Friday, April 02, 2010

I Wonder if Osama Bin Laden Didn't Win After All?

I'd write my Congressman about this, but he's a democrat and probably busy trying to figure out how to vote for Amnesty for Illegal Immigrants without appearing to have actually voted for Amnesty for Illegal Aliens.

One of the by-products of the War on Terror and our Endless-But-Controlled-Freefall-Into-Third-World-Nation-Status, are the laws that were propagated to"secure" the validity of all forms of personal, government-issued identification in this country. The theory goes that if you just put enough bureaucracy and union workers in front of the problem, you make the act of obtaining visas, passports, drivers licenses, State-issued identification and Social Security cards that much more difficult for those who would use such things will evil in their hearts. They'll just give up, having worn themselves out bashing their heads against the brick wall of Government Union workers and Bureaucracy. With "secure" identification standards, and with stricter standards about how and to whom they're given, some Muzzie with an Explosives Fetish, or Itinerant Central-American gardener would find it much more difficult to "operate" within the United States without drawing the attention of the "Authorities".

Who, presumably, will better able to "defend" us against terrorists, and save "the taxpayer" tons of cash that would otherwise have been lost to illegals seeking social services on the Sunnier-Side-of-The-Border.

But, in practice, these sorts of measures do nothing of the sort. Instead, they hurt the Citizens of this country far more, and more and more of our "Freedoms" are denied us by well-intentioned-but-seriously-misguided Government. Congress, always, follows the same routine in the wake of a disaster (like 9/11 or the Invasion from the South): it slams the barn door shut after the horse has shit and run away, reshuffles the Org-chart, nails a few hides to the post, and then strengthens the iron grip of government bureaucracy. It then operates under the new assinine regime until the next convulsion of society requires they get denser and dumber.

What's my beef? You may ask.

I can't get a valid photo identification card. Something one increasingly requires in order to be gainfully employed in this country. Those documents represent permission to work in this country, facilitate travel, and stand as proof of American citizenship, or legal status.

It all began when I tried to get a job with the U.S. Government.

Because for the better part of five years I was a virtual shut-in, battling a variety of mental disorders, I had let what identification I used have lapse. This is, of course, my problem; it was my responsibility to see that they were up to date and valid, and I won't dodge that responsibility. So, in order to get this government job, all I had to do (because I passed the third-grade level Civil Service exam quite easily, with the highest mark) was to obtain new copies of my identification documents, and all would be hunky-dory.

But not so fast.

I tried to renew my U.S. Passport, but the State Department wants me to go through the entire routine (and pay the fees) again. Fair enough. However, they require valid photo identification; which I do not have. My expired passport, even though it has my picture on it and I've had one for a decade, is not valid for purposes of renewing the same document. I can show them a Birth Certificate (Issued by the City and State of New York, where I was born and have lived most of my life), a Social Security Card, and several proofs of address, but this is not enough; there's nothing with a photo on it. The U.S. Government won't even replace it's own document when the old one expires without that picture I.D. requirement.

I don't drive. Haven't for years. Not a practical activity when you live in New York City.And the one I do have does, in fact, have a picture of me on it...but that's expired, too, and therefore, also invalid. I called the State Department to see if there was anything else I could do, and was told that the supervisor in the local office did have the ability to issue a passport based on his/her discretion, and a notarized document stating I am Who I Am might help, but that didn't fly, either. State Department employees are loathe to even admit they have that discretion(assuming I even got correct information in the first place from the"Help Line"), because exercising independent thought can help you to lose your cushy government job.

And New York State was no better.

I didn't even bother trying to obtain a new driver's license (I don't own a car in any case), and instead applied for a New York State Photo Identification card, which, I'm told, will be a valid form of picture identification for the purposes of a) getting a new government job, and b) obtaining a new passport.

Same thing; I have a Birth certificate, Social Security Card, two proofs of address, but no valid photo I.D.. When the helpful Spanish-speaker at the Department of Motor Vehicles Information Line was told my sordid tale, he told me "Don't worry; just speak to the Manager or Supervisor at the desk, explain your plight, and they should be able to help you. They have the ability to issue the card under certain exigent circumstances under their own authority, and it sounds like they'll be able to help you".

Except they won't. Because while I can produce four (4) points of identification, I can't produce the required six (6). Even though I was born here, paid taxes here, lived here all my life, and don't look remotely like an Al'Qaeda or Speedy Gonzalez.

But the local DMV office will be glad to help you if you speak Russian, Two Kinds of Chinese, Hindu, Spanish, Swahili, Korean, Arabic or Creole. Those lines seem to fly at a brisk pace, and no one seems to be getting hassled.

Same thing with the local Unemployment Office -- or as they like to think of themselves because some bureaucrat with a flair for a turn of phrase instructed them to do so in The Memo, "The Employment Office". No picture identification, no help. Why not browse the "Job Board" (a bulletin board with recent job openings), it's right past the State-printed Employment Pamphlets for Spanish-Speakers on your Left. Oh, but they'll make you fill in a six-inch stack of forms anyway -- so you'll be "in the system".

A "system"that will never kick my name out for Employment because my file will be marked "insufficient identification", no doubt.

This is what an out-of-control government does to it's citizens when the same citizens cry for them to "do something" and then doesn't bother to examine or question the result.

In the meantime, I'm getting by (if you can call it that) on little "contract jobs" that I can hook up via acquaintances, and taking the odd-job here and there, but nothing permanent,and certainly nothing very remunerative. I want to work. I need to work. And if the lack of jobs wasn't already a major barrier, this gigantic-pustule-of-a-purple-hemorrhoid of a problem doesn't allow me to compete for what jobs might be available.

It seems as if the "War on Terror" and the process of "Securing the Borders" is taking a heavier toll on US than it does on terrorists and illegal aliens. I have little faith that any future government will take any steps to help remedy these issues, because it will still be largely made of the people who created this mess in the first place.

In the meantime, I'm going to brush up on my Spanish and perhaps sneak into Mexico to see if I can get a nice pool-cleaning job. Shold be easy since all the really good pool cleaners seem to be up here.

No comments: