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Going to Yosemite? Get Your Passport Ready! 969

rev_media writes to tell us that CNN has a few updates to the Real ID act currently facing legislators. The Real ID acts mandates all states to begin issuing federal IDs to all citizens by 2008. Costs could be as much at $14 billion, but only 40 million are currently allocated. Several states have passed legislation expressly forbidding participation in the program, while others seem to be all for it. The IDs will be required for access to all federal areas including flights, state parks and federal buildings. People in states refusing to comply will need to show passports even for domestic flights.
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Going to Yosemite? Get Your Passport Ready!

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  • Wow (Score:5, Funny)

    by UncleWilly ( 1128141 ) * <UncleWilly07.gmail@com> on Saturday August 18, 2007 @06:38PM (#20280361)
    $14 billion seems a little expensive, I'm glad I already have a passport.
    • Re:Wow (Score:4, Interesting)

      by thynk ( 653762 ) <slashdot@NOSPaM.thynk.us> on Saturday August 18, 2007 @07:37PM (#20280851) Homepage Journal
      Errrr... I don't think that's the price EACH... rather for price for all of them.

      Personally, I don't see it as a big deal. I already have a federal ID (passport) and have to show an ID when boarding a plane (state issued DL or passport or military ID). I also used to carry a federal (DOD) ID card. Never once have I thought that having to prove who I say I am as an invasion of my privacy or my rights.

      Other than closing loopholes, I'm not sure why they require it to enter a federal park - are we afraid the terrorist will go after the deer and chipmunks?

      • Re:Wow (Score:5, Insightful)

        by maxume ( 22995 ) on Saturday August 18, 2007 @09:13PM (#20281701)
        You don't think it's a problem because you think the ID proves who you are. It doesn't. It demonstrates that some authority went to some level of trouble verifying that you are who you say you are, to the extent that you can trust that the paper was not forged. In the case of many government papers, it is indeed a pretty reliable indicator, but it is still pretty easy for corrupt officials to create very authentic papers with false information on them, information that happens to appear in very official databases. REAL ID does little to address the fraudulent issue of official cards(and makes such a card that much more valuable).

        The data access and homogenization provisions are at least disconcerting, especially in the face of the whole thing being rather unnecessary. If documented illegals were the problem(one of the main things it is supposed to address is illegal aliens 'stealing' jobs from Americans), it might help address the situation, but for the most part, it's the undocumented illegals that are the problem, and the willingness of employers to hire them, not the ones that are trying to get government identification and pay taxes.

        If it is a huge, expensive, pain in the ass and doesn't accomplish anything much other than making life more irritating, Congress must have voted for it.
      • by tepples ( 727027 ) <{tepples} {at} {gmail.com}> on Saturday August 18, 2007 @09:30PM (#20281823) Homepage Journal

        are we afraid the terrorist will go after the deer and chipmunks?
        The attacks on 2001-09-11 highlighted "Islamist" terrorism. This movement happens to come from a part of the world where men wear a long nightshirt called a thobe [toursaudiarabia.com] in public. What do the Chipmunks wear [images-amazon.com]?
      • Re:Wow (Score:5, Insightful)

        by bigpat ( 158134 ) on Saturday August 18, 2007 @09:35PM (#20281863)

        Other than closing loopholes, I'm not sure why they require it to enter a federal park - are we afraid the terrorist will go after the deer and chipmunks?
        Closing loopholes? What loophole would that be? I suppose they are most concerned about people visiting national monuments in the capital and such and doing bad things to them... not that knowing what someone's name and last known address really prevents people from doing bad things, but it sure does make politicians look like they aren't quite so stupid when they can identify the bad guys after the fact.

        Even the Federal building access seems very questionable, it really doesn't matter who I am as long as I am not carrying an AK47 or some C4. If I get called for Jury Duty and need to show a passport to get to the court room... well that seems pretty stupid to me and I don't think I would comply even if I have a passport floating around.

