Saturday, August 23, 2008

PRESIDENT SELECT: Chuck Baldwin on Real ID

Two weeks ago BeatTheChip began a series on the run for President elect and the challenges Real ID faces in being faced as a civil liberties, economic, immigration and Constitutional issue.

Since endeavoring to get this information, I have learned a lot about the delicate balance between persistence and answers from Presidential campaigns. Headlines ushered Bob Barr first in line to take his swipe at the Real ID cards. While BeatTheChip patiently waited for the Green Party's Cynthia McKinney to get us on her calendar, I was given the crash course and new goggles on Continuity of Government education from her Press Secretary, John Judge. We got our readers up to speed and then gave the preface to what Real ID as an issue might mean in a 2008 election.

Without further ado, we bring you a Sunday edition of ....

BeatTheChip's PRESIDENTIAL SELECT featuring Chuck Baldwin

This week we will be featuring Chuck Baldwin, Constitutional Party (CP) candidate and his stances on the Real ID Act.

Chuck Baldwin, started his political career as a Florida chair for Jerry Falwell’s Moral Majority. He was chosen as a Vice Presidential running mate in 2004 for the Constitutional party. Baldwin’s criticisms of the Bush Adminstration started with a vacation from the Republican party in 2000 for being too “liberal” in choosing the Bush/Cheney ticket. He endorsed Ron Paul as the Republican nominee during the 2008 primaries. Baldwin was nominated by the Constitutional party in April this year.

Baldwin, as the Constitutional Party nominee, had the most to say about Real ID and it’s relevance in the face of the US Constitution.

“The Patriot Act and the Real ID Act are not only unconstitutional but extra-constitutional. These bills are predicated upon the idea that our government has the power to do such things as spy on its own citizens, and this is simply untrue. The 4th Amendment to the Constitution prohibits the Federal Government from unreasonably searching or seizing the people, their property, and effects without probable cause. The distinction that I have made here is important, because it states that not only are these Acts of Congress unwise, but they are unauthorized and beyond the scope of power for Congress to authorize,” said Baldwin.

Baldwin then gave his path to acting on the current legislation.

“Nonetheless, these Acts must be negated or otherwise removed from the books. As President, I will not only push for Congressional repeal of the Patriot Act and Real ID Act, I will simply nullify all aspects of these egregious bills. As the chief Executive, it will be within my power to simply not enforce this legislation. However, Presidents will come after me--so it will be of paramount importance that we remove these Acts from the books. Barring that, I will seek to defund and declaw the agencies who are empowered by such legislation,” stated Baldwin.

The Department of Homeland Security is one such agency, who maintains that Real ID is a solution for immigration documentation and is actively expanding the U.S.-Mexico border wall fence. The border wall fence is an environmental debacle affecting foreign workers and US landowners. DHS, as the chief enforcer of the Real ID Act, waived 36 federal laws to expand the fence around the time Baldwin was nominated. Here is what he had to say about the fence.

“As I've already stated, I am opposed to the REAL ID Act. This includes all provisions therein because the Act comes as a whole package. The Border Fence should be built, in my opinion, but it should be voted on very clearly and with no piggy-backing provisions. A straight up-or-down vote is what the American people want, and it is what they should be afforded. Congress does, of course, have the authority to waive laws that it legislated in the past and also has the authority to limit the jurisdiction of the various Federal Courts--which is the second half of Section 102 C in the REAL ID Act,” said Baldwin.

Federal jurisdiction in Continuity of Government would be a “cross -to-bear” for Baldwin as he calculated the worse case scenario uses for Real IDs as currently mandated.

“The Continuity of Government ensures that in times of crisis or violence, the government will continue to function legitimately (or, as legitimately as governments can function). The REAL ID Act seems rather innocuous to those who trust their government and elitist leaders to do the best for the country in the event of a crisis. I fear that the REAL ID Act would be used to restrict voting or freedom of movement in the event of a crisis,” said Baldwin.

Finally, Baldwin addressed the issues of the economy, tax pay outs on Real ID implementations and its projected effects on both voters and workers.

