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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
    • 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.
      • 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 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 StikyPad ( 445176 ) on Wednesday May 11, 2005 @12:03AM (#12495737) Homepage
            Anyway, how can Real-ID be "controversial"? Nobody but slashdot readers and "bloggers" even know it exists.

            It's controversial for lots of reasons, and most of them don't have to do with tinfoil hats.

            1) It creates MORE government, not less. Republicans are supposed to be for smaller government, but this flies in the face of that policy.

            2) It's unfunded. The states are supposed to work out for themselves how to comply with these regulations with NO federal funding.

            3) Of course, states aren't required to comply, but then a state's citizens will be unable to make use of most interstate transportation (flying).

            4) It provides few, if any, clear benefits. Maybe a bartender in Cali won't have to worry about knowing what Vermont's drivers licenses look like with a national ID card, but people with the money and determination will still be able to get fake IDs.

            I won't even go into the privacy concerns -- you can read yesterday's article if you're interested.
            • by millennial ( 830897 ) on Wednesday May 11, 2005 @02:29AM (#12496438) Journal
              This is typical of a lot of Bush administration policy. Take a look at No Child Left Behind:
              1. creates more government - imposes irrational nationwide standards on all states
              2. unfunded - schools can go bankrupt if they can't afford to make the improvements they apparently need
              3. states aren't required to comply - or at least, that's what Mr. Bush says, since he thinks states should be able to "determine their own destiny" in regards to schools
              4. provides few, if any, clear benefits - schools are entirely blamed for poor performance? students can't possibly be responsible? students are forcibly registered on military recruiters' contact lists unless their parents explicitly ask for them not to be?

              The Republican desire for increased regulation (think USA PATRIOT Act, REALID Act) without funding (e.g. not including the war in the 2004-2005 budget? WTF?) is just further proof that the two mainstream parties are slowly, but surely, fusing into one.
            • 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 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 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 quarkscat ( 697644 ) on Wednesday May 11, 2005 @03:55AM (#12496743)
            "Congressional democrat opposition has been, since then, dead."


            The anthrax letters that were mailed out specifially to the NY liberal press and the US Senate's "loyal opposition" in October 2001 sent the intended message to the intended audience. And they did "get the message" at that time.

            The DNA of the mailed anthrax was identical to the Ames variety stored at the US Army's biological warfare facility at Ft. Dettrick, MD. It has been very nearly four full years later, and George W. Bush's Justice Department is no closer to solving this case of domestic bioterrorism.

            Since that time, other really nasty "bugs" have been shipped out across the world from USA facilities, as well as the announcement of successful Federal research into super-lethal mouse pox. Nothing quite like waving a "big
            stick" to keep the attention of that "donkey".

      • 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.
        • by roman_mir ( 125474 ) on Wednesday May 11, 2005 @12:50AM (#12495996) Homepage Journal
          We're going the way of the fucking Romans. - keep yourself where I can see you at all times, you pervert.

        • by Cro Magnon ( 467622 ) on Wednesday May 11, 2005 @08:10AM (#12497601) Homepage Journal
          We're going the way of the fucking Romans

          That's not true! The Romans fell because their people were so distracted by entertainment that they didn't keep an eye on their leaders. BTW, American Idol should be good tonight.
      • by Elranzer ( 851411 ) on Wednesday May 11, 2005 @12:02AM (#12495729) Homepage
        Having a Democracy doesn't mean that people have to always take the opposite side just to be opposing.

        I suppose you've never heard of the Green Party?
    • 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.
      • by edb ( 87448 ) on Wednesday May 11, 2005 @01:08AM (#12496066)
        I've never understood how Congress can get away with attaching riders and amendments to a bill that have absolutely nothing to do with the base bill. The only purpose is to have a kind of inverse "poison pill", so that voting against the amendment allows the accusation of being against the base bill. Never mind that it's traditional. Lots of things that are illegal now were "traditional" in the past.

