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Real-ID Passes U.S. Senate 100-0 1556

jeffkjo1 writes "The U.S. Senate has passed the $82 billion Iraq Supplemental Spending Bill (approved by the House last week), which includes the Real ID act driver's license reform (previously reported here.) The National Governors Association has indicated at the possibility of a lawsuit to challenge the constitutionality of the Real ID provisions, which would create national driver's license standards, and a federal database of information from all 50 states."
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Real-ID Passes U.S. Senate 100-0

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  • Something is fishy (Score:5, Insightful)

    by suso ( 153703 ) * on Tuesday May 10, 2005 @10:27PM (#12494990) Homepage Journal
    You know, I remember when they had an Election in Iraq right before the U.S. invaded. I think the vote was 100% for Saddam Hussien. The problem with that is that in almost any real democratic process there are always two or more sides
  • Fix the Game (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mbrod ( 19122 ) on Tuesday May 10, 2005 @10:28PM (#12494996) Homepage Journal
    They really need to make it so they cannot attach measures like this to bills that have absolutely nothing to do with them.
  • Is it just me... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Joe Jordan ( 453607 ) on Tuesday May 10, 2005 @10:29PM (#12495006) Journal
    Or do these post-it notes tacked on to unrelated bills need to be stopped?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 10, 2005 @10:29PM (#12495007)
    You know, I remember when they had an Election in Iraq right before the U.S. invaded. I think the vote was 100% for Saddam Hussien. The problem with that is that in almost any real democratic process there are always two or more sides
    Or, there is a distinct possibility, that this is actually a good idea, and people in the Senate could theoretically recognize that.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 10, 2005 @10:30PM (#12495009)
    And in any real Democratic process there's always occasions when everyone can agree too. Having a Democracy doesn't mean that people have to always take the opposite side just to be opposing.

    Not that I'm saying this time was a good time for it (though I honestly can't see a big deal with the ID), I'm just seeing your logic as faulty.
  • Your Papers Please (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Shashvat ( 676991 ) on Tuesday May 10, 2005 @10:31PM (#12495012) Homepage
    A lot of western european democracies (Belgium, Finland) have national ID cards. But their government isn't as powerful as the US Federal government.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 10, 2005 @10:31PM (#12495015)
    Once in our lives, it would be great if a bill was introduced without riders, without hidden proposed laws that are enacted once the main bill passes.

    Oh that's right. Those clean bills already happens when Congress votes itself a big, fat payraise for screwing over the citizens of the country.
  • Re:Fix the Game (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Short Circuit ( 52384 ) * <mikemol@gmail.com> on Tuesday May 10, 2005 @10:31PM (#12495016) Homepage Journal
    It's called a "rider" ... and it's been part of American politics for as long as America's been around.

    I just wish the filibuster had held out longer.
  • Oh my (Score:2, Insightful)

    by HecticEclectik ( 854779 ) on Tuesday May 10, 2005 @10:31PM (#12495022)
    I cannot believe with so many people raising awareness and complaints to this issue our elected officals voted so strongly in favor of this bill. That's it... I quit voting
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 10, 2005 @10:32PM (#12495027)
    I dont see how the parent comment is offtopic. The story states that the bill passed with 100% margin and the comment points out that we (american press and politics) view a 100% margin as a sign of a lack of democracy.

    The comment was dead on the moderation left something to be desired.
  • Ever Consider?? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 10, 2005 @10:33PM (#12495039)
    that maybe this is actually a good bill? I know its a big shock and horror to slashbots here, but not everybody thinks like you. There are many other people who don't think this Real ID is some horrible invasion of privacy or unconstitutional.

    I know, you'll mod me troll, but slashbots need to get over themselves sometimes. While you can scream about "chilling effects", or "slippery slopes" all you want, the US hasn't turned into a facist state in spite of all these predictions on this site for the last 7+ years.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 10, 2005 @10:34PM (#12495043)
    You do the representative democracy thing, you protest legislation you FAX your senators and representatives like crazy and they don't even listen!! They didn't even attempt to remove the RealID rider!

    Then the Democrats say they were against this "under-the-table" budget push.

    Really? 100-0.

    Where's Kerry's "I'm all for immigration" leadership now? 100-0.

    Where's Kos? He's been spewing filibuster stories, but not one major post about the RealID

    And the Democrats wonder why they're losing elections. Hint, if you're going to act like a Republican... people might as well just VOTE Republican.
  • Damn (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Schemat1c ( 464768 ) on Tuesday May 10, 2005 @10:34PM (#12495044) Homepage
    This is all Lincolns fault!
  • 10th Amendment (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Flounder ( 42112 ) * on Tuesday May 10, 2005 @10:35PM (#12495050)
    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.

    A national ID is not delegated to the federal government by the Constitution. Therefore, any authority to issue official IDs falls to the states. Granted, this hasn't stopped the federal government from taking over education, hate speech legislation, search and seizure, etc. And will the Supreme Court rule on the side of the Constitution? They haven't in recent years, why should they now?

  • Forced to, my ass. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 10, 2005 @10:35PM (#12495051)
    Principle. A long-forgotten word in politics.
  • I'm glad (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Albinofrenchy ( 844079 ) on Tuesday May 10, 2005 @10:35PM (#12495054)
    And here is why: This will piss people off. Not just /.ers, but anyone with a mild taste for freedom. And if it pisses enough people off, this hole in democracy will be patched up forever. If a senator tacks on federally paid monuments for his hometown; that is corruption but no one will go up in arms.

    But challenge our freedom? Time to stop this crap once and for all. Now, if I'm wrong and the people show themselves so docile they would have thier freedoms raped... God help us all.
  • Stuff like this typically happens under the guise of federal funding. As in, "If you want federal money for your road infrastructure, you're going to do this."

    Take the national speed limit, for example.
  • Re:100-0 (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Vellmont ( 569020 ) on Tuesday May 10, 2005 @10:37PM (#12495065) Homepage
    No sentator wanted election-loser attack ads saying "Senator so-and-so voted AGAINST sending badly needed money for our troops!".
  • This is why there should be a constitutional ammendment that killing congressman should be a crime not punishable by more than $50 fine and/or 80 hours community service.

    Don't want someone to be able to legally murder you? Don't run for public office.
  • by ravenspear ( 756059 ) on Tuesday May 10, 2005 @10:38PM (#12495075)
    While I wouldn't disagree with that, I think the argument against it here is that given the past actions and power grabs by the US federal govt, measures like this could likely be used to extend that power further.

    It's not the measure itself, but the method behind it. Since 9/11 there has been an enormous extension of authority on the part federal police and intelligence officials. There seems to be an attitude in Washington that they need to assume control over all critical information pertaining to anyone in the country to combat terrorism.

    This is not only demonstrably unnecessary, but may serve to create a menace even worse than the terrorists of today in the long run if we are not careful.
  • by paulthomas ( 685756 ) on Tuesday May 10, 2005 @10:40PM (#12495089) Journal
    They could have something like this on their record if they weren't collectively a bunch of politically motivated fucks*. If they really cared they would have openly voted against it on the principal that the two issues don't belong in a bill together.

    * and how did they get into power? People who are either too forgiving or too stupid -- OR BOTH -- gave it to them. Government by the people, against the people.
  • Fuck the troops. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 10, 2005 @10:40PM (#12495092)
    That's the message this bill is sending. What's the point of protecting liberties by force of arms when they can apparently be legislated away? Inalienable, my ass.
  • by kitzilla ( 266382 ) <paperfrog AT gmail DOT com> on Tuesday May 10, 2005 @10:41PM (#12495099) Homepage Journal
    but of course they cannot have a vote against emergency military funding on their record, so they were forced to.

    Ah ... just like they were "forced" to vote in favor of the Iraq war, only to oppose it come election time? Fine leadership style.

    I've come to expect dracononian legislation from the Republikans, but the Democrats should be ashamed. Not so much as a whimper. Spineless, gutless wonders.

    Another Green vote in 2008 ...

  • Re:100-0 (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sgant ( 178166 ) on Tuesday May 10, 2005 @10:44PM (#12495135) Homepage Journal
    This is how liberty dies. With thunderous applause.
  • by suso ( 153703 ) * on Tuesday May 10, 2005 @10:45PM (#12495137) Homepage Journal
    Its not about logic, its about the phenomenonal result of how democracy works. When the numbers are small, like just 100 people voting, then its a lot easier to have a 100% majority, but when the number of voters is 24 million (in the case of Iraq), then a real 100% majority is just plain impossible, unless you "exclude" people, etc. Which is what people speculate happened (ie, violent intimidation). But from all the congress vote results I remember, there is rarely a 100% majority, especially on something so controversial.
  • by kfg ( 145172 ) on Tuesday May 10, 2005 @10:45PM (#12495138)
    . . .of course they cannot have a vote against emergency military funding on their record. . .