        If passports are going to be required universally for access to public spaces, then they should be given out for free along with citizenship like a social security card is.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by srmalloy ( 263556 )
          It will be interesting to see the effect of the RealID mandates on our court system if the federal courts are unable to get a sufficient pool of jurors due to people who are summoned to jury duty being turned away because they don't have "proper" ID when they go to the court building to present themselves for duty.
      • Re:Wow (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Dun Malg ( 230075 ) on Saturday August 18, 2007 @10:42PM (#20282349) Homepage

        Other than closing loopholes, I'm not sure why they require it to enter a federal park - are we afraid the terrorist will go after the deer and chipmunks?
        The parks/Federal Buildings thing is about leverage. When citizens of all those "holdout" states with non-federally-compliant state IDs go on vacation for 2 weeks to Jellystone National Park imagine what will happen. Dad drives up to the entrance in the family mini-van packed with the wife, 2.4 screaming kids, and a bunch of camping gear. The NPS Ranger at the booth takes a look at his NH driver's license and says "sorry sir, but you have to have a federally recognized ID to enter the park." So there they are, staying at the Best Western that night, looking at a long drive back to New Hampshire because their state doesn't want to comply with the federal standard. It's a load of crap, sure, but it's the way the feds do things.
  • Wow (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 18, 2007 @06:38PM (#20280367)
    Did America lose a war I didnt hear about?
    • Re:Wow (Score:5, Insightful)

      by nurb432 ( 527695 ) on Saturday August 18, 2007 @06:41PM (#20280405) Homepage Journal
      Yes, actually it did. Just no one noticed.

      It was the war to retain our prior way of life, which we obviously lost.
      • Re:Wow (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 18, 2007 @07:07PM (#20280621)
        At least you were free-range sheep before... soon you'll be factory farmed.
      • Re:Wow (Score:5, Insightful)

        by lawpoop ( 604919 ) on Saturday August 18, 2007 @07:40PM (#20280879) Homepage Journal
        Otherwise known as the War on Terror. The terrorists won; we have lost our freedoms. They have changed our way of life.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by mcpkaaos ( 449561 )
          The terrorists won; we have lost our freedoms. They have changed our way of life.

          The only way this statement could possibly be true is if the terrorists you mention are actually elected U.S. officials. Otherwise, you are either fooled or trying to fool others.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by lawpoop ( 604919 )

            The only way this statement could possibly be true is if the terrorists you mention are actually elected U.S. officials. Otherwise, you are either fooled or trying to fool others.

            If the goal of the terrorists were to change our way of life, and that has happened ( because of our reaction to their terror attacks ), then how haven't they won? In other words, didn't they accomplish what they set out to do with terrorism?
            • Re:Wow (Score:5, Insightful)

              by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 18, 2007 @10:50PM (#20282387)
              I just don't get it. I mean sure, I bet some terrorist hate our freedom. And to those terrorists, they've won. But I figured those terrorists were just the ones made up by some sarcastic lefty or some misguided right-winger.

              I think the real terrorists wouldn't give a shit about this. Iraq is the target rich environment. Its like having all the cows come to your home. So why go all the way to the supermarket for milk?

              There are a lot of reasoning behind the recent terror attacks in both the US and Abroad. There's a lot to hate. Our support of Israel. Our foreign policy. Our position as a superpower. Our Culture. Ingrained hatred taught from childhood.

              Tightening security measures changes none of these things. So from a "Win-Lose" perspective, no one wins.

              We're becoming a huge jail, no one in or out without tons of hassle. The only ones that win from this is the Government.
              • Re:Wow (Score:4, Informative)

                by Stu Charlton ( 1311 ) on Sunday August 19, 2007 @06:57PM (#20288481) Homepage
                Arguably, certain terrorists view Islamist theocracy as the only legitimate form of government. That would not be a very free state.

                Sure, they would start with Iraq, Egypt, Turkey, and Saudi Arabia. They've tried, and are even succeeding in some cases.

                But the major thing they hate is our support for dictators in the Middle East that block their efforts towards establishing new theocratic states, either by democratic vote or by coup. The U.S., even though it's "committed to democracy", would rather have a friendly dictator in place than a democratically elected government that rejects the USA. This can be a messy argument (is a theocratic state truly free? etc.)

          • Re:Wow (Score:5, Insightful)

            by Duhavid ( 677874 ) on Saturday August 18, 2007 @09:30PM (#20281829)
            The *only* way?

            Only? Really?

            The "papers, please" thing that we used to deride Russia about,
            as in "you don't have real freedom, you are limited" is upon us.

            The terrorists have won, in part. And we elected the people who
            used that as a wedge issue to inspire fear in the "home of the brave".

