Saturday, October 18, 2008

Texas DPS Applies for $171.2 million in Real ID Grants

DPS Commission Hearing on Implementation Readiness for Real IDs

A BeatTheChip Exclusive

AUSTIN -- Texas Department of Public Safety License Administrator Chief Judy Brown briefed the Public Safety Commission Thursday, October 16th on DPS’s application status for $171.2 million in FEMA/DHS grants to implement recent rules and technologies Real ID compliant license standards. Chief Brown discussed the public-private business model including staffing commissioned officers in a new proposed license administrator hierarchy, amid priorities to implement the federal mandate.

Brown indicated there was significant reluctance from State Legislators and resources to move forward with financing the new licenses with State funds. If the FEMA/DHS grants are accepted in the State of Texas, proposed rulemaking would standardize new licenses to for federal purposes such as: applying for social programs, entering federal buildings, and flying on regulated aircraft by the next deadline of 2009 and state the driver’s nationality.

C. Tom Clowe Jr. , DPS Comissioner, asked Chief Brown about her rationale for employing comissioned officers over civillian clerks.

“Civillians will argue with another civllian [clerk]. They will not argue with a uniform,” said Chief Brown during her commentary for incorporating a new job title, “Civillian Manager”.

Other topics covered during the meeting included a response from DPS Chairman Allen Polunsky to those giving public input regarding license inspection checkpoints. Citizens expressed opposition during public input to random license checkpoints and a new rule requiring citizenship documentation in order to attain a drivers license. Immediately following the testimony from members of the 5-11 Campaign, Polunsky said, “There are no plans... to instill public checkpoints at this time.” He added that concerns over the checkpoints were premature.

Later in the meeting, Chairman Polunsky submitted a letter from Texas Senator Juan Hinajosa concerned about the rulemaking for license requirements and license examination checkpoints.

September 8th, 2008 the DPS sought permissions from the Attorney General in the form of an opinion request document to allow license checkpoints in the State of Texas. Checkpoints have been illegal in the state of Texas since 1994.


Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Classic Oppositon to Real ID

Lest we forget, Representative Ron Paul opposes The Real ID Act of 2005.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

What the Police Sate Looks Like

The U.S. military "is not a Swiss Army knife," ready to fight the Taliban one week, respond to a hurricane the next and put down a major political protest the third week, Healy said. -

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The United States military's Northern Command, formed in the wake of the September 11 terrorist attacks, is dedicating a combat infantry team to deal with catastrophes in the U.S., including terrorist attacks and natural disasters.

Soldiers preparing for a mission coordinated by Joint Task Force North, the U.S. Northern Command unit.

The 1st Brigade Combat Team of the 3rd Infantry, which was first into Baghdad, Iraq, in 2003, started its controversial assignment Wednesday [October 1, 2008].


A DHS Checkpoint in Texas

"Is this voluntary or involuntary?" - An answer to the police.

If it is voluntary : "Am I free to go?" 

The answer is always yes.