  • Re:100-0 (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Junior J. Junior III ( 192702 ) on Tuesday May 10, 2005 @10:45PM (#12495145) Homepage
    Well, now we know, anytime a Republican wants a bill to pass, they can just add it as a rider to a military budget bill.

    This is mind boggling. It's like...

    1. Bribe the military by writing up a law that gives them billions of $$$.
    2. Tack on whatever you want.
    3. Opposition to your bill's response: ?????
    4. End of democracy!

    I don't even know what's so inherently bad about a nationalized ID card system or having standards for state driver's licenses -- it's more in how they're used and what can be done with them, which doesn't seem all that more bad than what can be currently done with the current hodgepodge of State ID systems. But this method of passing legislation sucks ass. Maybe next time Bush wants to get an up-or-down vote on a nominee he can send the nominee into the senate with a big cask full of freshly minted 1000 dollar bills earmarked for the Almighty Military.
  • Re:Oh my (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ScentCone ( 795499 ) on Tuesday May 10, 2005 @10:45PM (#12495147)
    I cannot believe with so many people raising awareness and complaints to this issue our elected officals

    Maybe your idea of "so many" is a little off, and maybe "awareness and complaints" don't alter the actual facts:

    1) There's nothing in state motor vehicle licensing databases that a federal investigator can't get to anyway

    2) A consistent set of standards by which people (notably, of course, immigrants - legal or not) need to prove who they are before they get an item as enabling (in terms of access, banking, and so on) as a driver's license is.... well, not crazy, or draconian, or anything other than reasonable.

    That's it... I quit voting

    That'll fix it! Or, really, it gives you even more room to whine, I guess. How about making a more persuasive case that we should let some states issue official IDs (which are then honored in other states) without worrying about who the person actually is? Tough sell? Yes, it is... and is why you don't see our representatives acting like it's an inherently bad idea to smooth out the discrepancies in the process. Streamlining and further validating the process will save money, lives, and time. The downside would be... let's see, a situation where it's harder for liars to get mainstream IDs?
  • Y'know, you're making my brain hurt. Let's do this in order.

    1: *ALL* States have a constitution of their own, that defines the powers that the persons of the state endowed their government with. I do believe that all 50 states (or, 48 states and 2 commonwealths) currently have constitutions that were based on the federal constitution, and whose current form was adopted after Washington took office. (Some many times; NY's current Constitution, for example, is, IIRC, less than 100 years old.)

    2: The states, while seperate, are *NOT* sovereign. Each state is subject to the law of the US Constitution, which explicity notes certian things that can be done only by the states or that cannot be done by any state.

    3: The current "Real ID" law is, to my understanding, based in the twin areas of interstate trade and national security, both firmly vested in the federal government. If you don't mind never getting a passport and never taking the plane, you can probably avoid entering into this database--although there will be a fair bit of hardship on your part.

    4: You are *already* required to identify yourself when you board a plane, when you get a passport, and when you do any of the other things that you would use RealID for. The federal government *already* can track and aggregate all of the information that it or any government in the United States collects on you. And, ALL of this information is protected by the same kind of legal protection that your yearly tax forms are protected by--and trust me, the government knows FAR more about you from your taxes than they can get from your driver's license.

    5: It's worth noting that, if there's only one place where all of your information is stored by the government, then realistically you will be able to use this to much more effectively defeat identity theft. Prove to one federal judge (or even a state judge...) that you are the real CygnusXII and that other guy in Pittsfield is a fraud, and it's a done deal.
  • Re:10th Amendment (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Altanar ( 56809 ) on Tuesday May 10, 2005 @10:46PM (#12495155)
    Sure, the Federal government can't force States into adopting it, but just like the minimum drinking age, they can withold Federal money the States are addicted to if they don't want to go along for the ride.
  • by ScentCone ( 795499 ) on Tuesday May 10, 2005 @10:49PM (#12495180)
    You no longer have a representative government

    Ah, you mean, like, where the people that get elected by the voters are actually shipped to North Korea, and replaced by cyborgs or something?

    Or by "you" you actually mean yourself, and mean that you're not feeling represented because you couldn't persuade enough other people to support your preferred representative(s). Perhaps you didn't invest enough time? Maybe your position or message don't resonate with typical people? Certainly you put a lot of your own time and effort into educating people, right?
  • Re:Ever Consider?? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by ShieldW0lf ( 601553 ) on Tuesday May 10, 2005 @10:50PM (#12495195) Journal
    While you can scream about "chilling effects", or "slippery slopes" all you want, the US hasn't turned into a facist state in spite of all these predictions on this site for the last 7+ years.

    -1: Deaf and Blind

  • by Sassinak ( 150422 ) <sassinak.sdf@lonestar@org> on Tuesday May 10, 2005 @10:51PM (#12495200) Homepage
    I think the person is inferring that because the issue was never really rasied in public.. (almost secret except for those who actually take/have the time to watch) its may constitute a lack of democracy. The arguement is that Democracy is about having a actual choice, not simply a "bullet or poison?" offer.
  • Re:Ever Consider?? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by anubi ( 640541 ) on Tuesday May 10, 2005 @10:55PM (#12495224) Journal
    It hasn't?

    In the 50+ years of my existence, it sure seems like today we are more micromanaged and economically enslaved by debt than at any time I can remember.

    Geez, today you even get your life savings seized for as little as sharing a song!

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 10, 2005 @10:55PM (#12495227)
    from ars [arstechnica.com]

    H.R. 418 [the Real ID Act of 2005] would provide additional waiver authority over laws that might impede the expeditious construction of barriers and roads along the border. H.R. 418 would require the Secretary of Homeland Security to waive any and all laws that he determines necessary, in his sole discretion, to ensure the expeditious construction of barriers and roads under IIRIRA 102...

    Section 102 of H.R. 418 would amend the current provision to require the Secretary of Homeland Security to waive any law upon determining that a waiver is necessary for the expeditious construction of the border barriers. Additionally, it would prohibit judicial review of a waiver decision or action by the Secretary and bar judicially ordered compensation or injunction or other remedy for damages alleged to result from any such decision or action.

    Opponents of the concept of judicial review appeal to an obscure and cryptic article of the Constitution, the (in)famous Article 3, Section 2 (A3S2 for short), which states:

    In all Cases affecting Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, and those in which a State shall be Party, the supreme Court shall have original Jurisdiction. In all the other Cases before mentioned, the supreme Court shall have appellate Jurisdiction, both as to Law and Fact, with such Exceptions, and under such Regulations as the Congress shall make.

    That last sentence is the kicker, because it looks for all the world like language that would enable Congress to wave a magic A3S2 wand over any piece of legislation no matter how outrageous and have it be completely exempt from review by the courts. The implications for the system of checks and balances if Congress actually invokes this provision are about as profound as it gets, which is why no Congress in American history has ever opted to open that particular can of worms... until now.

    You can read more on the tinfoil hat implications of this here if you're interested, but I'll sum it up for you: Congress has crafted a completely unprecedented provision that guts the principle of judicial review by granting the DHS secretary complete and total immunity from the courts when it comes to the construction of "barriers and roads" in this one specific geographical region, and they've buried this provision inside a national ID card act which is itself attached to a large military appropriations bill that no Congressperson in their right mind would vote against (money for the troops and all that). ...

    Obviously, if this passes, it'll set a precedent. First, some obscure border region outside of San Diego, and then on to bigger and better things? As the present bill stands, if DHS built a road through an endangered wetland and committed four murders in the process, nobody could take the government to court over it. Is this the kind of unchecked power that we want Congress to have? The sky's the limit, once the A3S2 can of worms is opened tomorrow.

    Fuckers. I tried. I faxed my senator. What's the national governors association gonna do when the DHS builds a road over their house?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 10, 2005 @10:56PM (#12495235)
    You know what really ruffles my underwear? The fact that this was basically attached to legislation that would grant more money for the soldiers (for the war, let's be honest), and the fact that this just creates another layer of fucking bureaucracy bullshit, and will cost untold millons of dollars that could go to better places.

    We're going the way of the fucking Romans.
  • Re:10th Amendment (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Sloppy ( 14984 ) * on Tuesday May 10, 2005 @10:56PM (#12495239) Homepage Journal
    Granted, this hasn't stopped the federal government from taking over education, hate speech legislation, search and seizure, etc.
    This is why federal expansion needs to be opposed every time, even if you personally feel that some particular abuse happens to be a "good idea" or have some sort of positive value. (If it's a real positive value, then surely we'll all agree enough on it, that passing a Constitutional Amendment to empower Congress to do it, will be easy.) We have to establish a new precedent of intolerance for abuse. Any incumbent that has voted in favor of abuse, must be punished when they try to get re-elected. Today, that clearly means every single Senator. My two Senators are corrupt, unAmerican, and cowardly, and so are yours. It's sad, but true.

