“Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we.” - George W. Bush

All The Best


I want to thank everyone who participated in the Elephant Bar over the past twelve years. We had millions of visitors from all around the World and you were part of it. Over the past dozen years, two or three times a night, I would open my laptop and some of you were always there. I will miss that.

My plans are to continue my work with technology and architecture. You know my interests and thoughts.

At times, things would get a little rough in the EB. To those of you that I may have offended over the years, I apologize. From all of you, I learned and grew.

An elephant never forgets.
Be well.

Deuce, 21 June 2018

Thursday, June 07, 2007

One of Sixty US Senators Must Understand This: Say no.

When we vote for mediocre representatives, we get the expected results. Recently we learn that the people we trusted to run our government, did not bother to read the intelligence reports about Iraq. They did not bother to read reports that could have affected their decisions to take our country to war. Our country to war! How could they not have read those reports?

Today we arrive at a decision on a complicated bill that is so convoluted it is barely readable. It is two inches thick. If this law were any good, it could be one page long. Hyperbole this is not. This proposed law can end the Unites States of America as we know it. It can undo a document that was written on one page. Will one US Senator out of sixty have have the courage to say no?

What follows is an article that looks at the issue.

Borderlands and Immigrants
StraforApril 04, 2006 17 57 GMT

By George Friedman

The United States has returned to its recurring debate over immigration. This edition of the debate, focused intensely on the question of illegal immigration from Mexico, is phrased in a very traditional way. One side argues that illegal migration from Mexico threatens both American economic interests and security. The other side argues that the United States historically has thrived on immigration, and that this wave of migration is no different.

As is frequently the case, the policy debate fails to take fundamental geopolitical realities into account.

To begin with, it is absolutely true that the United States has always been an immigrant society. Even the first settlers in the United States -- the American Indian tribes -- were migrants. Certainly, since the first settlements were established, successive waves of immigration have both driven the American economy and terrified those who were already living in the country. When the Scots-Irish began arriving in the late 1700s, the English settlers of all social classes thought that their arrival would place enormous pressure on existing economic processes, as well as bring crime and immorality to the United States.

The Scots-Irish were dramatically different culturally, and their arrival certainly generated stress. However, they proved crucial for populating the continent west of the Alleghenies. The Scots-Irish solved a demographic problem that was at the core of the United States: Given its population at that time, there simply were not enough Americans to expand settlements west of the mountains -- and this posed a security threat. If the U.S. population remained clustered in a long, thin line along the Atlantic sea board, with poor lines of communication running north-south, the country would be vulnerable to European, and especially British, attack. The United States had to expand westward, and it lacked the population to do so. The Americans needed the Scots-Irish.

Successive waves of immigrants came to the United States over the next 200 years. In each case, they came looking for economic opportunity. In each case, there was massive anxiety that the arrival of these migrants would crowd the job market, driving down wages, and that the heterogeneous cultures would create massive social stress. The Irish immigration of the 1840s, the migrations from Eastern and Southern Europe in the 1880s -- all triggered the same concerns. Nevertheless, without those waves of immigration, the United States would not have been able to populate the continent, to industrialize or to field the mass armies of the 20th century that established the nation as a global power.

Population Density and Economic Returns

Logic would have it that immigration should undermine the economic well-being of those who already live in the United States. But this logic assumes that there is a zero-sum game. That may be true in Europe or Asia. It has not been true in the United States. The key is population density: The density of the United States, excluding Alaska, is 34 people per square kilometer. By comparison, the population density in the United Kingdom is 247 per square kilometer, 231 in Germany and 337 in Japan. The European Union, taken as a whole, has a population density of 115. If the United States were to equal the United Kingdom in terms of density, it would have a population of about 2 billion people.

Even accepting the premise that some parts of the United States are uninhabitable and that the United Kingdom is over-inhabited, the point is that the United States' population is still small relative to available land. That means that it has not come even close to diminishing economic returns. To the extent to which the population-to-land ratio determines productivity -- and this, in our view, is the critical variable -- the United States still can utilize population increases. At a time when population growth from native births is quite low, this means that the United States still can metabolize immigrants. It is, therefore, no accident that over the past 40 years, the United States has absorbed a massive influx of Asian immigrants who have been net producers over time. It's a big country, and much of it is barely inhabited.

On this level, the immigration issue poses no significant questions. It is a replay of a debate that has been ongoing since the founding of the country. Those who have predicted social and economic disaster as a result of immigration have been consistently wrong. Those who have predicted growing prosperity have been right. Those who have said that the national character of the United States would change dramatically have been somewhat right; core values have remained in place, but the Anglo-Protestant ethnicity represented at the founding has certainly been transformed. How one feels about this transformation depends on ideology and taste. But the simple fact is this: The United States not only would not have become a transcontinental power without immigration; it would not have industrialized. Masses of immigrants formed the armies of workers that drove industrialism and made the United States into a significant world power. No immigration, no United States.