        It works the other way as well, in the usual meaning of "poison pill" -- attach a rider that is so unacceptable that the base bill is defeated regardless of its own merit.

        Nevermind fussing about rules changes for filibustering in the Senate. This is where the real mischief gets done, and has been so for many decades.

        There should be a rule in both the House and the Senate that amendments and riders must in some way be related to the base bill to which they are attached. Otherwise, they should stand on their own (or die on their own).
        • 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.

        • Very true (Score:5, Informative)

          by paranode ( 671698 ) on Wednesday May 11, 2005 @09:13AM (#12497902)
          The president actually had the power to get rid of the 'pork' for a short while. During Clinton's second term the Line Item Veto Act was passed giving him the power to cross out things he thought were wrong for the bill and send it back to the Congress, who would then have to approve or disapprove the changes. If they disapproved he could veto that and they they could override with 2/3rds.

          That lasted just over a year until it was struck down by the Supreme Court in 1998 as a violation of the presentment clause (Article I, Section 7).

          I think there have been some bills in Congress to change the way the rules are so that the 'riders' are related to the bill's topic, but asking Congresscritters to uphold integrity and honesty in passing bills is like asking the fox to guard the henhouse. These riders are a major source of their power and they use them all the time for their little-publicized amendments which further their own agenda.

      • by utlemming ( 654269 ) on Wednesday May 11, 2005 @01:13AM (#12496093) Homepage
        You know what I would like to see come out of this is a Constitutional Amendment making such attempts illegal -- make it so a spending bill can only be that, a spending bill. Something along the lines of: "All appropriation bills passed by Congress shall be void of new programs, laws, or regulations. New laws which require appropriation may be passed, provided that the scope of the bill is limited to the law, program or regulation therein." This would have a chilling effect on Congress and their attempts to pass laws which otherwise wouldn't be passed. The argument against this would be that Congress wouldn't be able to pass things as efficently as they do now and that immediate needs could not be met quite as fast. I think if there was even talk of such a move it would really chill people using riders. Of course Congress would have to really flub up in order to get people ticked off enough to want to do something like an amendment. It would send a strong message that federalism needs to stay federalism and the concentration of central power needs to stop.
    • Letter to my Senator (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Trillian_1138 ( 221423 ) <slashdot&fridaythang,com> on Wednesday May 11, 2005 @12:56AM (#12496020)
      So write your Senators and Reps. I just did:

      Senator Obama,

      Congratulations. The Iraq Supplemental Spending Bill passed, 100-0. I hope you're satisfied with your hard day in the Senate.

      But I heard that the RealID Act, included as a rider on the bill, creates a national drivers license standard and requires a database containing information on every single person in the United States with such a license.

      But I heard that the bill 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."

      You must be please as punch. The supplemental spending bill went through without a hitch, giving much-needed money to those poor soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan and the unfortunate victims of the tsunami in Asia.

      I hope somebody is happy, because I sure as hell am not.

      Wasn't one of the reasons the United States disliked the Soviet Union too much because the USSR placed horrible restrictions on free travel, and "Papers, please" was a phrase heard at every local border? Well, I imagine you must be thrilled that, under the legislation you just sent to the President's desk, the United States Government will have the power to do the same thing very shortly.

      I can picture it now: I'm on my way to visit my brother in Colorado, but because my RealID drivers license has my political history on it, I'm deemed a "security risk" due to anti-war protests I attended leading up to the invasion of Iran in 2007.

      "That can't happen here! It won't happen here!"

      How naive. When has any government, in the history of the world, willingly given up power after the populace was foolish enough to hand that power over? I'm sure in Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia requiring papers to travel within the country was first announced as a 'temporary security procedure,' and would only be in place 'until things quieted down.

      You must be so excited that the same thing can be happening soon, at state border near you.

      And this gem: "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."

      Have you even read the Constitution? I am so angry right now, I can't begin to explain why the above passage is un-Constitutional, a horrible infringement on the liberties of individuals and states' rights, and a mind-numbingly dumb thing to have put your seal of approval on.