    Folks, even if you're in favor of a National ID, you have to realize that if we allow them to do this, then the federal government is allowed to do anything. There simply is no Tenth Amendment, and the entire text of Article 1 Section 8 is "Congress shall have the power to .. oh, whatever."

  • by Uruk ( 4907 ) on Tuesday May 10, 2005 @10:57PM (#12495247)
    The politicians get stuck on the horns of a dilemma, possibly due to uninformed voters.

    Scenario: Congress creates a bill called the "fluffy bunny petting act of 2005, providing (amongst other things) for free cold fusion generated power and eternal global peace"

    Sen Dick Shaftus, (R-TX) decides that this is his opportunity, and attaches a rider - "Infant Mulching Federal Subsidies for the Rich".

    Principled politician, Molly Naivitus (D-MA) votes against the bill, desparate to prevent the mulching of infants in her state.

    Republicans campaign against Naivitus in Massachussets, outraged that she would vote against petting fluffy bunnies and eternal global peace!

    Voters, spun by soundbites and browbeaten by O'Reilly, vote Naivitus out of office.

    Future Senators take note, and convince themselves that the main purpose of the bill is probably enough, and some of those infants might have deserved it anyway.

  • by Bigby ( 659157 ) on Tuesday May 10, 2005 @10:58PM (#12495258)
    But in the US, we have states. In fact, one of the amendments to the constitution states that any rights/laws not stated here-in are up to the individual states.

    This is why Vegas has legalized gambling and prostitution. This is why Nebraska has a speed limit of 75, Pennsylvania 65, WV 70, and a few years ago Montana had no speed limit (during the daylight).

    Many people don't realize that the federal law makes the legal drinking age 18. "But why is it 21 in every state?" They deny funding to states that don't make it 21. It works the same way with many rules so the federal government can extert control over the states (including the speed limit).

    Now they are going to extert control over state IDs and make them federal. Now you will have a US drivers license...basically. That means most of the traffic rules will need to be merged.

    The US was founded on state rights, hence "The United States of America". If you don't like a state's rules, move to another state. The federal government is heading toward "monoculturing" the US. Pretty soon we'll be "Former United States of America".
  • by shirai ( 42309 ) * on Tuesday May 10, 2005 @10:58PM (#12495260) Homepage
    There is near unanimous fear of "Real ID" (at least from slashDot posters).

    I think it's important to point out why.

    While I'm sure it appears obvious to many of us, I think others may be wondering why this is such a big deal. The fact that this bill passed seems to suggest some people (many people) don't know what the implications are.

    I'm sure I'll miss some of the reasoning (feel free to add on) but here goes my take on it. As a disclaimer, I am Canadian, but I don't think that changes much:

    A driver's license, like a social security number, is unique. This means we can uniquely identify a person through their driver's license.

    The important differences are:

    (1) A driver's license is often used as a saved form of ID while an SSN is not (except for employment purposes). This means your driver's license can be found in many places, potentially at places like your video rental shop.

    (2) A driver's license is used as photo ID. This means it is on you and there are several places where the information can be grabbed. Possibly in places as innocent as a bar.

    (3) A universal driver's license introduces the idea of a universal reader. Because of it being the only thing that can be reliably found on 99% of the adult population, it could become an easily scanned item to be used as a membership identifier (among other things). If this is done, a single ID can identify you in literally thousands of establishments with a paper trail that will trounce your credit card trail.

    (4) When you tie in "saved everywhere", with "stealable anywhere" with "scannable anywhere/information everywhere" you've got a severe loss of privacy.

    The reasoning from (1) to (4) is probably not obvious to a lot of people. That's ultimately what makes it dangerous. You get to give up your freedom but it sneaks up on you in a way that you actually agreed to it (which makes it a lot harder to complain about when it happens).
  • FWIW (Score:3, Insightful)

    by zentec ( 204030 ) * <zentec AT gmail DOT com> on Tuesday May 10, 2005 @10:58PM (#12495264)
    Hello? Our government is not a democracy, it is a constitutionally limited republic. Maybe if our elected leaders remembered that's how our founding fathers wanted it, we wouldn't have these ridiculous intrusions upon our freedoms.

    Oh well, keep your powder dry. ...democracy is two wolves and a sheep deciding what's for dinner...
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 10, 2005 @10:59PM (#12495272)
    especially on something so controversial.

    It isn't controversial. Not to the congresspeople. Last time a democrat tried to object to provisions of an Iraq spending bill, the republicans screamed "voted against the war before he voted against it" for eight months until he lost an election.

    Congressional democrat opposition has been, since then, dead.

    Anyway, how can Real-ID be "controversial"? Nobody but slashdot readers and "bloggers" even know it exists.
  • by distantbody ( 852269 ) on Tuesday May 10, 2005 @10:59PM (#12495282) Journal
    ...that this got passed. The notion of having a national standard for ID is understandable, but the bill actually states that: "no court shall have jurisdiction to hear any cause or claim arising from any action undertaken, or any decision made, by the Secretary of Homeland Security, or order compensatory, declaratory, injunctive, equitable, or any other relief for damage alleged to arise from any such action or decision." This quite literaly places the Secretary of Homeland Security above the law. This MUST be unconstitutional. Once again i feel very sorry for you. If this got proposed in my country (Australia) i would fight it with a public information campaign, which would be in addition to my countries relatively effective checks and balances halting it in its tracks. (or so I would like to believe)
  • Re:Hilarious (Score:5, Insightful)

    by phillymjs ( 234426 ) <slashdot.stango@org> on Tuesday May 10, 2005 @11:00PM (#12495283) Homepage Journal
    Yet oddly enough entry requirements have just been relaxed for visitors coming from Saudi Arabia, where 15 of the 19 9/11 hijackers came from.

    Welcome to America, where common sense is second fiddle to political correctness.

    What's even funnier is that IIRC the hijackers all had legit IDs, which were legitimately obtained.

    No matter what kind of fancy, high-tech shit they stuff into IDs, as long as there are greedy people in charge of doling out those IDs, [bradenton.com] people who want fraudulent ones will be able to get them.

    What's worse, anyone with fraudulent Real-IDs will not get the scrutiny they deserve-- people will just swipe the thing, see it comes up as valid, and not question it.

    It's just the illusion of security, just like all the horseshit they put into place at airports after 9/11. Window dressing, nothing more.

  • Uh huh (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 10, 2005 @11:02PM (#12495307)
    And here is why: This will piss people off. Not just /.ers, but anyone with a mild taste for freedom.

    Right. Wait, no. Wait four months, then talk to someone random. Not someone on the internet. An actual person. Ask them their thoughts on the Real ID bill. I assure you, they won't have the foggiest idea it even happened.

    The battle here isn't in keeping the bill from being passed. The battle is in getting people to care. This battle, we lost.
  • Re:Fix the Game (Score:5, Insightful)

    by modecx ( 130548 ) on Tuesday May 10, 2005 @11:09PM (#12495354)
    I couldn't agree more.

    Bills are supposed to be DAMN hard to pass. If you can attach some random stuff to a bill that's expected to pass, then the system isn't working. The fact that this got 100-0 is the sickeningly sweet icing on the cake-of-evidence towards this.

    Honestly, the one thing at the moment that I wish for in our government is accountability. Legislation that would only allow one fundamental idea per bill would do exactly that... It would make things like this bill pretty hard to pass, and that's a good thing as far as I'm concerned.

    It'll never happen though, because of the accountability aspect, and because the bureaucrats like it the way it is--easy to pass bullshit when people are desperate.
  • Re:I'm glad (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jdreed1024 ( 443938 ) on Tuesday May 10, 2005 @11:11PM (#12495374)
    But challenge our freedom? Time to stop this crap once and for all.

    Voting Public: Hey, you can't establish national ID card! I don't want to have to show my papers everywhere I go. What happened to States Rights? What slimy politician tacked this on to a bill guaranteed to pass anyway? WTF does RealID have to do with troops in Iraq? What is this, Nazi Germany?
    Bush & Co: *clears throat* Terrorism.
    Voting Public: Jawohl, Mein Fuhrer! *sound of goosestepping and sheep falling into line*

  • Re:10th Amendment (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Software ( 179033 ) on Tuesday May 10, 2005 @11:14PM (#12495401) Homepage Journal
    I haven't read the text of the bill, but that doesn't stop me from knowing how this is not unconstitutional. The bill doubtless contains provisions such as "The states shall do such and such, or else they'll get no money for road repairs / anti-terrorism funding, etc" The SCOTUS has ruled that it's OK for Congress to attach any strings they want to funding measures. That's always how Congress gets around these pesky things known as the Bill of (Fewer and Fewer) Rights. See, for example, the way Congress raised the drinking age to 21 years old. The problem is that state governments are so dependent on the federal teat that they will do anything the feds say in order to keep their funding. The states would rather have the funding than their sovereignty.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 10, 2005 @11:15PM (#12495417)
    The bill allows the DHS to exempt themselves from the law in order to carry out the provisions in this bill. In other words, if the DHS feel they must commit murder, rape, theft, torture, pollute, sell dangerous drugs, kidnap, conspire, accept bribes, extort contractors for their own personal gain or otherwise violate a law, then the DHS can exempt themselves from the law. It will be just as if the murder, rape, etc law was never passed.

