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"For Your Safety and Security"

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Yeah, I know we're supposed to avoid "political discussions" but I hope 
you'll take this in the spirit in which it's offered, because it's 
certainly not a partisan issue at all.

I don't know what's going on now with this ever-increasing vigilance over 
the citizenry in the United States by government at all levels.

I've never lived in Europe but understand that in much of that continent 
citizens (or subjects, if you will) have grown used to having cameras 
everywhere, and the requirements for identification, etc., for everything. 
I know that in my trip to the Philippines last year I was amazed how often 
- and for such trivial occasions - one was expected show photo ID. And even 
 how MUCH ID the "citizens" there are required to have for virtually 
everything they do that's leastwise official.

Of course there is the ongoing flap with the National SECURITY Agency 
currently which has people of various political stripes concerned as to 
method and motive.

With that in mind, this thing with the "criminal background check" for 
professional licenses in Texas is another brick in the wall.

The bromide passed down to us from Benjamin Franklin, that "They who would 
give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve 
neither Liberty nor Safety" cannot help but come to mind.

Of course we all want to be secure from criminal mischief, but obviously 
there is a point beyond which we're talking about "giving up essential 

As a practical matter, taking the time and money to do this is a PITA. As 
Matt Stuart fairly complained earlier, you've got fingerprint data from a 
CHL and THAT'S not acceptable - "Cui bono?" comes to mind - and so more of 
YOUR time and YOUR expense is asked.

But there are matters beyond the immediately practical. Is this REALLY only 
 about "protecting the public" as the Texas P.E. Board (cribbing from the 
TX legislature) simply states? Or are there unforeseen consequences, not 
necessarily to our benefit but quite convenient for the Powers That Be, 
that loom in some indeterminate future?

There are a lot of levels on which to complain.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to see if I can find the name of that 
Fixer I was passed a few years ago when some questions regarding my public 
reputation quite unfairly arose.

William L. Polhemus, Jr. P.E.
Lead Civil/Structural Engineer
CRA Engineering Group, Inc.
6320 Rothway
Suite 100
Houston, TX 77040

Phone: (713) 734-3090
Direct: (832) 485-5251
Cell: (281) 450-8426
Fax: (832)485-5213
Email: wpolhemus(--nospam--at)
[CRA since 1976 + 50best_colour]

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