            I submit to you that it is equally possible that you are fooled
            or trying to fool others.
          • Re:Wow (Score:5, Insightful)

            by Enahs ( 1606 ) on Saturday August 18, 2007 @10:40PM (#20282333) Journal
            The sentiment comes partially from George W. Bush's public speeches following September 11. In a nutshell, since the terrorists hate us for our freedoms, we should go on living our lives as we have, otherwise the terrorists have won.

            Well, we're not able to live our lives as we did before. Therefore, by historical record of our Commander-in-Chief's own words, the War on Terror has been lost. We live in fear, we allow the federal government to impose Constitutionally illegal directives, imposing will both on the rights of citizens and states. And yet, if you point this out to the radical Right, they'll shout you down, reminding you--as loudly as possible--to remember the people who jumped out of the World Trade Center on September 11th.

            Check the statistics. Several times more Americans died due to drunk drivers than terrorist activities in 2001. Yet no one is suggesting that distilleries and car manufacturers be bugged, wiretapped, infiltrated, or bombed out of existence. What will it take for America to stop being ruled by the iron fist of Knee-Jerk Politics? Will it take the end of the Union, the Great Experiment that seems to be in such peril? Will it take seeing the young men and women in uniform marching the "diaper heads" into the ovens? What will it take?
      • Re:Wow (Score:5, Insightful)

        by ElectricRook ( 264648 ) on Saturday August 18, 2007 @07:59PM (#20281041)

        I think you and I are the only persons to realize this.

        Al Queda struck a magor blow to the American way of life. While not an instant knock down, it may in fact be a mortal blow. More like a bee sting to a person allergic to bee venom.

        We Americans have enjoyed almost total security, in that our three neighbors consist of two good friends (Mexico and Canada), and a weak pseudo enemy (Cuba). This being our only injury since the Spanish American war (concluded 1846). December 7 1941 was actually smaller than September 11 2001. The response to the attack is the only thing we Americans could not withstand, a damage to our freedom.

        Like a bee sting, the root cause, is an over-active immune response to a relatively minor injury. This is driving a catastrophic systemic failure. The political body is consuming the peoples liberty due to an over reaction by the infotainment industry. Which in-fact creates a dangerous situation for the leadership.

        The infotainment industry (facing a loss in power to alternative internet new sources) over-reacted to terrorist acts, causing the politicians to make drastic reductions in freedom in order to appear effective. This in turn provided a positive feedback to the infotainment industry. The infotainment industry in a downward spiral has lost it's past power and glory. With every minor terror threat the press over-reacts again seeking another spike in power. It's a run-away system.

        All this over-reaction is causing a meltdown in the public confidence of congress (currently facing a 10% approval rating), the executive branch, and the press.

        • Re:Wow (Score:5, Insightful)

          by John Jamieson ( 890438 ) on Saturday August 18, 2007 @11:31PM (#20282705)
          "We Americans have enjoyed almost total security, in that our three neighbors consist of two good friends (Mexico and Canada)"

          And I don't know how many of our "Comrads" here in the U.S. realize that Bush has been trying to piss off the Canadians ever since 9/11, big time. I live only four hours from the border, and work up there sometimes... and you cannot believe how he went out of the way to stab them in the back.

          On 9/11 we would not allow any international flights to land in our country... they were too dangerous. So what does canada do, they take them, even in Toronto. Now any of those planes could have been compromised for all they knew, they could have lost many lives, but they did it anyway. Well, when I was working up there after 9/11, Bush thanked all sorts of nations for helping, and left out Canada. Don't worry, they are not too dumb to notice.

          Bush does not want Canada for a friend, it is much easier for him to close off the borders if they become an adversary.
    • Re:Wow (Score:5, Insightful)

      by ZWithaPGGB ( 608529 ) on Saturday August 18, 2007 @10:42PM (#20282347)
      Yep: The war against statism. The people have become sheeple who want the government to keep them safe, so they have willingly given up the right to keep and bear arms, the right to privacy, the right to be secure against unwarranted searches and seizures (see the "War on drugs"), and now the right to freedom of association (movement).
      The biggest threat most Americans face is their own government, which imprisons a greater percentage of its population than even Stalinist Russia, and can knock down your door in the middle of the night with thugs armed with machine guns if they think you are engaged in non-state-approved recreation.
  • Papers please! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by BWJones ( 18351 ) * on Saturday August 18, 2007 @06:41PM (#20280391) Homepage Journal
    Papers please!

