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Montana Says No to Real ID, Passes Law to Deny It 518

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the good-lines-in-the-sand dept.
SoCalChris writes "Montana's governor signed a bill yesterday in defiance of the Real ID Act. House Bill 287 [PDF] requires the Montana Motor Vehicle Division to not implement the provisions of the Real ID Act, and to report to the governor any attempts by any agent or agency of the Department of Homeland Security to attempt to implement the bill. Montana is the first state to implement such a law."
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Montana Says No to Real ID, Passes Law to Deny It

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  • About Time (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Pantero Blanco (792776) on Wednesday April 18, 2007 @06:21PM (#18789135)
    Considering how corrupt the federal government has become over the past few decades, I think it's about time individuals and states alike started taking back their rights.

    I hope Montana doesn't fold when the feds start pressing them like everyone did over the drinking age.
    • Re:About Time (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Drew McKinney (1075313) on Wednesday April 18, 2007 @06:32PM (#18789295) Journal
      Or medical cannabis laws in California. It will be interesting to see what comes of this.

      Even if the federal government did get their way with the states, how would the implement this? They want the state government systems to synchronize their records with the national government. Sounds easy to the unwashed masses (Washington Bureaucrats), but in practice this is very, very difficult. I'm sure there are slashdotters on here who can speak to difficulties in linking just local governments to state systems let alone at the NATIONAL level!

      I was once on a project linking a city government's records (I wont mention what kind) to the state government. Except for the fact that the city was using legacy system X running on X, and the state was on legacy Y running on Y. Oh, and don't forget the Bummsville servers which also need to integrate; and they haven't upgraded they're setup in 8 years and nobody knows how it works anymore.

      I PRAY that the feds get they're way and we get to see how much of a mess it is for them to link these disparate, outdated, undocumented systems together.
      • Re:About Time (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Pharmboy (216950) on Wednesday April 18, 2007 @06:46PM (#18789459) Journal
        California and South Carolina still haven't been able to setup databases for child support payments by divorced fathers. What makes people think they can sync their DLs with the feds?
        • Re:About Time (Score:5, Insightful)

          by rossz (67331) <ogreNO@SPAMgeekbiker.net> on Wednesday April 18, 2007 @07:40PM (#18790115) Homepage Journal
          Since the overwhelming majority of fathers behind in their payments is because of inability to pay, a database isn't going to make a damn bit of difference. Child support (and alimony) are pretty much set in stone and a change in the man's employment situation doesn't matter. If he suddenly finds him self unemployed or under-employed, as I'm sure happened to many slashdotters when the the dot com boost finally went belly up, he still has to pay the original amount. The court enforced amount is partially based on the man's earning capability (to prevent assholes from quiting good jobs just to screw their ex-wives), but the courts are blind to massive changes in the economy.
  • by drgonzo59 (747139) on Wednesday April 18, 2007 @06:21PM (#18789141)
    I hope they need Python or Java developers. Perhaps black bears could use some custom software to optimize their search for berries...
    • by sczimme (603413) on Wednesday April 18, 2007 @06:31PM (#18789291)

      Perhaps black bears could use some custom software to optimize their search for berries...

      If this week has taught us anything, it's that one should always have a backup plan for black-bear-ies.

    • by pschmied (5648) on Wednesday April 18, 2007 @06:34PM (#18789321) Homepage
      As a Montanan who has since moved down south... of the equator to New Zealand, I can say that the job market probably isn't what you want. There are very few employers.

      That said, Montana's a beautiful place. Oh, and the Kettlehouse (MT brew) brews the best beer in the world.

      We used to joke about people moving to Montana to pay the scenery tax. Short answer, you're probably not going to get rich there.

      I remember an old "PR" campain in MT to discourage Californians from moving in:

      "Montana Sucks. Now go home and tell your friends."
      • by shaitand (626655) on Wednesday April 18, 2007 @07:09PM (#18789721) Journal
        'Short answer, you're probably not going to get rich there.'