    The courts can not uphold a law if it does not apply. In other words, this bill allows the people making the decisions to exempt themselves from responsibility and even place themselves above the law (granted, some state laws may apply in the case of murder, rape, and other violent crimes which the federal government might not be able to exempt themselves from).

  • by cHiphead ( 17854 ) on Tuesday May 10, 2005 @11:23PM (#12495473)
    To be fair, Democrats didn't coin the idea of blocking presidential judicial nominations.

    Cheers. ;)
  • by iamlucky13 ( 795185 ) on Tuesday May 10, 2005 @11:24PM (#12495482)
    In this case, you didn't even have to RTFA to get that. The original submission told you straight out that it was attached to a rather important spending bill. In my opinion, it was ridiculously sneaky and underhanded.
  • Re:100-0 (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Vellmont ( 569020 ) on Tuesday May 10, 2005 @11:28PM (#12495510) Homepage

    I don't even know what's so inherently bad about a nationalized ID card system or having standards for state driver's licenses -- it's more in how they're used and what can be done with them

    The problem with the legislation is that no elected official decides what the requirements are for the license. The department of homeland security can basically make any requirement they want on the card. Examples might be DNA, fingerprints, "terrorist rating", etc. This is not democracy.
  • Do NOT vote for a single incumbent during the next Senate elections, (2006, right?). It doesn't matter if the incumbent is a Democrat or Republican, get them out.

    Seriously, the American Slashdot crowd is huge and you know how to communicate. Start communicating with the people who will be running against the incumbents for seats in the Senate in the next election NOW. Give them ammunition against their opponents. Start grass roots campaigning and get the message out. Get it on people's minds and keep it there. If you have that much of a problem with this bill as many of you say, then get to work kicking out the idiots who voted in favor of the bill.

    It is your duty as US citizens.

  • Re:Oh my (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ScentCone ( 795499 ) on Tuesday May 10, 2005 @11:31PM (#12495534)
    but this is, as far as I have seen, impossible

    Then how is that sitting senators and congressional representatives (and governors, and presidents, etc) who are up for relection are sometimes kicked out and replaced by someone with a significantly different message and appeal to the voters?

    Clearly, however, when bills like this are passed after so much opposition has been raised by the people, we have a problem with what we claim to be the greatest method of government on the planet.

    You've got to come to terms with the possibility that "the people" you're thinking of, in this case, aren't actually the majority of the people. For example: I think the legislation in question is perfectly reasonable, doesn't meaningfully introduce new risks, and substantially shapes identification and security issues around the current facts of life (relative to well-prepared foreign nationals looking for the legitimatizing magic bullet of a driver's license so that they can deal with finances, travel, and other pleasantries whether or not they are who they say they are). So, that means that I was represented, and that the Senate did just what I'd expect people looking out for my interests to do.

    As for your being 16: the only thing you're missing at that age (as I was) is a significant enough number of run-ins with people trying to steal from your business, defraud your bank, turn out not to have legitimate insurance (because they're not who they said they were when they got their license) after they just totalled your car in a collision... you know, all that stuff that you'll get to experience, and which will shape your thoughts a bit in areas like this.

    Are all politicians sensible or even rational? No, not hardly. Do some lose their power because someone else stands up and demonstrates that their take on the world is a better fit for more of the voters in their district/state/country? Yes. And they get a few years to show if we were right to believe them, and then we get to throw the bums out if they were lying just a little too much.
  • Re:Fix the Game (Score:2, Insightful)

    by DavidTC ( 10147 ) <slas45dxsvadiv...vadiv@@@neverbox...com> on Tuesday May 10, 2005 @11:32PM (#12495541) Homepage
    I think they should have to write every bill they voted for that passes. (Aka, you don't ahve to write it if you didn't vote for it, and you don't if it failed.)

    By hand. Their own hand, not an aide's.

  • Re:Ever Consider?? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by HermanAB ( 661181 ) on Tuesday May 10, 2005 @11:40PM (#12495602)
    "...the US hasn't turned into a facist state..."

    I take it that you are American and blissfully unaware of how your country behaves outside its borders. The US cannot turn into a Fascist state, since it already is one - has been for a long time. This is very obvious to people outside the US. The people on the inside are so indoctrinated that they don't know what they are missing.

    Over their history, the US, Cuba, Spain and East Germany had one thing in common - lots of people tried to escape at one point or another in time...

    I'm not just trying to be full of shit - you should wake up and read/listen/watch news from other countries too, not just CNN/ABC.
  • by antiMStroll ( 664213 ) on Tuesday May 10, 2005 @11:45PM (#12495626)
    This isn't about funding rapists, serving babies in restaraunts or nuking Los Angeles (though the last might not be a good example.) You're obviously strongly in favour of this legislation. Without arguing its merits a simple scan of this forum's submissions should be enough to show it doesn't have unanimous support. 100% of the American population doens't stands strongly behind, hence 100% legislative support is unrepresentative. If so why do politicians hide it in a bill for Iraq spending and tsunami relief? Rep's and Dem's should be proclaiming ownership from the rooftops, beating each other down at Media's door trying to be seen associated with this legislation. Unanimous support is the stuff of a politician's wet dreams.

    At the end it doesn't matter, it's a done deal as far as the legislator's are concerned. If this gets past the Courts I'll be very curious to see what the reaction is when it moves from the conceptual to the concrete, when people have to carry permanent identity cards.

  • by Martin Blank ( 154261 ) on Tuesday May 10, 2005 @11:45PM (#12495629) Homepage Journal
    If there was a fine and/or community service for it, then it wouldn't be legal now, would it? :)
  • Re:Oh my (Score:3, Insightful)

    by gtkuhn ( 823989 ) on Tuesday May 10, 2005 @11:47PM (#12495636)
    he [President] doesn't actually play a role in how the senate frames legislation
    I think he does. His VP chairs the Senate. That's a lot of agenda shaping control for the VP. The VP originally was supposed to be the President's opposition (second place in elections). This always made sense to me in a balance-of-power way. Dunno why it was changed, but it was. This puts Cheney in charge of Senate agendas and by extension, Bush's policies will be favored.
  • by NoMoreNicksLeft ( 516230 ) <`john.oyler' `at' `comcast.net'> on Tuesday May 10, 2005 @11:50PM (#12495655) Journal
    No. You'd be allowed to kill those you agree with, too.

    Besides, the premise behind the joke is serious... I only want people in office that want to do anything *but* play power games like this. And if they acted a bit more like they didn't want to be there, I think the corollary is that we wouldn't have shit legislation like this steaming heap.
  • by planetoid ( 719535 ) on Tuesday May 10, 2005 @11:51PM (#12495658)
    "I am not bothered by anything in this bill".

    Not even:

    (Redundant, but necessary)
    (2) NO JUDICIAL REVIEW- Notwithstanding any other provision of law (statutory or nonstatutory), no court, administrative agency, or other entity shall have jurisdiction--

    (A) to hear any cause or claim arising from any action undertaken, or any decision made, by the Secretary of Homeland Security pursuant to paragraph (1); or

    (B) to order compensatory, declaratory, injunctive, equitable, or any other relief for damage alleged to arise from any such action or decision.'.

    Doesn't patriotism mean exactly that -- being bothered by un-American acts, not excluding those un-American acts of law by Congress? Since when does Congress -- or ANY branch of government, for that matter -- have authority to circumvent the system of checks and balances we have in place?

    If our Supreme Court aren't pussies they'll strike this down faster than you can say the URL http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Separation_of_powers_ under_the_United_States_Constitution [wikipedia.org]
  • by way2trivial ( 601132 ) on Tuesday May 10, 2005 @11:53PM (#12495671) Homepage Journal
    I see, so by your logic, we should still be (largely) an english colony, as the founding fathers had no 'legal right' to rebel?
  • Fine leadership style...

    Leadership? LEADERSHIP?


    Another Green vote in 2008 ...

    How about, instead of letting the morons run the democratic party, you go get your greens to sign up for the democrats, and give the party some #@$!ing balls?

  • by way2trivial ( 601132 ) on Tuesday May 10, 2005 @11:59PM (#12495706) Homepage Journal
    I beileve he'd get a law in the works that promised milk and honey for the nation, repealed all income taxes, made every treehugger happy, and included the national ID law...

    and then, line item veto all but the last.

    'real' republicans are for non-governmental interference in business small & Large, and non-influence over our daily lives..

    I can't believe old, rich, die-hard republicans don't really hate bush & his take on republican politics... it's not what their view used to be.

