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DHS Official Suggests REAL ID Mission Creep 277

Posted by kdawson
from the just-say-no dept.
The Register noticed that a senior US Department of Homeland Security official has floated the idea of requiring citizens to produce federally compliant identification before purchasing some over-the-counter medicines — specifically, pseudophedrine. The federal ID standard spelled out by the REAL ID act has been sold as applying only to air travel and entry to federal buildings and nuclear facilities. A blogger on the Center for Democracy and Technology site said, "[The] suggested mission creep pushes the REAL ID program farther down the slippery slope toward a true national ID card." Speaking of federal buildings, CNet has a state-by-state enumeration of what will happen on May 11, when REAL ID comes into effect, to citizens who attempt to enter, say, the Washington DC visitors bureau.
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DHS Official Suggests REAL ID Mission Creep

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  • Dear God (Score:3, Funny)

    by Dunbal (464142) on Wednesday February 06, 2008 @08:08AM (#22319646)
    Won't someone please think of the meth addicts?
    • Re:Dear God (Score:4, Insightful)

      by morgan_greywolf (835522) on Wednesday February 06, 2008 @08:40AM (#22319848) Homepage Journal
      [slashdot.org]

      The whole pseudoephedrine thing is not about the meth addicts. Sure, that's the excuse they used, but the real reason for the provision for requiring ID on pseudoephedrine and limiting the quantity for purchase of these drugs in the so-called 'Stop Meth Act' is to prevent people from using them as a sort of 'speed lite'. Teenagers were found to be using them as 'pep' pills and 'smart' pills (because pseudoephedrine is a stimulate that's quite a bit stronger than caffeine) and so the purpose was really to keep people from buying them and using them for that purpose.

      You can either buy the party line or examine the evidence yourself: the truth is that purchasing pseudoephedrine-containing drugs in certain combinations, such as with guafenesin, does not require ID and does not have any purchase limit. Making meth from psuedoephededrine+guafenesin is not much more difficult than making it from any other pseudoephedrine-containing drug. However, the pseudoephedrine+guafenesin combination cannot be used as a 'pep' or a 'smart' drug, because the guafenesin will make you sick if you take it in too high of a dose.

      This can all be verified with a simple Google search.

      Think for yourselves, people. Please. For all that is good in this world, please starting thinking for yourselves.
      • Re:Dear God (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Alexpkeaton1010 (1101915) on Wednesday February 06, 2008 @08:57AM (#22319994)
        Or the parent could calm down and let the grandparent make a joke without wanting them to research how exactly to make Meth.
        • Re:Dear God (Score:5, Funny)

          by ColdWetDog (752185) on Wednesday February 06, 2008 @11:39AM (#22322194) Homepage

          Or the parent could calm down and let the grandparent make a joke without wanting them to research how exactly to make Meth.

          That's one of the problems with pseudoephedrine. Can't slow down. Bouncy bouncy. Can't take a joke. No fun at all.

          Really kids, just go for the caffeine. Despite years of attempted vilification, modern medical science hasn't found too much wrong with it.

          Works for me anyway. The perfect life. Sitting in front of the computer screen, drinking coffee, posting on Slashdot.

          Oh, wait...

      • Re:Dear God (Score:4, Informative)

        by Detritus (11846) on Wednesday February 06, 2008 @09:45AM (#22320626) Homepage
        Every time I purchase Primatene tablets, each of which contains 12.5 mg of ephedrine hydrochloride and 200 mg of guaifenesin, I have to show my driver's license and sign a drug register. They record my name, address, and the total quantity of ephedrine in the purchased item. They don't care whether or not it is formulated with guaifenesin.

        Combat Methamphetamine Epidemic Act of 2005 (CMEA) [wikipedia.org]

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by spyrochaete (707033)
        As much as I like to put a cap on alarmist propaganda in favour of government control, I have to admit that I've used pseudoephedrine for the purpose you mention. I actually bought some at a rave (knowingly) to pep me up. It worked great so I bought some from a health store (it's since become illegal to sell). Considering the alternatives is it so bad?
        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          Oh, I think you can look at my posting record and see that I'm not in favor of government control. I'm just calling out government lies where I see them. The point is, if they're going to lie about this, what else are they going to lie to you about? REAL ID, for sure.

