The deejay said: “You know,

The deejay said: “You know, before the September 11 attacks, I was against the idea of a national ID, but now, well, something has to be done.” So let me get this straight: if we have a national ID, people from other countries don’t get to ride in our airplanes? The other deejay said: “Yeah, but if we have a national ID it has to have a retinal scan or a fingerprint or something, or the problem of identity theft would become even worse.” Listen, you lump of mouth, the technology for reading fingerprints and retinal scans is very complicated indeed, and could only be installed in the most secure of areas. These areas are already secure. And if you think that anything, anything can’t be forged, wake the hell up.

I’m torn on the concept of national ID. I’m a federal employee, so on a personal level my privacy is gone. On the other hand, I come from a family that valued privacy so highly that I had to decide to get my own social security number when I came of working age. This was not done for me as a baby. I’ve long resented how the SSN, which was supposed to be used for only one thing, has become widely used by a number of institutions for identification purposes.

The bottom line: I cannot work out how a national ID will make us safer. More paranoid, sure. But those who wish to do us harm will not be prevented from doing so by an ID card.

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