  • Real ID (Score:2, Insightful)

    by David Webb ( 883154 ) on Wednesday May 11, 2005 @12:02AM (#12495731)
    Don't accept a national ID card.Destroy it.Hack it do something with it outside of it's intended use.I'm sick to death of rules,regulations,unjust laws.The constant errosion of American freedoms.I won't hear another word about we need to do this for greater Security.Yep security.Better stock up on Food precious metals and guns n ammo.

    Read ID is just another example of how fast we are moving towards a police state.Republican this ,Democrat that.none of it matters.It's all a game. Good cop,bad cop.All a bunch of murderous thugs working for thier wealthy international handlers.

    We are trading Democracy for Fasicm and most people don't even know it and wouldn't believe if you tried to tell em.Re-Educate the populous and turn against Real ID and anything else like it.
  • by kevin lyda ( 4803 ) * on Wednesday May 11, 2005 @12:07AM (#12495763) Homepage
    they tried that. and they lost the election.

    dems stood up against power hunger redistricting in texas. for that they lost five seats.

    currently in polls dems are seen as weak on national security. when election time comes, any of them who voted against the spending bill for iraq would be hung with it. and then a republican would come in and then the gop could pass even more noxious legislation.

    numerous democratic senators spoke out against this bill. did you see them speak out against it? it was on cspan-2.

    i suspect you didn't - like 99% of america.

    what are their other options to speak out against the bill? cable news was too busy covering the runaway bride. right-wing talk radio wouldn't let a liberal get more than two sentences in a row out without screaming them down. sure, they could get into newspapers but then you're back to the cspan2 audience.
  • by Peter La Casse ( 3992 ) on Wednesday May 11, 2005 @12:14AM (#12495804)
    Mod parent up.

    This aspect of the bill is completely ridiculous. It allows the Secretary of Homeland Security to overthrow the government and establish a dictatorship, if, in his sole opinion, doing so is necessary to put up better fences between the US and Mexico. There is no legal recourse: it is now the law that such actions can't be challenged in court. It's a blank check.

  • by planetoid ( 719535 ) on Wednesday May 11, 2005 @12:15AM (#12495805)
    Sorry, but including two phrases in the bill which disallow judicial review of executive behavior is not Constitutional.
  • Your point #5 (Score:3, Insightful)

    by khasim ( 1285 ) <brandioch.conner@gmail.com> on Wednesday May 11, 2005 @12:17AM (#12495819)
    5 Only as long as the thief doesn't:

    1. Create a fake realID (incredibly difficult, but nothing's impossible)
    Or more likely...
    2. Use easier to forge documents to gain a realID, then use that as a basis.

    Usage of the realID to prevent identity theft is spotty at best, and really, putting all of our trust into a single ID sounds to me like inviting identity thieves.
    You left off corrupt workers filing fake RealID paperwork.

    Since this thing will be accepted NATIONWIDE, the value of it to criminals will go through the roof.

    And remember what Capitalism has taught us, where there's a market, there's a supply.

    So, the bad guys can search the entire nation, looking for the weakest link to exploit because the return will be HUGE.

    Right now, people pay thousands of dollars (per person) to be smuggled into the US. With RealID, they arrive with a nationally accepted identity.

    This system is "brittle". Once any ONE point (out of thousands) is cracked, the entire system is open.

    And the incentive to find that weakest point is huge.
  • by Wes Janson ( 606363 ) on Wednesday May 11, 2005 @12:20AM (#12495827) Journal
    And the sad thing is thus:

    There were some pretty good reasons for State's rights. And as we might recall, the single most devastating event in this nation's history (no, not 9/11) was the Civil War, and was caused as a direct result of federal meddling in state laws. Was abolishing slavery wrong? No, of course not. But regardless, the idea of forcing it upon states that desperately didn't want it, was the casus belli the South used.

    Sadly, the number of people in this country who give a flying fuck about aforementioned history could be counted on the fingers of Tim Taylor. And that, ultimately, is why we're screwed.
  • by ugmoe ( 776194 ) on Wednesday May 11, 2005 @12:23AM (#12495847)
    It discusses requirements for Federal recognition of State ID cards


    (1) IN GENERAL- Beginning 3 years after the date of the enactment of this division, a Federal agency may not accept, for any official purpose, a driver's license or identification card issued by a State to any person unless the State is meeting the requirements of this section.

    If a state chooses not to follow H.R.1268 they don't have to. Their ID won't be accepted by federal agencies - but there are other forms of ID besides State drivers licenses / State ID cards that the federal agencies will accept.

  • Re:Fix the Game (Score:3, Insightful)

    by yaphadam097 ( 670358 ) on Wednesday May 11, 2005 @12:33AM (#12495901)
    Only if you infer that each and every American citizen and resident, legal or otherwise, is by definition a threat to the "common defense and general welfare" And if that is the case exactly whose welfare are we defending?
  • Remember Kerry? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Edmund Blackadder ( 559735 ) on Wednesday May 11, 2005 @12:36AM (#12495909)
    Remmeber how Kerrey got attacked because he voted against all those military spending bills, and that he voted against a bill that "would have given food and provisions to our soldiers in iraq". Well that's the reason why everybody voted for this bill.
  • by the_womble ( 580291 ) on Wednesday May 11, 2005 @12:37AM (#12495919) Homepage Journal
    Last time a democrat tried to object to provisions of an Iraq spending bill, the republicans screamed "voted against the war before he voted against it"

    If that sort of argument can win an election, it sounds like the people got the quality of representation they deserve.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 11, 2005 @12:45AM (#12495958)
    Look how many Americans assembled together to protest our involvement in Iraq. Did it make a scintilla of difference? No.

    Does it matter that millions of people don't think sharing songs online is that big of a deal? No. But a few people in a few corporations think it is a big deal, and they're the ones that are able to get laws passed.

    Should we continue our failing war on drugs and continue to fill our prisons with non-violent drug-offenders? Despite the fact that it has had no effect on drug use or the drug trade in our country, we continue on this path, because it's a convenient way of controlling the population (felons can't vote, for one example).

    The government is controlled by the rich and the powerful. You can assemble as many geeks together as you want... if you're lucky they might even write about you in the newspaper! It won't change anything.

    I'm afraid the sheep-like americans won't wake up from their media-induced slumber until things get worse... much worse. When no one but the richest 5% of the country has health care. When no one can afford a good education. When a quarter of the country is considered a felon (with leg bracelets, no doubt!). When these terrible things come to pass, and much more... then we will see real change. With that in mind, George Bush for president in 2008!
  • by flyingsquid ( 813711 ) on Wednesday May 11, 2005 @12:45AM (#12495959)
    What's fishy here is that a bill to increse funding for the Iraq war includes something like this.

    Hell, the bill itself is a major issue in my mind. If you're going to fight a war, you should do it right, don't get me wrong. But the war itself is a major issue which needs to be questioned more. We're spending a billion a week and there's still no clear exit in sight. When will we have most of our troops out? A year from now? Two years? Five? Historically, insurgencies have lasted 5-10 years and nothing going on right now suggests we're close to the end of this fight. Nobody seems to have a clear plan on how the hell to end this.

    This is as much an issue for civil liberties as the ID itself. Governments have historically used wars as pretexts for extraordinary measures to reduce government accountability and restrict civil liberties. So long as the Iraq War is ongoing, the government will continue to run over the Constitution and Geneva conventions with few consequences. I mean, would they be able to get away with this legislation without a war going on?

  • by Lehk228 ( 705449 ) on Wednesday May 11, 2005 @12:47AM (#12495975) Journal
    Then maybe we can outlaw religious conservatism once and for all.

    good to know the left hates Jesus enough to shred the first amendment.
  • by Dot_Killer ( 473321 ) on Wednesday May 11, 2005 @12:48AM (#12495979)
    Technically that is correct but we all know banks and such that operate over multiple state lines will just move to the all in one federal card for identification for people without that particular state ID. Want to open an new account at BankofAmerica, "where is you Real ID card", want to get a cell phone, "where is you Real ID card".

    It has also been said that you will not be allowed to ride Amtrak which is federal, without one, or fly in commercial aircrafts either. I'll be really f****** annoyed if I can't get on a plane unless I put all my data in some database for soem facists to peek at or some hacker to get at since it will be centralized.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 11, 2005 @12:53AM (#12496005)
    How about talking to others about it instead of telling each other about it?

    C'mon peeps, now's the time to get people friendly.
  • by benjamindees ( 441808 ) on Wednesday May 11, 2005 @12:59AM (#12496038) Homepage
    The United States Constitution is "the law of the land";

    Okay, and where in the Constitution does it outlaw secession? Keep looking, bucko...

    a succession ordinace can't trump it.

    Actually, it can. You see, the right to secede was reserved to the States by the tenth amendment. Here [cornell.edu] it is if you'd like to read it.