          You can't trust the government.
          • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

            by spyrochaete (707033)
            I'm with you on that one. The last thing I want is to swipe my federal ID card whenever I need rave drugs. :)
          • by cayenne8 (626475)
            "Oh, I think you can look at my posting record and see that I'm not in favor of government control. I'm just calling out government lies where I see them. The point is, if they're going to lie about this, what else are they going to lie to you about? REAL ID, for sure."

            It should be pretty clear to most any US citizen that the govt here (and I'm sure it is about the same in most any western country), that there has pretty much never been been a law passed that hasn't had its interpretation bastardized at s

      • Re:Dear God (Score:4, Interesting)

        by vertinox (846076) on Wednesday February 06, 2008 @11:05AM (#22321822)
        Teenagers were found to be using them as 'pep' pills and 'smart' pills (because pseudoephedrine is a stimulate that's quite a bit stronger than caffeine) and so the purpose was really to keep people from buying them and using them for that purpose.

        Thats all good and dandy, but why is DHS involved in whether or not teens get high with OTC drugs? Shouldn't that be something the DEA or FDA handles?

        I mean... Does Homeland Security think that kids popping pills will somehow turn them into into Fundamentalist Terrorists?

        Even if there no evil intentions by DHS, this is at least very poor use of their resources.
    • Re:Dear God (Score:5, Interesting)

      by sm62704 (957197) on Wednesday February 06, 2008 @08:55AM (#22319968) Journal
      Won't someone please think of the meth addicts?

      Apparently they are. And just as apparently, the US government considers drug use to be terrorism. [slashdot.org] It's the war on [next thing to extend the grasp of government power and take away your consitituional rights].

      Would someone please point to the section of the US Constitution that gives the government the power to tell me what I can put in my body? And don't give me that "interstate commerce" bunk.

      I voted for Ron Paul yesterday. I smoke pot, you would have to be a damned fool would vote for someone who would condone laws that would put you in prison for something you enjoy. When this country was founded, a man had the right to screw his life up any way he pleased. No more.

      Sadly, I won't be able to vote for him in the general election. If the Libertarians aren't on the ballot I'm not sure who I'll vote for, but it won't be a Republicrat*.

      -mcgrew

      *A "Republicrat" is the US' single political party. It has two wings, the Republicans and the Democrats. The Republicrat Party wants the things I love outlawed. I'd like to see neckties outlawed, or mandated that anyone who wears one hangs himself with it.!
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by ddrichardson (869910)

      Won't someone please think of the meth addicts?

      I don't know about that, but whoever moderated this, very obvious, joke as "insightful" is definitely smoking something.

  • by CRCulver (715279) <crculver@christopherculver.com> on Wednesday February 06, 2008 @08:10AM (#22319656) Homepage
    Since I've spent years outside the U.S., I don't have a driver's license. When I return to the U.S., I use my passport as identification to purchase alcohol or travel long distances. If people are concerned about Real ID posing massive privacy issues, why haven't people like me using our passports faced this yet?
    • by bhima (46039) * <Bhima@Pandava.gmail@com> on Wednesday February 06, 2008 @08:22AM (#22319724) Journal
      I've maintained 2 driver's licenses for years because of troubles using passports as an ID and using my non-US driver's license in the US. One policeman in Tennessee detained me for using a "fake license" in 2001.

      As a side benefit my personal data in databases within the US is extremely inconsistent. As I'll use any convenient address or data when I fill out whatever form I'm using. I do the same thing with the bank accounts I maintain within the US.

      Having said all of that in my opinion the majority of US government is grossly incompetent and they have no business having access to my personal data. Just because I haven't figured out some cataclysmically stupid and devastating thing to do with my own personal data does not mean that some ass in government can't come with something (which would invariably be worse).

      If they spent all this time & money understanding what about American society creates many addicts we'd be done already. Limiting purchases of cold medicine is just drug war theater
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by conlaw (983784)

        Having said all of that in my opinion the majority of US government is grossly incompetent and they have no business having access to my personal data.