      Senator Obama, I voted for you this past November. I was hoping to be excited about voting for you again in the future. We both know this bill was going to pass, with or without your support. But your campaigning speeches, your town-hall debates, your keynote speech at the Democratic National Convention, all seemed to point toward a man who was smart, idealistic, and would stand his ground against those in this country who would see liberty and justice fade away.

      Give the people of Illinois some credit. Sure, the Republicans would start with attack ads, portraying you as having voted against funding the military and tsunami victims. But people like myself, people who knew the whole story, would never let your image be tarnished in such a way. We would spread the truth and make sure that lies and falsehoods were not allowed to be passed around as "truth."

      And you went and voted, along with everyone else, for horrible, horrible, un-Constitutional bill.

      Thanks a lot. A little bit of my idealism - my belief that our elected officials will do what's right, even when it's hard - just died.

      Again, I hope you're happy.

      • Actually... (Score:5, Interesting)

        by kf6auf ( 719514 ) on Wednesday May 11, 2005 @02:12AM (#12496363)

        And this gem: "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."

        Have you even read the Constitution? I am so angry right now, I can't begin to explain why the above passage is un-Constitutional, a horrible infringement on the liberties of individuals and states' rights, and a mind-numbingly dumb thing to have put your seal of approval on.

        According to Article III:"The judicial Power of the United States, shall be vested in one supreme Court, and in such inferior Courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish." So if Congress doesn't want to let the inferior courts hear these cases then it doesn't have to. "In all cases affecting Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, and those in which a State shall be a Party, the supreme Court shall have original Jurisdiction. In all other cases before mentioned, the supreme Court shall have appellate Jurisdiction...with such Execeptions, and under such Regulation as the Congress shall make." So if Congress doesn't want the Supreme Court to hear these cases then they can't either because the only constitutional jurisdiction to explictly mentioned. Yes it sucks, but Congress can prevent the Courts from challenging the Executive. The idea was that two branches could "check" on the third, or as the case may be two branches can prevent the third from checking them. Heck, there have even been times (1803-1804) when Congress didn't let the Supreme Court even sit because they didn't want Marbury v. Madison (1803) heard. I agree that it is a flagrant violation of rights, but sadly it is not unconstitutional.

        IANAL but I know a couple of things about Constitutional Law.

  • 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.
    • 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.
    • Re:Fix the Game (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Vellmont ( 569020 ) on Tuesday May 10, 2005 @10:34PM (#12495045) Homepage
      We did that in Minnesota recently, and just recently a conceal and carry handgun bill was thrown out by the courts because it was attatched to unrelated legislation.

      I don't really care about the conceal and carry law either way, but I was glad to see unrelated amendments banned from legislation.
      • Re:Fix the Game (Score:5, Informative)

        by Martin Blank ( 154261 ) on Tuesday May 10, 2005 @11:18PM (#12495431) Homepage Journal
        States frequently have these kind of provisions in their constitutions, barring provisions that have nothing to do with one another. In California, we recently had an initiative on the ballot that was split into two parts (A and B) because it had already been numbered when it was decided that it could not go forth as one item.

        Federal law has no such requirements, and I imagine it's a rare Slashdotter who has not had a favorite cause aided by something added to an unrelated bill. (Whether they agree with the method or not is another story.)
    • by the_skywise ( 189793 ) on Tuesday May 10, 2005 @10:42PM (#12495109)
      In the state legislature in Indiana it's against the rules to attach riders to bills that have nothing to do with the bill itself.

      In this last legislative session, this got to be a real problem because political maneuvers blocked 100s of bills from being introduced, allowing only several dozen bills through.

      Following the rules, the bills should've died. Instead they were attached to the existing bills through "creative interpretation".

      Some bills couldn't get handled this way no matter how much bending of the wording they could do. In those cases, they stripped the entire language of the bill out and replaced it with the language of the more important bill. (For instance, Bill xxx "Raise the speed limit from 65 to 70" was gutted and became a bill to enact Daylight Savings Time... but was still titled the "speed limit bill".

