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 A modest proposal for a new century . . .

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dkchristi
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PostSubject: Re: A modest proposal for a new century . . .   Sat Sep 08, 2012 8:22 pm

Ah Victor, if fraud were rampant I would salute a national identity card, you know like in Germany and Russia. Then there would be no question.

However, and voter fraud has been documented as statistically zero and mostly errors. The states implementing voter registration laws are all Republican and member have legislative members who clearly stated to the press that they were glad to scew the vote through those laws.

http://www.brennancenter.org/content/resource/2012_summary_of_voting_law_changes/

However, I respect your opinion because I know you are a person for whom facts are important. You just happen to be wrong on this one. My mom won't be voting for the first time in her life. There are many like her. Since the elderly, the disabled, the new and old voters tend to vote Democrat, the Republicans are happy to discourage them from voting.

My mom's record of birth was in some long lost bible in a tiny blip on a map in Mississippi. She lives on cash basis. She doesn't need a driver's license for one bit of her normal life, nor will she spend the time or money to get one because laws are suddenly changed to count her out. It's rotten in my book. Something in which she still took pride at her age is taken away. Shame.
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joefrank
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PostSubject: Re: A modest proposal for a new century . . .   Sat Sep 08, 2012 8:59 pm

9/9/2012

That's a great idea ! A national ID Card like they

have in Europe, we need one. I have a passport

for over 30 years, to me this is better than a

drivers license which can be forged.

Cheers..Joe...Very Happy
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Abe F. March
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PostSubject: Re: A modest proposal for a new century . . .   Sun Sep 09, 2012 12:07 am

Victor, your comments are well stated with much validity. However, presumption is also included. I think many form opinions based on experience. If we find it difficult to cast a vote, it is natural to assume that others experience the same thing. Identity is the key for validity and to avoid fraud. Making it simple rather than difficult would have a huge impact on voting. When it becomes too complicated, many just wonít bother and I believe that plays into the strategy of politics.
Joe, I agree that an identity card would solve many problems. We require identity for many things and often people use their driver's license since it has a photo.
An ID card with photo is useful. It is used in Europe and functions well. Why should anyone want to hide their identity unless they have something to hide?

The identity card specifies citizenship. If it says, US Citizen, that should be enough to qualify your vote. It should not matter if you are registered in a particular State. That is very difficult for people who have moved around and donít have a home State. If one is living abroad, and a US Citizen, Absentee Ballots are available, however it is so complicated that voting is a chore if not a nuisance.
I realize that drawing conclusions and making generalized statements can be misconstrued as challenged by Victor. Voting is a pain, yet very important. Making it difficult to register often means that many just won't deal with it. I went through the process of the "Absentee Ballot" and it is so complicated that I just won't bother with it. Having witnessed what happened during the election of GWB, I don't trust it. They can disqualify a vote because it is received late or for any technicality they wish to impose for disqualification. Instead of helping, I get the impression the vote is hindered for political reasons.
I shall present myself with a copy of my birth certificate in hand. A copy of my discharge from the US Air Force. My passport and anything else I can bring to prove I am eligible to vote. If denied, I intend to make a fight of it and that includes contacting the press. Flying several thousand miles to cast my single vote in this important election is worth the effort provided my vote will count.
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PostSubject: Re: A modest proposal for a new century . . .   Sun Sep 09, 2012 6:11 am

I think this is one of those instances where everybody is right, at least in part. There need to be some changes in the way we vote for both of the reasons being discussed.

We have an old tale here in Texas about the ballot boxes in Duvall County being stuffed back when Lyndon Johnson was running for congressman. It was a rumor that wouldn't die - probably because it was true, and likely what got a future president his first seat. I was always a long way from being a Johnson fan, so perhaps I believe it because I want to. There was always, too the persistent rumor that one of his enemies committed suicide by shooting himself in the back with a shotgun. I met the man once, when I was about 19 or 20, and he was our VP. The way he looked me over when he shook my hand was positively creepy - but I'm getting off track.

The circumstance of voter ID's with photos that came up here and was vetoed by the courts was, I believe, a valid example of the other side. The charge that it was an attempt to keep certain legitimate voters from the polls was real, and is not an uncommon example of such practice by our legislatures, along with the "gerrymandering" of districts - anything that can be done to disenfranchise certain potential voters.

I have had two sons-in-law in the military, and one of them, along with my daughter, while they were stationed in Germany a few years ago, were casting votes for progressive candidates. They may not have been part of the majority, but we do have secret ballots, so who really knows how another is going to vote.