        I think they have already screwed it up. According to the current head of DHS, as quoted on CNN, http://www.news.com/8301-10784_3-9771953-7.html [news.com]

        [I}mproved quality will come about, in part, because motor vehicle administrators will be required to link into databases to verify the legitimacy of the underlying identification documents, such as birth certificates, that Americans submit when they apply for Real ID-compliant cards.

        Great, that means you now have to pick someone living to impersonate by us

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by stoolpigeon (454276) *
      I believe your passport already applies to the realid standards. I think the concern is, and I'm sure I'll be corrected if I'm wrong, that America is moving towards requiring Federally mandated and controlled id - period.

      On a slightly related note, I've been going through a ton of crap recently trying to find out if my passport is valid. I accidentally washed it and I don't know if the RFID chip inside is still functional. Externally it looks brand new. I didn't want to be traveling and have tha
    • by pla (258480) on Wednesday February 06, 2008 @10:41AM (#22321472) Journal
      If people are concerned about Real ID posing massive privacy issues, why haven't people like me using our passports faced this yet?

      Because you fall into an EXTREME minority of people using a passport for such purposes - All the passport-tracking infrastructure currently in place exists to track entry and exit from the country at its borders (and various major points-of-entry, ie, airports).


      If you want an example of the sort of abuses RealID will lead to, you need look no further than EZPass (or TransPass or whatever they call it) in New Jersey (and several other states). "No, no, we'll never give out your travel details!" - Then bam, ten years later, the states want to use those record to retroactively impose speeding fines, divorce cases regularly subpoena their records, and in at least one case, police used an EZPass dump to "justify" randomly harassing hundreds of innocent people who happened to use the wrong highway at the wrong time.



      We tinfoil-types don't (only) fear what could happen, we fear what already happens when you hand similar tools to those in power.
  • I wonder... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by azuredrake (1069906) on Wednesday February 06, 2008 @08:10AM (#22319660)
    I wonder if the DHS consciously constructs slippery slopes and has timelines drawn up for when to feed what to the American people, or if they're just really good at accidentally destroying our civil liberties...
    • by jo42 (227475)
      Repeat after me Heil Bush!
  • by raffe (28595) * on Wednesday February 06, 2008 @08:12AM (#22319668) Journal
    I am not American but I wonder why you have such problems with personal identity numbers [wikipedia.org]. Here in Sweden we had them since 1947 and we all have ID cards with this number, name, address and a picture. Its really an easy way to identify yourself. All organizations also have an identity number.
    • by Smidge204 (605297) on Wednesday February 06, 2008 @08:26AM (#22319736) Journal
      Well here's the thing.

      Just about everyone in the US has at least two government issued IDs: A driver's license (state issued) and a social security card (federally issued). Social security cards do not have a photo. For those that do not have a driver's license, a passport is also acceptable (as someone already mentioned) as photo ID.

      There are two reasons why no rational person likes the Real ID Act. First, a minor point, is that we already have the above ID options and they work just fine. Second, and more important, there is currently no massive federally-controlled database containing ALL of the information in one spot. Given the government's track record of ineptitude and maleficence - especially in the past eight years - the last thing a sane person wants is to put all of the nation's personal information into the exclusive hands of a single government entity.

      In short, it's both redundant and dangerous for our liberty. Of course all the chicken-littles will cry that we need it for security but even they know deep inside that's a load of shit.
      =Smidge=
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by oyenstikker (536040)

        they know deep inside that's a load of shit.

        Their brains might be able to figure out that it is a load of shit, but thinking is so 20th century. Now, we know with our guts. And their guts know that they need to track every movement of your and your money, to protect you from yourself.
        • "And their guts know that they need to track every movement of your and your money, to protect you from yourself."

          Gee whiz. Sounds like the Democratic and Democrat Light(Republican) parties right there. Everyone is talking about Nationalized Heath Care now, and guess what that is? Protecting you from yourself. Actually, it applies to just about everything our government is involved with now.

          What gets me, is that the same people that want National Health Care have no idea that it also means more government i
      • Just about everyone in the US has at least two government issued IDs: A driver's license (state issued) and a social security card (federally issued). Social security cards do not have a photo.