      So as you see, it doesn't matter what restrictions are put on the process. Politicians will get their way.

    • Re:Fix the Game (Score:5, Informative)

      by Cainam ( 10838 ) on Tuesday May 10, 2005 @10:44PM (#12495129) Homepage
      You should join DownsizeDC.org [downsizedc.org] in their attempt to pass the "Read the Bills Act of 2005" [downsizedc.org]. The Act would make it law for all bills to actually be read by each legislator, which could cut down considerably on unrelated riders. In any event, it has to be a good thing for lawmakers to have read the laws they're voting on!
    • 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.
  • 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 odano ( 735445 ) on Tuesday May 10, 2005 @10:30PM (#12495011)
    I was watching this debated on CSPAN, and a lot of senators in the minority were not happy about voting for this, but of course they cannot have a vote against emergency military funding on their record, so they were forced to.

    If you want to see the real masterminds of this bill, it is the majority party, who according to a few of the minority democrats are abusing their power by passing a bill without having the chance to debate it on the floor of the senate.
    • 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.
      • 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.

    • You no longer have a representative government. The Experiment's over.
      • 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?
    • 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 ...

      • by PenguiN42 ( 86863 ) <taylork@alum.OPENBSDmit.edu minus bsd> 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.
  • 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 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 Janitha ( 817744 ) on Tuesday May 10, 2005 @10:40PM (#12495096) Homepage
      I guess what has been voted has been done, while they are at it, it would be nice if they included some sort of flash memory onboard the ID card, and have slots. Would be nice if this can replace all my other credit cards, and stuff plus have blank slots where more data can be written for custom purposes such as Work place access, local business's premium stuff, and even the passcodes and so on for your computer. One ID to rule them all (privacy wise this will suck, tech-wise this will rude)
    • 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".
      • Yes and when we've finished harmonizing the copyright and patent systems of the rest of the civilized nations with ours it will be the United World of America. At that point I think World War III will break out making the whole thing moot. Besides, the EMP from a few hundred aerial nuclear bursts will wipe out all the Real ID cards anyway, so in the post-apocalyptic world privacy will be assured.
  • 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.
  • by fuchsiawonder ( 574579 ) on Tuesday May 10, 2005 @10:32PM (#12495030)
    I'm so thankful this is going to come to pass. Finally, I don't have to hunt through multiple databases to swipe all of the pertinent information about someone. It's all collected in one place for easy access. Thanks, DC!
  • by CygnusXII ( 324675 ) on Tuesday May 10, 2005 @10:32PM (#12495032)
    I know many States have Constitutions of their own http://www.lrc.state.ky.us/Legresou/Constitu/list1 .htm [state.ky.us] , ad We are a United Nation of Sovereign States, so Doesn't this fly in the face of each States Rights to rule themselves? I do not pretend to be a Constitutional Scholar, but this just seems to be (SO WRONG) on so many levels it isn't funny.

    • Nonsense. No state is forced to do anything. Just as no state is forced to set the drinking age to 21.

      Seriously, your state is free to ignore this bit of Big Brother government. Of course you will be unable to procure any federal services or benefits if your state chooses to ignore it. The tyrrany grows. While the sheeple watch American Idol the coporatists laugh all the way to the bank with the politicians in their pockets.

      Welcome to Amerika. I will examine your papers now.
    • 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 state
      • I have to point out that the States are, or at least are supposed to be, sovereign.

        Several sovereign States got together and delegated some powers to a central government. There's a big difference between "delegated" and "surrendered".

        This means that a State can object to a federal mandate or pull out altogether.

        Lincoln's revolution may have changed this in practice, but that's how it's supposed to work.

  • 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.
    • 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.

  • 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?

