--they just won't release highway funds if a state doesn't have a 21 or older drinking age.

            Guess what happens. All the states set the same driking age....curious.

            It's a way to force states to behave a certain way when the federal government has no authority to make such a rule itself. If the federal government actually had the authority, it would have just passed the law requiring the ID standards without tying it to highway funding.
            • by thebdj (768618) on Friday January 26, 2007 @08:13AM (#17766650) Journal
              Honestly, I do not think Maine cares about their highway funds. There are not a lot of US routes through Maine, the only Interstate is I-95, which is tolled for portion where it is the Maine Turnpike. I think there could actually be a potential here for Maine, if they truly do not care about the highway funds. Lower the drinking age back to 18. I am sure a lot of kids in the parts closer to Canada already make trips across the border for alcohol, so why not just keep them in state and keep the money at home. It could also attract college students and other individuals from Boston and NH, who want to get alcohol legally.

              Now, to argue the drinking age. Here is why 21 is bad. Is underage drinking a problem? Yes. Is binge drinking a problem? Yes, but one that has been a bit overblown. How to you solve both at once? Lower the age to 16. Here is why. Where do most 16 yr olds live? At home, with their parents who can teach them the importance of drinking responsibly while they are still at home. By having the drinking age 21, people are well into college before they can legally drink. For many college students, it is their first time away from home for any extended time. Without the parents around, the children will play and drinking becomes an issue. Since it is their first times drinking (and they are "unsupervised") they wound up into trouble situations. I could also use that old (and possible flawed) argument, "At 18 you are old enough to fight and die for this country, but you are not old enough to enjoy a little bit of alcohol." You will find that in the countries where drinking is legal, the countries with drinking ages of 21 are in the minority.
              • by hackstraw (262471) * on Friday January 26, 2007 @10:04AM (#17767682)
                At home, with their parents who can teach them the importance of drinking responsibly while they are still at home.

                The problem is with the parents/parenting to begin with.

                Americans are pretty psychotic with respect to things like mistakes, moderation, and honest communication.

                Instead of these things, we like harder rules and harder punishments. Things like zero tolerance, mandatory minimums, 3 strike rules, police roadblocks.

                There is a saying that goes something like "The firmer grip you use, the faster the the stuff squirts between your fingers". This is what is happening.

                I live in one of the most policed conservative states in the US, and it sucks. Trust me, once your "in the system" its next to impossible to get out of it.

                • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                  by thebdj (768618)
                  You sure we live in the same America? This is a country where a child can scream abuse for a spanking, and it is typically on the parents' shoulders to prove their innocence. Legislation was offered up in California to make it illegal to spank children under the age of 4. My mom was raised in a household where you were punished for misbehaving, and my grandfather was known for sending the boys out to pick the switches with which they would be punished. Could you imagine if a parent did that today? You
          • by wtansill (576643)

            The Federal law doesn't technically force states to implement the ID stuff, it just says that if they don't, they won't get their federal highway money.
            "Nice little road system you got here -- be a shame to see it deteriorate!" is functionally equivalent to "Nice little candy store you got here -- be a shame to see something bad happen to it!" Which one is the Mafia, and which is the government?
            • by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 26, 2007 @05:20AM (#17765862)

              The Federal law doesn't technically force states to implement the ID stuff, it just says that if they don't, they won't get their federal highway money.

              "Nice little road system you got here -- be a shame to see it deteriorate!" is functionally equivalent to "Nice little candy store you got here -- be a shame to see something bad happen to it!" Which one is the Mafia, and which is the government?

              Old protection racket scheme, you pay for protection or you will need it. The US tested this and found it to work "nicely" for the IRS. If you don't pay them what they decide you owe they will come take it from you. Where did the Mafia get it? Probably from some government or another, perhaps the Vatican. Plenty enough documentation in history that the church sold you salvation, from them. Interestingly enough governmental oppression via taxation and/or church control is what brought most of our predecessors to the US. UK tried to control and milk the colonies via taxation etc..