        A Social Security card is not an ID. I don't know of any place that will accept a Social Security card as an ID. Legally, no place is allowed to request a Social Security card as an ID. It says *right on the friggin' card* that it can't be used as an ID. They may want your Social Security *Number*, but that's diff

      • by sm62704 (957197) on Wednesday February 06, 2008 @09:05AM (#22320116) Journal
        Just about everyone in the US has at least two government issued IDs: A driver's license (state issued) and a social security card (federally issued).

        My Social Security card says, in bold capital letters just under the signature, "for social security and tax purposes - not for identification".

        But it was issued in 1968 when I was 16, back when the only thing you needed an ID for was driving a car and buying liquor.

        I've watched my freedom disappear little by little all my life. Compared to my youth, I now live in a police state [slashdot.org].

        -mcgrew
        (oblig "child's garden of grass (album)":)

        "Your paperss pleasse!"
        "Uh, I only have a pipe, man."
        "Zen you vill haff to come vith me!"
        • by IndustrialComplex (975015) on Wednesday February 06, 2008 @09:33AM (#22320448)
          My Social Security card says, in bold capital letters just under the signature, "for social security and tax purposes - not for identification".

          Go get a new one. They don't say that anymore.

          I was forced to produce a SS card when I tried to get my license in NY. A fucking blue piece of cardboard printed up by a typewriter. And I shit you not, when I asked why, the ditz at the desk told me "9/11".

          Here is the ID that I did have on me at the time, all not-expired:

          Drivers License "PA"
          Military ID
          Birth Certificate
          US Passport
          Bank ID
          Work ID
          Tax return
          Home insurance
          and a freaking Concealed Weapons Permit.

          No, those were not sufficient. They needed that little blue piece of paper that previously said 'not to be used as identification'.
          • "for social security and tax purposes - not for identification".

            Go get a new one. They don't say that anymore.

            Mine still does. Not that it matters of course...

            I can't imagine why people think a SS card is any sort of sensible way to authenticate identity. Of all the important documents I have that one would probably be the easiest to forge.

            Funny story - when my wife voted in the last presidential election she was asked for some sort of ID. So she presented her passport which should satisfy anyone right? The idiot holding the voter registration books said "no, no, you need a government issued ID." !!?!?! Th

        • I wonder if you want Universal Health Care? I wonder if you even realize why I ask?
      • by mpe (36238)
        Given the government's track record of ineptitude and maleficence - especially in the past eight years - the last thing a sane person wants is to put all of the nation's personal information into the exclusive hands of a single government entity.

        Given the track record of many governments it won't stay "exclusive" for very long. It's only a matter of time before the entire database is on many laptops "stored" in plain view in many fools' cars. Or just left somewhere said fool probably shouldn't have been i
      • by Hoplite3 (671379) on Wednesday February 06, 2008 @09:18AM (#22320252)
        In these times, I keep thinking how we survived the cold war against an adversary that at least had a GDP that was an appreciable fraction of our own and nuclear weapons. We didn't need ID cards to make it through that.

        Now there are some mullahs in a cave halfway around the world who'd like to blow up a few buildings, and the g-men talk about how the sky is falling. We need to take drastic action to protect ourselves, they say. They're either cowards or up to something more sinister and cynical. Lately, I don't care which. I just want it to stop.
        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by d3ac0n (715594)
          OK, two things:

          1) While there may be some Mullahs in caves halfway around the world, it has also been shown beyond doubt that there are people living among us that DO wish to cause us harm. (No, I'm not going to do the legwork for you on that one, feel free to Google it.) So the concern for the safety of ordinary Americans from Islamofascists is quite real, and trying to minimize it by painting it as a far-away issue is , I think, intellectually dishonest.

          HOWEVER

          2) I DO NOT think that the REALID is the
          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by jedidiah (1196)
            You mean there are some INFILTRATORS?

            Big f*cking deal. During the cold war we had the
            entire security service for a world superpower to
            worry about. We lived through 50 years of the KGB
            without any of this nonsense.

            9/11 is a big fat red herring.