    Regardless, the US government was founded on the principle of self-government, as espoused in the Declaration of Independence. For Lincoln to deny it a mere 70 years later was hypocritical and tyrannical.
  • Re:FWIW (Score:5, Insightful)

    by node 3 ( 115640 ) on Wednesday May 11, 2005 @01:06AM (#12496063)
    Hello? Our government is not a democracy, it is a constitutionally limited republic.

    You've got it 2/3 correct: it's a "Constitutional, Democratic Republic."

    democracy is two wolves and a sheep deciding what's for dinner

    That's a disgusting and backwards metaphor. "The People" aren't the aggressive wolves seeking to devour the poor innocent sheep, The People *are* the sheep. The wolves are the rich and powerful, and have been ever since the beginning of civilization. The US Government was founded on the idea that the government derives its power from, and should provide benefit to, The People.

    If you want a better metaphor, Democracy is 90 sheep and 10 wolves deciding what's for dinner.
  • by Reziac ( 43301 ) * on Wednesday May 11, 2005 @01:17AM (#12496115) Homepage Journal
    FANTASTIC idea. Who do we have to bribe to get it passed into law??

  • Shocking! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by foooo ( 634898 ) on Wednesday May 11, 2005 @01:18AM (#12496117) Journal
    On the bright side the national ID standards will require that illegal aliens not be given normal licenses. This is GOOD news for those who want to reduce government. Being from Washington State (the site of a rather grizly Gubernatorial election as of late) I will most certianly appreciate any new measure to prevent illegals from reaping *any* unearned benefits of citizenship... especially services that cost me tax dollars but most importantly "the vote".
  • by SensitiveMale ( 155605 ) on Wednesday May 11, 2005 @01:22AM (#12496139)
    This bill passes 100-0, which I'm assuming (although I could be wrong) means every Senator, Republican, Democratic, and Independent, voted for it.

    Yet just about everyone here wants to blame only the Republicans for the bill.

    Yet just about everyone here wants to blame only the Republicans for attaching unrelated bills.

    Both sides do it, yet just about everyone wants to pretend that only "the other party" does it.
  • by Doc Ruby ( 173196 ) on Wednesday May 11, 2005 @01:22AM (#12496145) Homepage Journal
    How are campaign bribes^Wcontributions "notwithstanding"? In the Federal ID story we're discussing, do majorities of every state favor a Federal ID?

    FWIW, elections are by universal sufferage not for the combined thinking power of all the people through such a crude means of a single question, once every few years. The system is to force people to participate in their government, so we can more easily accept its rule. Nobody knows what the fuck to do with hundreds of millions of people, nuclear weapons, satellite TV, and $14T of goods and services every year. Elections at least make it the people's own mistake, rather than some other arbitrary group. Which makes it easier to get the people to go along with it.
  • by Reziac ( 43301 ) * on Wednesday May 11, 2005 @01:23AM (#12496147) Homepage Journal
    Last time a democrat tried to object to provisions of an Iraq spending bill, the republicans screamed "voted against the war before he voted against it" for eight months until he lost an election. Congressional democrat opposition has been, since then, dead.

    Goes to show that none of 'em have the balls to stand up for what they believe in, let alone for what's best for their constituents.

  • by mi ( 197448 ) <slashdot-2017q4@virtual-estates.net> on Wednesday May 11, 2005 @01:25AM (#12496155) Homepage Journal
    Following common protocols and standards is a good idea and gets plenty of noisy support on Slashdot.

    Why, then, is a uniform driver license considered bad?

    For a long time one could not fly without a driver license, passport, or other "government issued" photo id -- something I personally resented greatly even during the "happy" Clinton era.

    Invasive of privacy? Hardly any more than the current license. What's the big deal? Can't even blame it on a particular "special interest"...

  • by Sheetrock ( 152993 ) on Wednesday May 11, 2005 @01:25AM (#12496159) Homepage Journal
    Sadly, this is incorrect. The most recent version of the bill available on Thomas is H.R.1268.RFS (Referred to Senate Committee after being Received from House). You'll see the final thing on there in a day or so. I explained why [slashdot.org] in a buried comment yesterday.

    BTW, their search engine has this thing where it caches results for your session only. If you check the URL and see a 'temp' in it after 'query' linking to that particular page of results won't work.

  • by bar-agent ( 698856 ) on Wednesday May 11, 2005 @01:29AM (#12496178)
    What is the point of having a drivers license at all if anybody can get one?

    To show that you know how to drive. You don't have to be a citizen, you don't have to speak English, to know how to drive, not if you understand the signs.

    That is all a driver's license should be for.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 11, 2005 @01:33AM (#12496191)
    Why the redundant community service?
  • by jaseparlo ( 819802 ) on Wednesday May 11, 2005 @01:48AM (#12496260) Homepage
    but people with the money and determination will still be able to get fake IDs. In actual fact, it should become easier to get fake ID's. Standardisation across the entire country would mean a greater pool of people working to circumvent security on the cards - with 50 different security systems, you only have one state's worth of villains working on each system. If everyone is the same, you can have 50 states worth of villains all working on the same problem, and it'll be solved much more quickly. Also, you get better economies of scale on materials when you are creating fake ID's for the whole country at once, leading to an eventual commoditisation of fake ID
  • by edb ( 87448 ) on Wednesday May 11, 2005 @01:55AM (#12496286)
    The driver's license should be exactly that -- a license to operate a motor vehicle on the public roads. It should not be identification. They were not designed to be, the systems which issue them were not designed with that purpose in mind, and misusing them as identification causes endless problems, as can now be seen. (same thing with SSN as a presumed unique ID for every purpose)

    Driving without a license should be an extremely serious offense, not the casual slap-on-the-wrist thing it is now. Unless someone has proven their ability to control a big heavy mass with lots of kinetic energy, they should not be allowed to do so near other people, and doing so should be dealt with harshly. Never mind who they are, never mind if they are legally within this border or that. The only identification should be to ensure that the license really is issued to them (they're the ones with the proven skill), and that the license is valid (not forged).

    I really would like to see it become more straightforward for anyone, legally or illegally present, to get a driver's license. And at the same time make it very straightforward that driving without one puts your ass in jail. Harsh consequences, but simple painless and threat-free compliance.

    I'm a hell of a lot more afraid of some of the drivers I see hurtling toward me on the road than I am of a random bombing or plane hijacking. But as is usually the case, numbers and real risk get ignored in favor of emotional reaction. This lets lottery tickets get sold to the gullible [relatively benign], and lets despots take power, a little at a time [decidedly evil].

    [side comment about misusing tools for purposes other than the intended ones, driving nails with a screwdriver and complaining that all screwdrivers need to be heavier and have a flatter surface...]
  • by magarity ( 164372 ) on Wednesday May 11, 2005 @01:55AM (#12496287)
    No, it's republican's who "coined this idea" you're just a brainwashed idiot, apparently

    Name one judge the republicans fillibustered. And make sure it's a fillibuster and not killed in committee in accordance with established rules. THERE'S A HUGE DIFFERENCE. The second is allowed by the Constitution, the first is not. But I guess you're too busy calling people "brainwashed idiots" to learn about the Constitution.
  • by YOU LIKEWISE FAIL IT ( 651184 ) on Wednesday May 11, 2005 @02:01AM (#12496320) Homepage Journal

    If there was ever a slashdot post that deserved to be preserved long after the rest had blown to ashes, that was it.

    utlemming, if you're a U.S. citizen, I urge you to please put this on paper and take it to your representative. The rest of you should as well, regardless of your political views - this use of riders is systematically being used to stifle opposition on both sides of the political fence, it is a tacit statement of the unworthiness of the rider, and it is dishonest and cynical.

    It is time the decisions of legislatures worldwide were left to stand or fall on their own merits, instead of who their drafters can buddy up with.

  • Even Worse (Score:5, Insightful)

    by AoT ( 107216 ) on Wednesday May 11, 2005 @02:09AM (#12496349) Homepage Journal
    Or it could be that politicians are so eager to appear to be supporting our troops that they will pass anything [arstechnica.com] as a military appropriations bil.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 11, 2005 @02:45AM (#12496492)
    It's basically the majority extorting the minority into voting for something they might not otherwise. In 18 months, 1/3rd of the Senate and all of Congress are up for election. In about half that time, campaigning is going to begin.

    The majority of the bill regarding funding for military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as Tsunami relief. Remember all the mud thrown at Kerry for voting "against" funding for troops? You can try to defend such a vote all you want, but the thing is the argument will always end with "but you voted against properly equipping our fighting men and women!!"

    While I'd like to think that at least one person in the Senate would have the cajones to stand up against something like this and vote against it, the democrats also know that if they voted against it, they stand a greater chance of losing their seat to a republican next election. Which is the greater loss?

