Friday, June 13, 2008

American Citizen Obedience Training

With government and Department of Homeland Security checkpoints sprouting up in a few places like DC and roughly within 50 miles of our Southern border some people have suggested that what is slowly happening is that the American people are being "trained" to be obedient in producing documentation to government officials, or to be de-sensitized to being stopped and questioned, or even searched.

We have security cameras being put on roadways and intersections, and even in school classrooms. There is airport security. There are x-ray machines at amusement parks.

We are being watched; we are being stopped; we are being questioned.

All without probable cause.
And because authorities can no longer "profile" people (even though they really do that anyway) then everyone has to be stopped.

There is something terribly wrong with this picture.

It's bad enough that you have to routinely give your driver's license to the store clerk when using a check to pay for your groceries or clothing. A driver's license is not meant to be identification. It is meant to show that you have the privilege to drive a vehicle because you passed a test and showed that you were competent to do so. A Social Security Number is not meant to be identification either. It is only meant to show that you have an account with the government and will be eligible one day (perhaps) to receive benefits from that system. Using a drivers license or Social Security Number as identification to buy anything is a gross misuse of those documents, and yet it is allowed to be done every day and all the time. And we allow it. We say,"What's the big deal" and we produce those documents obediently and without much fuss. As we speak we have the prospect of REALID looming over us as a means to have a standard ID that every person must have. Isn't that what a passport is for?

It matters little whether you are handing over your passport, or a REALID card that looks similar to a drivers license - both actions constitute handing over "your papers" to the authorities asking to see them.

It seems as if our 4th amendment rights are evaporating.

In some stores there are signs that say "we card everyone who buys alcoholic beverages". So you no longer even have to look younger than 21 to be carded. You just automatically have to produce ID.

Well... and so what's the big deal if you are stopped in the street and asked to produce ID by the authorities. They must have a good reason to ask you for it; right? But honestly, how automatically obedient would you be to that request? Would you ask them for a reason first? Would you bother to ask what the probable cause is for them to want to know?

If you are stopped by the police while driving and you haven't done anything wrong, like speeding or having a broken tail light, is it reasonable for the police to demand that you open your trunk? Would you obey, or would you tell them that you do not consent to being searched? I would wager that most people do not even know that they have a right to refuse. Most people do not know what rights they have under the 4th amendment at all. I also doubt very highly that they teach anything about that right in schools today.

If you don't think you are losing your civil liberties or your right to privacy, you ought to think again. Think about it every time someone asks you for identification.

If you are brave enough - find out what happens if you tell them you don't have it with you, or that you do not wish to show it to them.
Will they still sell you those groceries?
Will they still let you pass through the checkpoint?
Think about how easily you have learned to comply.

Children's Toy
Playmobil Airport Security Checkpoint
Teach them young.


Wendy said...

This post scares the h*ll out of me. I live in Maine, and we're one of the one or two states that have not complied (yet) with the RealID mandates. I'm wavering on whether I'll refuse to even comply with getting one. I've thought, for the longest time, that I don't need a RealID if I'm not traveling, and I don't have a passport, either, but this post made me realize that without either, my freedom of movement is restricted - kind of like I used to hear about Soviet citizens who had to have "permission" to go from one province to another. How long until we have to have "papers" (RealID) to drive from one state to another?

Chilling prospect.

I signed a petition when I voted the other day to say that I do NOT want RealID. It's going to referendum, if we get enough signatures, in November.

It's really frightening to see how our "rights" are simply evaporating, and we're all too busy to even think about what's happening. Seems we haven't really learned our history lessons very well. How much longer before we're required to wear a star or some other symbol sewn on our clothing?

Judy said...

Look out sister, implanted and scannable ID chips are on the way. It's the modern day version of concentration camp tatoos...but cooler.

Valerie said...

I had something like this happen at a local Oktoberfest. It's not as chilling as being asked for "papers," but it's still an indication of the trend.

People were required to get Tyvek bracelets in order to buy beer or wine. I'd left my purse behind because I didn't want to carry it, and the lady handing out bracelets asked for my ID to prove I was over 21. I told her I didn't have it with me, and she said she couldn't give me a bracelet. She suggested that I go back to the car and get it because the fest had 're-entry' stamps. I just shook my gray head, after fluffing my hair a little, and walked off, still shaking my head. From accounts by my family, my disgust was evident.

I guess she realized the idiocy of asking a person being called Grandma if she was over 21 as she called me back to give me a bracelet. At first I kept going -- they could keep their wine for all I cared -- but my family told me not to be such a grump. Wusses. (plus they didn't want to listen to me grouse)

She gave me the bracelet, and later I bought a glass of wine, all without having to produce ID, but I'm still cheesed off about the whole thing. What annoyed me even more, was that I saw people who looked obviously older than I do showing their ID. Where is their dignity??