              Originally the federal government was supposed to be funded only by the graces of the states and tariffs and the states' governments controlled who went to the senate and thus their senators would protect the sovereignity of the states from popular demands and federal power seizures. Changing senators to popular elections shifted the balance of power, unfortunately it has taken power not just from the states but from the people. Of course you can also argue that the people have abdicated their power and/or that corporations have bought it away from them. Both in many ways are all too true, just like the public school system was set up to train you to accept and tolerate this kind of behaviour from the government and from corporations. I for one am convinced the major reason entrepreneurship is more prevalent among people who move into the US then those who grew up in within the public school system.

              Only way I can see this changing is for those who are able to re-educate themselves to do so and try to influence others to do the same. We need to establish more entrepreneurship, including the family farms and we could use some truth in the newspapers etc too. We need to either retake our political parties or form new ones, from the grass roots level up. Got an elected official on the take? Vote him/her out irregardless if its legal contributions to them or not if they selling their vote they are selling their vote and they need to be voted down. Above all else we need to remind people that we should not rely on the government for everything. The more we ask of government the more power we have to give them to do it and eventually they start to claim they already have the power to add more on.

              Society in every state is a blessing, but Government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil; in its worst state an intolerable one: for when we suffer, or are exposed to the same miseries BY A GOVERNMENT, which we might expect in a country WITHOUT GOVERNMENT, our calamity is heightened by reflecting that we furnish the means by which we suffer. Government, like dress, is the badge of lost innocence; the palaces of kings are built upon the ruins of the bowers of paradise. For were the impulses of conscience clear, uniform and irresistibly obeyed, man would need no other lawgiver; but that not being the case, he finds it necessary to surrender up a part of his property to furnish means for the protection of the rest; and this he is induced to do by the same prudence which in every other case advises him, out of two evils to choose the least. Wherefore, security being the true design and end of government, it unanswerably follows that whatever form thereof appears most likely to ensure it to us, with the least expense and greatest benefit, is preferable to all others.

              Common Sense Thomas Paine [ushistory.org]

              I would suggest everyone re-read Common S

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by manifoldronin (827401)

              "Nice little road system you got here -- be a shame to see it deteriorate!" is functionally equivalent to "Nice little candy store you got here -- be a shame to see something bad happen to it!" Which one is the Mafia, and which is the government?

              Ow, come on, I don't like the highway fund holdup scam either, but you are overstretching it. The mafia would actually proactively come and torch your place if you don't pay up, whereas the federal government isn't going to, like, send in the troops and destroy th

        • by shmlco (594907) on Friday January 26, 2007 @06:21AM (#17766118) Homepage
          "They are indeed questioning the constitutionality of the law."

          They need to question the constitutionality behind the way the law was passed in the first place. From the article, "A key Republican supporter of the Real ID Act said Thursday that the law was just as necessary now as when it was enacted as part of an $82 billion military spending and tsunami relief bill."

          In other words some sleezy congress-critter appended it to a "must pass" spending bill, and we, the people, didn't get a chance to debate it, or determine if it was in fact "necessary" at all.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by AlHunt (982887)

      I thought we got rid of the Doctrine of Nullification after the civil war?
      Frankly? Tough. Real ID is just more federal nanny-state stuff hiding behind the skirts of "national security". That Maine has stood up to the feds and refused to be bullied into further eroding the privacy of it's citizens is a very positive development.

      Let's see the other 49 states stand up for themselves, too.

       
    • by takeya (825259) * on Friday January 26, 2007 @02:23AM (#17764906) Journal
      This is not an issue of interstate commerce. The federal government does not have the authority to pass this law, the law clearly states that if states don't participate, they lose certain amounts of federal revenue, most likely highway funding. That will be Maine's penalty. There will probably not be a federal lawsuit, and this is not nullification.
  • by dj245 (732906) on Friday January 26, 2007 @12:08AM (#17763560) Homepage
    I didn't vote any of them in, but they did the right thing. For once.

    The exponentially increasing transportation budget for side roads that get repaved with increasing frequency is another matter entirely. Oh and that whole laptop for children thing. Yes, I am a Maine resident. Like many young people, I'm out of here as soon as I graduate. Soon Maine will be come a state of elderly crotchety people, just like Florida, but without the beaches and spring break crowds.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by HardCase (14757)
      Also, for what it's worth, Maine hasn't been a commonwealth since they split from Massachusetts in 1820.
  • Amusing (Score:3, Funny)

    by Dachannien (617929) on Friday January 26, 2007 @12:10AM (#17763578)
    It amuses me that the link "non-partisan vote" in the OP goes to a page whose title is "The Maine Senate Democrats".

