Say No to More Government Monitoring
To the Members of the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee:
We find no legislation in recent memory to be as deeply disturbing as Senate Bill 787 (Enhanced Identification Documents). Although this bill stipulates that participation is “voluntary,” any attentive observer of government will understand that such laws have a strong tendency to metastasize, eventually becoming compulsory. Furthermore, common sense dictates that the great expense of purchasing the technology necessary to the implementation of a biometric identification program simply cannot be supported by fees collected from the small number of individuals who would voluntarily participate.
This strongly suggests that the initial voluntary status of Senate Bill 787 is an intentionally deceptive “bait and switch” tactic with the objective of making the program mandatory at some point in the future. It is alarming enough that a supposedly free people are now being subjected to constant government observation and monitoring through the use of “traffic” cameras, drones, license plate readers, cell phone tracking devices, email snooping, telephone eavesdropping etc., all with the specious justification that such measures are necessary to security or public safety.
The state and federal governments are increasingly demonstrating what can only be described as a criminal disregard for our most fundamental civil liberties. But for the government to be further empowered with the ability to track an individual’s every movement by use of a biometric device embedded into a state-issued identification document necessary for one to function in the modern world would constitute an unforgivably egregious offense against the people of Maryland and the Constitution you have been sworn to uphold.
The entire concept is decidedly un-American worthy only of tyrants. Is it any wonder that the overwhelming majority of Americans have come to distrust their government? One must be shamefully naïve to believe Senate Bill 787 is anything other than a malevolent attempt by the government to broaden its capacity to monitor and control the people. Your decision as to whether to move this astonishingly repressive and Orwellian bill forward will clearly reveal whether you are a champion of freedom of an advocate of tyranny.
Regardless, you would be well advised to remain mindful that the “stupid voters” are no longer quite oblivious as some would have you believe. No measure of security will justify the loss of privacy and freedom that will result from the passage of Senate Bill 787. We, therefore, unequivocally demand that you kill this Draconian legislation immediately and without delay.
Worcester County Tea Party
March is Social Work Month
More than any other profession in the human service field, social workers constitute an invisible army making enormous differences in the lives of millions of Americans.
In just about every arena, social workers help individuals and families build support and empower them to improve their lives. March is Social Work Month, a time to remember and thank social workers for their tireless diligence in tackling persistent social issues such as poverty, lack of access to education and health care, as well as connecting individuals to appropriate community resources and giving voice to the vulnerable and helpless.
A chain is only as strong as its weakest link, as the saying goes, and social workers focus on strengthening those who need services the most. Throughout the history of their profession, social workers have accomplished an array of great social changes such as establishing the five-day workweek, abolishing child labor, developing protective services for vulnerable adults and children, and advancing Women’s and Civil Rights, among others.
At the VA Maryland Health Care System, an army of skilled social workers serve veterans in a variety of capacities. From helping Veterans to transition from the military back into civilian life, from the justice system into the community, and from their own homes to community-based long-term care facilities, social workers provide the necessary tools that enable Veterans to live as they want in their own communities.
VA social workers serving homeless veterans partner with the Baltimore’s Mayor’s Challenge to End Veterans Homelessness that connects the Department of Housing and Urban Development, VA and the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness to community leaders who are uniquely positioned to accelerate programs in their communities.
With the help of social workers, the partnership enables all the agencies to work together to eliminate duplication, establish leadership and decision making, set clear goals and timelines, create accountability, employ core evidence-based strategies, and deploy effective communication plans that will help to immerse Veterans in key services so that no Veteran is left behind.
It’s a challenge to list all the robust programs that social workers support as vital members of our patient-centered health care teams throughout the VA Maryland Health Care System. Social workers provide Veterans and their family members with the guidance and support they need to create positive change in their lives on a daily basis.
The VA Maryland Health Care System celebrates and thanks the army of social workers whose commitment to excellence enables our Veteran patients to achieve their highest potential. We also encourage Veterans and their family members to contact our Social Work Service at 410-605-7281 to see how our social workers can address their needs.
Adam M. Robinson, Jr., M.D.
Acting Director, VA Maryland Health Care System