        No kidding, I took a train from Chicago to Portland that went across Montana lengthwise. You could tell you had entered Montana when you couldn't see anything, not even on the horizon. You could tell when you left Montana because you saw things again.

        Hell I don't even remember any towns. I saw a couple dead trees but thats about it.

    • by sloth jr (88200)

      I hope they need Python or Java developers. Perhaps black bears could use some custom software to optimize their search for berries...

      http://jobs.rightnowtech.com/ [rightnowtech.com]
  • Good trend (Score:5, Interesting)

    by SuperKendall (25149) on Wednesday April 18, 2007 @06:21PM (#18789145)
    Now if they can only bring back the old "reasonable and prudent" daytime speed limits, also in defiance of the federal government...
    • Re:Good trend (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 18, 2007 @06:26PM (#18789215)
      The 18-year-old drinking age and some drunken driving limits were also forced on states by saying "pass this law or we'll cut you out of federal highway funds your people paid for in taxes". A total end run around the constitution that the big chief court in Washington had no problem with. I'm sure there's a long list of this abuse someplace.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by mrbooze (49713)
        I'd be willing to bet good money that in the next congressional and senatorial elections after that, the vast majority of the incumbents were re-elected.

        So, if we don't bother to unelect them when they abuse us, aren't we really just getting the government we deserve?
    • by ArsonSmith (13997)
      Arizona still has "reasonable and prudent" speeding limits. The posted lines are burden of proof ratings and not hard limits. You can fight a speeding ticket on the idea of reasonable and prudent. You can also get a speeding ticket for going under the speed limit if the speed limit was not reasonable and prudent for something such as weather conditions.

      Good luck on fighting it though.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Lord Kano (13027)
      Now if they can only bring back the old "reasonable and prudent" daytime speed limits, also in defiance of the federal government...

      When the Republicans took over congress in 1995, one of the things they did was uncouple federal highway funds from the 55 speed limit.

      LK
  • by malevolentjelly (1057140) on Wednesday April 18, 2007 @06:23PM (#18789173) Journal
    Isn't this what Republicans used to be like? For state powers and against centralization? What would that make Bush? Fascist?
    • Republican (Score:3, Informative)

      by Guuge (719028)

      It makes Bush the same thing as the congressional Republicans who drafted and overwhelmingly voted for the Real ID act.

      I'd like to blame Bush and dismiss his presidency as a fluke, but all signs indicate that what we're seeing in the White House represents the direction the Republican party is headed. And that is sad.

  • Lesson for the world (Score:4, Interesting)

    by heretic108 (454817) on Wednesday April 18, 2007 @06:24PM (#18789185)
    If only people and their elected respresentatives in the UK, Australia and New Zealand, as well as other US states were as feisty about their privacy, then the real thrust of the 9/11 attacks would be rendered null and void. As it is, bin Laden (if alive) and his crew must be guffawing about how they've destroyed so much of that 'decadent infidel regime' in the west that also goes by the name of 'freedom'.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      As it is, bin Laden (if alive) and his crew must be guffawing about how they've destroyed so much of that 'decadent infidel regime' in the west that also goes by the name of 'freedom'.

      Not really, because the idea that they "hate us for our freedom" is pure bullshit propaganda. They hate us for continually dicking around in the Middle East, and we are still doing it, and it's getting worse. The fact that we're throwing away our civil liberties is incidental to people like Bin Laden.

    • by ArcherB (796902) * on Wednesday April 18, 2007 @06:46PM (#18789461) Journal
      If only people and their elected respresentatives in the UK, Australia and New Zealand, as well as other US states were as feisty about their privacy, then the real thrust of the 9/11 attacks would be rendered null and void. As it is, bin Laden (if alive) and his crew must be guffawing about how they've destroyed so much of that 'decadent infidel regime' in the west that also goes by the name of 'freedom'.

      I don't get your statement. I get up in the morning, feed my child, take a shower, go to work, go home, do my wife, go to bed. The same as I did before the government took away all my rights. Please tell me what I'm missing so I can be an angry citizen like yourself.