  • I don't get it. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ArcherB (796902) * on Friday January 26, 2007 @12:11AM (#17763590) Journal
    Seriously, someone explain to me what is wrong with a national ID standard... without saying "papers please".
    • Where in the Constitution does it ALLOW federal government to control where people go? "Interstate commerce" would only apply if we brought back slaves, as they were 'commerce'.

      That and, it is like the older anti-freedom groups like the Nazis and the USSR did use extensively.
      • by ArcherB (796902) *
        Where in the Constitution does it ALLOW federal government to control where people go? "Interstate commerce" would only apply if we brought back slaves, as they were 'commerce'.

        Who said anything about telling people where they can and can't go? Why would an ID prevent you from going somewhere? Is there some secret clause in this law that states that once you receive this new ID, you must get permission before traveling over state lines? My Social Security card has never prevented me from going anywhere.
        • by cduffy (652)
          The law specifies that this new ID would need to be used when boarding an airplane, opening a bank account, or taking several other actions.

          Given that in travel via air is frequently the only practical way of getting around, requiring positive ID (and validation of said ID against a database, as the TSA is wont to do) before folks are allowed to fly is indeed a very significant step towards internal passports.

          Not that this wasn't an issue previously; John Gilmore's attempts to fly anonymously (and tribulati
    • Re:I don't get it. (Score:4, Insightful)

      by AJWM (19027) on Friday January 26, 2007 @12:17AM (#17763664) Homepage
      what is wrong with a national ID standard

      Please point out the section of the Constitution that authorizes the Federal government to require this.

      And don't say "Commerce clause".
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by ArcherB (796902) *

        Please point out the section of the Constitution that authorizes the Federal government to require this


        I'll show you as soon as you show me where in the Constitution it authorizes HUD, Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and everything else our gov't does that is not specifically spelled out in the Constitution. Just because it's not stated, does not mean it is forbidden.
        • Re:I don't get it. (Score:5, Insightful)

          by karmatic (776420) on Friday January 26, 2007 @12:34AM (#17763858)
          Just because it's not stated, does not mean it is forbidden.

          Actually, it is:
          Amendment X
          The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.

          The fact that the federal government has abused the commerce clause and completly disregarded most of the constitution for some time now doesn't make this particular encroachment right.

          • by ArcherB (796902) *
            Actually, it is:
            Amendment X
            The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.

            The fact that the federal government has abused the commerce clause and completly disregarded most of the constitution for some time now doesn't make this particular encroachment right.

            Again, no one can tell me how this is a violation of rights. Does it limit free speech? Does it search your house? Does it take away you
            • Re:I don't get it. (Score:5, Insightful)

              by mrchaotica (681592) * on Friday January 26, 2007 @12:50AM (#17764032)

              Again, no one can tell me how this is a violation of rights.

              It doesn't matter if it violates any fundamental human rights like free speech, etc. The fact that it violates the states' rights and the people's rights by going far beyond what could reasonably be construed as "regulating interstate commerce" is enough to make it unconstitutional.

              • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                by ArcherB (796902) *
                How does a national ID standard qualify as "regulating interstate commerce"? Where does it say that only a state can issue ID's? How is this NOT allowed in the necessary and proper clause [wikipedia.org]?
                • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

                  by aaronl (43811)
                  Is the power to issue and regulate ID granted to the Federal by the Constitution? The answer is, obviously NO, IT IS NOT. That means that the Federal is barred from doing so, and that power is reserved to the States.

                  The passage that you reference reads:
                  "To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof."

                  Seeing that the Constit
            • Re:I don't get it. (Score:4, Informative)

              by ganjadude (952775) on Friday January 26, 2007 @01:07AM (#17764220) Homepage
              Does that mean that weed is really legal?

              technically yes, the marihuana act of 1937 was enacted to stop the influx of the mexican population fro getting in the USA, it did not make weed illegal, just you had to have a stamp and well the government wouldnt give you one (i am lazy wiki it if you care)

              If a power is not listed in the Constitution, it is not supposed to be available to the Federal government which means if one wants something done at the federal level, it needs to be ratified and amended, which is why alcohol prohibition had an AMENDMENT.

