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Common sense lost in government

By Jim Killebrew

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[January 06, 2014]  Just when you think you have heard it all, something else comes along that makes you do the Will Rogers stand of slumping over, looking down at your feet, putting your hand in your pocket, shaking your head back and forth while lightly scratching the top of your head with your free hand as you mutter, "Government really is here to help?"

My wife's son was born in Illinois, lived in the state for many years, graduated from high school in Illinois, went to college in Illinois and of course had a driver's license in the state of Illinois since he was 16. Later he decided to move to California, where he earned a master's and a doctoral degree. Of course he had a driver's license in the state of California as well. After many years in California, he decided to move back to Illinois. As you move from one state to another, of course you want to be able to continue driving, so you seek out a driver's license in the state of residence.

Within the time limits of arriving in Illinois from another state, he visited the local driver's license office to get his new Illinois driver's license, since his long-held Illinois license had expired. His California driver's license of course was still current, but having changed his legal address to Illinois, it was incumbent on him to obtain a new one in Illinois. A person at the driver's license office said he only needed to take the written test because he had a current, unencumbered state license from California. He was relieved to know he didn't have to take the driving test as well. It was not as easy as he thought.

The person at the driver's license office asked him for his identification. He offered his California driver's license. No, he needed a birth certificate. Not just any birth certificate, mind you; he needed one that had the "official" seal attached to it, not just a copy. Of course, having just moved from California and having his belongings stored in storage, he did not have his birth certificate (official one) in his back pocket.

He said he had had an Illinois driver's license for many years prior to moving to California but had replaced it with an official California driver's license. The person at the driver's license office said she was aware he had once had his Illinois driver's license because she had a record of it on her computer, but of course, it had expired.

He then offered his passport, which had expired as well, but he reminded the office person that he had obtained his passport by providing proof of birth with his birth certificate. He reasoned, if I had obtained an initial Illinois driver's license, it means I produced my birth certificate; when I obtained my passport I had to produce my birth certificate. So why can't I use these forms of identification in addition to my current California driver's license as proof of my legitimate birth, proving who I am?

The person at the driver's license office held fast, denied his supporting identification and adamantly stated he would have to produce his official birth certificate with an official seal before he could sit for the driver's license exam to renew his Illinois driver's license.

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Now, someone will say, "If that's the law, then it has to be followed." Yes, but think of the logical line of thought in this scenario. Initial proof had been produced for two separate pieces of picture identification cards: an Illinois driver's license and a passport. Additionally, he had a current, valid California picture identification driver's license. The point was to prove he had been born as who he said he was. Other than the obvious proof of him standing right in front of her, he had two picture ID cards, one from the state of California and the other from the feds: a passport. Is it not logical that with that information, there could be some semblance of "common sense" shown?

OK, fast-forward to sometime in the not-too-distant future. You are sick and you need the help of medical practitioners. You present yourself to the physician or hospital and you are covered by the mandatory Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare. You are now covered exclusively by the government for all your access to your health care. Remember, the government is here to help. Do you think you will be able to negotiate yourself through the hoops and maze of the government policies and regulations regarding the thousands of decisions needed to be made by doctors and nurses as they care for you in their clinics or hospitals? How many government-developed cul-de-sacs, stop signs and do-not-enter points will you run into trying to obtain health services being managed by the government's Internal Revenue Service?

Just remember, government says, "We're here, and we're here to help." But first, you will be reminded that you must have read and understood the more than 2,000 pages of the Affordable Care Act "so you will know what's in it." I can assure you, in all those pages you will not find any instances of "common sense."


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