    I'd suspect we'll see a number of bills introduced in the near future to try to repeal parts of the bill not relating to military funding.
  • by TurboStar ( 712836 ) * on Wednesday May 11, 2005 @02:46AM (#12496494)

    'real' republicans are for non-governmental interference in business small & Large, and non-influence over our daily lives..

    You are referring to Libertarians. Republicans take my money and use it to build commerce (and get votes from those with money and power). Democrats take my money and use it to feed disadvantaged folks (and get votes from those who like handouts). Sorry, but you hit a sore spot. Both parties are severely corrupt right now. And I know my example is overly simplistic.

  • by camusflage ( 65105 ) on Wednesday May 11, 2005 @03:03AM (#12496547)
    Quite honestly, you have the 17th amendment to blame for putting us in this shithole. Previously, the senate was an indirect democracy, elected by the state legislatures. The days of the Senate representing the states ended about the same time the federal government began claiming powers not specifically excluded, rather than those specifically granted, which is right around the time the 17th amendment was ratified.
  • by Mmm coffee ( 679570 ) on Wednesday May 11, 2005 @03:09AM (#12496571) Journal
    Seeing the notion that there are "real" Americans modded as insightful shows how much of a distopian joke American politics have become.

    A fake American whose opinions, hopes, dreams, and fears don't matter.
  • Re:BORK (Score:3, Insightful)

    by RyuuzakiTetsuya ( 195424 ) <taiki@[ ].net ['cox' in gap]> on Wednesday May 11, 2005 @03:14AM (#12496583)
    No, I'm just saying that for people like Frist to scream bloody murder is blatantly hypocritical, particularly when he tried the tactic himself.


    He defended the filibustering of a Judge.

    I don't care if it wasn't successful, itw as USED. He's just bitter it didn't work when HE did it.
  • by Professional Slacker ( 761130 ) on Wednesday May 11, 2005 @03:17AM (#12496593) Homepage
    You're exactly right, but ask yourself this: Who's more moral, those that steal to give to the rich, or those that steal to give to the poor? Yeah, they're both bad options, but there's clearly a better choice.
  • by geminidomino ( 614729 ) * on Wednesday May 11, 2005 @03:45AM (#12496712) Journal
    I guess when you are unable to come up with an intelligent rebuttal to a political argument, violence is a natural alternative.

    More like, when intelligence and reason don't stop the corruption, violence is the ONLY alternative.

    I disagree with GP, by the way... I think the time for planning and performing the extermination should be deducted from the community service requirement.
  • by quarkscat ( 697644 ) on Wednesday May 11, 2005 @04:23AM (#12496839)
    "If that sort of argument can win an election, it sounds like the people got the quality of representation they deserve."

    Thanks a lot. You are, of course, presuming that the 2004 national election was any less "rigged" than the 2000 national election.

    The 2000 national election was stolen by the GOP by disenfranchising voters in Florida based upon fraudulent lists of felons unqualified to vote, a quirky (and illegal) Florida election law that prohibited a state-wide ballot recount, and a Supreme Court packed by the Reagan/Bush_41 regimes.

    The 2004 national election was stolen by the GOP by disenfranchising voters in Florida (again), as well as Ohio and other states, and the widespread use of fraudulent electronic voting machines that could be easily tampered with, and had no paper trail, voting machines built by GOP supporters for winning GOP "majorities".

    Both the House of Representatives and the Senate long ago stopped paying much attention to the average "Joe Sixpack" constituent, in favor of the vested corporate interests that pay for their reelection campaigns. Every attempt to clean up campaign finances has been torpedoed by clauses and exemptions added in that corporations can drive a proverbial "tractor tailer full of cash" through. And, of course, funding for oversight, regulation, and enforcement of election laws have been simultaneously slashed.

    National elections in the USA will not be kosher again until we switch back to the old fashioned, hand counted paper ballot. (Presuming, of course, that the USA actually ever holds national elections again -- I have my doubts.)
  • Re:FWIW (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ThinWhiteDuke ( 464916 ) on Wednesday May 11, 2005 @04:26AM (#12496849)
    If you want a better metaphor, Democracy is 90 sheep and 10 wolves deciding what's for dinner.

    Nah. In the US, Constitutional, Democratic Republic is 98 sheep choosing which one of 2 wolves will get to decide what's for dinner.
  • by gtkuhn ( 823989 ) on Wednesday May 11, 2005 @04:56AM (#12496940)
    It may be taken for granted among some, but many have not only never read Brave New World or 1984 (different, but each has a message), many have no exposure to the ideas of those works. The ideas of 1984 have been often imitated in mainstream culture and are likely better known. It is a black and white work. Huxley's book is far more subtle and, I think, less appreciated. Both should be prerequisites to vote, I feel.

    A gram is better than a damn.
  • by smchris ( 464899 ) on Wednesday May 11, 2005 @07:40AM (#12497441)
    Nah. The Soviets, maybe.

    No, no, no, no, no. Where does this talk come from? Where is it ingrained?

    When did the government nationalize the airlines?
    When did the government nationalize the farms?
    When did the government nationalize the factories?
    When did the government nationalize the hospitals?
    When did the govenrment nationalize all media?

    Come on, people. Show some education!

    When a society is run by and for the corporations, it is FASCISM. That is the definition. Yes, totalitarian communism is, well, totalitarian. But so is fascism. Don't just throw out any term. If you do, you are just name-calling. You don't have a grasp of the situation yet and, therefore, don't have a clue about what to do about it.

    It is time for people to get comfortable with the "F" word. Look, for example, at apartheid South Africa. Was it fascist? Hell, yes! Did it have death camps with crematoria? Hell, no! "Soft" fascism is a matter of style.

    What the U.S. has is an incredible history of media and advertisng talent, media ownership concentration and media saturation. Everything this government does is scripted in a way no other country on the planet can accomplish. A person can't get into a Bush "meet the people" event if his car in the parking lot has a dissenting bumpersticker, right?

    There is no reason to build concentration camps as long as they can keep almost everyone duped because there isn't significant unrest. And there is incredible "political capital" in maintaining the illusion of democracy. What I am afraid of is precisely that the ruling powers will get away with this scripting of the reality of U.S. consciousness for DECADES until things (as in "real" reality) get so bad we have a fourth-world anarchy in the streets and revolution. And in that long degeneration wake up to a world run by China where our country and future have been lost.

  • Re:Fix the Game (Score:1, Insightful)

    by joshrulzz ( 715156 ) on Wednesday May 11, 2005 @07:50AM (#12497499)
    It's called a "rider" ... and it's been part of American politics for as long as America's been around.

    I just wish the filibuster had held out longer.
    Granted, I am with you here, but the bill passed 100-0. There was no oposition with which to fillibuster.
  • I'm not certain that it could be abused. Show me one of them within the past century that shouldn't be executed for treason, and it's the exception rather than the rule.

    I was joking, but still.

    Voting up trash like this because "it'd hurt my re-election chances when the other guy airs campaign commercials saying I voted against paying our troops" means you've betrayed the american people in the most fundamental way possible. For fuck's sake... if that's what it takes to fight this, is to be voted out, well, that's why you are there in the first place.

    If making them fair game makes the job less desirable, that's a good thing. They shouldn't be rock stars or pro athletes or hollywood stars, and yet they end up being all three. Rich, famous, and can do what they want. They fight so hard to keep something that a sane person shouldn't want... there's something wrong there. The only explanation is that they abuse it for personal gain.
  • by bbtom ( 581232 ) on Wednesday May 11, 2005 @08:00AM (#12497548) Homepage Journal
    Why in the name of fuck would the Rapture Ready lot be concerned? Surely, if subdermal RFID and central government ID registries are predicted in the Book of Revelations, it signals the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.

    Isn't that what the Rapture Ready people are all waiting for with baited breath and saying will happen just next week despite the fact that it's been promised every single couple of years for the last thousand or so years?

    (Obligatory Simpsons reference: when Flanders gets a note purpotedly from Jesus saying "Dude, I'm in Montana!" and rushes off on the train to meet him)
  • by Cro Magnon ( 467622 ) on Wednesday May 11, 2005 @08:06AM (#12497583) Homepage Journal
    1) It creates MORE government, not less. Republicans are supposed to be for smaller government, but this flies in the face of that policy

    The Republicans WERE for smaller government - when the Democrats were in charge. Now that the Repubs are in charge, they're just another bunch of Big Government hypocrites.
  • by FauxPasIII ( 75900 ) on Wednesday May 11, 2005 @08:19AM (#12497644)
    > Nevermind fussing about rules changes for filibustering in the Senate.

    Actually, please don't nevermind it. Don't let them fundamentally undo the Constitutional purpose of the Senate
    just because we're in shock over this horrible bill. This has been the Bush administration's methodology all
    along; attack decency and liberty on so many fronts that anybody who's paying attention gets outrage fatigue
    and there's not a coordinated effort to stop all the worst provisions. For instance, the butchery of Iraq has
    drawn off so much attention from activist groups that Bush has been able to rape the environment and the economy
    with much less fanfare.

