June 28, 2011
As of Feb. 28th 2011 my Oklahoma biometric driver’s license became invalid. I have been cited for driving with an expired license and I am going to court.
I was concerned when I first heard about the push for a national ID card which preceded the REAL ID ACT of 2005. At the time I didn’t know much about biometrics but what I did know is that a national ID is the hallmark of a totalitarian society and despite our government’s denials, REAL ID without a doubt qualifies as a national ID.
“We are, after all, for the first time in our history actually creating a national identification card with all the ramifications of that. That is what the Real ID law did.”– Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN)
I later found it is actually much worse. REAL ID is an international biometric ID.
For the crash course in biometric ID read Biometrics 101-Your Body IS Your ID
Shortly before REAL ID had actually been passed into law states, including Oklahoma, in anticipation of its passage had already purchased biometric capturing technology. I was shocked when the DMV clerk told me that I must submit to a finger scan. Who doesn’t associate being fingerprinted with criminality? I balked but was told no scan-no drivers license. At the time I had a small child, my own business and countless tasks to accomplish every day that would be very difficult if not impossible to meet without a valid license so I grudgingly complied. I had no idea that it wasn’t just my fingers that they were scanning. The old cameras had been replaced with high resolution digital cameras that capture, map and digitize our facial features for use with facial recognition technology.
My good friend, Howard Houchen, speaks to our natural and healthy gut reaction to ID schemes like Real ID in an article he wrote called the The Id Passes on Pass ID. He’s talking about instinct. My first reaction to Real ID was an instinctive one but after several years of studying the scheme and biometric identification in general, I have come to oppose it intellectually, practically, philosophically, morally and spiritually as well. It is simply a terrible idea and a dangerous imposition on any nation. It is worth noting that this plan is, right now, being imposed around the globe, in every nation.
When you know something is dead wrong what do you do? Well, if you are like me you do everything you can. You lobby. You try to educate others and especially your elected representatives. You support good, protective legislation and oppose the bad. You write letters, organize rallies and events, you talk till you are blue in the face. You do everything you can think of and you give it everything you got.
I, along with many thousands of other dedicated people have done everything we can to deter this country from implementing such a dastardly plan on the American people. I am very sad to say that we have not achieved our goal. The opposition comes from individuals and organizations that span the political spectrum. Mass enrollment into a global biometric identification scheme is a repulsive idea that has jarred this country without regard to political affiliation.
Many state legislatures did their part too. 26 states have passed either a law or resolution prohibiting participation in Real ID and yet, as recently reported by the Heritage Foundation (who is not opposing but supporting the policy)
“At least 32 states are close to REAL ID material compliance, while a total of 44 states and territories have indicated that they fully intend to meet REAL ID compliance.”
It is right about here that all of the activism seems like a terribly elaborate exercise for what comes next. After all of the talking, writing, lobbying, fretting and gnashing of teeth the most important stand I could take felt more like a whisper than a shout. It’s not that I never thought about what I would do if our government could not be brought to its senses. I always knew that if it came down to it, I was not going to just roll over and comply. I have a child and to just give up and leave her with the legacy of government control by cataloging and monitoring people through an international biometric ID is just not an option for me.
This past February I was getting ready for a trip and took a look at my license. It was to expire on the 28th of that month. Good, I thought. At least I will be able to fly this time with no trouble (unless you count running the TSA gauntlet as trouble, which I do!) But I knew at that moment I would not be renewing it. The end of the month was the end of the road for me and Real ID.
The states are obviously not going to protect our rights so it is up to us now. At the end of the day, isn’t it always up to us?
All of my thinking has been done and my decision was made over the years by each incremental inch of ground gained toward full implementation of Real ID. What to do on February 28th was less a decision for me to make than simply a day of reckoning for me.
I did ask myself what I stood to lose and what did I stand to gain by my refusal to participate in this human surveillance and control scheme. Practically, I stand to lose a lot. I have already been refused my prescription for having an invalid ID and my access to places, items and events is closed or uncertain without a “government issued photo ID card”. I imagine I will encounter more and more difficulty as time goes by but this is small stakes compared to what we all have to look forward to in the very near future.
Once the fight is finally over and the biometric identification plans are fully implemented those who refuse to be enrolled and will not carry a “government issued photo ID”, will essentially be viewed as invalid, non-persons, unregistered. Furthermore their invalidated status will be a red flag rendering such persons especially suspect by a government that demands its right to know all about everyone at all times. Where did our government get such a right? They got it from us. Our complacence is compliance and as far as they are concerned that gives them permission and therefore the right to scan our body parts and use those measurements as a personal tracking number.
The ones that do comply won’t be much better off really. Their government issued biometric ID will allow our government to keep tabs on their every transaction, their travel, their habits and more. This biometric identification system puts our ability to access our daily necessities at their pleasure. Will such an all powerful government choose to be a benevolent father? History does not give one much hope that it will.
Recently, I was stopped and given a citation for driving with an expired license. As a person who has made a conscious effort to respect the law, it is an odd turn of events that I would think of this as a good thing, but it is. It means that I will have a chance to air my grievances in court and that means that there is a chance that the law might find something compelling about this grievance.
I am going to keep fighting this.
If you think that this is a good fight, I am asking for your help. I won’t be coy; this is going to take money. In fact, it may take lots of it and that would be a good thing because it would mean a real battle and the only chance that one small act of disobedience could become something more meaningful.
If you wish to donate to my legal defense fund, you may do so online or the old fashioned way if you prefer by sending a check or money order to:
P.O. Box 722381
Norman, Oklahoma, 73070
(Please write legal defense fund in the memo section of your check or money order)
The Constitutional Alliance has been an invaluable source of accurate information and guidance for me. I am pleased to have been invited to join their Board of Directors in 2009 and recommend that those who want to know more about biometrics and biometric identification plans visit http://www.constitutionalalliance.org/ for more information. I owe this dedicated group of people a debt of gratitude for encouraging me to put my trust in God and take this fight all the way.
I have said it before and will say it again. With biometric ID, we may resist it now or resist it later but without a shadow of a doubt; we will all resist it at some point. For me, that time is now.