    The slow slide to fascism began some time ago, but has really accelerated over the past six years or so. We have fewer rights now than ever before in the USA and I fear for where we are going.

    For instance:

    1) We now torture as part of imprisonment along with imprison people without the protections that the Geneva Convention provides and appear to detain people without formally charging them or letting them know what they are being charged with.

    2) We have a fear mongering national obsession with security that despite all the money and bureaucracy spent and created still leaves us wide open to security threats while taxing business and limiting travel. Threat levels are increased without justification to apparently further political goals.

    3) We have politicized education and science for political gain while at the same time stifled scientists from telling the facts/truth/scientific findings.

    4) We have completely conflated religion and government funneling money into religious groups with strong ties into the government.

    5) Taxation is only low for corporate and the most wealthy, while at the same time we have suppressed labor power and limited funding for intellectual and artistic pursuits.

    6) We have rampant government corruption and funneling of government "no-bid" contracts to companies with strong ties to government.

    7...... How much more do we have to add to really start becoming scared?

    • Re:Papers please! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 18, 2007 @06:47PM (#20280451)
      As an old guy who grew up in the 50's and 60's I must say this nation is beginning to sound (and act) like the nation I was taught to fear... the soviet union.
      Showing papers to travel within the country is not what a free people do.
      • Re:Papers please! (Score:5, Informative)

        by BWJones ( 18351 ) * on Saturday August 18, 2007 @06:51PM (#20280479) Homepage Journal
        "What happened was the gradual habituation of the people, little by little, to be governed by surprise, to receiving decisions deliberated in secret; to believe that the situation was so complicated that the government had to act on information which the people could not understand, or so dangerous that, even if people could understand it, it could not be released because of national security. " ~ an anonymous German Professor from 'They Thought They Were Free: The Germans 1939-1945', by Milton Mayer

      • by poptones ( 653660 ) on Saturday August 18, 2007 @08:19PM (#20281269) Journal
        Federal law denies passports to many people based on (for example) whether they owe a state money for child support. This is going to get real interesting when those people become locked out of the legal system entirely because they can't get a passport and live in a state not participating in this grand new fascism. The fascism that has denied them their civil right to come and go becomes the fascism that denies them their civil rights entirely on a federal level... just because of financial obligations. So much for the fourteenth amendment.

        Just a couple of years and we get a whole new class of people... legal, official, "dissidents."

        But our Siberia will be a whole, whole lot warmer...
      • Re:Papers please! (Score:4, Interesting)

        by sjames ( 1099 ) on Saturday August 18, 2007 @09:01PM (#20281609) Homepage Journal

        I can clearly recall my 4th grade teacher talking about that when she was explaining why America is good and the Soviet Union bad. In the news, point by point, I see today's U.S. becoming the Soviet Union that she taught us was bad.

        I also remember the class asking her why the Russians don't just vote for sombody who will fix all of that and her explaining that nobody they could vote for wanted to make it better. That too has a bit of a haunting ring to it today.

        Here in Georgia, the state government isn't openly revolting against RealID but isn't exactly endorsing it either. I wonder how the Federal government feels about footing the bills for the international airport itself. I ask since if I'm not allowed to fly, I'll be damned if I'm going to let my state taxes pay for an airport.

    • Re:Papers please! (Score:5, Interesting)

      by gardyloo ( 512791 ) on Saturday August 18, 2007 @06:56PM (#20280531)

      We have fewer rights now than ever before in the USA
      Careful. African Americans and women can own property, vote, and enjoy the rights that white males do. Gay marriage (and civil unions) is legal in some states now. A woman's right to choose the fate of her unborn child is protected. There are probably more rights which are guaranteed now which I can't think of off the top of my head. So although I agree that things aren't perfect in this country, most of the points raised by the parent poster are in no way new, and some things are much better than they have been at various points in the country's history.
      • Re:Papers please! (Score:5, Insightful)

        by BWJones ( 18351 ) * on Saturday August 18, 2007 @07:02PM (#20280583) Homepage Journal
        Careful. African Americans and women can own property, vote, and enjoy the rights....

        Indeed. I should have qualified that to say that we have fewer rights now than at any time before in the last 50 years.