  • by PenguiN42 ( 86863 ) <taylork@a[ ].mit.edu ['lum' in gap]> on Wednesday May 11, 2005 @08:45AM (#12497776) Journal
    just like they were "forced" to vote in favor of the Iraq war, only to oppose it come election time?

    You deride the republicans, yet listen to their rhetoric wholeheartedly.

    The bill authorizing force in Iraq authorized it as a last resort for the purpose of making sure Iraq complied with inspections under the assumption that iraq had WMDs.

    Sen. Kerry had a speech around the time of that bill where he explained very clearly why he was voting for it -- and, moreover, what the president had promised to do with the power of the bill.

    The president then broke his promise and rushed to war without any chance for diplomacy, and definitely without any hard evidence that Iraq was hoarding WMDs.

    Those who voted for the bill certainly had something to complain about when we actually went to war.

    But of course, the masses of people don't see the details of the bill -- or any bill -- and just think "he voted for the iraq war." That's the same problem with these "rider" bills -- people don't care about the details. They generalize to some abstract version of the bill based on its title and not what it actually says. Even Pres. Bush did this in the debates regarding the "partial-birth" abortion bill. And now you're guilty of it as well.
  • by Edgester ( 105351 ) on Wednesday May 11, 2005 @08:53AM (#12497799) Homepage Journal
    Spending bills indirectly create policy, whether there are riders or not.

    If there is no funding for a certain law, then it won't be enfored, or enforced very poorly.
  • by Onan The Librarian ( 126666 ) on Wednesday May 11, 2005 @09:00AM (#12497828)
    William Shirer is famous for his books about the rise and fall of the Nazi regime in Germany during the 1930s/1940s. He lived in Germany until 1941 or 1942, one of the last USians to remain until Hitler forced out all foreign journalists.

    Reading "The Berlin Diaries" or "The Nightmare Years" I'm stunned to read statements from the common Germans of those days that literally echo the kind of talk I hear from so many of my countrymen. Authoritarianism and acquiescence is on the rise here in the States, with probably a majority of citizens absolutely believing that there are things they should't know about (and thus no-one else should know either, unless they're authorized to know).

    I won't make the kind of statement like "The US is turning into Nazi Germany !" But I will point out that it is the worst sort of naivete to believe that because it's a black woman she couldn't possibly be a fascist, or because it's a Latino official he couldn't possibly be a supporter of torture and assassination.

    The US is now ruled by a corporate plutocracy with no intention of ever letting go of the control of a machine that makes vast profits for them through the waging of war. When the war profiteers run the government, exactly what kind of society do you think will result ? And why in the world would those who profit so much from this war (and those already being planned) want to end this profitable state of affairs ? Most USians are now just fools with a level of ignorance equal to the German populace in the 1930s. Read Shirer, and fear for this nation and its people.

    Btw, the US people are not represented by the Senate at all. Senators represent large corporate interests who pay them to vote for corporate interests. There isn't a single populist Senator in the Congress, and their despite for the common man is evident. They are the same kind of men and women who would have willingly followed Hitler to Hell if it meant the possibility of increasing their personal profits. Conscience is dead in Congress, and it's been buried for a long time now.

    Welcome to the nightmare of the real. Prepare yourself.

    "You are not free while you watch TV." - OtL
  • by Zeinfeld ( 263942 ) on Wednesday May 11, 2005 @10:27AM (#12498563) Homepage
    At issue currently IS NOT ABOUT A COMITTEE PROCEDURE. That's the disconnect in logic in all the Democrat's arguments. You can't compare appointments killed in committee with refusal to vote on cloture in the full Senate. These two activities are COMPLETELY DIFFERENT.

    No they are not, the GOP changed the rules of the senate to deny the Democrats the use of the procedures that they had used to block 60 Clinton nominees. It is only because they are brassed necked hypocrites that they are squawking now about the Democrats blocking 10 nominees.

    It was Frist who originally called it the nuclear option. The only reason that the GOP is considering it is that they realize that they have already lost the entire session, there is not one part of the Bush program that is not already dead on arrival. The social security phase-out plan is do dead it is unlikely to even get a majority. The energy bill gives a multi-billion dollar handout to the most profitable companies in the US. The deficit makes it highly unlikely he will succeed with implementation of the existing tax cut plans, let alone making them 'permanent' - as if any Congress can bind its sucessors anyway.

    Smuggling provisions like Real-ID into other measures is a foolish strategy for any program that is trying to build a long lasting infrastructure. The issue is now politicized and partisan, but only some of the Republicans support it. It is not likely to last long enough to go into force.

    If you want to stop Real-ID the best way to do that is to make as many people aware of the corruptions of DeLay. He is openly accepting illegal bribes from lobbyists, $100,000 golfing holidays for him and his wife. In fact he is not just accepting, he is asking, demanding the bribes. That is corruption and the only reason the Republican party does not admit that it is corruption is that they have become utterly corrupted to the core. Even poor old John McCain has been bought off at this point.

    The stench of Tom DeLay is going to cost the GOP the house in 2006. Once that happens the only challenge for the enquiries will be what rock to look under first, Enron, Harken, Halibutron, the corruption of this crew is astonishing.

    Oh and they also got 1,600 US soldiers killed because they lied about Saddam's weapons of mass destruction.

  • by Reziac ( 43301 ) * on Wednesday May 11, 2005 @10:43AM (#12498718) Homepage Journal
    Yep, that is indeed a problem. For every corrupt or spineless politician we evict, there is another waiting to be elected.

    See my other post in this thread about a method of at least limiting their power, and making them experience more of the Real World, by forcibly making politics NOT a "career".

    I'm reminded of what Senator McGovern said after he retired from politics and tried to get into the hotel business, and found that thanks to all the legislation that HE HIMSELF had helped pass, it was now impossible for a startup to ever succeed in the hotel business. In a subsequent interview he said flat out that if he'd known what a negative impact his own legislation was having on the citizenry's ability to make a living, he'd never have proposed most of it.

    Goes to demonstrate how far from reality the political world has gone.

  • by Anarke_Incarnate ( 733529 ) on Wednesday May 11, 2005 @10:47AM (#12498768)
    that we abolished parties in general. Their days of being helpful are over and in fact they stagnate politics. No 3d party candiate doesn't have a real chance in most American's eyes because he does not have the blessing of the 2 that are like 1 (Dems and Pubs are both the same minus the funny hats).
    If we got rid of parties, people would have to vote for someone based on their merits, not based on which club they belong to and are beholden to. We could actually have people who are running who are the best for the job. No more voting down a line either. Create a thinking government.>

    Get rid of parties for parity.
  • Re:Actually... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by globalar ( 669767 ) on Wednesday May 11, 2005 @11:31AM (#12499252) Homepage
    Certain parts of the Consitution are, generally, ignored by the government. Let's just admit that.

    Judicial review - as we understand it - is simply tradition. Marbury vs. Madison (as you cite) established it, and Congress has never, to my knowledge, effectively fought it. Review has proven useful over the years, but not necessarily wise.

    But can judicial review be legislated against - can it be made illegal? Can legislation be barred from review? The extreme conservative agenda in America would like to find out. This is not packing the court, rerouting the appellate process, or calling "States Rights!." This is plainly shielding legislation from court review.

    So much has ridden on judicial review - so much that we call American and associate with liberty - no one really wants to butt heads with it directly. What's especially ironic is that there is no Court that can reasonably rule on judicial review, because it involves that branch's jurisdiction (which in this case is interpreted, not explicit). So this is something for which our system has no procedural remedy - unless we just sit back and let the Congress protect whatever laws it wants protected. This is an inevitable, and troubling path.
  • Re:Even Worse (Score:3, Insightful)

    by mwood ( 25379 ) on Wednesday May 11, 2005 @12:39PM (#12500060)
    Or it could be that they didn't want to hold up a big bill over some tiny rider that they could rescind later if it's important enough. That's why riders are created: to sneak through on the coattails of something more desirable.

    Anyway, after years of handwringing over the creation of a national ID card, we effectively have one, so we're going to get experimental evidence to test all claims. This should be interesting.
  • by bluGill ( 862 ) on Wednesday May 11, 2005 @12:42PM (#12500100)

    No, a vote for democrats or republicans would be throwing my vote away. They do not represent my beliefs, nor are they close enough to be worth compromising on them. So it is a wasted vote to give it to them. Maybe my candidate doesn't win, but it sends a message: I care enough to vote for someone who won't win.

    The major parties always watch the third parties. When they become too powerful they start moving in that direction to pick up those votes. So the only way I can achieve long term change is to vote for someone who believes what I want to happen long therm.

    Voting republican or democrat just says that you think they are doing just fine.

In English, every word can be verbed. Would that it were so in our programming languages.