State Dept. Proposes Creepy, Impossible-To-Answer Questions for Passport Applications

Not really sure what to make of this, other than that it's disturbing:

The U.S. Department of State is proposing a new Biographical Questionnaire for some passport applicants: The proposed new  Form DS-5513 asks for all addresses since birth; lifetime employment history including employers’ and supervisors names, addresses, and telephone numbers; personal details of all siblings; mother’s address one year prior to your birth; any “religious ceremony” around the time of birth; and a variety of other information.  According to the proposed form, “failure to provide the information requested may result in … the denial of your U.S. passport application.”

The State Department estimated that the average respondent would be able to compile all this information in just 45 minutes, which is obviously absurd given the amount of research that is likely to be required to even attempt to complete the form.

It seems likely that only some, not all, applicants will be required to fill out the new questionnaire, but no criteria have been made public for determining who will be subjected to these additional new written interrogatories.  So if the passport examiner wants to deny your application, all they will have to do is give you the impossible new form to complete.

It’s not clear from the supporting statementstatement of legal authorities, or regulatory assessment submitted by the State Department to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) why declining to discuss one’s siblings or to provide the phone number of your first supervisor when you were a teenager working at McDonalds would be a legitimate basis for denial of a passport to a U.S. citizen.

The new questions also ask for the names and contact information of all witnesses to your birth.

Reads like a tool to allow the State Department to turn down a passport when they can't find a more legitimate reason.

(Via boingboing.)

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  • Mo||

    "any 'religious ceremony' around the time of birth"

    Is this even Constitutional? Presumably, the questions they ask would be used to accept or deny your applications. Wouldn't this run afoul of the 1st?

  • ||

    I can't see how it wouldn't. They can't deny you a passport based on your religious affiliation. So how is that relevent?

  • ||

    The form is also the equivilent of a poll tax on poor people. What if you are adopted? What if your mother was in prison when you were born and no one has ever told you? What if you were homeless for periods of your life? How do you answer these questions? You can't and they will have a reason to deny you.

  • Mo||

    It is actually worse than this. I used to volunteer at a public school for disadvantaged kids in Indiana. The teachers said that one thing that made it hard is that a lot of these kids would move around a lot within the year. One month their mom may be living with a bf, another month with their aunt, another month with their grandparents, etc. This made schooling a challenge because schools teach subjects, like math, in a different order, so it's hard to get the concepts. Imagine having to remember all of those addresses to boot.

    As an adult, I moved around a lot. Since 2000, I've had over 10 addresses*. Were it not for Amazon having all of my old addresses that I placed orders from, I would have no fucking clue what half of those addresses were when I needed to fill out the background check form for my new job for the last 10 years. And I was an adult for all of this. Woe be to the person that was a kid and their family moved around a bit.

    *My old roommate, who was in the Army had about 15 in that same period of time.

  • Doc S||

    Amazon saves the day again!

  • Mensan||

    I've moved around a lot as an adult too. I've had 13 addresses in the last 15 years, and 16 in my lifetime. I can only remember that most recent two or three of them without searching through tax returns and other personal records. And as far as employment history, am I really supposed to have the address and phone number for my supervisor from a part-time job I had in high school? I'm only in my early 30's and I don't think I could complete that questionaire, so I cannot imagine how they expect anyone in their 50's or 60's to be able to find that information. Especially in 45 minutes!

  • Zeb||

    Or what if you are just a disorganized person who doesn't remember things or keep records like that?

    I find it pretty fucked up that a passport can be denied at all. At least to someone who hasn't been convicted of some specific criminal offense, and even then, I can't really think of anything that wouldn't already put someone in prison for a long time that would warrant that kind of restriction on travel.

    The more I think about this, the more I think that this is the most fucked thing I have heard for a while. Not letting people out of the country is the sort of shit that happens in North Korea. Or Syria.

  • Mo||

    If push came to shove, all that info should be in your credit report, unless you subletted a room and never got a single bill delivered there.

  • Zeb||

    There are a lot of people who live pretty informally, subletting, or living with roommates, working under the table, moving around a lot. It's not so common these days among people with jobs and enough money, but it really isn't too hard to go through life without a lot of records of what you have done, particularly for the poor and/or crazy.

  • Mo||

    Oh I agree. This has a built in assumption of a one size fits all life. Even if you were organized, who has the current phone number and address of their old supervisors? Do you have to track down your old assistant manager the movie theater you worked at in high school?

  • ||

    I'm 71; I can give all of the information; supervisors telephone numbers are: 1-800-The-Graveyard. Someone please keep digging for an answer to "Why?" (pun intended)

  • Fluffy||

    Definitely not true.