      Thank you.

      ArcherB
      • by Knuckles (8964) <knuckles@daTIGERntian.org minus cat> on Wednesday April 18, 2007 @07:03PM (#18789675)
        I get up in the morning, feed my child, take a shower, go to work, go home, do my wife, go to bed. The same as I did before the government took away all my rights. Please tell me what I'm missing

        A life.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by ArcherB (796902) *

          I get up in the morning, feed my child, take a shower, go to work, go home, do my wife, go to bed. The same as I did before the government took away all my rights. Please tell me what I'm missing


          A life.

          So because I have a child, pay my bills, get laid every night, and don't jump onto the whole "Rove took all my rights" bandwagon, I have no life?
          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by Anonymous Coward
            Well, to be fair, it's difficult to tell the difference between those who don't have a life and those who don't have a sense of humor.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by RobinH (124750)
        You lost the same freedoms that non-drinkers lost during prohibition. Just because you're not excercising all your freedoms doesn't mean you haven't lost any. The US government now has the ability to imprison you *without evidence*. The administration (not just this one but any one in the future) can call up the CIA/FBI, tell them that they have reason to believe you are a terrorist and you will be put in jail with no access to a lawyer, no phone call, no trial, nothing. You will stay there indefinitely
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by ArcherB (796902) *
          You lost the same freedoms that non-drinkers lost during prohibition.

          Well, a non-drinker during prohibition lost the "right" to drink. Can you tell me what a federal ID will prevent me from doing?

          As to the rest of your post, I don't see how a national ID standard gives the Feds any more power than they have now.
          • by cicho (45472) on Wednesday April 18, 2007 @10:35PM (#18792317) Homepage
            The whole point of requiring an ID is to institute laws that will prevent you from doing certain things without the ID. That' and to make sure that when you do those things, the government can know about it.

            And if they want to know about it, you may ask yourself what they are going to do with this knowledge.

        • by paeanblack (191171) on Wednesday April 18, 2007 @08:50PM (#18791047)
          The administration (not just this one but any one in the future) can call up the CIA/FBI, tell them that they have reason to believe you are a terrorist and you will be put in jail with no access to a lawyer, no phone call, no trial, nothing. You will stay there indefinitely.

          All that has changed is the label:

          Before terrorists, it was desegregationists.
          Before desegregationists, it was communists.
          Before communists, it was anarchists.
          Before anarchists, it was unionists.
          Before unionists, it was feminists
          Before feminists, it was secessionists
          Before secessionists, it was abolitionists
          Before abolitionists, it was transcendentalists.
          Before transcendentalists, it was restorationists.
          Before restorationists, it was monarchists.

          Before you worry about losing your rights, stop for a moment and ask if you ever really had them in the first place. The world changes much more slowly than it appears.
      • Lets see (Score:3, Insightful)

        by geekoid (135745)
        Under no government regime would you have a problem if you just ignored what is around you, stayed in you little life and never gave a damn.

        Even under Nazi* rule, you would have been fine.

        Of course the moment there is a glitch, or someone that doesn't like you makes a phone call, then you relize those things you never used may have been a tad important.

        Tlak to annyone who has had some lie to authorities about child abuse. They are guilty until proven innocent. Even if that can prove there own innocents, you
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by SpeedBump0619 (324581)
        I don't get your statement. I get up in the morning, feed my child, take a shower, go to work, go home, do my wife, go to bed. The same as I did before the government took away all my rights. Please tell me what I'm missing so I can be an angry citizen like yourself.

        Good morning friend!

        We noticed a number of oddities in our records and were hoping you might like to demonstrate your patriotism with an explanation of yesterday's infractions:

        1) Your daily alotment of water is 379.35 gallons (US). It appears t
    • You're absolutely right--OBL is probably off in a cave somewhere cackling maniacally as we speak because President Bush wanted a national ID card. Yes, what fools we've been...