The other night at our family dinner here at my house, that same daughter and son-in-law, as well as his parents, were bemoaning the fact that, while we will all be voting, our votes will probably not count because the electoral college delegates will most likely be committed to voting for Romney. - That, too, is an outdated system that needs to change.
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Victor D. Lopez
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PostSubject: Re: A modest proposal for a new century . . .   Sun Sep 09, 2012 6:22 am

Alice, DK, Joe Ann and Abe,

I respect your opinions and reasonable people may certainly differ on this issue. As always, honest debate can shed light and people of good will (ans I hope that includes me) should be open to examining their assumptions.

As with most any issue, there are ample data that can be used--both hard and anecdotal--to prove either that voter fraud is very real and has had an impact on both local and federal elections many times in the past, or that it is a nominal issue not worthy of note. It is not, however, zero as many cases are well documented by BOTh Ds and Rs. The real argument is as to the extent of voter fraud. For me, I have zero tolerance for it. Zero. But I am very concerned about vote suppression, and will not tolerate it--not for our soldiers past or present, not for persons in nursing homes, and not for anyone who can prove they have earned the right to cast a vote through any reasonable means. Whatever anyone may think of my arguments (rantings?) they are not motivated by anything other than ensuring the integrity of every vote. far better people than i have bled and died to protect that right. But it is a right that our Constitution reserves only for citizens--and it, too, is worth bleeding and dying to protect--politics aside.

I have long believed that we need a national identity card and agree with Joe on the issue. It would make voter fraud mostly a non issue (aside from fake cards, but the small risk from that is truly nominal compared to the room for fraud under the current system). It would also make it easier for law enforcement to track criminals across state lines and facilitate a true national database for all sorts of offenders. I know and am sensitive to the arguments that my libertarian friends would make and these are important as well. But the integrity of our elections and public safety trumps those concerns for me in this limited area. Most countries around the world, developed and lesser developed, require a national I.D. card.

As with nearly any issue of public policy, most of all we need an honest, spirited debate that focuses on the facts (and mine may be skewed as well as hard facts on voter fraud are not easy to obtain and we all know what mark twain said about statistics in any case) and all of us--myself included--need to look at this and other controversial issues from the point of view of the opposing side. There are good arguments based on both civil liberties and the need to avoid any form of unfair voter suppression for maintaining the current system. But there are also good arguments in law and equity for preventing fraud and suppressing illegal votes. neither the Republican not Democratic party have the high road on this. I trust we the people, not Them the Party.

And I will march by your side, (literally, metaphorically and with pitchfork in hand in needed), if anyone suppresses your vote, Abe. Or the vote of any citizen in a home or in a college dorm for that matter. I suspect there would be no limit to the pitchfork wielding crowd of the R, D and I variety joining us.
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Abe F. March
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PostSubject: Re: A modest proposal for a new century . . .   Sun Sep 09, 2012 7:13 am

Thanks Victor. Just knowing there are those who stand ready to support has made my day.
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alice
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PostSubject: Re: A modest proposal for a new century . . .   Sun Sep 09, 2012 7:40 am

Thank you, Victor.
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dkchristi
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PostSubject: Re: A modest proposal for a new century . . .   Sun Sep 09, 2012 1:51 pm

Victor you are a welcome voice of reason with different views than mine, but a similar verve for what is fair.

Unfortunately, this is a country in which a large percentage of the population does not vote and a large group will not if it's made difficult. It has been made difficult for many, and with admitted purpose.

We all know about gerrymandering; and now we know about vote suppression. You are right about how hard won the right to vote has been.

If they were going to pass voting laws that did not suppress the vote, they should have included the means for those disenfranchised who voted in the past and who are newly entitled to vote to receive help in obtaining new documentation and getting to the polls.

This country should make voting as easy as going to the grocery store; someone here said a simple click on the Internet. We bank on the Internet, we buy stock on the Internet, and more. All politics is an attempted "fix" since no one is willing to rely on facts as a basis for voting. That would be novel.
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Abe F. March
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PostSubject: Re: A modest proposal for a new century . . .   Mon Sep 10, 2012 12:53 am

Thanks DK. I think being associated with people who have difficulty filling out forms or whose eyesight isn't what it once was must be considered. Remember the KISS principle? "Keep It Simple, Stupid." or "Keep It Super Simple". We hear talk about the importance of getting out to vote and exercising our patriotic rights, etc. At the same time, making it easy to cast a vote doesn't appear to be important. The emphasis is on the potential of Voter Fraud. The biggest fraud in my view is making it difficult to cast a vote. How often have we sent observers to other countries in an effort to prevent voter fraud. I wonder what would happen if other countries were to send observers to the US? Would we accept that?

