I was planning on writing up a big rant over the bullshit "Real ID" crap that our beloved US government has decided to foist upon us. I was going to go nuts over how things like this are so astoundingly stupid, because techno-ignorant old men and big companies who stand to make millions are the ones actually making the decision. But Tonya asked for opinions over on her blog, so I've decided to just release my notes and save the rant for another day.
I am on vacation, after all...
In order to prevent terrorist acts and live in relative safety, I am willing to lose a small amount of my privacy and freedom... IF THE REAL ID CARD HAD ANY HOPE OF ACTUALLY WORKING! But given the technical proficiency of people today, it's guaranteed to fail. And if anybody thinks that these things won't be cracked and counterfeited, they are living in Fantasyland. History has shown that things like this will only ever benefit "the bad guys" - it happens every time.
So, do I want millions of dollars of my tax dollars to be invested in a project that will almost certainly fail, all while people are starving, homeless, jobless, and without health care? No.
Am I willing to have my personal information available to anybody requiring Real ID to buy a pack of Twinkies, knowing that they could possibly have a device to STEAL my identity off the card and use it unhindered, because people will be disillusioned into thinking "Real ID is infallible?" No.
Do I actually trust that the government will protect the information they collect, and not abuse such information when it suits whatever whim they might sneak into some other bill? No.
Do I think that Real ID is simply a ploy to make people feel safer, doomed to ultimate failure, and yet another step toward big government controlling all aspects of our lives. Call me paranoid, but absolutely yes.
I am more than just a little surprised that more people aren't freaking out over this. Where's the shock? Where's the outrage? Where's the concern? The fact that we are so quiet about what is being done to us is more cause for alarm than the cards themselves.
What happens to a country when its citizens lose interest in questioning the decisions their government makes for them? I don't know, but living in The United States of America gets scarier with each new day.
UPDATE: I received an email asking "what information will they require for the card? The answer is... nobody knows yet. Could be as little as your full name and birth date. Could be more involved, such as your address. Could be even harsher, such as your occupation, political affiliation, sexual orientation, race, religion, medical records, family history, criminal record, and what you had for breakfast. The scary, really scary thing is that they could require just about anything. And while it may start innocent enough, there's no telling where it could lead in the future.
That way, it will be much easier for the government to segregate "undesirables" from "True Americans" in "times of crisis." Think I am overreacting? Read your history books. IT HAPPENS ALL THE TIME! And if you are so deluded as to think "something like that couldn't happen in America" then you are truly in need of a wake-up call... not only has it happened numerous times throughout history (World War II internment? McCarthy hearings?), it's happening right now.
"History, despite its wrenching pain, cannot be unlived, but if faced with courage, need not be lived again." -- Maya Angelou.
"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." -- George Santayana.