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Catch 22: An Exercise in Powerlessness

By       Message E. T. SIMON       (Page 1 of 2 pages)     Permalink    (# of views)   3 comments

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On December 30, 2006, Joni James wrote in the Tampa Bay-St. Petersburg Times, the following, "Taking a cue from corporate America, where outsourcing is often commonplace, Bush sought to bring marketplace efficiencies to state government with a robust effort to privatize many state services."

For Floridians living in Florida today, Driver Licenses Renewal Offices are run by a private contractor. The list of documents required by the State of Florida to renew any Driver's License today is as follows:

Florida Requirements for Driver's Licenses
(Image by Official Website Florida Department)
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It does not matter if you have been a licensed driver for years and the state has a record of your initial driver's license issuance date, even if it was eons ago. The only thing that matters is that you have the $48.00 renewal fees, and A) a certified copy of your birth certificate, or a valid U.S. Passport, or a Certificate of Naturalization, or Consular Proof of Birth abroad, or Alien registration receipt card.

You must also have B) Original or certified copy of your marriage certificate, or court papers showing (proving) your name change; C) You must show your social security card, or a W-2 form, or a Pay check showing a number on it, or any 1099 form.

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In addition you must also show a copy of your Deed, Mortgage, Payment Booklet or Rental Agreement; or your Florida Vehicle Registration or Title, or a utility bill, or a statement from the person you live with along with two address documents in the name of that person.

If this all doesn't give you the feeling that you are living in a Policed State, I don't know what will.

It is not only that the clerk who works for a privatized outfit is going to look at the very soul and fiber of documents you have been told are to be kept private (such as a social security number which was meant to be used between you and your employer, or a Certificate of Naturalization which you were supposed to guard with your life and show only to the INS/Passport Issuing Offices, or your Green Card; it is not that she is going to be looking at a copy of your Deed, or Mortgage, or Rent Agreement.

It is that who,ever wants to make a public exhibit of the Deed to their property, or their mortgage " or "?)

It is that the clerk of the private/contracted office who receives all of these documents (none of which is her business) scans them all into the Department of Driver's Licenses System and your private information which you had been told by everyone that should remain private have now become part of the public domain, all thanks to Jeb Bush, the inheritor of a family tradition which believes in the fascist corporate-government trend who, also, did not give a shilling's worth of care to the fact that his privatization was, at least here in Florida, the beginning of our entry into third world status.

Add to all of this the fact that when you surrender any or all of these documents to a scanning machine where their image will forever remain fixed for anyone to see at their whim, you feel as powerless as a chicken getting its feathers plucked against its will. Add to this that if you have ever lived in a totalitarian government the parallel between such a government and the current system here is amazing!

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Add to this that when you mention to the clerk scanning the documents that when you were given these documents you were told that no one should make a copy of them, and she answers, "you don't have to do this " unless you want a license," you feel like she has one up on you, she knows it, and you are powerless to do anything about it, or about the air of passive/aggressiveness that begins to flow between you and the clerk who knows she's got you by your proverbial feathers.

Many of the people I know who have had their licenses renewed under these new rules excuse it saying, "well, at least those who are here illegally won't be able to get one "" Well, excuse me, but if the illegals who are here have been smart enough to figure out a way to survive so far, they will continue to figure out a way. Just you wait until someone hacks into the GatherGoGet.Com computers (which I see as the same ones of the Florida Driver's License Division). Some people also excuse this invasion of privacy saying, "no terrorist " blah, blah, blah will ever be able to walk/drive on our streets." Excuse me but they too are smarter than a 5th grader.

What about all this siege mentality against our very own privacy, all of which we owe to the Bushes and now to the crazies who want to follow in the inheritance footsteps of racist, fascist corporate forms of governments and dominions? The universe has a way of playing tricks on us, I guess. I left Cuba years ago because of its repressive measures. The Chinese who lived there left China to go to Cuba because of its repressive measures and then found themselves again having to feel their adopted country: Cuba.

"Just you wait Henry Higgins, just you wait .." so sang Eliza Doolittle used to Henry Higgins once upon a time.

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E.T.SIMON ... Keeping the Bio Real and Transparent ... E. T. SIMON is more often like a transplanted palm tree from the land of Santiago de Cuba where she was born to a Cuban, Tulane University, lawyer educated father and, a Mississippi, mother, (more...)

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