Milehimama said...

I usually *don't* have my ID with me because I'm scatterbrained like that. Usually, they let the transaction go through! Except maybe for out of state checks.

Scarily, I went to my bank to change my PIN number, didn't have my ID, and they changed it by verifying my address... not such a good thing IMO.

What is peeving me right now is that I have to submit to a credit check to open a savings account!

Blueberry said...

You have to show your ID to purchase cigarettes if you appear to be under 40yo here in Missouri.

I don't drink, I quit smoking two years ago, and I don't travel. I wonder what they'll come up with to get me used to showing my "papers"? Checking out a book from the library? Buying stamps at the post office?

Judy, I don't know about you, but I'm scared.

I'm so sick of this! I hate this! What is the matter with people?

mccommas said...

I agree with you up to a point. I don't think there is anything wrong however with showing ID if you want to use an ATM or credit card to buy something. What is wrong with that?

That is to protect the seller and the victim of thievery of fraud. The government is not involved in such a transaction. You always have the option of paying cash so I don't see any coercion there.

You have to show ID when buying booze because the government is really out to get liquor store people. Don't be mad at them. The goverment has sting operations all the time where they send in a rat underager who tries to buy beer sometimes with fake IDs the clerks are supposed to spot. Did you know that when one store catches one of these rats they call their competitors to warn them? That says a lot. I see this as only self--protection.

As far as security check points go, if the police or FBI thinks that a place is a potential target than I am all for them. Do you think the ragheads will pass on blowing up a bunch of American kiddies? We are at war.

One thing though. I lost my drivers license recently and had to go get another one. I was positive that my Eastern Connecticut State University student ID would suffice as proof that I am me since it is issued by the state and even has my picture on it.

Wrong. Nor would my credit cards or anything else I had on hand.

How dumb is that? The state won't recognize as identification its own issued ID cards. I am going to write my state senator about that and see what he says...

I had to go back THREE times with different papers and I missed a town meeting because of the run around. I finally got lucky. I found my birth certificate but it was the out of date one. I only kept it for sentimental reasons.

My mother died when I was nine, my Dad remarried and my stepmother adopted me. That means her name replaced my mother's on my birth certificate (even though in 1967 she was 11 years old and of course did not give birth to me) but I only had the original and I don't have the legal one. The DMV lady gladly accepted it and finally gave me my my licence (not free, I think it was 30 bucks).

And this piece of paper which the bird brain bestowed so much confidence could have easily been faked and all I would need was a type writer and an empty form. A computer isn't even necessary. The only thing official about it was a state seal impression but how hard could it be to fake that too?

No wonder we have so many illegals running around.

I do think many of our rights (free speach, property rights etc) are being taken away bit by bit but I will disagree with you here.

Judy Aron said...

Mccommas...."ragheads"? c'mon - that's not nice or useful.

I don't mind people checking ID - but drivers Licenses and Social Security numbers were not meant for that purpose and they certainly are not meant for national security - plus they can be faked. That was one of my points here. Asking for people to produce documentation has become a misused and abused action by our government and by others.

Gosh - I guess you really trust the FBI if you think that it is ok for them to decide some place is a good place to set up a checkpoint ... just because they want to.

What about probable cause? You think it's ok for them to search you at anytime for any reason? Gee McCommas...and what will happen if one day you are in disagreement with their reason for searching you or questioning you? Then what will you do?

Judy Aron said...

We have illegals running around because we have not deported any of them.

We have illegals running around because businesses are not fined for hiring them.

We have illegals running around because our federal laws have been ignored.

It isn't because their ID's haven't been checked.

mccommas said...

OK I see your point that drivers licences and socials were not meant for security purposes but they are useful none the less and better than nothing.

A check point where people go into a ballgame or whatever is something different than stopping someone and searching them. After all you don't have to go to a ballgame but if you do than you may be asked to comply with the rules on security there.

I think a balance has to be struck between nailing the bad guys and keeping the rest of free.
I fear another 9-11 will happen eventually and this time we won't have the excuse of being surprised. What is asked of us in a time of war is different than what is expected of us in peaceful times.

In an age of nuclear proliferation we cannot afford to miss any of these lunatics. They have to hunted down one by one.

Failure can mean the loss of millions.

I could not agree more with your second post. Deport -- what a concept!

I think we should fine the stuffing out of the companies that supply them jobs. If they enforced immigration laws half as vigorously as they do laws that ban liquor store owners from selling to minors we would not have a security problem.