A taxing identity problem

According to the Hillsborough County Tax Collector’s office (which issues driver’s licenses), another common problem is among people with multiple marriages who have to show name changes, marriage certificates and divorce decrees. People who were born in something other than a hospital — usually in a rural area — who never had a birth certificate face a different challenge, as does the occasional person whose records were destroyed from anomalies such as when a courthouse housing their records burns down.

By Chris Ingram

The Tampa Tribune

Published Tuesday, February 16, 2013

Last week I took my girls to the public library to check out some books, and they asked whether they could get their own library card. The librarian said they could but that their cards would be tied to my card for fines. She also said we would need to produce a birth certificate, Social Security card, report card or some similar type of “official item” with their names on it to prove their identity.

I asked her why something official is needed, and she explained that people were getting cards for kids who did not exist, and not returning items. She said this was occurring before the library started tying youth accounts to an adult’s. So why, with the accounts tied together, do I still need to provide a document with the kids’ name on it? She said she agrees it is unnecessary now but that she does not make the rules.

As countless motorists know, if you are renewing a driver’s license, you need tons of documentation to prove your identity. Stories persist of Continue reading “A taxing identity problem”

Newsroom Insider: Hating on Chelsea Clinton

I found myself recalling that formative experience from my time as a cub reporter last night as I pondered the announcement that NBC had hired former first daughter Chelsea Clinton as a special news correspondent. It’s the latest hiring of a child from a prominent political family in the contracting news industry. The field I’ve devoted my life to never seems to run out of room for them, even as thousands of veteran reporters are being kicked to the curb.

Silver spoon lands plum job in shrinking news industry without paying dues

(Editor’s note: The following was submitted by my friend Victor Epstein, a veteran newspaper reporter. Victor, like a lot of professional journalists is out of a job due to the economy and the newspaper industry still trying to figure out how to make money in the age of Twitter and The Daily Show. His column focuses on how ridiculous it is that Chelsea Clinton was recently hired by NBC News — and his (understandable) frustrations. But the column doesn’t stop there. It gives an insightful first-person account of what it is like to be a journalist with real world accounts about covering the news. Those examples demonstrate how being a “real journalist” translates into better reporting and story telling. The column is longer than what we normally publish here, but if you’re interested in the news and journalism as I am, you wont be able to stop reading it.  — Chris Ingram, Publisher, Irreverent View)

By Victor Epstein

A pair of headlights cut through the darkness behind me on a two-lane road outside Claxton, Ga., one night in 1994. They closed swiftly on my pickup before matching my speed at about 200 yards.

That almost never happens on country roads. Cars either pass you or you pass them. They don’t race toward you before trailing  from a fixed distance. So, I slowed down to protect the identity of my source – a black high school student who had been warned to stop dating a white classmate in a town plagued by institutionalized racism.

The mystery car drew closer each time I downshifted, before matching my speed. We drove along in this manner for a stretch at 150 yards, then 100, then 50. We were separated by less than 10 feet by the time I brought my pickup to a complete halt.

The vehicle now visible in my rear-view mirror was a Claxton police cruiser. Continue reading “Newsroom Insider: Hating on Chelsea Clinton”

The Water Cooler: Florida’s most corrupt; trampling the Constitution; McCollum’s best week; Greene’s strippers

To Hell with the Constitution

]The controversy about the NYC mosque being built blocks away from Ground Zero is serving as a convenient distraction for congressional Democrats who would rather not be talking about record budget deficits, Social Security going bankrupt, and the millions of Americans looking for a job.

The Water Cooler is a brief look at what people are talking about in politics.

By Chris Ingram

To Hell with the Constitution

The controversy about the NYC mosque being built blocks away from Ground Zero is serving as a convenient distraction for congressional Democrats who would rather not be talking about record budget deficits, Social Security going bankrupt, and the millions of Americans looking for a job.

All that aside, while it is easy to jump on the no mosque in my backyard bandwagon, it is completely un-American to do so. And I’ve got to laugh at all of the Constitution loving blue-blooded Americans who conveniently forget Continue reading “The Water Cooler: Florida’s most corrupt; trampling the Constitution; McCollum’s best week; Greene’s strippers”