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05/12/2005 Archived Entry: "Claire Wolfe"

Claire Wolfe's blog has been particularly interesting for the last few days. Her entry today is on the Real ID Act that just passed in the States. She opens, "STAY ANGRY. If I could tell people one thing about the Real ID Act, that would be it: Stay angry. Stay very, very angry." The gist of Claire's argument is....

The Real ID Act is not just one more ugly development. The Real ID Act imposes a national ID card. (And don't argue that different states will have different card cosmetics; and don't use phrases like "sets the stage for." This is national ID.) This is not just another bad development. This is a defining moment. Please keep that in your head and heart: This is a defining moment. When Bush signs that thing, which could be as early as today, the American experiment in freedom will be over. No pretense any more. An America with a national ID card is not America. If the Real ID Act isn't overturned, America is gone. BTW, Claire may be correct -- she has that tendency -- but I'm still among those who view the Real ID Act as another point on a spectrum leading to an all-out totalitarian government rather than a defining moment. RealID represents a more significant flexing of Statist muscle than most other points on the line, to be sure, and...as I said...I wouldn't swear to being correct on this one. One encouraging sign: largely because the Real ID is an unfunded mandate to the states, there seems to be a backlash stirring on a state level. Wired comments,"The National Governors Association is threatening lawsuits to fight the legislation. And some states are threatening to ignore the legislation because they say it will cost up to $700 million for states to comply and will place a heavy burden on Department of Motor Vehicles workers." I do agree, however, that the Act must be defeated before it is possible to reverse the terrible erosion of liberty over the last four years. The following site UnREALID is a good place to start.

Thanks to Claire for this CNN item as well. Entitled "Devices detect caches of cash", the article explains, "Drug traffickers who ship profits abroad in suitcases are not apt to be thrilled with some inventions developed by federal scientists at the Idaho National Laboratory. One sniffs the air -- it can pick up a stack of bills from about 10 feet away -- for currency's chemical signature. Another beams electrons through packages or luggage to detect trace metals in the green ink. And a third project, not yet started, would scan serial numbers of individual bills into a database....The third device looks like a typical bill counter used by banks. On the back of the machine, though, an add-on box about the size of a file folder reads and stores the serial numbers of every bill it counts. The machine is of little strategic value by itself. But if it was distributed worldwide, and if there was a database of serial numbers, it would become possible to trace money across the globe."

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