Thursday, May 26, 2005
In other words, we had a great time but have been trashed the last couple days.
We had a very surreal moment Sunday night. Terry stayed at our house. After the workshop the cameraman came by to drop off some equipment I'd left at his house. The two of them got to talking, and it turned out they'd both been part of the same strange subcultures in Denver a few lifetimes ago, hung out at the same places, maybe dated the same women, done Silat and had heard of the other but hadn't met. There were a couple "You?! You were the ones who did that?" moments. Very strange but a lot of fun.
I truly believe that my friend is an honest man, but to hear some of his stranger experiences confirmed stretched my sense of reality. Tiel might give up writing fiction because she can't make up anything half as bizarre as what these guys have lived through.
Sunday, May 15, 2005
Friday, May 13, 2005
Courtesy of The Electronic Frontier Foundation's analysis of the Bill:
H.R. 418 [the Real ID Act of 2005] would provide additional waiver authority over laws that might impede the expeditious construction of barriers and roads along the border. H.R. 418 would require the Secretary of Homeland Security to waive any and all laws that he determines necessary, in his sole discretion, to ensure the expeditious construction of barriers and roads under IIRIRA § 102...
Section 102 of H.R. 418 would amend the current provision to require the Secretary of Homeland Security to waive any law upon determining that a waiver is necessary for the expeditious construction of the border barriers. Additionally, it would prohibit judicial review of a waiver decision or action by the Secretary and bar judicially ordered compensation or injunction or other remedy for damages alleged to result from any such decision or action.
Now, I don't care too much about roads in San Diego. Roads in Portland are the ones I have to drive on every day. It's the part which says that he is completely free of any sorts of judicial checks and balances and that no relief of any sort is allowed - no suits for damages, no injunctions, nothing. We can only wait and see how far this will be extended to other executive powers.
Wednesday, May 11, 2005
Tuesday, May 10, 2005
The first is RealID. Because of the paranoid fantasies of one Congressman, James Sensenbrenner of Wisconsin, the US has adopted a national ID card. Twenty years ago this would have been dismissed as a paranoid fantasy. Within 24 hours it will be law. RealID mandates that all state IDs and drivers licenses conform to a single federal standard, be registered in a single federal database and contain a hell of a lot of personal information. With a "common machine readable format" it would allow every bar and convenience store to harvest your name, permanent address, age, social security number and description. In short, it would automate identity theft.
The supposed rationale for this is to prevent terrorism and illegal immigration. This cuts as much ice as a soap hacksaw. The 9/11 terrorists all had legitimate ID. Most illegal immigrants drive without state licenses. All it will do is bury another freedom we used to take for granted, the freedom to walk down the street without having someone say "papers, citizen".
Bruce Schneier's Blog has an excellent analysis of the idiocy of this measuer from a security perspective. UnReal ID has more background and a free fax service so that you can tell your Senator what you think of the soon-to-be-law.