      Correct me if I'm wrong, but it seems to me like your post is claiming that OBL wanted the 9/11 attacks to bring about national ID cards, to show us? I don't get it...what am I missing here?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 18, 2007 @06:24PM (#18789187)
    This is the first time in Montana history that our illustrious MVD had to be ordered NOT to perform something work related.
  • Let's hope other states follow their lead.
  • Good for them. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by apathy maybe (922212) on Wednesday April 18, 2007 @06:26PM (#18789221) Homepage Journal
    I'm not in the USA, so my comments are general. I'll get that out of the way first.

    The linking of databases, such as required by Real ID has a large number of problems and few benefits (unless you are a totalitarian). There are inevitably going to be problems with control to the data (who has access?), it isn't going to stop fake ID's and it paves the way for people to give up more and more information to a central state.

    The benefits are simple, the state gets a large access which it can then use (and most of the time misuse). It will be inevitably linked to other databases, and then the state can do what the East German state did.

    It knows when you broke the law, and if you do something it doesn't like, it pulls you in and charges you with whatever it likes. After all, who hasn't broken some law or another?

    This comment from the BillingsGazette, shows some other possible uses for the government.

    "We also don't think that bureaucrats in Washington, D.C., ought to tell us that if we're going to get on a plane we have to carry their card, so when it's scanned through they know where you went, when you got there and when you came home," said Schweitzer, a Democrat.
    (And isn't Montana the state with the highest level of gun ownership or something? Someone should shoot the federal agents, that would teach the fuckers.)
    • Re:Good for them. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by halo8 (445515) on Wednesday April 18, 2007 @06:50PM (#18789507)
      who hasn't broken some law or another?

      Thats the key phrase, right there.
      who hasn't broken some law or another?

      For those people that dont care about CCTV and Orwellian ideas that they have in Britain because they dont think of themselvs as a criminal, Think Again.

      In Singapore chewing gum and spitting are crimes
      Speeding is a crime, not using your turn signals is a crime
      Books and CD's have been banned in schools
      Trans Fat is illegal in some cities

      And it works both ways, Republicans or Democrats, Left or Right.
      What if gun were banned?
      Missed Child Payments
      what if using a racial slur was a criminal offense
      Getting angry and making a threat.
      Vengeful Neighbours
      Banning certain music or concerts dances clothes
      its goes on and on and on

      Sadly, its not to hard to imagine.

      Once the goverment gots you, the GOT you, your in the system.
      good luck trying to fly
      good luck renewing your license (Driving, Hunting, Practicing whatever...)
      good luck getting a job or a mortgage
  • Wow, I love this (Score:5, Insightful)

    by rockhome (97505) on Wednesday April 18, 2007 @06:26PM (#18789227) Journal
    I am a huge fan of the Montana state legislature right. To unanimously pass that kind of legislation says two things :

    1. They are for their constituents interests on this one.
    2. They are standing up for State's rights and not handing over ever more power to the federal government.

    Kudos to you Montana. As Stephen Colbert migh say, You've got balls!
    • by V. Mole (9567) on Wednesday April 18, 2007 @06:39PM (#18789365) Homepage
      While I'm glad they did this, I'd guess it has very little to do with concern for constituents and mostly to do with the cost of implementing it. Can you say "unfunded mandate"? I knew you could.
    • states rights (Score:3, Insightful)

      by falconwolf (725481)

      2. They are standing up for State's rights and not handing over ever more power to the federal government.

      Montana has pretty much always stood up for states rights. The one tyme I can think of they didn't was when they raised the legal age for drinking to 21.

      I'm glad to see another state stand up against the Real ID Act. But as Vermont's logo is "Do not tread on me" I'm supprised they didn't pass such a law first.

      Falcon
      • But as Vermont's logo is "Do not tread on me" I'm supprised they didn't pass such a law first.