Change is needed. We can use the electronic tools we have to make it simple and just. There have been many adjustments made with Credit Cards to prevent fraud. It may not be 100% secure, but safe enough.
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PostSubject: Re: A modest proposal for a new century . . .   Mon Sep 10, 2012 3:28 am

I don't think, in the beginning, our founding fathers really trusted us to have sense enough to vote properly. That's why we have an electoral college. And does anyone here remember the poll tax? We have come a long way, over time. I think we are just evolving to a point where we are more aware of injustice. Partly because, in our lack of awareness, we allowed things to get to a point where more of us are joining the disenfranchised. When we reach a point where enough of us are saying, "Change is needed," the change will become a reality. Think Civil Rights Act.

Ann
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E. Don Harpe
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PostSubject: Re: A modest proposal for a new century . . .   Mon Sep 10, 2012 3:12 pm

Many college students tend to be a bit more on the liberal side, and therefore tend to vote Democratic, and might be more inclined to vote for a person of color than some other segments of our population. They all have vaild photo ID cards from the college or university they attend. However, having this valid card is not quite enough. To be able to use the card to vote, it must have an expiration date, which most don't.

The only reason I can see for this is to suppress the votes of a large segment of people, who just by coincidence might vote in 2012 for President Obama.

In 2008, many black churches in Ohio turned out their congregations on the Sunday prior to election Tuesday, and they traveled to the polls enmasse to cast their vote early, and again, many of them voted for Obama. When the Republicans took control of the Ohio law making procedures, they decided that early voting was not a good thing, and passed a law preventing it. Well, except for the military, who many believe vote Republican. I can't see that as anything other than an attempt at voter suppression. Of course, it was overturned, but even then the GOP attempted to spin it as Obama trying to prevent the military from voting, and the sad truth was that they got a lot of people to believe that, in spite of what common sense should have been telling them.

So, if it indeed makes it much harder for poor people, minorities, seniors or any other group who might actually vote Democratic to actually get to a place and provide the doctuments needed to obtain a picture ID card, then I don't see how that can be considered as anything other than voter suppression.

I don't want to believe this, but the fact is that I have no choice, as to any rational way of thinking it is so plain what they're doing. They're not finding enough cases of voter fraud to justify their plan, and they know it is a hardship of thousands, if not millions, of eligible voters, but they just don't seem to care. And if they will attempt to manipulate a Presidential election, it begs the question what else will they want to control?
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dkchristi
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PostSubject: Re: A modest proposal for a new century . . .   Mon Sep 10, 2012 3:39 pm

Former President Jimmy Carter went to other countries to participate in making certain that voting was fair. I'm surprised a contingent from other countries is not coming here to issue a hue and a cry regarding voter suppression. You are so right, Don. Those in charge of these laws readily admit the purpose is to skew the vote; that should be revealing enough that the laws are purposeful. It is frightening, especially because it seems so much of the country, including intelligent well-intentioned people - want to believe that these laws are "patriotic," you know, that piece of Americana that the Republicans adopted with 9/11 to spread fear in the hearts of anyone who dared question the government after that heinous event.

At least that fear is gone. No one has any hesitation in saying the worst possible things about the current administration and feel "patriotic" doing it. The total disrespectful behavior toward a sitting President has been unprecedented and is disgusting to me. I am ashamed of people I love and respect that participate in such hate and venom that has been aroused for no rational reason except its political power for the Republicans.

We all know the truth, Republicans and Democrats; it's just that the party line for the Republicans gives them a mantra to repeat until they believe it.
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dkchristi
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PostSubject: Re: A modest proposal for a new century . . .   Mon Sep 10, 2012 3:53 pm

A friend of mine who is from the Caribbean with dark skin is also a rated tennis player and courted by the best clubs in what was once a very old, white men and their uppity wives Naples, Florida. Remnants remain for sure.

A few years ago we were following a row of cars into one of the most exquisite and private membership clubs where my friend was a star player in the events. The gate watcher simply popped the gate for every car without questions, most in some sort of tennis duds. When we got to the gate, he became very officious, looking up her name on his list and demanding her driver's license and proof of participation in the event. He did this with a long line of waiting players behind us, time ticking away to the event start.