Geography: The Difference With Mexico

Now, it would seem at first glance that the current surge of Mexican migration should be understood in this context and, as such, simply welcomed. If immigration is good, then why wouldn't immigration from Mexico be good? Certainly, there is no cultural argument against it; if the United States could assimilate Ukrainian Jews, Sicilians and Pakistanis, there is no self-evident reason why it could not absorb Mexicans. The argument against the Mexican migration would seem on its face to be simply a repeat of old, failed arguments against past migrations.

But Mexican migration should not be viewed in the same way as other migrations. When a Ukrainian Jew or a Sicilian or an Indian came to the United States, their arrival represented a sharp geographical event; whatever memories they might have of their birthplace, whatever cultural values they might bring with them, the geographical milieu was being abandoned. And with that, so were the geopolitical consequences of their migration. Sicilians might remember Sicily, they might harbor a cultural commitment to its values and they might even have a sense of residual loyalty to Sicily or to Italy -- but Italy was thousands of miles away. The Italian government could neither control nor exploit the migrant's presence in the United States. Simply put, these immigrants did not represent a geopolitical threat; even if they did not assimilate to American culture -- remaining huddled together in their "little Italys" -- they did not threaten the United States in any way. Their strength was in the country they had left, and that country was far away. That is why, in the end, these immigrants assimilated, or their children did. Without assimilation, they were adrift.

The Mexican situation is different. When a Mexican comes to the United States, there is frequently no geographical split. There is geographical continuity. His roots are just across the land border. Therefore, the entire immigration dynamic shifts. An Italian, a Jew, an Indian can return to his home country, but only with great effort and disruption. A Mexican can and does return with considerable ease. He can, if he chooses, live his life in a perpetual ambiguity.

The Borderland Battleground

This has nothing to do with Mexicans as a people, but rather with a geographical concept called "borderlands." Traveling through Europe, one will find many borderlands. Alsace-Lorraine is a borderland between Germany and France; the inhabitants are both French and German, and in some ways neither. It also is possible to find Hungarians -- living Hungarian lives -- deep inside Slovakia and Romania.

Borderlands can be found throughout the world. They are the places where the borders have shifted, leaving members of one nation stranded on the other side of the frontier. In many cases, these people now hold the citizenship of the countries in which they reside (according to recognized borders), but they think and speak in the language on the other side of the border. The border moved, but their homes didn't. There has been no decisive geographical event; they have not left their homeland. Only the legal abstraction of a border, and the non-abstract presence of a conquering army, has changed their reality.

Borderlands sometimes are political flashpoints, when the relative power of the two countries is shifting and one is reclaiming its old territory, as Germany did in 1940, or France in 1918. Sometimes the regions are quiet; the borders that have been imposed remain inviolable, due to the continued power of the conqueror. Sometimes, populations move back and forth in the borderland, as politics and economics shift. Borderlands are everywhere. They are the archaeological remains of history, except that these remains have a tendency to come back to life.

The U.S.-Mexican frontier is a borderland. The United States, to all intents and purposes, conquered the region in the period between the Texan Revolution (1835-36) and the Mexican-American War (1846-48). As a result of the war, the border moved and areas that had been Mexican territory became part of the United States. There was little ethnic cleansing. American citizens settled into the territory in increasing numbers over time, but the extant Mexican culture remained in place. The border was a political dividing line but was never a physical division; the area north of the border retained a certain Mexican presence, while the area south of the border became heavily influenced by American culture. The economic patterns that tied the area north of the Rio Grande to the area south of it did not disappear. At times they atrophied; at times they intensified; but the links were always there, and neither Washington nor Mexico City objected. It was the natural characteristic of the borderland.

It was not inevitable that the borderland would be held by the United States. Anyone looking at North America in 1800 might have bet that Mexico, not the United States, would be the dominant power of the continent. Why that didn't turn out to be the case is a long story, but by 1846, the Mexicans had lost direct control of the borderland. They have not regained it since. But that does not mean that the borderland is unambiguously American -- and it does not mean that, over the next couple of hundred years, should Washington's power weaken and Mexico City's increase, the borders might not shift once again. How many times, after all, have the Franco-German borders shifted? For the moment, however, Washington is enormously more powerful than Mexico City, so the borders will stay where they are.

The Heart of the Matter

We are in a period, as happens with borderlands, when major population shifts are under way. This should not be understood as immigration. Or more precisely, these shifts should not be understood as immigration in the same sense that we talk about immigration from, say, Brazil, where the geographical relationship between migrant and home country is ruptured. The immigration from Mexico to the United States is a regional migration within a borderland between two powers -- powers that have drawn a border based on military and political history, and in which two very different populations intermingle. Right now, the United States is economically dynamic relative to Mexico. Therefore, Mexicans tend to migrate northward, across the political border, within the geographical definition of the borderland. The map declares a border. Culture and history, however, take a different view.