    My college apartments aren't on my credit report.

  • Vermont Gun Owner||

    Officially I still live at my parents'. I haven't spent more than a week there since '06.

  • Colonel_Angus||

    Its not disorganized to not remember shit that doesn't matter any more. Its efficient.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    I once spent an entire philosophy lecture arguing that my laziness is a genetic predisposition towards efficiency.

  • Arcaster||

    More importantly, how is any of this their business?

  • ||

    Your query has been noted, and we'd like to know what business it is of yours to know what business it is of ours...

  • ||

    What if your the son of Satan? Theres a lot of anti-Satan prejudice out there. Do you EVER hear of ANY anti discrimination laws against people who are anti Satan?????
    And of course, I know they will make a big deal out of the virgin sacrifice rituals that took place during my birth (Ha! I still say the virgin was too expensive so all I got was a crack ho).

  • ||

    This is no different that their indefinite detention of prisoners without a trial. It's just American muslims they're gonna do it to instead of foreign muslims.

    Color me unsurprised (sadly).

  • ||

    Let's not forget:

    Me today, you tomorrow.

  • ||

    Yep.

    It may be for 'just a few' applicants today, but it will be universal if allowed to take root.

  • .||

    What makes you so sure it will be Muslims? It might be libertarians looking to leave the country.

  • ||

    But I thought they wanted us to leave the country so they could turn it (back) into a workers paradise.

  • ||

    Who do you think is going to fund their worker's paradise?

  • Nancy Pelosi||

    (jumping up and down, waving hands wildly)

    I will! I will!

  • ||

    Using taxdollars doesn't count.

  • Nancy Pelosi||

    Are you serious?

  • Racoon faced Congresscunt||

    You have to pass the passport to see what's in it!

  • JK1408||

    Obama did say he wanted to crack down on medical tourism....

  • ||

    And don't forget that they want to make US passports biometric. Once they do that your biometric information will go into a big database of databases called IDENT as soon as you use your passport to leave the country.

  • Colonel_Angus||

    Why would they bother to wait until you leave the country?

  • ||

    Already done. Fingerprints are in your passport electronically. RFID in passports tells them who you are before they talk to you. Fingerprint from scan when you enter the country must match the biometric info in your passport's chip...

  • Brett L||

    This long form is not the standard passport application for people with a US birth certificate and valid state or federal ID. SLD, I think this is still wasteful, intrusive, and worthless security theater, but most natural born citizens would not have to go through it.

  • ||

    I don't like SLD for "standard libertarian disclaimer", because it always reminds me of the public school acronym, "slow and learning disabled."

  • Brett L||

    ULD? Usual Libertarian Disclaimer?

  • pancakes||

    Apropos, I think.

  • SIV||

    SLD= "Specific Learning Disability"

    Or as we First Graders taunted the slow kids back in 1969-70:

    LSD class, Your Mom took LSD so you're retarded and have to go to LSD class! I have no regrets for my cruelty as a 7 y/o.

  • ||

    It was changed, because my definition is the one that was in place when I was substitute teaching.

  • SIV||

    How old are you? My elementary school had a metal SLD plate on the wall next to the door but everything I heard and saw was "Specific Learning Disability".
    Maybe they were trying to remove the stigma while retaining the acronym?
    Our collective mob of Primary graders made sure the stigma stuck.

  • SIV||

    The dyslexic kids really thought it was "LSD class"!

  • ||

    I always thought it had to do with STDs - maybe it was the kids "lethal" cooties.

  • SIV||

  • ||

    I ran across the term around 1989 - 1990. In Florida.

  • Vermont Gun Owner||

    They've always been "Special Education Students" for my school time, or as they were actually called "speds".

  • SIV||

    For you whippersnappers out there who doubt 1st graders would know anything about LSD: You couldn't watch Merrie Melodies, The Little Rascals, Leave it to Beaver, Flintstones etc. without getting multiple ant-drug PSAs.I could've told you (incorrectly) LSD caused "chromosome damage" long before I knew what a chromosome was.In more innocent times when I was pre-K, the TV PSA danger was "blasting caps"

  • Mo||

    most natural born citizens would not have to go through it, yet.

    FTFY

  • Otto||

    That ties in to RC's "Me Today, You Tomorrow" law.

    I really want to hear someone defend this shit. Love to hear some bureaurat try to explain why this is in any way necessary.

    I also think their mistake is going to be trying to get this by itself. Had they added a rider to the "We Loves America Act of 2011" or some other moronic, two thousand page piece of... legislation, no one would have noticed until it was too late.

