Editorial on Ellison, McNealy, and national ID card

Russell Turpin deafbox@hotmail.com
Thu, 25 Oct 2001 19:38:27 +0000

Clay Shirky writes:
>It didn't stop the creation of the social security number. Remember, the 
>4th Amendment is tempered by the word 'unreasonable.' The hospital collects 
>blood type, fingerprints,
>footprints, the placenta, and the umbilical cord. ..

None of this is compelled by law. Indeed, no law compells
an expectant mother to visit a hospital, before, during,
or after birth. You're right, though, that the medical
advantages of doing so turn it into a very convenient point
for data collection, which though not compelled by law, is
done as precondition to using the hospital's services.
There are still children born at home, with not even a
physician in sight. Not many. But some.

Interestingly, there is no law requiring a parent to get
a social security number for their children. The greatest
pressure to do this is brought by the IRS, which now
disallows a dependent claimed, without this magic number.

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