The immigration debate in the U.S. Congress, which conflates Asian immigrations with Mexican immigrations, is mixing apples and oranges. Chinese immigration is part of the process of populating the United States -- a process that has been occurring since the founding of the Republic. Mexican immigration is, to borrow a term from physics, the Brownian motion of the borderland. This process is nearly as old as the Republic, but there is a crucial difference: It is not about populating the continent nearly as much as it is about the dynamics of the borderland.

One way to lose control of a borderland is by losing control of its population. In general, most Mexicans cross the border for strictly economic reasons. Some wish to settle in the United States, some wish to assimilate. Others intend to be here temporarily. Some intend to cross the border for economic reasons -- to work -- and remain Mexicans in the full sense of the word. Now, so long as this migration remains economic and cultural, there is little concern for the United States. But when this last class of migrants crosses the border with political aspirations, such as the recovery of lost Mexican territories from the United States, that is the danger point.

Americans went to Texas in the 1820s. They entered the borderland. They then decided to make a political claim against Mexico, demanding a redefinition of the formal borders between Mexico and the United States. In other words, they came to make money and stayed to make a revolution. There is little evidence -- flag-waving notwithstanding -- that there is any practical move afoot now to reverse the American conquest of Mexican territories. Nevertheless, that is the danger with all borderlands: that those on the "wrong" side of the border will take action to move the border back.

For the United States, this makes the question of Mexican immigration within the borderland different from that of Mexican immigration to places well removed from it. In fact, it makes the issue of Mexican migration different from all other immigrations to the United States. The current congressional debate is about "immigration" as a whole, but that makes little sense. It needs to be about three different questions:

  • Immigration from other parts of the world to the United States
  • Immigration from Mexico to areas well removed from the southern border region
  • Immigration from Mexico to areas within the borderlands that were created by the U.S. conquests

Treating these three issues as if they were the same thing confuses matters. The issue is not immigration in general, nor even Mexican immigration. It is about the borderland and its future. The question of legal and illegal immigration and various solutions to the problems must be addressed in this context.


  1. It's only California, Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Texas and Florida that are in the "borderlands", on conquered territory.

    Funny thing, the author didn't mention the 1913 US invasion of Mexico. Just the 19th century wars, not the 20th's.

    Expand or die!
    On to Tampico!

  2. Guess that should really be

    Back to Tampico!
    To the Halls of Montezuma
    Advancing the Rights of Man,
    Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Property for all Americans.

    One Land, One People
    Artic to Isthmus
    Back to the Halls of Montezuma, boys!
    To the final victory!
    Liberty, Annexation and Citizenship for the United States of Mexico's Americans!

    They are more deserving than Iraqis.
    Mr Bush has said that the Iraqis deserved to be liberated and all the subsequent sacrifices made by the US.

    So will all those Americans, in old Mexico

  3. And for you, rufus, Mexico has lots of oil, lots and lots.
    Canada, too.

    We've already absorbed 20 million other than citizens, Canada only has 30 million inhabitents.

    Overwhelm them, demographically, in less than a decade, just bus the shock troops to Buffalo with instructions to walk north.

  4. As technology and globalization continue shrinking the world, people and ideas move more quickly and freely. Political borders become increasingly irrelevant. But that's fine because the qualities that define Americans don't depend on geography. Rather, it's their history of liberty, pluck, ingenuity, optimism, and the pursuit of happiness. Culture is a matter of mind and spirit. Why entrust it to politicians, border guards, and green cards?

    The ideal immigration policy for this smaller world would harmonize with both the Constitution and common decency. It wouldn't deny anyone the inalienable right to come and go.

    This freedom perishes under current immigration edicts – and so do people. The US Border Patrol estimates that almost 2,000 would-be Americans died along the US-Mexican border from 1998 to 2004, whether from drowning, exposure, car accidents, or violence.

    And who can forget Elian Gonzalez, the tragic Cuban refugee? This little boy watched his mother and 10 other adults in their battered boat die at sea, largely because both US and Cuban laws forbid Cubans to immigrate here. We expect such tyranny from Fidel Castro – but from America's supposedly free government?

    If Congress seriously wants reform, it might begin by returning decisions on immigration to the individuals involved, in obedience to the Constitution's Ninth and 10th Amendments.

    Why restrict immigration at all?
    The Constitution and the laws of economics compel us to welcome all immigrants.

    Inalienable Rights, who's leading who, now?

  5. Phone Calls, today, folks; No emails. Make sure they know, "A vote for Cloture, is a vote for civilian-hood."

  6. Craig- Idaho ?, bob knows
    Domenici- New Mexico, Borderland
    Graham- South Carolina ?
    Hagel- Nebraska GOP rebel already on outs, possible Indi run w/Bloomberg.
    Kyl- Arizona Borderland
    Lugar- Indiana Blue State
    Martinez- Florida Borderland
    McCain- Arizona Borderland
    Spector- Pennsylvania Blue State
    Voinovich- Ohio post '06 Blue State

    The conquested borderlands Senators are the culprits. First and foremost.
    Mr Graham of SC, what motivates him & Senator Craig, not in the mood to search out.

