Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Warning: Political Rant

I just got my notice that my Oregon driver's license renewal is up and this time around I'm required to bring a sheaf of documentation with me to prove I'm an American citizen, living in Oregon, born on the date I claim, and equipped with the proper income-reporting documentation.

I've had an Oregon dl for 29 years and now I have to jump through this ridiculous set of hoops for what reason? To stop terrorists from legally driving cars in Oregon? To stop non-taxpayers from legally driving cars in Oregon? To stop Oregonians living in Idaho from driving cars in Oregon legally? To stop non-citizens from driving cars legally in Oregon?

Or is it more about some right-wing, protectionist nutjob attempting to put the kibosh on immigrants receiving driver's licenses in Oregon?

The upshot of all of this is that rather than mailing in my thirty-nine bucks every eight years and renewing, I now have to go stand in line at the epitome of bureaucracy to get a new picture taken and stand by while I'm approved as a taxpayer, Oregon resident, and properly documented citizen. To get into that line I'll now be putting myself on the road with a higher risk of driving amongst uninsured, unlicensed drivers.

I won't be proving that I know the proper stopping distance for pedestrians.

I won't be proving that I understand the new bicycle boxes at downtown intersections.

I won't be proving that I know the proper following distance, or when and how to use my turn indicators.

What happens if Oregon only requires you to show up and take a test and prove state residency, as they had done for the past 29 years of my driving experience? I think what happens is that we end up with a bunch of people driving cars in Oregon who live here and passed the same test as everyone else to get their license to drive cars in Oregon.

We put ourselves at less risk. If we were to do that, I'd be driving with a bunch of people who understand the bike boxes, use their turn signals, don't tailgate me in the Terwilliger curves, and flipping yield to me when I'm trying to get across the street with my children on foot.

Damn you, George Bush and all those like you.


O Docker said...

My own take on all of this 'security' nonsense is that it's mainly intended to assuage the masses into thinking their government is protecting them from the forces of evil.

The clever folks who are out to do us in are pretty good at reading the system and finding ways around it when they have to. It's only the rest of us who suffer.

I've always suspected the security circus at the airport is just a big show but was really convinced when I noticed a rather nasty little pair of razor sharp scissors at the bottom of my travel kit that I'd completely forgotten about. I've been carrying them around for years without a second thought. Since the 9/11 security stuff was rolled out, those scissors have been through dozens of security checks without a peep of protest or a beep of alarm.

I've even been so brazen as to carry a four-ounce bottle of shampoo artfully concealed INSIDE my carry-on. I now know the rush that Hemingway felt running the bulls at Pamplona.

Anonymous said...

Stick out your tongue, or raise an eyebrow, when you get your new picture taken.

It's a subtle form of protest, but if we all have to go through this circus, just so we all can feel safter, regardless of the fact is doesn't actually make us safer, we might as well all look like clowns.

Plus you'll at least give someone a good laugh the next time they check your ID

Greg and Kris said...

I love that this last post is Anonymous. That's what my Amerika is all about

jomamma said...

O has it all figured out... the 1st paragraph says so much.

Here in Texas we can't even wear glasses, or smile when getting the picture made. You have to have a serious look on your face. I think too may terrorist were looking friendly and threw them off. So now everyone looks like that have the shit scared out of them.

Greg and Kris said...

Yeah, I think O does have most of it figured out. I'd appreciate if he'd dole out more and bigger chunks of it so I could keep out of trouble and get more laughs.

O Docker said...

Advice I don't follow nearly enough:

"Never miss a good chance to shut up."

- Will Rogers