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

      by wowwser ( 730987 )
      Ahh but have you ever used your license to conduct interstate commerce? Like get on a plane to go to a different state?
      Article I, Section 8, Clause 3 of the United States Constitution empowers the United States Congress "To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes."
    • Re:10th Amendment (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Sloppy ( 14984 ) *

      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

  • Constitution-buster? (Score:5, Informative)

    by quax ( 19371 ) on Tuesday May 10, 2005 @10:35PM (#12495053)
    There is a provision in the bill that sets the gruesome precedence that it is in the power of Congress to prohibit juridical review. Since the latter is a cornerstone of the American republic this is a very big deal. You can learn more about it here [arstechnica.com].
  • 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.
    • Re:I'm glad (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Sorry to say, and I truthfully mean this in the most polite way possible, it does absolutely no use to complain here.

      I suggest that people start writing the wonderful critters that made this bill possible. If you have, that's a great start. However, don't ease up. Write them all, make some pre-canned letters and send them off once a week--then hire some shoddy person to do your taxes next year and find some way to write this off. Joking aside, and I know it wasn't that funny, you'd be surprised how far
    • 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*

  • by compmanio36 ( 882809 ) on Tuesday May 10, 2005 @10:37PM (#12495064)
    Well, there goes the semblance of the liberty to be free of tracking by the government.

    Will we have to have our license scanned at every transaction and state border crossing, so the government can know whether we McDonalds or Burger King? How about whether we wear boxers or briefs? How much information do we have to give on these new driver's licenses? Do we have to take another driver's test? Do we have to tell them what religion we are, whether we support the current administration, what political party we are a part of, or whether or not we donated to the presidental re-election fund? Maybe if I haven't donated, I'm just a terrorist and shouldn't be allowed to cross state lines, huh?

    When will it end? When will the American people get so sick of being fucked over that we actually stand up and DO something about it?
  • by kafka47 ( 801886 ) on Tuesday May 10, 2005 @10:39PM (#12495079) Homepage

    The speed in which this "legislation" has warped through the democratic process is very telling.

    The likelihood that the end product, the "RFID licenses" will be ill-thought, ill-conceived and ill-executed has been assured. Hacking and manipulation have just discovered a new end-game. Have fun. This is going to be such a mess.

    Watch one of the world's largest bureaucracies fall on its face.


  • by WhatAmIDoingHere ( 742870 ) * <sexwithanimals@gmail.com> on Tuesday May 10, 2005 @10:43PM (#12495121) Homepage
    Some weren't so bad:

    "121. S.AMDT.430 to H.R.1268 To prohibit the use of funds by any Federal agency to produce a prepackaged news story without including in such story a clear notification for the audience that the story was prepared or funded by a Federal agency."
  • 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@gma i l . 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...
    • 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 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)
  • by jkakari ( 546230 ) on Tuesday May 10, 2005 @11:05PM (#12495323)

    Well, if the states roll over and issue these things, just toss your new card in the microwave for a few seconds. My guess is the RFID tag won't hold up for long.

    "What's that you say, Officer? My card doesn't scan? Well, you don't say. Isn't that funny?"

    Doesn't help with the inevitable abuses that aggragation of data will cause, but at least nobody can scan your driver's license from 20 feet away without your consent.

    Keeping the ID inside something like a anti-static bag may work as well, which is what they give you with the EZ-Pass/Fastlane toll tags if you want to inhibit scanning without permanently frying your card.

  • by ZosX ( 517789 ) <.zosxavius. .at. .gmail.com.> on Tuesday May 10, 2005 @11:28PM (#12495514) Homepage
    We need to form a front on the feds that are encroaching our rights. Fortunately for us Americans (for those that are still worthy of being called that) we have a legal way and the tried and true illegal way. Both fronts are approachable, though the last should be exactly that, a last resort. Seriously, we need to act. I'd be willing to pay with my life to make this country a better place and I'll be damned if I slowly rot and watch this sheer misery without at least taking a stand. The Federal RFID-enabled trackable ID encroaches on state rights on so many fronts. Want to know why the MATRIX (think they picked that name on purpose) failed? Only a handful of states decided to cooperate, the rest preferred to keep their constituents information private.We might as well start signing waivers of rights at age 18 to gain an ID and other "priveledges" at this rate.