    Kyl was always so "conservative" that doug would pimp him for President, in '08, in times past.
    Always saying the "right" thing, Mr Kyl.

    More proud than ever, voted librarian last go round. Responsibility for Mr Kyl's perfidy, not bearing upon me.

    I sounded the alarm, prior to when the votes were being counted.

  7. Colorado, goin' Blue in '08
    Arizona, goin' Blue in '08
    New Mexico, goin Blue in '08

    Sour puddings, indeed.

    Texas, ?
    Where was LBJ from, again?

  8. Oh, slip Florida onto the Blue '08 list.
    They'll follow Mr Martinaz's lead, down in the Sunshine State.

    All the orange producing States, growin' Blue. From Coast to Coast, all along the borderlands.

  9. They're going to try to Head-Fake you. They're going to fail at cloture in an hour or so, and then late tonight when they think you're not looking they're going to try and slip it through.

    Call Republican Whip - Trent Lott. 202-225-3121.

  10. Hey, DR,

    Not only does Canada have lots of oil (minerals, trees ect too) but, more importantly for the future, loads and loads of water. Treat 'em nice, they aren't to keen on spreading it out of the water sheds.

  11. I don't know what motivates Craig. One thing, he isn't the brightest bulb in the Congress. I have observed, he bravely follows where ever Bush decides to go, on most all of the issues.

  12. We'll just change the nature of what is Canadian, ash.
    If we can try in Iraq, we can try any where.
    Better closer to here than to there. Higher probability of success, closer to home.

    All within a couple weeks march, by our economic shock troops, the economic refugees from the south.

    At just half of the US rate of infiltration, we'll have 2,500 a day crossing over, 21,000 a week.
    48,000 a month.
    575,000 per year, first year. Expanding geometricly from there, we'll have Canada infilltrated with 6 million assimulents, within 7 years, a decade a the outside.

    20% percent of Canada's current population. Gonna be grand!
    One Land, One People
    Artic to Isthmus.

  13. ah but what'll happen is all those folks who march to Canada to sip on the teat filled with cool clean water nursed from a nation with free medical care will turn their backs on the seething thirsty hordes they left behind and keep it for themselves.

  14. Not likely, amigo, we'll be holding their families.

    The Canucks just get the workers, who send their monies home, to support their families.

    It's a grand plan, amigos. Underway as we speak.

    Economic unification, the first step, followed almost immediately by unified defense.

    The borders blur. First & last customs station's in Kansas, for trucks bound to Nova Scotia.

    Plan accordingly.

  15. The INTERNAL borders blur.

    The external ports, in old Mexico, they're managed by a first class outfit, out of Dubai.

  16. First jab at cloture failed spectacularly. It got 33 votes, I think.

    BUT, DON'T BE TRICKED! The "Real" Push comes Late Tonight.

    Make them phone calls. Yours might be the one that pushes the asshole off the ledge.

  17. Ah, are you one of the advance guard, one of the shock troops, sucking on the Canadian teat with the free medical care turning your back on the thirsty hordes from the south? Didn't you say you were an American citizen, living in Canada, ash;):) :)

  18. you got it bobal and the livin' is fine. No money being shipped stateside by this yankee - not part of our culture now is it?

  19. You are right about that, ash, in the South families still try to take care of each other.
    Instead of letting the collectiveness of Government take the responsibility.

    Everyone will get their vote, the 36 million Canucks will be about 8% of the whole population. Doubt they'll be monolithic.

    Same goes for the voters in Mexico and those little States, south of there.

  20. It has been interesting being up here in Canada witnessing the debate over the original free trade deal which covered just Canada and the US. There was much gnashing of teeth with worry about being dominated by the US; its culture and business usurping Canada's. The deal has been extended to Mexico and Canada has fared pretty well. Free trade is a good thing and its corollary mobility of labor should follow or many businesses will just migrate to low wage places. Why pay $10 for a shirt if you can pay $4?

    Borders are rarely hard sealed but rather elusive lines in the world with much crossing and blurring. Examples abound - Pakistan/Afghanistan, US/Mexico, ect. Drawing a hard line is in reality a Quixotic task.

  21. The debate boils down to one issue, do they stay, or do they go?

    If the US borders where tightened, but not sealed to all traffic, the illegal flows northward would slow extensively.

    If the current laws were enforced, workplace arrests work increase. If those arrested were held 12 months in a tent city for processing, prior to being removed to Mexico, or country of origin.

    We'd soon see an exfiltration begin, as the risks of working did not meet the rewards, of being undocumented.

    If it was then determined that no workers existed, in the US, for vacant jobs, we can import, just in time, those worker units required. At the market rate, which is to be determined in DC.