            These people WERE ON WATCH LISTS. If the government
            had been any good at doing it's job with the
            information it already had and the means that it
            already had then then there would have been no attacks.

            New methods to annoy the general population are not the answer.
          • The majority of the acts of terrorism in the US were by home-grown nutjobs, not some Middle Eastern imports. 9/11 notwithstanding, the chances of a terrorist attack in the US is exceptionally small. Hell, we get one about once a decade. And that's it. (Except for the 90s, which had the first WTC event, OK City, and the Unabomber. What a great decade!)

            There are more people killed by gun-toting relatives in the US than by Islamofascists. Before 9/11, there were more people killed in the US by Christiofascists
        • by FooAtWFU (699187)
          The difference between the USSR and a bunch of terrorists is that we knew where the USSR was, where its population centers were, where its seat of government was located, and we were able to keep some sort of track of a significant portion of their army and navy, because they were Big. And they didn't lob nukes at us (or even send in lots of spies to blow up important infrastructure and spread panic) because, among other reasons, we knew where they slept, and we had nukes too.

          The terrorists don't need to

      • by DannyO152 (544940)
        For me, it's much simpler. The bad guys of my youth, Nazis and Commies, were always going around demanding to see "your papers" with the clear implication that they wanted to note who you were, who was with you, and why were you not in your assigned place being a good citizen (which meant, of course, acquiescing to the party and its leader). With my child-like logic, it seemed the good guys, the free guys, didn't demand to see papers. On this point, I never grew up.
      • I object because I used to work for a guy with a number tattooed on his arm.

        Here in the US, people believe that we're free and the government works for us - we're not owned by some government. Britain's a bit different, having a tradition of feudalism (we has a revolution against ours, while they mostly outgrew theirs), but they still also believe in individual freedom as a fundamental value. We both know it doesn't really work that way any more, and don't like it, and that really annoys us. Our countrie

    • by peragrin (659227)
      That's just it though. It is THESE UNITED STATES. Any power not specifically granted to the federal government is the power of the State. The Federal Government isn't supposed to control anything other than interstate commerce(that is why we have one type of dollar bill) and foriegn trade relations.

      Sweden is one country. As designed by the Constitution the USA is 50 nations working together under one oversight government.

      The other part is this. Do you really want the current USA government to have tha
    • I also find it amazing how american people (or should I say american governments) manage to complicate things enormously. As I understand it, there should be TWO ID cards:

      1) Passport. To leave the country. That's its use.
      2) National ID card. For identification purposes inside the US. It must only contain data that does not compromise your identity, just name, age, a picture and a number. With this number and a national database, all your data is there.

      How can you use the driver's licence as ID, what if I d
      • Without getting into the finer details of what is a state of the US and its powers vs that of the federal government...

        You can get a non-drivers license ID. It looks almost the same as the drivers license, and serves no other purpose than to be an ID. It is much more common in cities where you don't always have to drive. But in the US, since it is almost a necessity to be able to drive to survive here, most of us just have driver's licenses.
    • having to do with deeply held suspicion of government power.

      But also with the nature of the social contract between government and the people.

      In Sweden, you have government intrusion to a point many Americans would find unacceptable, but you also have a welfare state that truly cares for the people - world class medical care, housing, education, etc. You trade off privacy for some real benefits.

      In the US we do not have that social contract.

      We are losing our privacy to government intrusion, but we are not g
  • This Sucks (Score:5, Informative)

    by OS24Ever (245667) * <trekkie@nomorestars.com> on Wednesday February 06, 2008 @08:13AM (#22319670) Homepage Journal
    Look, I know it's cool to fight the drugs, and that meth seems to be evil from what I've seen, dunno, haven't tried it.

    But speaking as an asthmatic allergy sufferer, and someone who gets some really crappy colds every year making good old sudafed a bitch to find/get/procure. That new Sudafed crap elevates my heart rate by over 20 bpm and doesn't clear my head. You feel like you're ordering donkey porn when you go in and try to buy something that has it, and most vendors don't.

    For the record, Aleve has a 12 hour decongestant that is the evil good old sudafed in it. After suffering for three days with every other stupid cold pill on the shelf took one of those, and was fine for 12 hours.

