Friday, January 11, 2008

Terrorism Breakthrough!

According to years of research by Homeland Security Department, no terrorist is older than 43 years, one month, and 11 days. At least, that’s what you would gather from the arbitrary date included in the Real ID requirements. Like the arbitrary date of the TV change next year, this provision shows just how worthless our Congress is. Why not start on January 1 like many other laws? Or maybe at the start of the fiscal year? Or even the Chinese New Year? What possible reason is there for including someone born December 1, 1964, but not someone born November 30, 1964? Yes, any starting date is going to have a day that came before it, but isn’t it much easier to use birth years instead of actual birth dates? This date was intentionally chosen because someone, somewhere out there in America will realize some sort of financial gain from this. There is no other reason to not use January 1.

A better question: why is there a year in this provision at all? Are we saying that 44-year-olds can’t be terrorists? How old is bin Laden? (quick Wikipedia search) HE WAS BORN IN 1957!!!!! He doesn’t even need a new drivers license! (And I bet he has at least two.) The HEAD TERRORIST of the ENTIRE WORLD doesn’t fall under these “anti-terror” guidelines.

Having a year in this provision is a tacit admission that profiling is valid. If 80-year-olds can’t be terrorists but 35-year-olds might be, there must be an established terrorist profile against which a suspect’s age can be checked. Then why not also check the suspect’s sex and race? When my daughter was two years old, she was “randomly selected” for a more-intensive security screening before boarding our plane. Because, hey, two-year-old white American girls are responsible for thousands of deaths around the world. The only reason to use random screening is if there is no profile, but the fact that Real ID cuts off at 1964 indicates there is a profile.

Now for costs. Here in Kansas, renewing a Class C license for six years costs $25. Is the federal government going to offset this cost the way it’s offsetting the TV converter box cost? Having two TVs in your house is a government priority, but catching terrorists is just something nice to do when there’s a little downtime.

1 comment:

Nance said...

Technically, when Crazy Jane was randomly selected at an airport security checkpoint, it was just a month and a half past her first birthday. And they made her take off her shoes (I mean, we had to take of her shoes) and they made her stand with her arms out and do the metal detector want. Seriously, what one year old will be agreeable to that? Although I really wish we'd thought to take a picture. But we were being wanded as well.