        They're too busy pissing off all the anti-gun folks with their almost complete lack of gun laws. :-)
  • Constitution (Score:5, Insightful)

    by iamacat (583406) on Wednesday April 18, 2007 @06:29PM (#18789267)
    US constitution never envisioned federal government regulating every small detail of our lives, be it a form of ID used or smoking pot in the privacy of one's backyard. It aberrant to subject 149 million people to a preference of 151 million. It's time to delegate most decisions to state level, where they would be hopefully passed on to local governments to honor the spirit of constitution (that was written when the whole US population was smaller than some metropolitan areas now).
    • by ArsonSmith (13997)
      Now some may understand what "The south will rise again" really means. (Hint: It has nothing to do with particular geographical location or racism)
    • Re:Constitution (Score:4, Informative)

      by falconwolf (725481) <falconsoaring_2000NO@SPAMyahoo.com> on Wednesday April 18, 2007 @06:53PM (#18789535)

      US constitution never envisioned federal government regulating every small detail of our lives, be it a form of ID used or smoking pot in the privacy of one's backyard.

      The author of the "Declaration Of Independence", Thomas Jefferson, woud be rolling in his grave if he knew the federal government outlawed hemp, aka marijuana and pot. He grew hemp on his farm and once said there should be a law requiring farmers to grow it. He didn't propose a law though because he knew such a law would be a restriction on the rights of farmers. The only reason hemp was made illegal was because it posed a threat to some rich and powerful people, amoung them DuPont, William Randolph Hearst, Rockfeller, and Rothschild.

      Falcon
    • Re:Constitution (Score:4, Insightful)

      by chuckymonkey (1059244) <charles.d.burton@gmail. c o m> on Wednesday April 18, 2007 @06:57PM (#18789581) Journal
      Exactly, more laws mean that average Joe cannot get through the day without breaking a couple of them. For example, everyone goes on and on about drugs and the cartels that support them, the crime that surrounds them and whatnot. Make the worst ones legal and suddenly there is no incentive for the any of that, the drug lords won't make money and the violence of drug dealing and underground smuggling suddenly just disappears. Here's another interesting concept of the drugs too, with a lot of the worst ones the addicts will quickly kill themselves off since they can get as much as they want. I know what the next comment is going to be "think of the children!", how about "BE A FUCKING PARENT AND KNOW WHAT YOUR KIDS ARE DOING,WHERE THEY ARE AND WHO THEIR FRIENDS ARE!". People that want to do drugs are going to find a way and eventually go away. Look at the percentage of the populace that smokes these days, it's getting lower and more and more teenagers that I talk to think it's a disgusting habit. Anyway, this kind of thing with the card is bullshit. It's just another program that means nothing, does nothing, makes it easier to break the law, and lines the legislators pockets with money from whoever gets the contracts for it.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by G00F (241765)
      The cosntitutiomn was ment as a way to presever our rights as humand, and limit what can be taken away. Howe3ver, none of that matters anymore since the Constitution is just goddamned piece of paper [capitolhillblue.com]

      there are things that could work as preventing the use of national ID's
      http://www.usconstitution.net/const.html#Am4 [usconstitution.net]
      http://www.usconstitution.net/const.html#Am10 [usconstitution.net]

      But then any lawer and paid by the government judge will make swish chease of even the most simplest of rights.
  • YES! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by bryan1945 (301828) on Wednesday April 18, 2007 @06:31PM (#18789285) Journal
    Thank you Montana! This will probably ending up going to the Supreme Court, and I hope Montana wins. The requirements for the "Real ID" are ridiculous. I don't even know where my birth certificate is! I've had a valid state driver's license for 17 years- suddenly I need to prove again that I was born? I've had a valid SSN (and card) for 20-some years- I now need to re-prove my national id (c'mon, you know it is)? Utility bills- am I joining a library? Hell, will I need 3 references, a DNA sample, resume, and a documentary (on DVD of course) of my life next?

    All this does is make life harder on regular people. Just like gun laws- when the current laws are not being upheld, lets make more! Just uphold the current laws on getting a driver's license. At least in Pennsylvania, you have to provide a birth certificate and another form of ID. If the states' held up this standard in the first place, you wouldn't have to implement a secondary layer. Pass a law making the states to uphold their current standards.

