Just the Facts, Ma’am!

They’ve toyed around with the idea of a national ID card. Why? Do the powers that be want us to have yet another chance to lie about our weight? Is the card going to have our picture on it? Have the people who came up with this idea looked at their driver’s license lately? Under what circumstances would anyone want to have yet another really crappy picture taken? I suppose I would be for the whole idea if they’d let me have my picture taken at Glamour Shots, but I really don’t think they will.

Why do we need a new ID? Supposedly, there’s going to be a computer chip on it that will access all kinds of information about us, possibly including medical information. Suppose my doctor tells me I need to lose weight. If I go to H.E.B. and buy a box of Twinkies, will the clerk yell at me? I can understand them wanting medical information in case of an emergency, however don’t people with special needs already have those fashionable bracelets to wear?

Am I the only one who’s a little scared of this whole idea? The whole concept of the card is vaguely reminiscent of 1984 by George Orwell. You know, “Big Brother is watching you.” There are so many things the government can access about us already, why would we want to give them yet more ammunition? I can swipe a card at checkout, and my bank account is automatically debited. I use credit cards to do some shopping. I have a medical card to show at the hospital, a card for roadside service, and a frequent-diner card for some restaurants. And now, we want to institute a national ID card? Where exactly does one buy a wallet big enough to hold all these cards? I already have a stooped shoulder and a bad back from carrying around a purse heavier than my cat. What do these people want from me?

I’ve tried to think of circumstances under which this card would come in handy, but frankly, I’m stumped. You must have a SSAN before you’re age two, like you’d really need to use it to cash a check at that age, and almost everyone uses that for identification. Barring using the SSAN, what about our driver’s license? Granted, most of the pictures don’t look anywhere near like us, but it is an accepted form of identification.

If the card has a bar code on it packed full of information, how will we know what that information is? Are we really going to believe some government official who tells us what’s on there? I think not! Me personally, I want a bar code reader, so I can see what they’ve packed into that little strip of information.

Okay, maybe I’m paranoid. Fine! Then maybe you can explain what it’s going to be used for. If you give this whole idea a lot of serious consideration, you’ll probably come to the same conclusion I did. Spying purposes. Of course, I just watched Conspiracy Theory again, so I may be a little paranoid.

Picture this…you go to a restaurant for dinner, and the hostess wants your ID card to ensure you’re the person who made the reservation. When she scans your card, she raises her eyebrow and looks at you strangely. Are you really going to stay there and eat dinner, or are you going to grab your card and run like the wind? A person could starve to death.

Let’s say you’re buying an airline ticket. The agent scans in your card and tells you that you can’t fly their airlines because you’re allergic to little bags of roasted peanuts. Or, you want to buy a new car and the salesman says you can’t because you have a bad driving record. Worse yet, you try to buy a house and they won’t let you because your last neighbors complained about your barking dogs. The possibilities are endless.

Okay, I’ll admit it–I’m probably overreacting. But, it’s scary! I’m afraid this is just a foot in the door for allowing the government to have even more access to our private lives than they do now. The really scary part is we wouldn’t know what all was on that card. I’ve already started making friends with clerks in stores. I figure if we become chummy, they’ll scan my card for me and let me know what it says. That’ll help.

Yep, it’s going to be a problem–I can see that now. Let’s not even discuss the fact that it would be yet one more number we’d have to memorize. There are nine digits in our SSAN and about 1,100 in most credit card numbers. How many more will there be in this new ID card? On some days, it’s a real stretch to remember my telephone number, and they want to have me tax my brain even more. Great!

I think I want to work in Washington, D.C. Life must be great there. Sitting around all day, thinking up idiotic ideas to irritate the public. Will the people in D.C. who came up with this brainstorm have a card? If so, I hope I’m the one who gets to take their picture!

One thing I’m perfectly sure of. If God knows how many hairs are on my head, then I won’t need to show identification to get into Heaven. That can only be a real blessing. If I have to show some card before they’ll let me in, then I’ll never get in since no way do I look like the picture on any ID I have. Plus, since I tend to fib a little (or a lot) on that weight thing, I really don’t want everyone in Heaven to know yet another time I’ve lied. Father already knows enough of them. I don’t need any more moral infractions to have to try and explain. My vote? Forget the card and use a fingerprint. I can’t lie about them.

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