Monday, January 01, 2007

Tony Registration

It's time to renew the Tiger registration for another year. I didn't receive a notice in the mail, so I went to the State of Ohio website to print the form. I found there are two changes to the aircraft registration process this year. One change seems reasonable and the other is ridiculous.

The first change is that the exorbitant registration fee (relative to a couple years ago) is now earmarked for the Ohio airport fund. That seems reasonable. User fees go to support the facilities used.

The other change to the aircraft registration process is the result of a new Ohio law that went into effect last April. The new law requires applicants to submit a “declaration regarding material assistance/nonassistance to a terrorist organization” (DMA) form along with your normal registration form and fee. The fundamental purpose of the law is to identify terrorism suspects and/or provide additional avenues for prosecution of terrorists. The State of Ohio won’t issue your aircraft registration if your DMA isn’t answered appropriately.

For those not wanting to read the form, it’s basically a list of six questions to establish whether or not someone is a member of or has provided support for a terrorist organization. They provide a 4 page list of organizations. I’m no legal eagle or politician, but I’m astonished at how stupid this exercise is. It seems there are three options for the form: 1 – You’re not a terrorist and this is just extra red tape; 2 – You are a terrorist and you lie on the form. If they catch it, a false entry is a fifth degree felony (I don’t know what penalty is associated with that degree of crime, but it’s probably minimal compared to the sentence you’d get for something on the 9/11 scale); 3 – You are a terrorist and you tell the truth (and so, being an honest but stupid terrorist, your registration is denied).

I suppose there is a fourth option – just ignore the form and don’t register. However, there’s a $500 fine associated with that. Clearly someone supporting terrorism wouldn’t want to risk such a hefty fine.

Ohio lawmakers, in their infinite wisdom, think the threat of being convicted for a fifth degree felony or the denial of an aircraft registration is an effective deterrent for aircraft terrorism. Hmmmm…I’ve only thought about this for all of 5 minutes, but I’m not aware that any of the folks involved in the 9/11 plot were responsible for aircraft registration. Is this honor system burden of paperwork the best solution they could come up with to thwart terrorists? I don’t think we should put on blinders to potential terrorism, however laws such as this are ridiculous and create a false sense of security.

Sorry to get off on a rant, but I feel better now that I’ve vented -- until I have to register Tony again in 2008.

1 comment:

~Carla~ said...

What's wrong slacker? You trying to be like me and not update your blog? :) kidding! I know work is crazy right now.