    No exploitation of the worker units will be permited.

    ID cards will be carried by all, so their status, residency, work as well as criminal and health can be readily accessed, by law enforcement and other interested governmental officals.

    Or legalize 'em, where they stand.

  22. "Borders are rarely hard sealed but rather elusive lines in the world with much crossing and blurring. Examples abound - Pakistan/Afghanistan, US/Mexico, ect. Drawing a hard line is in reality a Quixotic task."

    Just try a border encroachment in the Tribal areas of Waziristan and I'm pretty certain you'll get a visitation from the neighborhood militia. All tribal groups strictly enforce borders. Many nations at least try. I strictly enforce my property border. I don't tolerate communes setting up here.

    If a people won't enforce the law of property rights, then all laws are a joke.

    State of nature anyone?

  23. "At the market rate, which is to be determined in DC."

    Um...I thought we had a market based economy. Since when do we have government wage controls? Isn't that a sign of a central planned economy...like the former Soviet Union?

    I want less government not more.

  24. ID cards carried by all? Hasn't there traditionally been a tad bit o resistance by many Americans to such a concept?

  25. Craig voted Against Cloture, Bob. So did Lott.

    Now I feel bad. I just left a message on his answering machine with instructions on a rather difficult sex act. Aids-free, though.

  26. Certainly has, this a backdoor attempt at, I'd bet you'd find.

    National Security requirement, that everyone be identifiable.

    I've got my passport, all the ID I've ever needed, really.

    Everyone will get one, a bio-metric card, micro chip enhanced. To be carried at all times.

    For ID purposed, only.

    Since the national drivers license program, Real ID, fell apart.

    That's what the "comprehensive reform" is about, economic unification, blurred borders, more control over the law abiding.
    To control them, we've got to control you.

  27. Graham - Nay

    McCain - Not Voting!

  28. I think we might've just killed this vile abomination.

  29. That is one heck of a layer of bureaucracy you are talking about DR. In Canada they tried to do something but on a smaller scale - a national gun registry. Turned into quite a expensive boondoggle. While I don't necessarily disagree with such a requirement the small government republican base might not cotton to it all that well.

    The US has a reputation up here in Canada as being much easier, more conducive to business - fewer taxes, fewer regulations, fewer government forms ect. I was surprised to learn that a business in the US mus submit a 1099 for any subcontractor who is paid $600.00 or more. What happens to all those forms? Is the IRS trying to track all these subcontractor incomes through them?

  30. You know, I'll probably get globbered for this here, but I'm not sure I'm really against a national ID card, though I may not have thought it through well enough. We all carry ID's galore in our wallets these days anyway. What difference would one more make. Though I am willing to back up on this opinion at the first well placed contrary opinion.:)

    Rufus, I'm pretty sure Craig would vote for the whole proposal once it is put all together.

  31. It would have to be someone else, Bob. I don't have any problem with an ID card. Like you said, "I've got a whole billfold of IDs in my wallet."

  32. But how do you feel about the bureaucracy needed to establish and maintain this ID? Certainly would be a big government ministry. What would you do with folks who don't have one, won't get one?

  33. wiki has an interesting article on National ID cards. It seems there are only 4 countries with them so far - Cyprus, Hong Kong, Malaysia, and Singapore. Britain is moving that way.


    "Enabling legislation for the British national identity card was passed under the Identity Cards Act 2006 [1]. The multi-billion pound scheme [2] has yet to enter procurement. The cards will have a lesser role than the database they are linked to, which is known as the National Identity Register (NIR). The Act specifies fifty categories of information that the NIR can hold on each citizen [3], including up to 10 fingerprints, digitised facial scan and iris scan, current and past UK and overseas places of residence of all residents of the UK throughout their lives and indexes to other Government databases - which would allow them to be connected. The legislation also says that any further information can be added. [4].

    The legislation further says that those renewing or applying for passports must be entered on to the NIR. It is expected that this will happen soon after the UK Passport Service, which has now been renamed the Identity and Passport Service (IPS), start interviewing passport applicants to verify their identity. [5] Various degrees of concern about the scheme have been expressed by human rights lawyers, activists, security professionals and IT experts."

  34. We need a passport to go to Canada now, don't we? Ash?

  35. The governmnet has my fingerprints because of military service and security clearances. I have a US passport, a driver's license and a social security card. What is the big deal about an ID card?

  36. I'm trying to think of the downside, and am still thinking. Our driver's licenses are already in a nationwide(I think) data sharing base already. I might not like the idea of being fingerprinted or having my eyes scanned, or my DNA sample taken or something like that. Or medical info. Stuff the insurance companies could use. My wife has been fingerprinted many times in her social work line of employment, and it doesn't seem to bother her.

    If you don't drive, maybe you could claim it is a violation of search and seizure, or something like that. Privacy rights. Too much of the all seeing eye of big brother.