    Blah, I hate government in general. Sorry, just had to pay taxes....
    • by JordanL (886154)

      Sorry, just had to pay taxes....

      Sorry to go off topic, but I had to address this point. It's unlikely that you just had to pay taxes. What likely happened is that you filled out a form telling the IRS how much extra money they stole from your paycheck.

      Federal witholding is such a scam. Taxes should NEVER be withheld. When you never see the money, you don't ever think of the taxes as your money, so you are not vigilant to changes in taxes, nor do you care much how they are spent.

      Thats completely ign

  • Huh? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by bobcat7677 (561727) on Wednesday April 18, 2007 @06:32PM (#18789297) Homepage
    First state?

    I thought Maine http://news.com.com/2100-7348_3-6153532.html [com.com] already did this with Idaho and Washington following closely behind? Or have those laws not been enacted yet?
    • Re:Huh? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by johndierks (784521) on Wednesday April 18, 2007 @07:21PM (#18789853)
      Depends on what time the bills were signed, as today Washington state Governor Christine Gregiore also signed into law a bill that rejects real ID.

      http://www.aclu.org/privacy/gen/29426prs20070418.h tml [aclu.org]

      The measure will prohibit state implementation of the REAL ID Act, unless the federal government fully funds it and provides stronger protections for the privacy of Washington drivers. The measure (SB 5087) passed both chambers of the legislature with bipartisan support, including an overwhelming 95-2 vote in the House. Senator Mary Margaret Haugen (D-Camano Island) was the bill's prime sponsor, and Senators Dan Swecker (R-Rochester) and Ed Murray (D-Seattle) were cosponsors.
  • governor (Score:3, Interesting)

    by PresidentEnder (849024) <wyvernender@gmai ... m minus caffeine> on Wednesday April 18, 2007 @06:32PM (#18789301) Journal
    I'm from Montana, and all I can say is: I am very, very glad that Schweitzer is governer now. Judy Martz, our previous governor(governess?) would have gone along with the REAL ID act, just to be compliant with our wise and noble leader in DC.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by pschmied (5648)
      Yeah, and maybe with two democratic senators, MT will back it up too.

      Judy Martz was a tool: Mrs. "My husband never hit me, but then I never gave him reason to." ...or the fact that she was a *self professed* lapdog of industry.

      Hey, how about you Montanans also get a ballot initiative to institute instant runoff voting (IRV)? I'm an expat, but I still vote in MT elections... I'd support it. :-)
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Loligo (12021)
      Didn't figure we had too many Montanans on /. Huh.

      Now if only our "libertarian" government would quit kowtowing to the influx of Californian cash, maybe we really CAN keep this state free...

      We didn't get to vote on the open container law. We didn't get to vote on the smoking ban. They were pushed through by legislators catering to the new citizens in the Yellowstone Club. Just love it when people leave their state because they don't like what it's turning into, and the first thing they do when they get some
  • Just wish it wasn't so damn cold.
    Good work Citizens.
  • Freedom (Score:5, Funny)

    by QuickFox (311231) on Wednesday April 18, 2007 @06:38PM (#18789363)
    FTA:

    [...] said Schweitzer, a Democrat. "This is still a free country and there are no freer people than the people that we have in Montana."
    Well, that's precisely the problem! That's exactly the problem that we're solving here.

    No one hates your freedom like we do... Uh, oops, I mean, like the terrorists do. Everybody knows it's the terrorists who hate your freedom. And of course only the terrorists can take your freedom away... Uh, um, no, not exactly, they can't... In fact only we can take your freedom away... er... You shouldn't question these things... Now be a good patriot and lie down and let us step on you for your protection.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Repton (60818)

      You almost had it.

