Friday, July 15, 2005

Promised Column 2: ID Cards

Maybe I was wrong about the London bombings causing a groundswell for a National ID card. Especially since it turns out the bombers were British nationals. I hope so - I am against the idea anyway.

First of all, I fail to see what kind of safety and security it offers. Natural born madmen can happen just as easily as illegal immigrants. So where's the benefit?

Second, given the woeful record of the INS and the census, can we even trust them to give us the right information needed to determine who is and isn't a resident and alien? We've all had instances where we had to "prove" we were who we said we were, or lived where we did. For instance, when my wife and I moved to our new house, the voter registration went bad, and we had to call and get it switched over, which took a few weeks and a little arguing. Not a lot - but some. And this wasn't a tough thing to get fixed. (Funny story: For one election, while we lived in the apartments, my wife was found eligible to vote in out area and I wasn't. I guess the upstairs was in one district and the downstairs in another.) When we switched apartments in the same complex, it took five calls to the Post Office and several change of address card before they stopped delivering mail to the old address - and all we did there was change the apartment number! Now imagine the Federal Gov't accidentally saying that you ain't you and trying to get it fixed. After that, imagine this kind of error doesn't cause your mail to go to the wrong mailbox, or the wrong amount of money being deducted from your paycheck - imagine it makes you at once a suspect.

Third of all, all that personal information in the hands of the government, with its undoubted efficacy and competency. Gives you a warm fuzzy feeling, doesn't it? And of course, the government would never try and use this information in ways besides identification, would it? The same government who did COINTELPRO? 'tis to laugh...

So I hope I was wrong about the ID card and its chances.

No comments: