June 5, 2006
A fool and his identity are soon parted
By Perry Willis

Today's Downsizer-Dispatch . . .

There is something about the mass human mind that continues to make the same mistakes over and over again. The man on the street says . . .

Our leaders know things we don't know, so I support whatever they want to do. Anyone who wants to protect their privacy from government scrutiny must have something to hide. Bad things are being done, but it's the underlings who are doing it, and if only the President, or the King, or the Fuhrer, knew about it, he would stop it. I'm okay with trading freedom for security. The Federal government needs to handle this problem.

But history teaches a different story. Our leaders don't know much, even when they spend billions on intelligence gathering. Governments almost always misuse personal information to harm the innocent. The President, the King, or the Fuhrer, almost always knows about the bad things his underlings are doing. We give up our freedom, but we hardly ever get increased security in return. The Federal government centralizes things, and the common result is that we all suffer.

The concrete examples to illustrate these points are too numerous to list. And our leaders are busy creating new ones every day. For instance, we were told that federalizing airline security would make us all safer, but avenues for terrorist attack on airplanes remain wide open, while everyone in America suffers through cumbersome airport security measures that are worse than useless. We would have been much better off if government had gotten out of the business entirely, and left the airlines to compete with a hundred different, DECENTRALIZED, approaches to airline security.

But the beat goes on . . .

We are now told that massive, centralized databases, like REAL ID and NAIS, the National Animal Identification System, will make us all safer. But the truth is that a fool and his identity are soon parted. Whenever you centralize anything, especially in the hands of government, you create conditions for massive failures that harm everyone. Perhaps you will have noticed in the news that . . .

A federal employee of the Veterans Administration just walked out the door with a massive centralized government database of veterans, and promptly lost it, had it stolen, or sold it. Now millions of Americans are scrambling to protect their identities, at a cost that must surely amount to billions of dollars and billions of hours of lost time. Now imagine the same thing happening with a REAL ID or NAIS database.

It is up to us to end the litany of repetitive stupidity. It is up to us to point out the lessons of history, and act on them. It is up to us to blunt, stop, and eventually reverse, the centralizing tendencies of politicians, and the fool on the street. It is up to us to build the army, and apply the pressure that will be needed to Downsize DC. And so we take another step in that direction today . . .


Please send a message to Congress demanding that they repeal the REAL ID Act. You can do so here.

And after you've done that, please send another message asking Congress to stop NAIS, the National Animal Identification System. You can do so here.

Thank you for being a DC Downsizer. Thank you for not being just another "fool on the street."

Perry Willis Communications Director, Inc.

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