      You see, the terrorists are seeking to steal Americans' freedom, because they have none of their own. In order to prevent this, the US Government is taking all your freedom and locking it away, so that the terrorists can't get to it. Currently you've still got lots of freedoms lying around in the open, but the government is even now working to lock down those too. Pretty soon America won't have any freedom at all, and the terrorists will have to give up and find another free country to

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 18, 2007 @06:40PM (#18789389)
    In other news .. the entire state of Montana has been declared an "Enemy Combatant". Plans are under way to use the national guard to secure and build GitmoII around the entire state.
  • Am I completely crazy, or was there a movie/short series a while back (perhaps quite a while back!) where a modern civil war broke out in the USA, and the trigger point was somewhere in... Montana? Can anybody give me a reference? What the hell am I remembering here?
    • Maybe you're thinking of the Montana Freemen [wikipedia.org]?
    • In the game Deus Ex, there was a group called the "NSF" or Northwest Secessionist Forces, where several northwestern states, Montana included, tried to remove themselves from a tyrannical US federal government. Unsuccessfully, I might add.

      That game was eerily on-target about "terrorists" and the rhetoric thrown about in the world political climate since 9/11. I'd also like to point out that Deus Ex was voted "Game of the Year" by several gaming magazines for the year 2000. Kudos to Warren Spector and his te
  • by sehlat (180760) on Wednesday April 18, 2007 @06:52PM (#18789521)
    The original constitution provided for the House to be elected directly by the people of their state, and for Senators to be elected or appointed by the state legislatures. What this meant was that Senators who acted against the perceived interests of their state would have a short service life. It also meant that a lot of the things we see coming out of Washington, including such "unfunded mandates" as the Real ID act, which imposes enormous costs on the states that the Federal government doesn't pay for, can't be remedied by the legislatures who have to vote the money for these things recalling them.

  • by Dachannien (617929) on Wednesday April 18, 2007 @07:00PM (#18789615)
    By enacting this legislation, Montana has denied its residents access to any federal programs that require the presentation of government-issued photo identification. One notable example is your passport: a photo ID is required to get a passport. No skin off the nose of the feds - in fact, it's less work for them to round-file all the passport applications from Montana once the ID requirements roll around.

    And good luck getting back into the country when you head up to Alberta for cheap prescription drugs. You may be required to show a passport or other photo ID to re-enter the country across the Canadian border (and a passport is required when traveling by air), and since DHS is in charge of that, they can take one look at your Montana driver's license and turn you away.

    • by chill (34294) on Wednesday April 18, 2007 @09:40PM (#18791649) Journal
      Montana did not ratify Prohibition, nor did Montana law enforcement enforce Prohibition within Montana's borders.

      The Montana Constitution includes the following clause: Section 33. Importation of armed persons. No armed person or persons or armed body of men shall be brought into this state for the preservation of the peace, or the suppression of domestic violence, except upon the application of the legislature, or of the governor when the legislature cannot be convened.

      This has been used, in the recent past, to limit federal law enforcement incursions into the state, a fact which has been credited with being responsible for the group known as the Montana Freeman being arrested (by the Montana police, who wished to prevent another Waco-type incident), without a shot being fired. This means that Montana does not feel that the feds have the unlimited right to do as they please in Montana, or to Montanans.

      A resolution has been passed by the Montana legislature requiring federal law enforcement that wishes to do anything in Montana to act through the appropriate local sheriff. The intention is to eventually give this the force of law. This tends to signify Montana's sovereignty as a state, as well as its willingness to stand up to the feds.

      And, for a passport, you do not NEED a photo ID if you can get a citizen to whom you are well known to vouch for you. You'll also need some other paperwork, but you CAN get thru without a driver's license.
  • by mi (197448) <slashdot-2012@virtual-estates.net> on Wednesday April 18, 2007 @07:09PM (#18789723) Homepage

    Although Montana's valiant stand is commendable, the battle over "Real ID" is long lost. The current license databases are reachable by police from other States already, and even the security guards undergo training to recognize drivers licenses (of States and of many countries).

    Passport is already a "Real ID" and may soon become required to obtain access to any Federal building (such as the one blown up by Timothy McVeigh).

