And The Beat Goes On…and on…and on

My Chauffeurs are getting weary and whispering that they are going on strike.   I am acting allot like Driving Miss Daisy.  I am getting short, and disgruntled at all the little things.  A bit cynical regarding “The Law”.  When did I start just calling this large disorganized and inefficient body within our government, The Law”?

Like so many of us from the 50’s when that Utopian time of dreaming up a version of America that felt just as good to conjure as what we now call the Cinderella Complex, I have been duped.  That picked fenced yard, 2.5 children, a two car garage, big screen TV, back yard BBQ’s, early retirement, the 401K, cocktails at 4pm and being on a bowling league that was supposed to bring serenity did not. This ideal vision spoon fed to us on Leave it to Beaver, defined prosperity and happiness. Those were the days that set us up for what we are now calling “The Fall”.  Those were the illusions that set us up for alcoholism, the death of creativity and vague illnesses.  The happiness pill we were sold did not in fact deliver.

So. there came this list of immutable forces we could count on to define our parameters for us.  We needed various patriarchal father figures to help guide us when the things we thought would pan out in fact did not.

I had an image of THE Law much like I did of The One and Only God.  That kind of wording that covers a pervasive body of energy  eventually extended to The Doctor, The IRS, The Military etc.  I never referred to my indispensable relationship with my hair dresser as, The Hairdresser, The Chef, or The Teacher.  Each of those stations in life had a name, a face a personality.  What was different about The Law?  The Law had no face but conjures up an ominous presence as if Moses were right in my front yard delivering the 10 commandments to my neighborhood.  Oh and we wont talk about those men in black that strike fear in the strongest of us.  The IRS, which if you have not read up on the IRS, has no legal right to force you to sell your house in order to pay up!

My point?  I am finding that all these omnipresent institutions are smoke and mirrors to the nth degree.  But boy do they have power over my psyche.

As the driver’s license saga continues to unravel I am left like a shell on the beach, washed and tumbled and sanded down to a smooth surface, but not really the shell I started out as.  My lawyer has not found her way in the system of clerks any better than I attempted to.  There were no breadcrumbs on this path that lead to anything other than the next wicked witch who basically said, “I have no clue what to do, so I think I will eat your for lunch.”  My last bastion of possibility is currently that my three inch thick case is on the bench of a Denver District Court Judge to possibly rule that I might have what I want:  To be able to drive.   But, odds don’t look good.

So my point is this.  I have been the perfect citizen, following the letter of the Law, going down every dark alley I was told to go, taking fingerprints so I can be deemed a safe citizen and nothing has happened to say that The Law is on my side.  In fact, those inside the legal system have suggested that my only course of action is to…go outside the system.  What can I say but..fine….then that is what I will do.  I will do exactly what The Law asks me not to do and take the Law into my own hands.

Let me say a little about the reality of not driving.  Our culture is based on mobility.  My lack of mobility has created huge changes in my life.  Let me say first that I could hitchhike, I could become a recluse, I could pay for people to deliver groceries to my home, I could walk 17 miles to the Greenlife Grocer, I could ask the doctor to resume house calls after 50 years and I could hire a cab to take me to doctor’s appointments.  But, since we are not a communal culture where there would be many people who could share all these life issues with me, I am not in a position to do many of these things at the age of 61. And what if I had an office job and did not work from home?  OMG how would I get to my 9-5 job every day, pay the bills and feed the kids?

I pay huge amounts of money to fly everywhere and pollute the skies which I am opposed to.  I have missed necessary doctor’s appointments due to not being able to get there.  I have had to take cabs to get my groceries, when no one is available to drive and most importantly I feel a hostage to our system.  A system that is not interested in me as a person.  And quietly, inside ,as I remember the Thrive Movie and read up on the ID Act it feels as if that might be the point.  To keep the sheep of our society hostage and immobilized.

So I am flying, right now, at 33,000 feet, to Denver to meet with the last person capable of helping solve this problem.  A Marshall who will take my fingerprints and then I can start the process over, as if the last ten years of being who I am and driving like any pimply 16 year old are non-existent facts,  because The Law simply does not know what else to do with me and does not care to solve my little problem.

Then I will go to The Governor’s office with my file an sit and wait to say “ This needs to be fixed and let me tell you why in no uncertain terms”.  Then I will go the Channel 9 to give then a story about the Denver Court system and the ID Act that would paralyze a woman with a Harvard degree, who is articulate, has the means to fight the machine and does not have four kids under the age of 5, or a sick mother living at home and working three jobs to make ends meet like a huge portion of our country who could not take 5 months to deal with The Law.

