January 06, 2010


Just checking to see if this thing is still on/working...

November 16, 2006

RIP Milton Friedman.

I was first directly exposed to his work as a graduate student. He was an intellectual giant and I learned from his writing and I am surprisingly moved.

May he rest in peace.

May 30, 2006

Explain something to me.

To get a driver's license in Illinois, you must present your Social Security card. This, they claim, is in response to Homeland Security and 9/11 and the dramatic rise in identify theft and whatever else. (Possibly bordering-on-paranoid ranting about why the State of Illinois needs to validate the number ostensibly used only to manage my negative-rate-of-return "account" with the social security administration can wait until another day, as can a separate rant in re the number of ways the possibility of identity theft is increased by having to record said number in yet another location.) Being able to prove you are, in fact, a born-and-raised citizen of the United States--using, say, a Passport in combination with your birth certificate--is insufficient. The lovely Department of Motor Vehicles needs to validate your social security number with your social security card.

If, however, your social security card was, say, stolen out of your wallet along with your driver's license when you were but 19 and in college, and you have never needed it again until now, you can go into the local social security office, present (you guessed it) your Passport (to, you know, prove that you are who you say you are), and be mailed a new social security card in 7-10 days.

So, to sum up: A passport is required as ID to obtain a social security card. A social security card is required (as ID?) to obtain a driver's license. But a passport cannot be used as ID to obtain a driver's license. I think there should be a parallel formula here, something basic like if a > b and b > c then a > c, except that in this case it is not true.

Are governments creating these regulations just to make people crazy?