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View Diary: Do you have your birth certificate? (250 comments)

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  •  my brother-in-law (46+ / 0-)

    who is a staunch conservative cannot register to vote.  our state (oklahoma) makes it very expensive for him to get a state driver's license. he went to neighboring Arkansas to get one.

    He spent about 8 years in the Army and another 5ish in the Marines.  He is cleet certified and is a police officer in a school district.  He owns many guns...ain't gonna let them damn libruhls take 'em away. But he can't vote or legally have a license in his home state. Why?

    His (my wife's) family fled El Salvador in the early 80s and immigrated into the US. The whole family is naturalized. When he joined the Army he had to give them his naturalization papers.  Then he goes and serves. Never thinks about it again. Ever. Not until he applies for his OK driver's license (His California license expired and this is the first time he's applying for an OK license since they passed the Birth Certificate law).  He asks his parents for his papers and they can't find them. Either the Defense Department never sent them or his parents lost them.  State department told him it would be $400ish in fees to process new papers.  Needless to say, he's can't do that!

    Thanks for serving the country. Thanks for defending our kids. You can't vote! You can't drive! Unless you pay $400!

    Myself, I have my certificate of birth abroad.  And my original German birth certificate, though it has several tears from several moves.  My son, his certificate says "certificate of live birth".  Yep, the same "certificate of live birth" that's not good enough when it comes to our President.

    I am all for voter ID laws if the costs for identification can be subsidized/deferred whatever.  There has to be a way to do this though without disenfranchising a whole class of immigrants, poor, and elderly.  

    •  There just seems somthing wrong with this ... (28+ / 0-)

      I remember a kinder, simpler world when we didn't have to jump through so many expensive hoops to get the information we needed.  oh -  the good old days ;-)

      What a story!  But it makes me think that whatever piece of paper that exists, anything,  that proves I exist legally - I probably should find now while I have the time, money and mental capacity.

      Thanks for sharing!!!

    •  Just got back from the embassy (12+ / 0-)

      in Berlin last night.  My daughter is now officially a US citizen as we paid 210.00 or so USD for her report of birth and passport and she and mom got their social security numbers applied for without cost.  We also have a Stammbuch from the Standesamt with her German birth cert., family tree, marriage cert., etc.

      Pissed me off that we had to travel four hours to Berlin from Weimar, that's including frequent feeding and milk-pumping stops, and stay overnight just sign the forms in front of a consular officer - especially when there is a consulate in Leipzig.  However, they said there is no one in Leipzig who could legally sign the forms!

      WTF! A consulate that can't perform the duties inherent with being a consular officer? Sounds like it's not a consulate at all but just a cover for..oops...nevermind...international email...keeping my mouth shut about speculations even when they are a pain in the ass...

      In any case, we should get the docs in the mail in a few weeks.

      Apropo the diary, I also put together two file-folders with separators that hold copies of all important documents and important phone numbers.

      I'm 100% VA disabled and on SSDI, which means my wife and my daughter get benefits should something happen to me, benefits like the VA educational program for dependents.  Should something happen to me I know it would be a nightmare for my wife to find out and received all the American benefits they would be entitles too, more likely than not missing some.  I know it is a nightmare for me as a foreigner to deal with the German bureaucracy so it should not be for my family in a time of bereavement with on the American side of the house.

      So copies of DD214's and military record's microfiche, award letters, VA life insurance, living will, birth cert., benefit brochures (SSA even has theirs in German), marriage and divorce cert., accounts and account info, daughter's Report of Birth and passport copy are or will shortly be all in one large file folder.

      Also included are all the contact data for the agencies to apply with and from whom to request originals, Federal Benefits Unit at Frankfurt consulate, the attorney who represented me to the VA, grandma in the US., etc.

      Finally, I made a second folder to send to my sister-in-law in Nürnberg should we both come to our demise in an auto accident or something. Not using any Cloud tech for this, though, don't trust it - just hard copies.

      My wife says I'm too morbid and too obsessed with dying early.  However, should I not do this, there are some great benefits my daughter will miss out on or find it extremely difficult bureaucratic-wise with years of applications and denials and appeals for benefits they are entitled to (like 900 a month while in college, even here in Germany where the universities are DoEd accredited and cost 600 a year max, if anything, for tuition) or the VA widow benefits, or the MWR, commissary, and PX privileges on any US military base, etc.

      So in order to avoid situations similar to the one the diarist faces, I'm being a little morbid but hopefully prepared enough.

      Don't be a dick, be a Democrat! Oppose CPI cuts! Support Social Security and Veteran Benefits!

      by Jeffersonian Democrat on Thu Mar 28, 2013 at 03:17:26 AM PDT

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    •  Don't get confused—that is the *reason* (5+ / 0-)

      for the requirements in the first place—to disenfranchise voters that vote against the classes that support these requirements.

      I teach sociology at a major university and right now we're talking about political and economic systems in society, specifically the franchise and democratic practices/policy the other day.

      A couple of students were totally untroubled by these kinds of issues—"it's okay if they don't get to vote as a result; if they're that poor, they probably wouldn't vote in ways that are good for America anyway."

      What they meant of course, was their America, the white, upper-middle-class-and-higher America. We got into a fairly deep discussion with students on both sides, but some had trouble thinking beyond "poor people just vote pro-poor; black people just vote pro-black" and so on.

      They were unable to separate their idea of "democracy" as a process and system from a particular set of outcomes that favors one demographic group, i.e. if a majority of the population was poor and just voted the "interests of the poor," then that wouldn't be democratic. Why? Because that's not "what democracy is supposed to be about."

      What is it supposed to be about? Roll out your favorite list of conservative buzzwords. But what they really meant, at the end of the day, was "democracy is a system that is supposed to give me, as an entitled member of society, the things that I want, and that is supposed to keep the underclasses and their needs entirely separate from my day-to-day life."

      -9.63, 0.00
      "Liberty" is deaf, dumb, and useless without life itself.

      by nobody at all on Thu Mar 28, 2013 at 09:05:41 AM PDT

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      •  Where is this university located? Hopefully not in (0+ / 0-)

        a civilized state. The future is your young people, eh? Man I wouldn't want the future THEY portend.

        Ash-sha'b yurid isqat an-nizzam!

        by fourthcornerman on Thu Mar 28, 2013 at 09:24:25 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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