News on the RealID Act - Part III

Posted about 19 years ago


This is the text from the RealID bill...


(a) In General- To be eligible to receive any grant or other type of financial assistance made available under this title, a State shall participate in the interstate compact regarding sharing of driver license data, known as the 'Driver License Agreement', in order to provide electronic access by a State to information contained in the motor vehicle databases of all other States.

(b) Requirements for Information- A State motor vehicle database shall contain, at a minimum, the following information:

(1) All data fields printed on drivers' licenses and identification cards issued by the State.

(2) Motor vehicle drivers' histories, including motor vehicle violations, suspensions, and points on licenses."

This is what it boils down to - the states have the "option" to not go along with this provision but only if they don't want the Federal money. They called this "strong arming" in Chicago in the twenties - but it was the mob that was doing it.

News on the RealID Act - Part II

Posted about 19 years ago

FindLaw's Writ - Leavitt: The REAL ID Act How It Violates U.S. Treaty Obligations, Insults International Law, Undermines Our Security, and Betrays Eleanor Roosevelt's Legacy

Even more reasons to vote against the REAL ID or NATIONAL ID - great article!

News on the RealID Act - Part I

Posted about 19 years ago

Want to get the word out to as many as possible (hopefully someone reads my blog :-)). This bill supports the troops in Iraq, which is a good thing. The problem is that it also supports the concept of a "Real ID" which is a thinly veiled way of saying "National ID."

Why is this bad, you ask?

First, this is being snuck onto this bill as a rider. A rider is an unrelated amendment to a bill - usually it's something not large enough to be a bill in and of itself but often it's a way of getting something unpopular greased through the system. That is happening here.

As such, this amendment has never been debated on the Senate floor. The Senators voting on this bill may not even know of this amendment. Yes, our legislators vote on things they know nothing about all the time. This is the rider system.

Second, this ID card takes us in a dangerous direction. We live in a Federal system - this means that the national government and state governments share power. This is a healthy checks and balances system. In general, it is good to have governmental decisions being made closer to where you live, however some government must exist nationally so the local governments are not abusive.

That being said, this is scary because the National ID establishes a national database of people. This is a scary step towards a police state.

For more on why this is a bad idea.

Ironically enough, our troops are overseas fighting to protect this exact type of problem.

So please get the facts and email/FAX your Senators and tell them:

Have the amendment removed from the Iraq support bill. We prefer to support our troops but we don't support this amendment. Vote against the bill if the amendment is not removed. Sponsor a bill that will disallow the use of Riders - FOREVER.

Emacs Quick Reference

Posted about 19 years ago

A very nice top-level view of emacs

Another very good overview

Tips For Linux - How to find Size of a directory & Free disk space

Posted about 19 years ago

provides some handy notes on getting started with LINUX

Activating NUMLOCK During Boot Time in Linux

Posted about 19 years ago

Interesting notes while I hack away with Linux

Firefox Impresses - Continually

Posted about 19 years ago

Well, Firefox just continues to impress.

I have managed to customize my tabs via the normal preferences as well as a couple of plug-ins to provide me the ideal browing experience.

First, all new tabs open in the background. For me, I like to be able to click on links in stories I'm reading but continue where I am.

Second, anything typed into the location bar is opened in a new tab in the foreground. See below what this means for keyword bookmarks. Obviously, if I'm typing something in then I want it right away (most of the time anyway :-)).

Third, Firefox supports multiple home pages. If you enter your home page as "|" this will open two tabs when you open FF or click "home."

Fourth, Firefox bookmarks support the notion of keywords. You can create a bookmark from a google search and replace the specific search with %s (e.g. Edit the bookmark and create a keyword like "google" - now anytime you type "google amazon" in the address bar firefox will do a google search for you. I've done the same trick with Google Maps.

Finally, some nice extensions.

  • Tabbrowser preferences - provides a nice interface for some advanced tabbing features that are not normally available through Firefox preferences.
  • Last Tab - for the programmers of the world this is a necessity. It changes the CTRL-Tab behavior to go to the most recent tab rather than the next tab in order.
  • Unread Tabs - if you open a lot of tabs (from RSS feeds for example) you can easily see what's not been read with this extension.