      • Re:Papers please! (Score:5, Insightful)

        by lawpoop ( 604919 ) on Saturday August 18, 2007 @07:16PM (#20280697) Homepage Journal
        You're totally correct, but I don't really want to say anything that would dampen the vigilience of the American people against tyranny. For example, In Hussein's Iraq, women were allowed to drive cars, walk around alone, go to school, become doctors, etc. He had a secular progressive state in a region full of Islamic theocracies and kingdoms. However, that doesn't mean that Hussein wasn't a brutal dictator who ruled with fear, megalomania, torture, secret police, etc. etc.
      • Re:Papers please! (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Actually, I do RTFA ( 1058596 ) on Saturday August 18, 2007 @07:53PM (#20280987)

        Not to be overly pedantic, parent and GP are discussing two seperate issues (I suggest we drop abortion from the topic of discussion.) True, rights are applied to a larger group of people, but the set of rights is smaller. To some degree this is inevitable (a woman/slave gaining rights means their husband/father/owner can no longer beat them as a "right"). But even in 1840, in the South, the idea that a person (then defined to include, white men above 21, now meaning any mentally functionally over 18 and emancipated minors) would have to show papers to travel would violate some notion of rights.

    • 5) Taxation is only low for corporate and the most wealthy, while at the same time we have suppressed labor power and limited funding for intellectual and artistic pursuits.
      1) high taxes is not a characteristic of freedom.
      2) the tax on the wealthy is still higher than the tax on the poor.
      3) government funding of intellectual and artistic pursuits is not a characteristic of freedom.
    • Re:Papers please! (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Lumpy ( 12016 ) on Saturday August 18, 2007 @08:49PM (#20281523) Homepage
      I hate to say this,and it's a horrible thing to say, but it's gonna take another Kent state massacre by government police before americans get off their lazy asses and do something. americans do not do anything except bitch about things until the government steps way over a line. It will take several innocent young lives killed on the lawn of a university by police or military before any middle class person will do anything.

      and yes I am an american.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by echucker ( 570962 )
        ....except youth is too disinterested to demonstrate. The downward spiral continues.
  • by arthurpaliden ( 939626 ) on Saturday August 18, 2007 @06:43PM (#20280419)
    Sir, your papers are not in order, please come with us..... No, this is not happening in 'Soviet Russia' this is happening in the United States of America One of the things that the US goverment kept on about during the cold war was that in the United States you did not need 'internal travel documents and passports' because it, the United States, was a free country..
  • remember when? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by lecithin ( 745575 ) on Saturday August 18, 2007 @06:44PM (#20280435)
    Borodin: Do you think they will let me live in Montana?
    Capt. Ramius: I would think they'll let you live wherever you want.
    Borodin: Good. Then I will live in Montana. And I will marry a round American woman, and raise rabbits, and she will cook them for me. And I will have a pick-up truck, or umm... possibly even...a recreational vehicle, and drive from state to state. Do they let you do that?
    Capt. Ramius: Oh yes.
    Borodin: No papers?
    Capt. Ramius: No papers. State-to-state.
    • Re:remember when? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by c6gunner ( 950153 ) on Saturday August 18, 2007 @09:59PM (#20282063)
      Your post should be rated +20,000 Insightful. Prior to reading it, I really didn't much care about this ID program. I didn't see it as a big problem. And the fanatical rantings of some of it's opponents (both here at slashdot, and elsewhere) were starting to convince me that all those opposed to it were a bunch of drooling morons.

      Then I read your comment.

      Short, simple, and elegant. In one movie quote you managed to sum up exactly what's wrong with this program, in a way that appeals even to those who DON'T think that all republicans are "Bushitler ts". Thank you for that.
  • by b0s0z0ku ( 752509 ) on Saturday August 18, 2007 @06:55PM (#20280519)
    I don't agree with all of his politics, especially his stances on abortion and public health care, but he may be the least authoritarian out there. If you think that most Democrate will be better, they're just as bad.
    • by lawpoop ( 604919 ) on Saturday August 18, 2007 @07:14PM (#20280673) Homepage Journal

      I don't agree with all of his politics, especially his stances on abortion and public health care...
      I don't agree with Ron Paul about a lot of things, either.

      But the wonderful thing about him is that, as a libertarian, he believes that the federal government has no role in deciding these issues. He would leave them up to the states to decide. In favor of women's reproductive rights? Create a petition to get the matter into your state legislature or constitution. Want single payer health care? Pressure your state representatives, or, again, get enough signatures to get it on your state's ballots.

      Wow, people might actually start to feel like we have a representational democracy again, instead of a bunch of Washington insiders bought by corporate lobbyists!
  • Costs of passport (Score:4, Informative)

    by Dr Reducto ( 665121 ) on Saturday August 18, 2007 @06:55PM (#20280521) Journal
    If they require a passport to do some of those things like fly or enter public buildings, that will signifigantly impact poor people.

    My passport cost me 97 dollars last time I got one, and not everyone has that kind of money lying around
  • by Jah-Wren Ryel ( 80510 ) on Saturday August 18, 2007 @07:00PM (#20280569)
    From the article:

    "For terrorists, travel documents are like weapons," Chertoff said

    But, Walsh said, "any state that's refusing to implement this key recommendation by the 9/11 Commission, and whose state driver's licenses are as a result used in another terrorist attack, should be held responsible."
    What a fucking fear-mongerer!

    So, if the next terrorists have one of these internal passports, what are the consequences for the people promoting the Real-ID program? Will they be held responsible? Another 9/11 and will the people running DHS be convicted of manslaughter? Can't have it both ways Cheeseoff!
  • by gelfling ( 6534 ) on Saturday August 18, 2007 @07:15PM (#20280691) Homepage Journal
    A passport is a fallback document if you don't have one of these Federal ID's pretty much like today if you don't have a photo ID to get on a plane. Now I'm sure my state the Great State of Redneck-NorthCarolinastan will determine that getting one of these Federal ID's is even more expensive but I'm sure they'll accept a hunting license or a document from any Baptist Church in a pinch.
  • by soldoutactivist ( 1137475 ) on Saturday August 18, 2007 @07:28PM (#20280773)
    There was a time when I couldn't imagine living in another country, not even as an exchange student. I've even turned down fantastic job offers from other countries because they simply weren't in America. But almost everyday now something happens, a law is passed, or another degree shaven off of what once made this country great is added to "Why isn't this the greatest country in the world anymore?" The next time a foreign job offer comes around, I'm probably going to take it, there's just not enough reasons not to these days. And even if one doesn't, Vancouver, BC is a very beautiful city. Get out while you still can.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by edisk1353 ( 321151 )
      Let's not get too over the top here. No, I'm not a fan of Real ID either. I think it's expensive, kind of draconian, and largely unnecessary. But I am an American who has lived for recent multiyear segments in Canada and France, and let me put it this way: you can't escape totally from surveillance or ID cards, or any of those other little baddies that come from governments of various stripes. Governments are people, and people aren't perfect.

      The French are proud of their democracy and consider themselves o
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 18, 2007 @07:32PM (#20280805)

    I left America five years ago to live in a European country. Granted, things aren't perfect but I would NEVER fucking go back and live in America again. The country is increasingly deluded, lazy, fearful (Slashdot company excepted), and awash with shit food. Don't even bother to argue - the Stop and Shop has lots of food, but it is mostly crap.

    I make roughly $70,000 per year - so I'm a member of the middle class. Why the hell would I leave this Western democracy where my taxes actually generate a tangible benefit for me and my children in the form of healthcare that isn't contingent on my current employer? The food is generally fresher and the markets more diverse, if I pay for primary and secondary education for my kids it is a HELL of a lot better and the university fees are negligible.

    The American middle class is getting totally fucked - and has been for years. What the fuck do your tax dollars buy you? What precisely does the current federal government do for the middle classes?

  • by Stanislav_J ( 947290 ) on Saturday August 18, 2007 @07:35PM (#20280835)

    Y'all are missing the real Catch-22 here. How could a passport substitute for Real ID? A passport is a federal document. Once Real ID is in effect, no doubt you will need one to obtain or renew a passport, no? So if you have no Real ID, you can't use your passport instead, because you will need the ID to get or renew the passport. Damned if you do and damned if you don't.

    This battle isn't over yet by far, because in addition to the few states that have explicitly refused to participate, many others are discussing it in their legislatures, and some of those are leaning towards saying "drop dead" to the Feds as well. Sooner or later, we will reach a critical mass of states that represent a significant enough percentage of the U.S. population (and, hence, of voters) that would be classified as second-class citizens, and that will put the kibosh on the whole mess. I just hope those legislatures have some backbone....