    Of course, it was too late and I got a sinus infection so I had that joy to go through.

    But this is just stupid. I'm ok with you putting it behind a counter so a meth head doesn't come in and clear the shelf, stealing it all. but the limits on the amount make it rought if you have a >3 day long cold sometimes.
    • by garcia (6573)
      But this is just stupid. I'm ok with you putting it behind a counter so a meth head doesn't come in and clear the shelf, stealing it all. but the limits on the amount make it rought if you have a >3 day long cold sometimes.

      As a graying 29 year old I don't feel the need to show proof of anything when I buy a two or less boxes of medication that's supposed to be over the counter medication.

      I realize I live in a nanny state that attempts to dictate everything we do while appearing to be liberal (yay for Min
    • You think that's bad, try buying some Sudafed for your very young child. Your kid is cranky with a cold and you need to sign these papers to "prove" that you're not going to take the low dose sudafedrin and turn it into crystal meth. Now, I'm not knowledgeable about sudafedrin => meth production (never did it, never plan to), but I would think that it would take a whole lot of children's sudafedrin melting strips (the things that go on the tongue and melt) to make even a small amount of meth. And I do
  • by overshoot (39700) on Wednesday February 06, 2008 @08:13AM (#22319672)
    Thought Experiment:
    What happens if I'm summoned to a Federal Court appearance and don't have the required ID? Do I:
    • Get a pass because a Federal Judge trumps an ID requirement?
    • Get a pass from the Court because I can't be compelled to do something illegal?
    • Go to jail, go directly to jail, do not collect any sympathy?
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by rhendershot (46429)
      IANAL

      Go to jail. You are required to comply with the court order or summons. The court does not provide transportation nor lodging. I think it would take an unsympathetic view to your not providing your own identification, proper identification of course...
      • by necro81 (917438) on Wednesday February 06, 2008 @09:29AM (#22320396) Journal

        I think it would take an unsympathetic view to your not providing your own identification, proper identification of course...

        There's an important distinction, however, between not having (or forgetting to bring) a driver's license or other photo ID to the courthouse, and having a perfectly valid state ID from a state that has decided not to comply with REAL ID. The individual citizen should not be penalized because he or she doesn't have access to the appropriate identification.

        And, no, getting a federally-issued passport is not a solution for everyone. Only 30% of Americans have a passport (according to the Wired article in the summary). A passport's sole purpose is to allow someone to travel outside of the country - it shouldn't be a requirement to do anything within the country. It costs $100 and takes 6 weeks to get one. There should be no minimum barrier for someone to be able to petition to government in court, and certainly not a minimum barrier for someone to defend themselves in court. It's right up there with a poll tax, which has time and again been ruled unconstitutional.
      • by overshoot (39700)

        I think it would take an unsympathetic view to your not providing your own identification, proper identification of course.

        Thank you. You have now established that all residents of the United States are legally required to possess Federally-approved identification and that they can go to jail for nothing more than not having it.

        This was a big issue during Vietnam. This changes the long-standing principle that American citizens aren't, in general, required to have ID. You might want to read some of

    • by Lumpy (12016)
      None of the above.

      you go directly to gitmo, with jumper cables attached to your testicles while they read to you how to survive a waterboarding.
  • by Heian-794 (834234) on Wednesday February 06, 2008 @08:14AM (#22319682) Homepage
    "requiring citizens to produce federally compliant identification before purchasing some over-the-counter medicines "

    That would give non-citizens more rights than citizens, since they can hardly make it illegal for resident aliens to buy medicine. Or will they be forced to show green cards or the like? What nonsense.

    • by Panaqqa (927615) * on Wednesday February 06, 2008 @08:50AM (#22319926) Homepage
      I'm interested in the implications for non-citizens myself, and I don't mean resident aliens, as I don't reside in the USA. I mean visitors. I travel to America on business or leisure quite frequently, and while I don't often have to visit a federal building it is not completely unknown. And the visitor information centre mentioned in the article is something I might want to visit.