So, here I am stepping outside the system, I wish The Law had proven to be a place that had our rights as people in mind, at heart and at the core of what they did to serve the masses.  But alas, none of that is true.

Wish me well….. I am about to land….somewhere!

PS. For those who have not followed this saga please go to “Older Posts” and read the initial explanation of what took me off the road as a gypsy.  The post is “The Gypsy Joke”, Nov. 11, 2011

Special Delivery

Many are asking what I am doing at this stage of my journey to renewing my driver’s license.  I have 7 women and 2 men ready to buck the system and marry me if that what it will take.  I have had many unconventional ideas from taking my birth certificate and my old social security card to the DMV and getting a photo ID just like I was 16 again and then going back to take the written and driving test like a teenager to get my license in the name on the original birth certificate.  And many of you are as anarchistic as I am saying “screw it, put white light around your car and just drive with good intentions”.  So I have an arsenal of creative ideas as I slog my way through the crippled system that governs us with my “troublemaker lawyer”.  And yes it would be easier to just drive and say screw it but I am interested in seeing if this system we call democracy will work for me at this most basic level.

Right now I have friends who drive me and I have ordered a magnetic sign for my car which arrives this week that says “Driving Ms. Maya”.  I am working on some pieces to send to the newspapers, on one persons story of how the law is not on my side and in fact my story is like thousands who are lost in the new Photo ID system.  I will share these letters with you soon.  I am writing my political officials.  I am speaking out.  And I am completely in the game and jumping all the hoops, one after the other in order to see what is possible when I align with our governing bodies.

So, this is how it stands.  Today I fill out 5 pages of questions from the FBI.  I also explain to them the situation I now have with my fingerprints. That translates as “I have no acceptable fingerprints”.  It seems as though they are a little “iffy” due to curling irons and potters wheels and that they may be rejected.  If they are rejected then after waiting nine weeks to hear from the official FBI with a letter that says “we hate your fingerprints, do them again”, I take the letter, get them redone and send the paperwork in once again and wait nine weeks to see if I am acceptable.  Oh yes and I pay allot of money each time to the FBI.  This is a process that could take up to …yes….27 weeks.  So my maverick lawyer Martha who is one of the nicest people you could meet, filed an appeal to the district court of Denver for altering the original name change that was part of the debacle in the first place.  A faster process she thinks.

Now when Martha filed this appeal she in no uncertain terms was told it was “unprecedented and had not been done”.  Yep a first time appeal.  So, the appeal was filed anyway which gives us a chance to stand before an official court judge and plead my case.  Martha will stand in for me and I will be on a speaker phone.  Soon I hope.But then there is Christmas and then there is New Years and so on and so on.  So I hold a vision every day for a kind judge who is not distracted by the holiday and who cannot wait to put me behind the driver’s seat.  Should I tell him the name of my car is a Rogue?

So…what does all this detail say.  All these twists and turns, the closed doors no one has tried to open before?  What does it say that one woman, with one car, who has a perfect legal record, is highly educated, with money to even get a lawyer, that this one person in over 300 million people in the USA, cannot get an answer to a simple thing like changed the spelling on a document that is nearly 10 years old?

If this is my fate, to be told that I might fall into what is termed the “gray zone” and never get a driver’s license because no one can figure out what to do with me and the law has no provision for such a situation, then what about the masses of people in our system that are disabled, could not afford a lawyer if they needed one, who have no one advocating for them and become unbelievably confused and hopeless and give up?  What about them?

What my personal journey reveals is that our system is a system of smoke and mirrors, is flawed down to the core and the basic fabric of our judicial system.  It means that the power of the law is now being primarily dispensed by the very folks who do not have most of the rights of the privileged few who make the laws.  These are people who are underpaid, have no insurance, and who are angry at the very system they work for.  That there is a perception of power in the workers who are, in fact, powerless people who stand between a little person like me and the Judges who most of the time never hear a case like mine. They stand there to hold the energy that creates the fear. This psychotic truth extends to our police force, our military, our social security system, our insurance companies, churches, hospitals and beyond.  The truth is that the sheep keep the sheep in line.  A brilliant orchestration by the elite few.

So, I am bringing a few things to this reality.  I have a voice.  I am a writer.  I have the time, the money and the energy to not give up, which is precisely what the system wants.   I will not do what they want.  I will not go away.  Because this drivers license is about my freedom to go where I need or want to go.  And, just like Occupy Wall Street, we all need to look at all the ways our freedoms are slipping through our fingers and we do not even see it happening until we wake up one day and we live in an occupied country where the sheep are now lined up for slaughter.