    The only (rational) argument against "Real ID" is that such single database can be abused. Well, guess what, a collection of easily accessible databases with a unified interface is just as easily abused — and we already have it. A New Hampshire state trooper was able to get my driving record from Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicle from his car — in 1997...

    May, as well, have "Real ID"...

  • History of This (Score:4, Informative)

    by David Greene (463) on Wednesday April 18, 2007 @07:53PM (#18790291)

    Real ID was passed back as part of an "essential" Iraq funding package. As such it had no separate committee hearings. And at the time, guess who controlled Congress?

    Many states are opposed to this not due to privacy concerns but simply because it's another unfunded federal mandate. Minnesota estimates it will cost the state $31 million over five years. Total national costs have ballooned to something like $17 billion. Congress allocated all of $40 million to pay for it.

    I know it would take some work for me to produce a certified birth certificate or passport to get a license.

    It will be interesting to see what happens when boarding restrictions, etc. go into effect. If this law isn't killed outright at the federal level, I believe it will be effectively ignored in many situations.

    More info and an opinion piece:

    http://www.startribune.com/587/story/1110277.html [startribune.com] http://www.startribune.com/561/story/1119732.html [startribune.com]
  • by tx_kanuck (667833) on Wednesday April 18, 2007 @08:06PM (#18790483)
    Lets say, just for the sake of this argument, that I am from Montana. Lets also say that I don't have a passport. If I am not allowed to enter Federal Buildings without a RealID compliant drivers license or passport, wouldn't that mean that I am now forbidden to enter Federal Court? So now I cannot sue anyone in Federal Court. When the State court and Federal Court share a building, I cannot even go to State Court. And the best part? Since the passport office is a federal building, I can't even go to the passport office to get a RealID compliant ID card. Oh yeah, I can't even meet with the IRS to go over my taxes. I just became a non-person. Of course, that assumes a strict reading of the law, and IANAL.

    That being said, as soon as someone tried to enforce me not entering a Federal Court building, the judge would toss that law out. Hopefully.
  • Ben Franklin (Score:3, Insightful)

    by androidt (1090233) on Wednesday April 18, 2007 @08:25PM (#18790689)
    Benjamin Franklin said it best way back in 1775: "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." Benjamin Franklin Feb. 17th, 1775 I was born in MT have lived here all my life. Today I am very proud of my state.
  • by The AtomicPunk (450829) on Wednesday April 18, 2007 @11:17PM (#18792783)
    If at first you don't secede ...
  • As a Native Montanan (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Phoenix666 (184391) on Thursday April 19, 2007 @12:53AM (#18793643)
    now living in Brooklyn, this makes me proud. I hope that other states follow Montana's lead and flip D.C. the bird on this one. C'mon, New Hampshire, you know you want to. "Live Free or Die" and all that.

    It's interesting, isn't it, that a general rebellion against federal overreach seems to be brewing. In 2006 a number of states across the West passed medical marijuana laws only to have Bush claim they couldn't do that. Yes, a guy from the "state's rights" party claiming that states don't have the authority to regulate that which the Constitution clearly says they do.

    Then you have the various states and municipalities across the country now passing pollution laws that are stricter than federal regulations because "someone has to do something about climate change."

    Wonder if the un-funded mandate of No Child Left Behind has added any fuel to the fire...

    In any case, I sincerely hope the states do get together and whack D.C. on the nose. The centralization of power in this country is out of control and anti-thetical to effective representative government.
  • by Sloppy (14984) on Thursday April 19, 2007 @12:45PM (#18800067) Homepage Journal

    We need an Amendment that defines "interstate commerce" and "necessary and proper" in a way that matches both the original intent of the words as well as plain commmon sense, instead of letting it mean the radical thing that the courts redefined it to mean.

    It's absolutely ludicrous that the various states' rejection of Real ID, federal decisions about what doctors are allowed to prescribe, etc, is somehow viewed as defiant or objectionable. It's simple democracy, and it's not cool that our distant rulers in DC are working against that.

I've got a bad feeling about this.

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