Tuesday, July 19, 2005

A citizen of Rocky Top

Well, what we knew was coming in theory has now become a reality. As of 2:20pm today, I officially became a citizen of the sovereign State of Tennessee. At first blush, the official procedure for establishing resident-citizenship (which, as in most states, can only occur when one receives an identification card which verifies that the bearer is a Tennessean-for those who drive, the driver’s license suffices for this purpose) does seem much more complicated than some other states. In Ohio, for instance, a Social Security card and the license/ID from the bearer’s previous home-state (so long as the person is a citizen of the United States, and has previously lived in a member state of the Union) is all that is needed for an Ohio identification, thus establishing resident-citizenship very easily. In Tennessee, the procedure is more difficult. It would seem that the authorities in Nashville would rather be safe than sorry in assuring that neither transients nor terrorists (nor certain of the Yankee race) achieve anything resembling the rights of citizenship in this state. Hence, they require that when receiving a form of identification which would verify a person’s Tennessee citizenship, the person applying for such identification must present a birth certificate as well as a Social Security card. Along with these items that verify identity and citizenship in the Union, the State of Tennessee further requires that the applicant present either A.) A lease agreement and one piece of official mail or B.) two pieces of official mail to verify residency within the borders of the state.

As you might imagine, this is quite hard to do for a brand new resident, as neither Nicole or myself have been privy to much mail in just over a week of residing in our current domicile. In addition, I had to dig through our things in the hopes of finding my birth certificate. If I could not have found it, I might have needed to send all the way to Fairfield County, Ohio just to get it. We actually had to wait to get our ID and license just so that we could get enough mail to prove we lived here. Initially it seemed like this was a real hassle, but after the fact I see the wisdom in it. Having to go through such trouble to establish identity and residency deters the enemies of the state and nation from trying to establish residency here. It also deters Yankees of the better-than-thee self-righteous sort from attempting to remake this state into some sort of New England South-since establishing permanency takes some effort.

Those states that have not established these types of measures might seriously consider them. It would be a way to establish real “homeland security” without compromising the liberties of the public.


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