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Thursday, January 12th 2006

Real ID

After 9/11 the federal government set down guidelines for state driver’s licenses. Like all “requirements” of states by Washington the federal government prohibited from “dictating” what the states should do. That would violate the entire principle of federalism.

But, Washington holds the purse strings and so states’ rights is a farce. Those who don’t adopt standardized requirements for issuing a license and link their driver history databases and driver’s license application databases to a national collection will be prone to decreasing federal highway funds and,

State licenses that fail to meet Real ID’s standards will not be able to be used to board an airplane or enter a federal building.

The law requiring airlines to require ID (and of a certain kind) is bogus. I remember my horror at the images of September 11th so well but is my “pre-emptive” security worth so much? I really, really believe that people underestimate what they’re giving up with this sort of law.

I mean, who cares if I have to show an ID to get on a plane, right? It is one thing for this to be a dictated policy of the airline. Let market values drive security and if they don’t then it isn’t important. I understand it gets dangerous when I start shouting down all pre-emptive protection measures. Should I really be allowed to buy a rocket launcher? When does community safety outweight my freedom? When can I not shout “fire”?

Unlike a lot of people, I just think if you’re going to err it shouldn’t be on the side of safety. You start making that argument and it can be used to excuse all protective acts. You have to err on the side of liberty, although if I was a 9/11 victim’s family I’d probably be thinking differently.