Government Overreach

| December 21, 2020 2:23 PM

Since Oct. 1, every air traveler 18 years of age and older needs a REAL ID-compliant driver’s license or another acceptable form of ID to fly within the United States on a commercial airliner.

I became aware of REAL ID when renewing my driver’s license. The woman in charge patiently explained the requirements to this half-deaf old miner. She fully understood requirements and — good job — didn’t compromise. That’s the way it should be.

Being involved in regulations governing mine safety, health and the environment taught me to respect authority. It also taught me not to blame the agents in the field. They enforce regulations developed at federal and state levels.

I obtained a United States Passport in 1981, issued after producing a birth certificate, Social Security Card and proof of residency, etc. In 1987, I obtained a new passport — only good for five years. The second passport used the same personal data as the first.

Severe government overreach now prevents obtaining a REAL ID driver’s license using personal data from the 1987 passport because it expired. A basic issue involves an unchanged birth certificate issued 89 years ago.

A greater problem involves lack of consistency by states in meeting federal regulations. To Idaho’s credit, state government takes protecting right of its legitimate citizens. Apparently, U.S. citizenship means very little in California.

Several years ago, a California resident considering moving to Idaho, visited for several weeks. She arranged to have “important” mail delivered to my P.O. Box. She received an official government mailing, included a form to register as a voter and a pre-paid return envelope.

She told me “they” encouraged her to become a voter, even though not a citizen.

BOB LAUNHARDT

Pinehurst