I was furious as he finally waved us through the gate. "I'm sorry," I said to my friend, "that he put you through that." She returned. "You didn't do it. You don't have to be apologetic for stupid people. I don't allow someone else's lack of education, experience or intelligence to interfere with one moment of my thoughts. I have a match to play. I will continue improving my tennis and winning matches; he will continue being ignorant. I prefer tennis."

The commentators continue to report that Romney is going after the angry white man vote and not bothering with the ethnic vote. At least he can count on 100% of the Mormons. We've come a long way - but there's still a long way to go.
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Victor D. Lopez
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PostSubject: Re: A modest proposal for a new century . . .   Mon Sep 10, 2012 6:14 pm

I empathize with and share the concerns eloquently expressed by our colleagues here. I also want voting to be easy, painless, and accurate. And I would love to abolish the electoral college. But my primary concern is about avoiding fraud and ensuring that only qualified persons cast votes--and then only once.

I don't trust online banking and do not trust online voting for the same reason: it is simply not secure. Hackers break into the CIA, FBI, banks and credit card companies regularly to steal data, identities, and credit card numbers. I fear that the electric grid, air traffic control and other critical infrastructure may not be safe because we have moved so many critical controls to unsafe networks where terrorists and others can wreak havoc. I am not willing to expose elections to the same risk over the internet which is designed for openness, not security, and have our next President elected by hackers working for nations or groups that mean us harm.

Until a closed absolutely secure system for voting that can verify the identity of the voter is designed, I will insist on one person, one vote, inviolate, in person, through rain, snow, sleet and meteor showers if necessary. Bits and bites recorded by some computer in cyberspace I do not trust as they are too easily manipulated and make fraud harder to detect.

I missed one election since my 18th Birthday because my absentee ballot arrived too late courtesy of the USPS. I've never been too sick, too busy or too tired to cast a vote. Those who are always have the option of requesting an absentee ballot and take their chances with the Pony Express. Vote suppression is a travesty. Vote manipulation or creation is no less so.


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joefrank
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PostSubject: Re: A modest proposal for a new century . . .   Mon Sep 10, 2012 7:00 pm

9/11/2012

Victor...



.........



Cheers..Joe...
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dkchristi
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PostSubject: Re: A modest proposal for a new century . . .   Tue Sep 11, 2012 9:29 am

I lived on a sailboat in the Caribbean during one election. I couldn't figure out how to get an absentee ballot and so we did not vote. I felt terrible. Sometimes I miss "minor," local elections and chastise myself as local elections are where one person, one vote makes a major difference. School Board elections have very low turnouts, and their membership reflects who votes.
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Abe F. March
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PostSubject: Re: A modest proposal for a new century . . .   Tue Sep 11, 2012 9:56 am

To say that electronic voting is not a safe way to vote, then perhaps we're not so smart or advanced as we think we are. Keeping it simple in my view is with a Voter picture ID with a unique number. What's so difficult about that? Anyone who doesn't want the ID can continue to utilize the antiquated system. There is usually opposition with anything new. Innovation doesn't happen by accident, but usually by need. We need a simple system so everyone who is eligible to vote can vote. I doubt that any system will be perfect. What's so perfect about the system we have? Is there voter fraud with our present system? Is it easy for people to vote?
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Victor D. Lopez
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PostSubject: Re: A modest proposal for a new century . . .   Tue Sep 11, 2012 10:28 am

Abe,

There is nothing difficult about developing a system to allow electronic voting, including one as you suggest. The problem is that there are myriad ways for hackers to break into supposedly safe computers and steal or manipulate data. Electronic IDs can be stolen, and databases containing votes cast can be hacked into and manipulated.

This is not alarmist nonsense on my part, but a very real concern based on the headlines of the day. Nothing sent over the Internet is secure, no matter what protocols are used to provide us with "secure" sites. The best security that money can buy has not prevented hackers from stealing not only credit card numbers but personal information that financial institutions keep on file (SS numbers, birth dates, mothers' maiden names, etc.) for thousands upon thousands of people, including recently publicized breaches at major credit card companies. If the FBI and CIA official sites can be hacked and false information placed there by hackers (both have happened more than once), how much faith can we have in the security of any system developed for the government by the lowest bidder? Disrupting elections would be a feather in the cap of any hacker looking for glory, mischief, or to do real harm to U.S. interests. Is it a secret that China, Iran and others are engaged in active programs of cyber attacks on the U.S.? Does anyone doubt for a moment that an electronic voting system would not become the unholy grail to terrorists and others who wish to do us harm?