              When Nixon created the DEA congress said no because...its UNCONSTITUTIONAL. Unless the PEOPLE wanted this origination, than it would need to be amended, which of course would never happen. Long story short Nixon told congress where to stick it and TA'DA we have this stupid orginisation which ruins lives and polices the world. (again im lazy google it)

              So to answer the question, the Ganjadude says UNLESS STATE LAW STATES that marijuana is illegal, (which most do) than its not.

              you can legally possess up to 4 ounces in alaska, and 11 states have decriminalized possession of small amounts to nothing worse than a parking ticket while about the same use it medically

              our president is an ex coke head yet he spends more cash locking up people for the same, what a crock

              end rant
          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by TheoMurpse (729043)

            The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.

            Let's check out one way to read that, by choosing to delegate that power to the people:

            The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the people.

            There we go. Now if the people [wikipedia.org] decide to give that power of theirs to the national government by electing politicians to the legisla

        • Just because it's not stated, does not mean it is forbidden.

          The Hell it doesn't! Read it and weep:

          Amendment X

          The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.

          Everything you mentioned -- HUD, Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, etc. -- is, in fact, unconstitutional!

          • by ArcherB (796902) *
            The Hell it doesn't! Read it and weep:

            Amendment X

            The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.


            You mean Congress is not allowed to pass laws? What is their job exactly?

            Everything you mentioned -- HUD, Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, etc. -- is, in fact, unconstitutional!

            Well, then I think you got bigger fish to fry than just a litt
            • Well, then I think you got bigger fish to fry than just a little ID card standard!

              I completely agree! However, there's no reason not to pursue this issue as well.

              May I recommend starting with the IRS.

              You may, but it would be stupid to do so:

              Amendment XVI

              The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several states, and without regard to any census or enumeration.

              • by XanC (644172)
                I completely agree with your interpretation of Amendment X (it's pretty straightforward, really), but I should point out there's a strong case to be made that Amendmend XVI was not legally passed. The crux of the argument is that a lot of states were forbidden by their state constitution from approving any federal amendment that would increase the power of the federal government, so those "yea" votes should not have counted.
        • by sconeu (64226)
          Just because it's not stated, does not mean it is forbidden.

          Actually, with regards to the Federal Government, it is forbidden. See The 10th Amendment [usconstitution.net].

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by edwdig (47888)
          I'll show you as soon as you show me where in the Constitution it authorizes HUD, Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and everything else our gov't does that is not specifically spelled out in the Constitution.

          I believe it would be this:

          Section 8. The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises, to pay the debts and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States; but all duties, imposts and excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;

          Spe
    • Re:I don't get it. (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Bacon Bits (926911) on Friday January 26, 2007 @12:18AM (#17763684)
      Nothing, except the federal government doesn't have the authority to enforce the law. The state of Maine refuses to comply not because they disagree with the law, but because they don't recognize the authority of the federal legislature to create such a law, nor of the executive to enforce it. Kinda like a trademark, jurisdiction in a case law precedent system like ours is 'use it or lose it'.

      With the Interstate Highway System, the feds provided money to states that wanted it and they could make very good cases for national defense.

      With social security, the federal government issues the numbers and the cards. It's wholly a federal matter.

      This law is instructing all states to comply with an arbitrary standard. They can't compel the states to do that. They must dangle money as a request.
      • by ArcherB (796902) *
        Nothing, except the federal government doesn't have the authority to enforce the law. The state of Maine refuses to comply not because they disagree with the law, but because they don't recognize the authority of the federal legislature to create such a law, nor of the executive to enforce it.

        What authority do they have to force me to pay for Social Security and have a card for that? What authority does the state of Maine have to set the standards for ID's?

        Still that doesn't answer my question. All the pe
        • What authority do they have to set a national speed limit?
      • This law is instructing all states to comply with an arbitrary standard. They can't compel the states to do that. They must dangle money as a request.