“The Real ID is a federal intervention into the business of the various states. I am a firm believer in the principles of federalism, enshrined in our Constitution and loved by our Founding Fathers. Each state has the power to determine its own credentials for voting, or even for employment, and this is none of the Federal government's business. A simple reading of the 10th Amendment will tell us that any powers not provided to the Federal government in the Constitution is reserved to the states or to the people. Nowhere in the Constitution is voting mentioned as a power to control by the Federal government.

Simply put, my administration would do nothing to manage the fiscal burdens passed to the states by the Real ID Act. My administration would cut any enforcement of this legislation off at the knees. At an estimated cost of $11 billion over five years, Americans simply can't afford the Real ID Act. More importantly, National Identification Cards are a very unpopular idea and the people will not suffer this violation of their civil liberties. To date, 21 states have passed legislation rejecting the Real ID Act--and I will encourage more of them to follow in their footsteps,” said Baldwin.

May the other 29 states follow.

For more information on Chuck Baldwin’s campaign, visit .

Thursday, August 21, 2008

WHTI -DHS Town Hall Tour

DHS Secretary Chertoff, is enduring the "public education" tour on both the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative and college talks with intelligent young folks about identity security.

Here is the LA Symposium at USC.

And here is Chertoff discourse yesterday about WHTI in OHIO.

"We are doing a series of town hall meetings to make folks aware of changes that are coming about," DHS spokesperson Laura Keehner told "The town hall is a platform to talk to people and receive feedback from them."

According to suggestions from the National Travel Association and the Travel Association of America, it's just plain good PR. People don't like being held to a standard from behind them where they can't have some notion of what's going on and at least, a nominal voice in what is happening to them.

If only they could tell us more about why non-terrorist information is being held in DHS databases for 15 years and how to get off the watchlists.

Fun with The Stasi

Ever since I discovered we had Stasi communication's pro's on the U.S. payroll, I needed a good laugh.

BOING, BOING has done some great recent coverage of the days of yore, glistening nostalgia for the days of oppressive East German Spying over a beer.

"Marilyn sez, "Relive the good old days of East German secret police at Zur Firma, a new bar in Berlin equipped with an interrogation table, fake security cameras, and prison cells. You can buy a beer and apply for an ID card at the theme bar."

I guess the idea here is you go in the bar- have a good laugh, leave and then go, "WHEW! I'm really glad that is not my real life!!" Here's to you NSA, I am pouring one for all my misguided U.S. homies watching the news and buying the fecundation that the best jobs in Amerikka are SECURITY jobs.

C'mon America, I know you can do better than this. This is not the way we do things. If it is, it's time to let your light shine. Internal passports, thought-crime legislation and wiretapping 7 year olds is not the American way.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Real ID Watch: NPR on REAL ID

Real ID Watch: NPR on REAL ID


Jim Babka's, DownSize DC is doing some great work to stop Real ID's progress with his national machine, . He's doing a lot in Conneticut, where the public seems to be still prety sleepy about Real ID and how they will inherit it. Real ID is a now a shapeshifting monster trying to survive.  In border states it looks like Enhanced Driver's licenses. In other coastal states it looks like some version of the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative. Enter Transportation Worker Identification Credential or TWIC.

"The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) wants you to have a Real ID card that's very similar to the TWIC card. But DHS is failing to implement the Real ID because state governments are resisting. Twenty one states are refusing to comply with the REAL ID. It's probably the biggest rebellion against the federal government since the Civil War. So what can the DHS do to overcome this rebellion?

They can "pick off the herd" -- hit one industry at a time until so many people have Smart Cards no one is left to resist, " says Babka who later indicated that the commercial transport agencies and unions have been targets for Smart Card regulations.

Earlier this year TWIC, like all associations with citizens and Real ID, including TSA according to DHS were "voluntary".

Well, now the people who didn't volunteer their ID's at Airport checkpoints are being added to a separate watch list. 

The consequences for failing to comply with the TWIC program are threats to transport worker's job security. Lowell Rogers, a tugboat engineer of 23 years, talks about how a TWIC card threatens to end his career on Jim Babka's show this afternoon.

Babka will be hosting his nationally syndicated program on at 3PM EST/2PM CST /Noon PST. Archives are available for 24 hours.