Sarah Johnson: ‘Regarding Harriet E’s observation that ‘I have to show a photo ID to fly, at the library [etc.]’ and that ‘nothing’ gets shown when she votes, I have a few observations of my own. 1) Every time I have gone to vote, my signature has to match. This is not only in New York City, but was also in Minnesota, and Vermont. [In Florida, too – A.T.] A signature is a form of ID. It is still used on checks for my bank to release funds to my creditors when I write them one. The poll workers in my district certainly DO check the signatures closely. . . . 2) I don’t have to show a photo ID at the library. In order to get a library card in every town I’ve lived, I provided a piece of mail with my address to prove I live or work there and I filled out a form and signed it (the signature thing again). The library card is a convenience, not ID. There have been a couple of times I’ve forgotten my card and, because I know it by heart, I’ve given the librarian my number and that was enough. . . . If we were all provided ID equally, and for free, I wouldn’t think it was discriminatory. However, as you outlined, getting official government ID can be a big undertaking. In addition, all the proven cases of voting fraud I’ve read about have been on the side of excessively partisan poll workers who do things like dump returns from poorer (therefore more likely to be voting Democrat) districts at the local waste facility. Now THAT requires some kind of prevention!’

Alvin Bluthman: ‘You are misinformed about State photo-IDs. These are universally available through the DMV office, and because you are NOT licensed to drive (obtaining such permission today is actually an ‘add-on’ to the ID card), you need not pass driving tests of any sort. Of course, you must show up at the DMV with proof of birth (or other acceptable proof of identity), stand on line, fill out forms, and have your photo taken, but all of this is also required for a driver’s license as well.’

☞ Exactly. If I am misinformed, imagine how many others are; how many disabled folks are; how many folks who have no easy way to get to the DMV are. If there were a need to add to their burdens and make it harder for them to vote, then I might be for it. But no need has been shown despite a concerted effort by the Bush Justice Department to find one.


I hate that I own some GLD, the exchange-traded gold fund, and that it’s done so well, up more than 60%, since first suggested. As explained here a couple of weeks ago, I’d rather gold did poorly – but I’m not sure it’s seen its peak. This Wall Street Journal story about the booming demand for gold in China is one of the reasons (thanks Joey).


Aristides’s Chris Brown: ‘CVV did a secondary about 8% below yesterday’s close. Pricing a deal only 8% below the pre-deal price is pretty good for a company this small. I will be surprised if the stock doesn’t find a firm floor at or above $10.50; the prospect of a secondary has surely been somewhat of an overhang, and now that is done.’


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