        Shades of 55 mph. That was the approach the federal government took in enforcing that standard. In that case Texas was the first state to say bite me. The states had more power when it was a confederation but they still have a lot of power. I wish they'd nail the Supreme Court for modifying the Constitution through interpretation. That's squarely a state po

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by adamstew (909658) *
      I believe the biggest issue that people have with it is that the national ID standard requires people to bring in their original birth certificate, and a social security card. Those will get scanned in and uploaded to a federal database.
    • Re:I don't get it. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by tyler.willard (944724) on Friday January 26, 2007 @12:20AM (#17763712)
      What more reason do you need?

      We're supposed to be an independent people distrustful of government. The people who founded this country overthrew their own government for fuck's sake.

      "Why not?" should never be the standard for anything that enhances government power and/or limits individual liberty.

      The standard should be "Why should we?".

      And no, "We have to keep you safe." is not an adequate reason.
    • ...without saying "papers please".

      The implication that it would lead to NAZI-style oppression is what's wrong with a national ID standard, and it's a legitimate argument. Trying to dismiss it out of hand does not change that!

    • Might as well ask people to explain why facism is a bad idea without bringing up Hitler or Mussolini...
    • ...would be some sort of RFID chip injected under the skin, or maybe something lower tech.. perhaps a serial number tattooed on the arm. We should make one of those standard.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I realize they're a small minority, but this may have a chilling effect on transsexuals.

      Some cops & security personnel throw a fit if you're presenting as a woman but you have an "M" on your ID.

      Right now, there are 50 separate jurisdictions with their own standards for how & when you can get new ID issued with your new gender. Some say you can change it if you're living full-time as a woman (pre-op). Some say you have to have sexual reassignment surgery first. I think there are even some stat

  • Money over privacy? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by adamstew (909658) *
    The article made it sound like that all the legislature cared about was the money it would cost to implement the national ID, and that they didn't care about any of the privacy issues.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by AlHunt (982887)

      The article made it sound like that all the legislature cared about was the money it would cost to implement the national ID, and that they didn't care about any of the privacy issues.

      Living here in Maine, let me assure you that privacy was discussed just as much as money. All your personal information; name, address, social security number, FINGERPRINT, all consolidated in one card and entered into a handy database for some shmuck to put on his government-supplied laptop to be stolen at Arby's.

      No, thanks

  • I, for one, welcome our new lobster-eating overlords. We've been long overdue for a state legislature to stand up to the security-crazed national congress and tell them to shove their citizen surveillance programs back through the orifice that produced them. It's great to see the federalist division of power in action.
  • by Soloact (805735) on Friday January 26, 2007 @12:20AM (#17763714) Homepage Journal
    Requiring a National ID "to fight terrorism" is like punishing everyone for the offense of one. Many corporations are like that, the military is like that, and too many governments are adopting that practise. One person (or a small number) does something wrong, and suddenly there are procedures made that everyone must follow "to prevent the acts" of the few (look at the airports).
    How about punishing those who commit the offenses in such a way as to eliminate the desire of those, who would follow them, to commit the offense?
    In the USA, States need to fight for the States' Rights as Maine just did, and as Wisconsin did by outlawing mandatory chipping of people.
    This "pervasive" form of governing, or ruling, seems to becoming more and more "invasive". Some would argue, "...if you have nothing to hide, then what are you afraid of?" , of which my argument is, "I am a good civilian, so leave me alone."
    Of course, all of my comments are IMHO.
  • by COredneck (598733) * on Friday January 26, 2007 @12:24AM (#17763772)
    If Congress refuses to significantly change the Real ID Act, then rebellion is the way to make it fail. The Act is built on a flimsy deck of cards. If a few of the most populated states like CA, NY, IL, MI, TX decide to blow it off. The Federal Gov't would be in a bind. On one hand, if they enforce it, it will kill the airline industry. On the other hand, if they don't enforce it, they are disobeying the law that Congress passed.

