Minh’s Notes

Human-readable chicken scratch

Minh Nguyễn
May 14th, 2005


Freedom is Slavery

The United States is getting REAL ID, which will effectively give us a national ID card, by requiring personally-identifying RFID chips in passports and state driver’s licenses.

It’s been proposed so many times in recent history, but I wonder if the proposal has ever been so poorly thought-out. Why haven’t you heard about it yet? Because it’s tacked onto the $76 billion Iraq spending bill (to support our troops) and tsunami relief that no one dares oppose.

Others have covered this much better than I have recently, but I’d like to point out a few main criticisms here:

Furthermore, it requires states to stop giving driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants. So they’ll just drive without a license, without insurance, and probably without proper training. Great. But I somewhat understand the (inadequate) logic behind this provision: your driver’s license currently counts as official ID in most instances. That’s not what driver’s licenses were intended for. Would you use a “diploma card” to certify that you’re a citizen?

Interestingly, the House member who seems to be the bill’s chief proponent, Jim Sensenbrenner (R–Wisconsin), recently scolded Europe for planning the inclusion of RFIDs in their own passports. Umm… can you say “flip-flop”?

The REAL ID provisions of this bill were actually voted down in Congress last fall, but since it’s now hitching a ride on the must-pass Iraq spending bill, everyone’s voting for it like it’s Thai Chicken or something. And like students, if they already know what the answers are going to be on the test, they’re not going to even read the directions.

Despite that, 12 Senators and over 600 organizations have opposed the bill. (That’s hundred with an h.)

But we need to support our troops who, by the way, still wear metal dogtags. Because Freedom is Slavery.

Thanks to Robert Accettura for bringing this to my attention.


  1. I find it pretty funny that the faculty is worried about blogging, of all things, as being addictive.

  2. I didn’t think I’d have much more to say about politics for awhile, after writing my piece on REAL ID. But now this.