    I can't see it would bother me much. A good investigator can find out almost anything on anyone now.

    PROJECT #81-5681-13

    Generally speaking, would you say things in this country are heading in the right direction, or are they off on the wrong track?

    Right direction............................. 21
    Wrong track................................. 75
    Not sure..................................... 4

  38. Well, Real ID has been hitting some flak, doubt it survives to it's implementation date, in '08.
    The folowing have to be hashed out, before hand.

    The panel’s 12 recommendations are:

    The final rule should include an explicit data security standard for states to follow.

    The final rule shall recommend specific steps to prevent unauthorized access to information on the card.

    The standards should be modeled on procedures used by the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators.

    The final rule must require that states be accountable for the personal information they collect and store.

    States should institute procedures for individuals to file complaints and obtain information on compliance with the states’ comprehensive security plans.

    DHS should evaluate the privacy notices contained in the states’ comprehensive security plans.

    DHS should evaluate whether individuals may opt out from secondary uses of the card.

    DHS should evaluate whether individuals have adequate access to the personal information contained in the Real ID Act databases.

    DHS should evaluate whether states have included a principle of limited purpose for use of the cards, with restrictions on unauthorized, commercial or secondary uses.

    DHS should reevaluate the technologies to be used in storing machine-readable information on the card.

    All state driver’s license databases should include restrictions on access, transfer and secondary uses of the information.

    DHS should conduct initial background checks on employees involved in production of the identity cards.

    Lots of backgrounds are going to need checking, who's checkin' on the checkers?

    What ever happened to Checkers? Imagine he's dead now, along with Mr Nixon. Damn, that was a long time ago, a more innocent age? Nah, not really

  39. Dateline: 25 January '07

    update Maine overwhelmingly rejected federal requirements for national identification cards on Thursday, marking the first formal state opposition to controversial legislation scheduled to go in effect for Americans next year.

    Both chambers of the Maine legislature approved a resolution saying the state flatly "refuses" to force its citizens to use driver's licenses that comply with digital ID standards, which were established under the 2005 Real ID Act. It asks the U.S. Congress to repeal the law.

  40. The votes in Maine on the resolution were nonpartisan. It was approved by a 34-to-0 vote in the state Senate and by a 137-to-4 vote in the House of Representatives.

    Other states are debating similar measures. Bills pending in Georgia, Massachusetts, Montana and Washington state express varying degrees of opposition to the Real ID Act.

    Montana's is one of the strongest. The legislature held a hearing on Wednesday on a bill that says "The state of Montana will not participate in the implementation of the Real ID Act of 2005" and directs the state motor vehicle department "not to implement the provisions."

    Real ID was intrical to the War on Terror, back when it passed.

    Now, not such a concern.

    Goin' to Montana ...
    Oh, yeah, Montana went Blue, in '06.

  41. dateline 8 May 07

    Fifteen States Have Passed Anti-REAL ID Legislation. As the deadline for compliance draws closer, more states are opting out of the controversial REAL ID national identification system. The states that have passed anti-REAL ID legislation are: Arkansas (pdf), Colorado, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Maine, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Dakota, South Carolina, and Washington.

    The resistance to REAL ID is growing. In May, more than 60 organizations and 215 blogs joined a campaign to submit comments against REAL ID. There are bills in both the U.S. House and Senate that would repeal the national identification scheme.

    Gone from Montana ...

  42. Rat, you are thorough. Know more about what's going on in my own state than I do. Didn't know all that was going on. Sounds like a lot of people don't like the idea.

  43. Privacy analysts and security experts have criticized the REAL ID act for creating new vulnerabilities for consumers to identity theft, fraud, and data breaches. The sharing of personal information across interlinked databases, collected through extensive gathering of "breeder documents" such as birth certificates and passports, and presented in public at motor vehicle agencies, represents a "gold mine" for hackers, fraudsters, and cybercriminals.

    Security analyst Bruce Schneier, who also testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee, said that the security risks of the overall REAL ID database were "enormous."

    "The daily stories we see about leaked personal information demonstrate that we do not know how to secure these large databases against outsiders, to say nothing of the tends of thousands of insiders authorized to access it," Schneier testified.

  44. Dateline 2 March '07

    WASHINGTON — Under siege from states and angry lawmakers, the White House on Thursday moved back a deadline to implement national driver's license standards that critics say would seriously undermine personal privacy and burden states with a hefty bill.

    The announcement that states could have an extra 20 months, until the end of 2009, to meet the requirements of the Real ID Act did little to ease criticism of the law from conservative activists, privacy advocates, motor vehicle departments and lawmakers.

    The widespread resistance to a policy the administration considers an essential weapon in the war on terrorism reflects a shift from the almost total support the administration initially enjoyed for its national security agenda after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

    Almost two dozen states are now weighing legislation to oppose Real ID, with some governors dismissing it as a "nightmare."

    Now again we have a Security Issue, let's look and see how Mr Bush handled it, didn't know myself, untile a minute ago.

    The National Conference of State Legislatures and the National Governors Assn. were equally unhappy, noting that the federal government has not moved to offset the cost to states. They have estimated the cost at $11 billion; the Homeland Security Department puts it at $14.6 billion.

    "It's going to cost money because security does cost money," Chertoff said. He announced that states could use up to 20% of their Homeland Security grants to pay for Real ID compliance, for a total of $100 million.

    Congress has appropriated $40 million to help states implement Real ID, but only $6 million has been set aside, and President Bush's budget proposal for 2008 did not include any funds to help states.

    All the rhetoric, none of the cajones.

    $100 million USD, to fund a $14.5 BILLION USD Project, in '07. NOTHING in '08, not a dime for this asperct of Homeland Security.

    Vote Republican Values
    Vote Foley!

  45. This comment has been removed by the author.

  46. Didn't we do a deal about "unfunded mandates" years ago?
    $14.6 Billion USD, two months worth expeditures, in Iraq.

    Whether good idea or bad, not much Federally funded support, for Real ID, let them States eat cake.

    The Tenth Admendment gettin' stomped and stepped on, again.

  47. Trent Lott, Unplugged: "Are We Men Or Mice?"

    Fresh new voice of the GOP Praises Kennedy,
    (and George Soros, Mencha, McCain, and LaRaza)
    Slams the base.

    GWB will be proud.

    Audio file of the Trent Lott

  48. Hard to believe he voted against cloture, Rufus:
    This Speech Argues for the opposite vote next!
    Burn them phone lines!

    Last word from McConnel *sounded* like he's against.

  49. Cloture vote being carried on Hewitt NOW

    Chambliss voted against, which speaks well for McConnell.

    Carried on C-Span, wherever that is.

  50. Harry Reid Mitchslapped Again?
    Hugh Hewitt

    There are some signs that Leader McConnell might be able to hold enough Republicans to defeat the cloture motion. If he pulls that off he will have demonstrated more fight and guile in the GOP caucus than we have seen in a decade. Good luck to him.

    Call and support the Leader in his efforts: 202-225-3121.

    Byrde Boxer against TOO!

  51. Immigration Bill may be going down as we type:
    Lott votes AGAINST Cloture!!!

  52. Yuk Yuk Yuk

    W's fantasizing about Merkel's ass being twice a big a Lauras.

    I have a bridge for sale to anyone who believeds greenhouse gas emissions will be cut in half by 2050!
    Europe and U.S. Move Toward Climate Deal

    The U.S. agreed today to “seriously consider” a European proposal to combat global warming by halving greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
    Times Topics: Group of Eight

  53. BorderBill writes: Thursday, June, 07, 2007 9:02 PM
    Ding dong the witch is dead
    45 yes votes for cloture and 50 no votes for cloture.

    Even Trent Lott voted No for cloture. At least, I swear I heard that on C-Span.

    Hooray for Mitch and hooray for the Republicans and some Democrats (I think Landrieu from Louisana voted no)!!

    And thanks to you also Hugh.

  54. But it ain't over til it's over.
    The wooden stake must be wielded until it's dead and GONE, replaced by a fence and enforcement of the laws.
    Keep up the Heat!

  55. Ho,Ho! Is it time for drinks all round?

  56. Wonder what happened to Lott between that disgusting speech and his vote?

  57. It all started on 21st Street, with the actions of a brave, lone man...

  58. We have Avenues, too, and Lanes, and Loops, even Boulevards!

  59. Gosh, I should get out more.
    (don't tell my wife)

  60. Boo hoo hoo:
    They're Crying In Harry Reid's Office
    Posted by Hugh Hewitt | 9:02 PM

    The Majority Leader just said so, which tells me that we dodged a huge bullet today. The bill is off the floor and back to the drawing board. Good.

  61. bobalharb said...
    We need a passport to go to Canada now, don't we? Ash?

    yep, and vica versa. Loads of screaming on the border about reduced traffic hence reduced business. BUT, getting a passport, voluntarily, so one may travel, is a very different kettle of fish from requiring the possession of an ID card as a basic fact of existence. Big Brother is watcing you, and he is keeping track of it all! Great database available for sale to the lucky bidding corporation.

  62. After all his effort, Harry Reid is such a scumbag that he is trying to blame his own failures on the President while its still on the floor. This is a democrat backed bill, this is a liberal bill….but honest Americans dont support this bill.

    Those who are going to win on the death of this bill are honest Americans, those who will lose are the Democrats and traitor republicans that voted for this bill and will be voted out of office for their actions at the next election.

    There will be no anchor-baby voters to save your jobs, you will all be voted out by the majority that you have turned your backs on.

    Vote Failure

  63. By the same token, Sam, we would not even be here if we had a president that enforced the law, and did not ignore his oath.