    It needs to be completely repealed. It was passed without discussion, without debate. It became law as a "rider" on a must-pass piece of legislation. With the Democrat Congress, its demise is more likely. We should contact Contact Congress [visi.com] and ask the law be repealed completely concerning the driver's license provisions.
    • by ad0gg (594412)
      Congress won't repealit because it will be used against the congressmen in upcoming elections. They portrayed as weak on terror. Only thing we can hope for is that is that congress doesn't fund the program which kills it. Or even better, its goes to court and found unconstitutional.
  • by Nutty_Irishman (729030) on Friday January 26, 2007 @12:24AM (#17763774)

    A key Republican supporter of the Real ID Act said Thursday that the law was just as necessary now as when it was enacted as part of an $82 billion military spending and tsunami relief bill. (Its backers say it follows the recommendations that the 9/11 Commission made in 2004.)
    Ok, can someone explain to me how bills like these are grouped together (someone with the political knowhow not just knee-jerk "because america sucks" responses)? Seriously, besides saving time and being lazy, I fail to see why military spending and tsunami relief would be put into one bill. But bills like this happen all the time-- and usually it's much worse. I don't understand why there are no restrictions/oversight in place to monitor the grouping of bills.
    • 10.1 (Score:4, Insightful)

      by way2trivial (601132) on Friday January 26, 2007 @12:32AM (#17763838) Homepage Journal
      it's like this..

      28 guys want military spending
      31 guys want tsunami relifer
      only 2 guys want both.

      that means, lump them together, get 57 votes
    • Ok, can someone explain to me how bills like these are grouped together (someone with the political knowhow not just knee-jerk "because america sucks" responses)?

      How about "because politicians suck" instead?

      No, really: this unrelated crap gets tagged on because politicans have no morals, and they want to push their agendas even when they're against the will of the people (not to mention the rest of the politicians). So, they tack stuff onto the bills at the last minute so that the issues don't have to be

  • I am pretty sure that Maine is not a commonwealth [wikipedia.org], but this is Slashdot so who fact-checks?
  • About time someone struck a blow for federalism. Good for Maine.
  • Domino Theory (Score:2, Informative)

    by Stanislav_J (947290)

    Someone had to be first to stand up to this. (I was betting on New Hampshire, which has been very vocal about their opposition, or Vermont based on their general countercultural eccentricties. But they all share a remnant of that good old Yankee stubborness.) Other states have voiced their concerns, but now that someone had the balls to be first, maybe more states will make their opinions known through their own legislatures.

    Or maybe it means nothing at all, and all the states will eventually kowtow to thei

  • Goddamn straight (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ShimmyShimmy (692324) <bplennon@[ ]il.com ['gma' in gap]> on Friday January 26, 2007 @12:36AM (#17763876) Homepage Journal
    This Federal ID idea is definitely rediculous. I'm glad someone is actively opposing it. I suppose it is good they are trying to push states to actually have good ID cards. Some of them (West Virginia, New Jersey until recently) are rediculously easy to fake. Not that I, ahem, would know anything about that.
    But let's not give them too much credit. This is obviously another step toward removing already eroding privacy rights in this country. And of course the convenient excuse "war on terror" will be stamped all over this.

    Let's get a run-down of what this will actually mean to the average consumer.
    ~ By "common machine readable technology", I'm assuming they mean RFID, which we all know has its drawbacks [eweek.com].
    ~ I doubt this will end up being a substitute for a Driver's License. What if you lose driving privilages and have to turn in your ID? Do you have to get a new "non-driver" card just to go to the bank? Bull shit. Inevitably, this will have to be carried around in addition to a driver's license. Great, another unnecessary card to carry in my wallet. Why don't they just make us all wear collars around our necks. Not like nobody's ever thought of that [westvalley.edu] before.
    ~ It will obviously be scanned at every point of use. I forsee an amendment in the near future extending this to train/bus travel as well.
    ~ Inevitably, this will be part of a big government database. We all know those are generally bad ideas [techdirt.com]. I wouldn't be surprised if they link this up to your EZ-Pass so they can see where your car is going too. Remember (FTA) this is an $83 billion project. It is going to be BIG. ~ What if you lose this thing? It's bad enough getting the state to replace an ID... who do I complain to now? The FBI? Dept of Homeland Security?

    I don't even want to think about this anymore. Go Maine.
  • The law doesn't have a way to force Maine to comply as that's a states rights issues.