    Or maybe they know they're overreaching, and this is just being floated to be shot down, so they can add some other, but less intrusive, bullshit afterward.

  • Mo||

    This sort of process seems to assume an idyllic, Leave it to Beaver sort of life. If your family lived in one house your whole life and you worked at the local malt shop, where the owner still lives down the street from your parents and now work at the same company that hired you straight out of college this form would be a piece of cake.

    Of course, there are probably all of 7 people in the entire US who lived like that.

  • ||

    Yeah, I'm only 29, and I can only remember the addresses on my past 3 residences (covering around the last 15 years)....before that, hell, I doubt my mom even knows those addresses anymore.

    THANK GOD I'M WHITE, WOOHOOO!!!!

  • ||

    THANK GOD I'M WHITE NOT-ARAB-LOOKING

    ftfm

  • Trespassers W||

    Love to hear some bureaurat try to explain why this is in any way necessary.

    Dude... terrorists!

  • ||

    I had to provide that level of information for something--either the state bar or maybe for my fellowship at the White House. For the latter, I did get quizzed by an FBI agent, though the questions weren't at that level of detail.

    Anyway, took me forever to find everything. And if I had to do it now, I'd be in trouble.

  • ||

    The paper work I filled out for a top secret clearance, when I joined the Air Force, was close to this level. But it didn't ask about "religious ceremonies".

  • ||

    Thinking about it a bit, I'm pretty sure that my deeper dive was for the background check prior to me being admitted to the bar. My FBI examination was more about proximity to senior officials and the president and wasn't for handling classified documents or anything like that.

  • Mensan||

    Chris, I was just thinking the same thing.

  • adam||

    The security clearance and bar stuff that I've done has a cut-off point- usually like 7-10 years back, or since 21. I've never seen one that requires info since birth.

  • ||

    Can't remember. Seemed like I had to identify all of my employers--not sure about the rest. I was only twenty-something, so the list was shorter then, too.

  • Mensan||

    This makes me recall when I was in the Army and my roommate could not get his top secret clearance approved, because the FBI could not locate the house that he said he had lived in when he was 10-12 years old. They were accusing him of giving them false information, and grilling him as to his "real" whereabouts when he was in 6th grade.

    It turned out that some time in the 15 years since he had lived there the house had been torn down, and the city had renamed and renumbered the streets. He eventually got his clearance, but it was only after he tracked down all that information himself and provided it to the investigator.

  • B||

    Looks very suspicious.

    I have long held that the fence along the Mexican border was really built to keep Americans IN.

  • rather||

    I don't see this going though-it is just a proposal. Honestly, I don't think even Obama could fill in all the answers

  • Truther||

    I am intrigued by your post and wish to subscribe to your newsletter.

  • rather||

    I am intrigued by your anonymous nature and I wish to know your identity. Someone anonymous so wrapped-up is his own self-importance is more than spellbinding

    ...email me, you real man

  • Truther||

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • ||

    lol, you have got to be kidding me dude, Seriously??

    www.how-to-be-anon.at.tc

  • Restoras||

    Seems like a great way to make everyone that applies for a passport a criminal.

    I forget - are we at war with Eastasia, or Eurasia?

  • ||

    Which is another point.

    If you make a mistake, they will get you for "submitting a falsified document."

  • ||

    Assuming the PIA statement is to be believed, only about 0.5% of respondents are going to have to fill this out (74,000 of the around 13 million passport applications per year), which (along with the "What type of document, if any, did your mother use to enter the United States before your birth?" question) falls into line with Brett L's speculation above.

    Still... this is pretty insane. The form asks for what dates your mother's pre-natal appointments fell on. I don't even remember those for my two-year-old daughter, and someone would be expected to figure that out and put it on a passport application? And I noticed the PIA statement didn't really bother to justify the religion question.

  • Gray Ghost||

    What percentage of the population did the first federal income taxes apply to? The slippery slope is a fallacy for a reason, but it seems to come up with alarming frequency when you look at government.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    Probably because our legal system is based mostly on the precedent of what the government has been allowed to get away with.

  • cynical||

    I don't think it's a fallacy when dealing with progressive policies, since the word "progress" suggests heading ever onward down the slope anyway.

  • ||

    It applies to fewer every year...

  • ||

    lifetime employment history including employers’ and supervisors names, addresses, and telephone numbers

    Bizarrely enough, they're all the same: FUCK OFF.

  • Rich||

    Writing "N/A" is probably safer, although I appreciate the sentiment.

  • ||

    "any 'religious ceremony' around the time of birth"

    There was something about being anointed with blood squeezed from a priest's still beating heart; does that count?