      So - how do they handle me as a Canadian citizen and a visitor? There is no way I will have REAL ID, and I would prefer not to have to carry my passport everywhere I go (for obvious reasons). My guess is that the ID requirement could not really be applied to non citizens, which raises the interesting spectre of a non citizen having more rights than an American citizen from any of several states. Or perhaps the ID requirement WILL be enforced against non citizens, in which case just watch as your tourism industry evaporates almost overnight. Visitors HATE people in authority demanding "PAPERS!"

  • by EveryNickIsTaken (1054794) on Wednesday February 06, 2008 @08:16AM (#22319692)
    I already have to show ID when I buy a product with too much Pseudoephedrine in it. It's kind of annoying when you need to show your driver's license and sign a slip for buying a big bottle of NyQuil. Is this merely a state law (I'm in NJ) or have people in other states seen it as well?
    • Nope, it's federal. California Senator Dianne Feinstein slipped the restrictions in a bill so she could say that she was doing something about methamphetamine.

      Of course now, people running meth labs are using even more dangerous materials, so it really wasn't that effective.
  • Homeland security? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by unbug (1188963) on Wednesday February 06, 2008 @08:37AM (#22319820)
    What exactly does pseudophedrine have to do with homeland security? Why do those DHS guys even think about it at all?
    • by The Queen (56621) on Wednesday February 06, 2008 @09:07AM (#22320136) Homepage
      Has nothing to do with security, has everything to do with power and profit.

      It's because meth is produced by the people, for the people, unlike marijuana, smack and coke which we mostly import. The gov't can't get its share of the profits on meth the way it does on other stuff, so they are coming down harder on it. The 'War on Drugs' was never about saving us from the evils of substance abuse, you know.

      Course, that's just MHO. (And I don't know about other states, but here in Virginia you have to also sign a piece of paper in order to buy said medicine. It's ridiculous. Makes me try all that much harder not to get sick!)
      • You may want to go easy on the drugs yourself; your post makes no sense. If you reduce your intake, you may realize that most of the time you don't need to wear that tinfoil hat.

        First, you make it sound like meth is some kind nice harmless recreational drug. "By the people for the people", my ass. Meth is a nasty piece of work, and it is produced by criminals that don't care about anyone or anything other than making money. Maybe meth is not quite as destructive as heroin, but it still very effective at rui
        • by The Queen (56621)
          I wasn't making a health/judgement call on meth, or any of the other drugs listed; nor was I trying to merely imply that the reselling of confiscated contraband was the only profit center for our Feds. The War on Drugs gets funded, annually. You think the taxes we as a nation of working stiffs pay for that come close to the sales tax on a bottle of cough syrup?

          And I've gotten many compliments on my tinfoil hat, thankyouverymuch, it brings out the silver in the tracking devices the gov't put in my teeth...
  • by hey! (33014) on Wednesday February 06, 2008 @08:54AM (#22319962) Homepage Journal
    Most people would consider me a liberal, although exactly how liberal depends on the current position of the pendulum. Yet it seems to me that the strongest argument for conservatism has always been this: you can't get everything you want. Yes, we'd all like the poor to have access to health care and top notch education, but if we throw money at those problems we reduce entrepreneurial incentive (or sometimes even worse: refocus it on capturing windfalls) needed to grow the economy and provide access to wealth for all.

    Here we see a flip side of this argument: we'd all like to be perfectly safe, but at some point you buy the next increment of safety at the cost of something else. Are we really safer if we have a government functionary peering into all kinds of aspects of our private lives? Is Republican Party conservatism just the choice of an alternative form of government paternalism?

    This kind of thing is what conservatives (and liberals) ought to be on the lookout for.

    Conservatives for years have railed against the idea of a government ID ("papers, please"). Personally, I don't have a problem with a standard government issued ID, but I do understand what they're getting at. It's about the indignity of some unaccountable government flunky exerting control over your private affairs. If the growing conservative discomfort over ID standards is any measure, many conservatives have begun to realize that the government issued ID is really symbolic; it's not the ID per se, but what can be done with it.

    All things being equal, an ID that is standardized, either by being issued by a single authority or whose issuance and features are controlled by a single authority, is better than an unreliable ID. The problem is that a better ID is also convenient for illegitimate purposes. Why mandate such an ID for purchasing medicine, if other than to put medicine purchases in a federal database?

