Action Items

by digby

There are a couple of good intiatives and action items for you to consider today if you are so inclined.

First, Brave New Films has done a powerful new short for Mother's Day:

Celebrate the true meaning of Mother's Day.

In 1870, after the devastation of the American Civil War, social activist and poet Julia Ward Howe wrote the original Mother's Day Proclamation calling upon the women of the world to unite for peace.

This Mother's Day, celebrate the true meaning of the holiday by giving your mother an e-card with a donation to No More Victims. No More Victims is a non-profit organization which brings war-injured Iraqi children to the United States for medical treatment. Your contribution will help bring Salee, a ten-year-old girl who lost both of her legs in the war, to Greenville, South Carolina where she will receive surgical treatment and prosthetics. Learn more.

Here's the link to the site and here's the YouTube featuring an exceptional group of women reading Julia Ward Howe's original statement:

Send that around too. I had always heard that Mother's Day was invented by Hallmark to sell cards. It's nice to know that it is for real, even if it does promote something as unfashionable as peace.

The second item is an issue very close to my heart --- privacy. For those who watched the Republican debate you saw that group of clowns dance on the head of a pin (and just lie right out) trying to reconcile their alleged small government philosophy with their national security authoritarian and anti mexican factions which are clamoring to turn the US into a police state when asked about a national ID card. It's a serious issue.

From the Privacy Coalition:

Organizations have launched a nationwide campaign to engage the public in the debate over what would be the first national identification document. These transpartisan, nonpartisan, privacy, consumer, civil liberty, civil rights, and immigrant organizations have joined in this unique public education project because the REAL ID proposal put forth by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) would harm our lives in a multitude of ways every day. The proposed regulations set requirements that states must follow to have their state issued identification documents accepted for federal purposes, like getting on an airplane or entering a government building, including courthouses.

The power of the Department of Homeland Security, along with other federal government agencies, to reach into the everyday lives of people living in this country will be unprecedented.

This is the same federal agency that had responsibility for helping people following hurricane Katrina, and proved itself not to be ready for the challenge. Creating a national identification system is a huge, complex project and there no agency in the Federal government that has proven that it could manage a project of this magnitude.

What we do know: You will make more than one trip to the motor vehicle office to apply for your REAL ID national identification card; the government has estimated that the scheme will cost taxpayers $21 billion; REAL ID requires documentation that most people will have difficulty finding; and the cost of driver's licenses and state ID cards will skyrocket. We do know that the federal government is considering expanding the REAL ID card to everyday use.

There is a limited time to submit comments against this initiative. Click here for instructions on where you can send them.