Point of sale systems such as credit card readers at retailers have also been compromised, allowing hackers to steal passwords, credit card and (worse) ATM or debit card information. These are facts, not suppositions. people are lulled into a false sense of security about online transactions and very few are aware of the actual risk of using inline banking. The sad fact is that online voting would not be safe, cannot be made safe under current technology. In person voting is also subject to fraud and has been in every election, though statistical data can be cited to minimize or maximize the problem with this or any other issue.

I want to minimize the potential for fraud and limit to a a number as low as possible (ideally zero) illegal votes cast and counted. A national identity card would solve the issue to my satisfaction. The state actions (in the absence of a national identity card) go part of the way to resolving the problem too, though I also worry along with many of our friends and colleagues here and elsewhere, about the underlying motivation in some quarters to suppress legal votes rather than minimize fraud.

Online voting would be a giant leap backwards for me as it is the least safe, least secure, least verifiable form of voting we could implement and an invitation to a national tragedy. If evolving technology changes this, I would quickly embrace online voting as a preferred form of voting--including its use for referendums at the local level to directly implement the will of the people within the parameters permitted by the Constitution.
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alj
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PostSubject: Re: A modest proposal for a new century . . .   Tue Sep 11, 2012 10:49 am

I'm with Victor on this one. Too much of an invasion or privacy concern, especially with our current level of technology. I would still much rather deal with a human than a machine. Kirk's frailties over Spock's detachment and logic.

I still wonder if the Wall Street crisis was not exacerbated, if not caused, by the use of computers to buy and sell based on collected data instead of real people making flawed choices.

Just me, though

Ann
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dkchristi
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PostSubject: Re: A modest proposal for a new century . . .   Tue Sep 11, 2012 11:57 am

I'm a realist. Electronic communications is it. Period. Anything less is behind the times and proves how old we are. Can't make a phone call. Can't pay a bill. Can't bank. It's all very frustrating to you and me. To our younger counterparts it's normal life. Voting will be electronic, mark my word, regardless of the hijacking and anything else. It may take a while, but it's coming.
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Abe F. March
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PostSubject: Re: A modest proposal for a new century . . .   Tue Sep 11, 2012 12:06 pm

Valid points Victor, however I am not ready to throw in the towel and say it can't work. I don't think there is anything in life that is secure and there will always be fraud. How to minimize the fraud is a challenge.
In the old days in Austria where I did family geneology research, elections were held in a meadow by a large oak tree. The candidates would be there and those voting for the candidate would stand beside the candidate of their choice. That was secure, but would not be feasible in our world today. I do think that a Voter ID card is a step in the right direction. Having a national identity card would be useful. I don't understand the resistance to a national ID card. Even cashing a check requires ID.
Finding a simplified way to vote is the challenge. Fighting crime will not end. Not to introduce a program for fear of what might go wrong is not progress. We would never have landed on the moon if we let the fear of what could go wrong dictate. There is most always a risk of some sort. Taking a risk requires courage.
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PostSubject: Re: A modest proposal for a new century . . .   Tue Sep 11, 2012 12:08 pm

I don't mind it coming, DK, but in the meantime, there are a lot of security issues that need to be solved.

Ann
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Victor D. Lopez
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PostSubject: Re: A modest proposal for a new century . . .   Tue Sep 11, 2012 1:47 pm

I absolutely agree with Ann. And I don't mind taking a calculated risk at all, Abe. Nothing in life is guaranteed, other than death, taxes and corrupt governments. We would not have landed on the moon but for our willingness to take calculated reasonable risks (and heroes like Armstrong and Aldrin). But we would certainly not have landed there by strapping on a couple of hundred rockets to a lawn chair and crossing our fingers either. I'm not willing to trust the integrity of an election to a system that we know to be insecure. The cure will prove far worse than the disease. We do agree on the wisdom of a national identity card, though, and, like you, I don't get the opposition by law-abiding citizens who are not scamming the system, running from the law, attempting to avoid their civil obligations such as child and spousal support, etc. If we had that minimum safeguard as to proof of identity, I'd shut up and gripe about something else. Meantime . . .
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alice
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PostSubject: Re: A modest proposal for a new century . . .   Tue Sep 11, 2012 8:04 pm

Why wasn't this resolved earlier like 2009?
Why days before a major election.
I think it shows poor planning.
TOTAL LACK OF FORESIGHT!
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PostSubject: Re: A modest proposal for a new century . . .   Tue Sep 11, 2012 9:33 pm

9/12/2012

Yes Victor I agree a National ID card, even though I have

a passport which is safer than a drivers license that can be

forged and that's a well known fact...Passports today are

harder to forge...

Cheers..Joe...Very Happy
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