Behind my humor, which is just as true as all I have written here, is a call for me to become awake, aware and responsible to use my voice even if it about getting a Social Security card, renewing a driver’s license, marrying a woman if I want to, calling my local newspaper, writing my congress person.  I think cleaning my house or going to the mall to get one more Christmas gift can just wait don’t you think

 

Note:  I would be greatly interested in your feedback about this blog entry.  Please comment below or email me at mayachristobel@gmail.com

 

 

 

 

 

I posted today an update on my trek to get a driver’s license in this country.  Then a friend sent me what was a front page article in USA Today on not being able to get a drivers license and the new ID Act.  This article is not just about me, it is about all of us and our country and enlightens me to why I am up against a brick wall.  Please read and pass it on.  It affects all of us.  Maya

Real ID Act blocks some Americans from driver’s

licenses

By Oren Dorell, USA TODAY

Strict federal rules aimed at keeping terrorists off planes are blocking some Americans from renewing their driver’s licenses or getting other state-issued IDs.

  • Charles Lust, 46, of West Palm Beach, Fla., found out his name was changed without his knowledge when he tried to renew his driver's license in February 2010.By Eliot J. Schechter, for USA TODAYCharles Lust, 46, of West Palm Beach, Fla., found out his name was changed without his knowledge when he tried to renew his driver’s license in February 2010.

By Eliot J. Schechter, for USA TODAY

Charles Lust, 46, of West Palm Beach, Fla., found out his name was changed without his knowledge when he tried to renew his driver’s license in February 2010.

The consequences can be staggering. Without an ID, people cannot change jobs, drive legally, collect Social Security or Medicare, get through airport security or open a bank account.

It’s “a persistent problem across the country,” says Chris Calabrese, legislative counsel at the American Civil Liberties Union.

The problems stem from the Real ID Act, passed by Congress in 2006 in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, when terrorists used easily obtained driver’s licenses to carry out their plans.

The law says that by 2013, only IDs from states that require applicants to present proof of citizenship or legal residency will be accepted to board an airplane or enter a federal building. In most states that have begun to comply, that proof means a birth certificate or immigration papers.

The ACLU and others predicted that the law’s documentation requirements would be a burden to many Americans, and the issue becomes more pressing as the deadline nears.

Sometimes birth certificates are incomplete, inaccurate, missing or were never recorded.

When corrections officer Charles Lust, 46, of West Palm Beach, Fla., tried to renew his driver’s license in February 2010, he was shocked to discover his birth certificate said his name was Bell. A court, establishing paternity when he was 14, changed his name from Lust, his mother’s name, to Bell, his father’s name.

After his driver’s license expired, he couldn’t open a bank account, cash a check or change jobs. He had to make special arrangements to pick up his kids from school because the school requires ID.

“It kind of put my life on hold,” Lust says. He finally got his license in September after the Florida governor’s office granted an exception.

Bonnie Cohen, a paralegal at the Legal Aid Society of Palm Beach County who helped Lust, says her office has handled more than a dozen similar cases this year, most of them elderly minorities born in rural parts of Florida, Georgia and Alabama. Their records were lost or damaged in natural disasters, birth certificates were never issued or they were issued with errors, and some people were raised under a different name than what’s on the birth certificate.

Sixteen states have passed laws opposing compliance with Real ID, according to theNational Conference of State Legislatures. The Department of Homeland Security, acknowledging that the law’s documentation requirements are burdensome and cause privacy concerns, has several times delayed the deadline for states to comply.

The National Governors Association calls the Real ID Act “unworkable” in its current form. The National Conference of State Legislatures has lobbied for its repeal.

Repeal “is not going to happen,” says Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., who authored the law and chairs a Homeland Security subcommittee of the House Judiciary Committee.

Proving a person’s identity without a valid birth certificate can mean digging up alternate documentation, such as school records, going to court for a name change and sometimes fingerprinting to avoid fraud, says Monica Vigues-Pitan, advocacy director at Legal Services of Greater Miami. She has had 15 cases this year.

Bonnie Sarkar of Colorado Legal Services has helped 20 clients obtain IDs this year and has 10 cases pending, most of them involving elderly and poor people. “Elderly people often have this weird sense of shame about it because they don’t want people to know,” she says.

Tom Theisen of the Legal Aid Society of San Diego has a homeless client in poor health who has a Texas birth certificate and school records from the 1940s, but he cannot remember his Social Security number. He’s stuck in a Catch-22: California law requires a Social Security number to issue an ID, and the Social Security Administration requires a state-issued picture ID before disclosing the number. That means the man cannot claim Medicare, cannot get health care and is unable to collect $845 a month due him from Social Security.

“I understand the concern about undocumented people in this country,” Theisen says. “I think there’s been an overreaction.”