    You can keep up with the current status of Real ID legislation in the various states at the Real Nightmare [realnightmare.org] website.

  • Waste of money (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Absolut187 ( 816431 ) on Saturday August 18, 2007 @08:04PM (#20281103) Homepage

    People in states refusing to comply will need to show passports even for domestic flights.

    The passport office is already over-loaded due to the recent change requiring a passport to go to the bahamas. I went there recently and there is already a minimum 3-month wait to get a passport. I had to pay an extra $50 to get my passport in 3 months.

    This is going to be ridiculous.

    But it all makes sense, because it only costs a few billion dollars, and it would have stopped all of the 9/11 hijackers. None of them had valid passports did they?
    What, they all did?
  • by Inoshiro ( 71693 ) on Saturday August 18, 2007 @08:14PM (#20281211) Homepage
    Every single 9/11 terrorists highjacker had a valid passport.

    This is security theatre -- worse still, it removes freedoms from us non-terrorists.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Keebler71 ( 520908 )
      A semi-true but very misleading statement (at least in context of this debate) - the 9-11 terrorists did indeed have passports, some of which had been fraudulently altered to allow them to enter the US without attracting additional scrutiny. From page 253 of the 911 9-11 Commission Report [gpoaccess.gov]

      Fourteen of the 19 hijackers, including nine Saudi muscle hijackers, obtained new passports. Some of these passports were then likely doctored by the al Qaeda passport division in Kandahar, which would add or erase entry and exit stamps to cre= ate "false trails" in the passports.

      So if your "point" is that requiring showing of a valid RealID compliant ID won't make anyone more safe, you are ignoring the protection it provides against alteration of validly obtained passports.

      On a side note, I'm

  • Tempest in a teapot (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Pendersempai ( 625351 ) on Saturday August 18, 2007 @08:29PM (#20281335)
    I know this is probably a contrarian point of view here on Slashdot, but I guess I don't see the practical difference between mandatory, ubiquitous state-issued ID (driver's licenses) and mandatory, ubiquitous federal ID (passports, birth certificates, social security cards, and... dun dun DUN... Real ID). Already, you can't get on an airplane without a government-issued identification card, or open a bank account, or take out a loan, or begin employment, or enter the country, or buy a car. If you are like the overwhelming majority of Americans, you buy everything by credit card. Private companies track every purchase, collate them all, match them with your supermarket loyalty cards, and mine the data for all sorts of personal information. There is already nothing to stop the government from buying access to those databases. In fact, they probably already do.

    I will continue to oppose government invasion into the personal sphere -- for example, wiretapping, secret search warrants, and gag orders -- but I think it's time we accept that our public actions -- purchases, travel, employment -- are already public. They are meticulously documented and combed by all sorts of actors, and by and large the world has not collapsed into an Orwellian nightmare. Certainly, there are Orwellian aspects to our society, particularly with the current group in the White House, but that seems like a phenomenon independent from the stuff this Real ID would be used for.
  • Now wait a minute. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by iminplaya ( 723125 ) on Saturday August 18, 2007 @08:42PM (#20281457) Journal
    Didn't the USSR lose the cold war?
  • by sizzzzlerz ( 714878 ) on Saturday August 18, 2007 @09:52PM (#20282009)
    You know. You're giving your life for Allah tomorrow so you wanna relax by taking in the falls and scenery at Yosemite. You drive up to the Big Oak Flat entrance and the ranger asks for your ID and boom, you're immediately arrested for being on the watch list. Boo-yah! Score one for DHS!

    Yeah. Sounds plausible to me.
  • In Soviet America (Score:5, Insightful)

    by starX ( 306011 ) on Saturday August 18, 2007 @10:25PM (#20282203) Homepage
    The government terrorizes YOU.
  • by gatkinso ( 15975 ) on Sunday August 19, 2007 @10:02AM (#20285437)
    Hmm. Pointless to complain about the erosion of freedoms when many don't use them anyway.
  • by StikyPad ( 445176 ) on Sunday August 19, 2007 @07:35PM (#20288671) Homepage
    Bah passports.. I'll just show my military ID. If they question it, I'll just say I'm bringing democracy to Yosemite.

Exceptions prove the rule, and wreck the budget. -- Miller