  64. The League of United Latin American Citizens, which had supported early work on the bill, wrote to 15 Democratic senators late Tuesday “after much debate, analysis and soul-searching,” asking them to oppose the bill as written and “join in totally re-crafting [it].” Four other Hispanic advocacy groups co-signed the letter.

    For its part, the National Governors Association rapped the bill’s proposed use of “Real ID,” a national identification program plagued by controversy and delays, to verify all workers’ employment status.

    Montana’s two Democratic senators, Max Baucus and Jon Tester, are pushing to strike Real ID from the bill, even though they had not won a vote as of press time.

    Immigration Legislation

  65. We Done Good.

    We lived to fight another day.

    I'm proud of youse guys!

  66. So, no bill means a continuation of the status quo....right?

    How many more will come and stick in some roots before something happens?

  67. Now, we've gotta figure out some way to get the dirty sonsabitches to enforce the law we've got.

  68. whatdaya see rufus - large squads of troops rounding up folks by the thousands, nay, millions, and marching them out of the country? Maybe withdraw a 100k from Iraq to do the task?

  69. WASHINGTON (Associated Press) -- The Bush administration is poised to suspend a major post-9/11 security initiative to cope with increasingly angry complaints from Americans whose summer vacations are threatened by new passport rules.

    A proposal, expected to be announced Friday, will temporarily waive a requirement that U.S. citizens have passports to fly to and from Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean and Bermuda, provided the traveler can prove he or she has already applied for a passport, officials said Thursday.

  70. Roll Call-US Senate Vote

    Thanks, deuce and whit for keeping it before our eyes these many days.

  71. Last year Bush signed into law a bill requiring 370 miles of border fence, a bunch more Border Patrol, and various and sundry other things.

    They could get busy on that if it so suited their highnesses.

  72. Maybe that difficult sex act saved the day, Rufus.

    If you can ever make sense of Lott's two votes combined with that speech from the same entity, please let us know.

    Perhaps Mississippi Logic can explain?

  73. I thot Duncan Hunter's Bill called for 700 miles?

  74. Checking up on our Muslim Congressman

    700 miles is what I recall.


  75. Another half-assed black politician that's a security risk is Osama Hussein:
    Just what we need is some jerkoff inciting riots over nuthin, quiet riots, or otherwise.

    I'd vote for Hillary in heartbeat over that fast talkin multicult scumbag.

  76. You are obdurately dense, Ash:
    You must do it on purpose, keep yourself dense that is, or do you just say stupid, inflamatory new left sound bytes to get a reaction?

  77. See 'Rat at
    Thu Jun 07, 03:06:00 PM EDT

    For the explanation you must have ignored a thousand times.

  78. Time for Americans to get their pride back and cut your own damn lawn. I would never stoop to hiring a slave to do it.

    Posted By: BJL | June 08, 2007 at 12:39 AM
    At politico re McCain

  79. The List of Republicans thrown under the bus on W's watch continues to grow.
    Nuthin like a POTUS that prosecutes GOP and let's Dem Traitors and Crooks run free.
    ...then finally prosecutes a BLACK politician 2 years late just to maximize political damage.

    He could not be TRYING to inflict all this damage on Party and Country, 'cause if he was, it wouldn't take place, given his incompetence.

    GOP may not win DeLay's old seat

    06/07/2007 06:13 PM
    Sugarland, Texas is part of a trend of conservative districts swinging left due to disappointing GOP candidates.

  80. You have to clik the
    "On a Map"
    Tab on top to get there.

    The Winning Margin!

    Chuckie Hagel an exception, as usual.

    Will Nebraska let that stand?

  82. "My preference is to stop it and start again," said Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., another vote switcher.

    Democratic and Republican negotiators scrambled for the rest of Thursday to salvage the legislation. They drafted lists of amendments to consider that would satisfy conservative opponents of the deal and tried to find a way to undo the guest worker vote.

    But each time Reid presented an offer, DeMint and his allies rebuffed it.

    In Tatters

  83. Coming Home [Kathryn Jean Lopez]

    From a Senate staffer: "[Kyl] has always told his colleagues that he would suport their right to offer amendments and wouldn't let them be shut out by the Dems.
    He was adamant about this.
    This thing was doomed when it became clear that Reid wasn't going to allow ample debate for Sessions and DeMint; Kyl then stood by his fellow conservatives to protect their rights to amend and debate.
    "This Senate Guy adds: "I will note that, of the dealmakers, only Kyl stood up for conservatives.

    After repeated promises to the contrary, Graham, McCain, Martinez, and Specter all told the GOP senators to stuff it and tried to block further amendments."
    06/07 11:21 PM LINK

  84. Bunning the Stopper!
    "I've been trying to kill it since the beginning," said Sen. Jim Bunning, R-Ky.

  85. Question for EB:

    All the articles today in MSM reference legalizing illegals, even many times in Headlines:

    Did you see that before today? (after the defeat)

    I missed a few days and back when I last looked that was top secret.