    And that's the rub. Conservatives are way behind on recognizing the coercive power of databases in government hands as they are ahead in recognizing the dangers of a national ID.
    • True conservatism advocates States Rights. Most laws (such as laws about mundane things like purchasing sinus medicine) should be determined by the State, not by the Feds. This is a major strength of the American system. America is supposed to be like a giant laboratory... a more liberal State tries a new idea, other States see how it works and adopt the good ones.

      Also, please do not confuse "conservatives" with "republicans". Bush Republicanism is the unholy alliance between conservatives and evange
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by hey! (33014)

        Also, please do not confuse "conservatives" with "republicans". Bush Republicanism is the unholy alliance between conservatives and evangelicals.

        Notice I used the term "Republican Conservatism"; I am quite aware that traditional conservatives have major issues with the party.

        Personally, I don't think states are inherently more trustworthy than any other level of government. In some cases, such as California, they are large enough to be their own countries. In other cases (I won't name names for profession

  • and promotions for those who already work there ... they would be stupid to not push for mission creep.

    As for you who pay for it .....

  • How many years into this nonsense and it just now dawns on them that there are multiple unintended uses for a national database of all of our picayune details?

    I blame the cubicle blinders^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H walls.

    That and a hyper-hypocritical admin mindset that wants to evince their anti-big gummint creed by adding a master layer with unprecedented access.

    But that's just me.
  • by HangingChad (677530) on Wednesday February 06, 2008 @09:15AM (#22320234) Homepage

    And in record time for a federal agency. I think its creation was a mistake and its continued existence a money-sucking waste of resources. Instead of focusing on terrorism they've started to put their greasy fingers into all kinds of areas not related to what's supposed to be their core mission.

    Unless someone can relate cold medicine and terrorism. If we've got this terrorism thing whipped that DHS has so much time on their hands, then scale back their budget.

    We have the FBI for domestic terrorism, the CIA for overseas operations...they were getting the job done before 9-11. Just as a reminder, the problem wasn't that we didn't know about the terrorists before 9-11, the problem was we didn't act on what we knew. And we knew without massive, illegal wiretapping of Americans, without the Patriot Act, without waterboarding, secret prisons, GITMO and all the other retarded things we've done out of fear since then.

    • It has given a lot of people jobs. Think of it as public works. "Not what it's intended for" you say? How do you know?
    • The government exists solely to waste money.
      If it does not waste money, then it is not a government.

      Unless someone can relate cold medicine and terrorism.

      Yes, i can: Cold medicine bought in large numbers create a shortage of cold medicines during Spring and Winter seasons. This affects the armed services personnel and their families a lot. Since doctors and hospitals become swamped due to overcrowding by patients with cold, this puts pressure on peak readiness of armed forces. As a result terrorists can strike at will.

      See? That was not so difficult.
      Twisting

    • by sckeener (137243)
      I think its creation was a mistake and its continued existence a money-sucking waste of resources.

      I think its creation in certain sectors was seen as a corporate merger...in other words, a way to lay people off without getting in trouble for it (in this case politically.)

      Give it a few more years and we'll break it apart again....for the same reasons as above.....its all about the reorg.

      If they fix something by doing it...well accidents happen...
  • by tgd (2822)
    Still proud to live in New Hampshire.

  • . . . are actually speaking out AGAINST the whole nightmare scenario of Real ID?

    Gee, I wonder?
  • The thing that's going to turn REAL ID from just another card that you may carry if you want to into a mandatory document, required to be presented on demand to any government official (and probably lots of non-officials), is illegal immigration.

    There's a large portion of this country that's willing to give up all sorts of rights if it'll let us keep those damned illegals out. Right now they're largely fixated on border protection, the 700-mile fence and all that. At some point, though, they're going to

  • Now, if I'm not mistaken, state reps to the capital (i.e. your standard senator and representative to mention a few) must be residents (and therefore have IDs) of the states they represent. And I can only assume that in the current state of things they would have to show their IDs at some point (in what form I don't know, and I don't know if they actually have to show them as I've never had the privilege of going to DC). So I would have to ask, what happens to legislators from those states that have refused

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