    I hereby declare that we as citizens need to get involved and also get other citizens involved because this is affecting us all in so many pervasive ways that the slippery slope is starting to look like a cliff we have all just potentially jumped off. You may say to yourself, well, that doesn't affect me, everything I do is legal, but wait until you are sued because you are caught with some illegal mp3s or worse thrown in jail. Wait until you find out that you should have no rights to medical privacy according to the federal government and John Ashcroft. Where does it begin and more importantly, where does it end?

    Our rights are gone and in many places we cannot even arm or defend ourselves even in spite of the threat of deadly force. What freedoms do we have left with potentially now the ability for the local, state, and federal governments to all easily monitor our whereabouts and travels?

    Please read my last post on the last story about the Real ID. We need to respond with at least *something*. We need to take the stand. I'm sure that if half of the americans really knew what was going on in their congress (or even cared to know) those that are holding power would certainly not keep getting reelected. I know that there are not really many easy solutions in the sheer complexity that is modern society, however this has become a reflection of what should not be implemented in a national government and we still have the power to effect change.

    Come on Slashdot! Create a Slashdot effect on the feds for chrissakes! You all echo in a chorus that what we are doing is dangerous and potentially has drastically negative consequences. You all seem to hate patent law, industry regulation, war, the DMCA, the Patriot Act, the FCC, the broadcast flag, and this truly sad piece of legislation.

    Seriously, can't we just play nice for a day and decide to do something about this trite? Is it that hard? We could have Liberty Day and get together in our cities and towns and meet, geek to geek. Surely the geeks are at least smarter than anyone else, right? Can't we brainstorm some better ideas while where at it and figure out how to wrestle control away from two political parties? Revolution Day?


    Let us hope there is some sanity left in this world, right?
  • Disband the union. (Score:4, Informative)

    by Baldrson ( 78598 ) * on Wednesday May 11, 2005 @12:20AM (#12495830) Homepage Journal
    There is no constitutional requirement that the people of the US be subjected to international human traffic. There _is_ a constitutional requirement that the people of the US be free from the sort of subjugation implied by a national security state that views residents of the US with so much suspicion that they must prove their citizenship.
  • 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...]
  • Blame Article XVII (Score:4, Interesting)

    by clarinex73 ( 636323 ) on Wednesday May 11, 2005 @08:01AM (#12497557)
    Our country is supposed to be a republic, not a democracy. "Democracy" means "he who can scare the most people wins."

    Part of the checks and balances on runaway legislation was the /appointment/ of U.S. Senators by the legislature of their state. This helped ensure the U.S. Senate represented the /STATES/ and provided a potent check against the expansion of federalism.

    We ruined that balance with the 17th Amendment.

    Since then, we've reaped. The federal government has seen runaway expansion since 1913 when 17th Amendment and the amendment allowing /direct/ income tax were both passed.

    "When senators represented states as states, rather than being super House members as they are now, they zealously protected states' rights. This term became discredited during the civil-rights struggle of the 1960s as a code word for racism -- allowing Southern states to resist national pressure to integrate. But clearly this is an aberration. States obviously have interests that may conflict with federal priorities on a wide variety of issues that defy easy ideological classification. Many states, for example, would probably enact more liberal laws relating to the environment, health, and business regulation if allowed by Washington."

    http://www.nationalreview.com/nrof_bartlett/bartle tt200405120748.asp [nationalreview.com]

    http://www.nhinet.org/hoebeke.htm [nhinet.org]

    Try and read with an open mind. This isn't a Democrat or Republican issue. Both parties are corrupt because we unbalanced the rules of the game. While we still have a horizontal division of power, we removed the vertical division between the states and federal government.

    Want to see a more "fair and restrained" federal government? Take a step BACK from the populist edge and repeal Article XVII.

  • 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

Can anyone remember when the times were not hard, and money not scarce?