    What I predict will happen is that the Federal government will start by holding back the money that they would disperse to the state for highway dollars just like they have done for other measures. (The ones that come to mind is seat-belt and drunk driving laws but I know that there are others.). If holding back Federal highway funds they will find other funds not to give the state.
    • by Todd Knarr (15451) * on Friday January 26, 2007 @02:10AM (#17764798) Homepage

      It'd be interesting to see a state respond by saying "OK, if the Federal government doesn't want to pay for it's Interstate highways, it can have them back. Oh, and it can also have back all responsibility for maintaining them, enforcing the laws on them, clearing snow off them in the winter, the lot. We wish them luck with it, and if anyone finds the conditions deteriorating they know where they can call the owners.".

  • bullies (Score:5, Insightful)

    by drDugan (219551) * on Friday January 26, 2007 @12:50AM (#17764036) Homepage
    my daughter said something quite profound about a year ago: "Standing up to bullies is easy, you just stomp on their toes".

    It is profound for several reasons. You shouldn't fight the bully head on, they are bigger and (in this case) control the White house and the Army.

    But you make it hurt, a lot (you "stomp"), but you do it below the vision of most people watching.

    You stand right up to the bully, to their face and make them face you. Most bullies are craven and will crumble at the first sign of real resistance.

    Bush Psychology -- http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/011807J.shtml [truthout.org]

    This is just the first step in a long, painful road to recovery for this nation.
  • by schwit1 (797399) on Friday January 26, 2007 @12:54AM (#17764078)
    Remember when the 55mph speed limit was not the law, but a suggestion, and all states complied? Any state that didn't go along was denied federal highway funds. Same could happen here.


    Personally I have no problem with congress appointing non-government experts to define minimum security standards for important documents. But congress is treating RealID as a security end in itself.

  • SS (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Friar_MJK (814134) on Friday January 26, 2007 @02:31AM (#17764982)
    Yea, I already have my nationally issued I.D. card... It's called my social security number! People ask me for it all the time when I do even the most basic of purchasing. Soooo, this would solve??? There will always be ways around it no matter what you do. Remember... those "sneaky terrorists" get more resourceful all the time!
  • I just dont get it ! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Mr Europe (657225) on Friday January 26, 2007 @04:24AM (#17765610)
    To me, as an European, the whole fight against Real-Id seems absurd. Without a national id-system I would be really worried that any neighbor guy could act as me ! The only problem I find in the Real-Id law is that the cards might be remote readable. And that could be solved with a metallic box for the card. Not that handiest idea, but the security brought with reliable identification is much more important. Ok there's another thing too: "The card may include 'a common machine-readable technology' that Homeland Security will decide on". Sounds too vague. The content should be decided beforehand.

    I'm not now talking about president Bush's ridiculous terrorist fíght. I'm talking about someone else using bank account or getting my private medical information. Or opening a bank account under my name and getting a big loan.
  • Dirigo (Score:3, Interesting)

    by oudzeeman (684485) on Friday January 26, 2007 @08:55AM (#17766932)
    Maine's motto is Dirogo, or "I lead". It's good to see my government living up to this once in a while.

    By the way, in 1839 the Governor of Maine decared war on England over a boundary dispute with New Brunswick. This was the only time a state has decared war on a foreign power. The conflict was settled before any blood was shed.

  • by 140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) on Friday January 26, 2007 @09:01AM (#17766978) Journal
    It is slashdot. So most people are mouthing off against the ID cards and intrusive govt, lack of privacy and States' rights and all that. Step in to the real world, you will find people who:

    1. Frequent shopper cards from grocery stores so that they get 25cents off a loaf of bread. In return they let their grocery shop+pharmacy uniquely brand them with a number and track all their purchases, from birth control pills to diapers.

    2. Use credit cards even after they send them a year end profile of expenses, making it a no secret how much data they collect and retain

    3. are least bothered by the extensive data collection by their banks and their "partners" who pelt them with "new and exciting products".

    Come on guys. The private sector is a bigger threat to your privacy and well being than US Govt is. You have some semblance of control over US govt, whereas you have none over the private sector. The interests of US Govt coincides with the interests of people lot more than the interests of private sector overlapping the interests of people.

    But if you want mod points and build your karma, you have to blast the govt.

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