  • Brett L||

    I did have 3 foreign men show up and give my mother presents.

  • ||

    What is myrrh anyway ?

  • Brett L||

  • Wise Man||

    It is a balm.

  • Mensan||

    It's a bomb!

  • Barrack Obama||

    I thought that was my mother.

  • ||

    There were monkeys at mine.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HwSKkKrUzUk
    or perhaps that's just some confused childhood memories.

  • ||

    ha!

  • Auric Demonocles||

    I went through the spice agony as a fetus.

  • Cuisinart Hat Rack||

    Obamanation!

  • Mo||

    My dad got his green card through family reunification. He and his brother had different moms, but the same dad. When he applied, he had to get a signed affidavit that his mom and my uncle's mom weren't married to my grandfather at the same time. So he had to get a document signed, by his dad's ex-wife, that she was not married to my grandfather at the same time as my grandmother. Fortunately, she wasn't vindictive about it and my dad was able to get the whole awkward thing done. Though the question remains, why does it matter whether or not my dad and uncle were related due to a polygamous marriage versus if they were related if my dad was born out of wedlock to a random person? What's with kid's paying for the sins of their father?

  • Colin||

    I guess this means Obama won't be getting a new passport. :)

  • ||

    His past associations with some very shady characters means he couldn't have passed the security clearance to be a janitor at the white house, and yet, there he is. In the oval office...

  • ||

    But I've been tested with the gom jabbar!

  • ||

    Kull wahad!

  • ||

    Strangely, this whole business reminds me more of Shogun than anything else. In the book/miniseries, the English pilot tested his samurai crew to ensure no enemy Christians were included by having them stomp on a crucifix. Maybe we should test Americans in a similar fashion, rather than going to all this trouble. Like asking them to step on a picture of John Wayne or something like that.

  • Jason||

    Not John Wayne... a copy of the Constitution.

    It would be interesting to see the results.

  • creech||

    This is just a late April Fool's joke right? If not, and it was adopted,
    then the POTUS and every congress a-hole that votes for it should have to answer first, on pain of immediate disqualification for office if any answer proves to be wrong on investigation.

  • Robert||

    This doesn't require an act of Congress, it's a proposed regulation, i.e. proposed details of the implement'n of a supposedly existing law (statute), rather than being an actual law.

  • Rich||

    the POTUS and every congress a-hole that votes for it should have to answer first, on pain of immediate disqualification for office if any answer proves to be wrong on investigation.

    This. Also, "Oh, sorry, your forty-five minutes are up."

  • Gray Ghost||

    They'll just exempt themselves from it, like Congress does for every other piece of legislation they enact (e.g. rules on insider trading, ADA, AA hiring guidelines.)

    I'd be truly delighted if Congress had to live under the same laws they subject the rest of us to.

  • kbolino||

    You want people with large publicly paid staffs to have to fill this sort of information out, and at the same time you expect them to learn a lesson from the experience?

    Surely you jest.

  • ||

    [I]The new questions also ask for the names and contact information of all witnesses to your birth[/I]

    I Obama scheduled to renew his passport any time soon ... this could be fun lol

  • David||

    Some of the questions on that form are harder to answer than the questions I had to answer for security clearance in order to service a government contractor client. I only had to give them my addresses covering the past 5 or 7 years (can't remember which), and they didn't ask anything about my mother's address before giving birth to me, etc. There definitely weren't any questions about religious ceremonies performed at or around my time of birth, either, though they did ask if I'd ever been involved in trafficking drugs.

  • ||

    The questions on the "biographical questionnaire" look very similar to the types of questions asked, when applying for a government issued security clearance.

  • Kristen||

    I have a security clearnace and I didn't have to answer anything like these questions.

  • ||

    You people are getting this all wrong.

    It's an attempt to boost the value of genealogy.com, one of the biggest supporters for Obama this side of GE.

    1. Pass stupid regulation requiring tons of family history
    2. Buy stock in geneaology.com
    3. Profit

    Matter of fact, I'm calling my guy at Fidelity right now and telling him to dump gold and go long on familytree.com and other sites. I'm gonna be rich!

  • ||

    That's funny.

  • Kristen||

    genealogy.com?!?!? Man oh man, are you ever off base. Ancestry.com is the way to go. They charge an arm & a leg for a subscription, plus they have all that sweet, sweet LDS lucre on board.

  • ||

    Step one in preventing Americans from emigrating.

    Get moving RC, before this shit passes.

  • ||

    At one point I applied to the CIA (forgive me, fellow libertarians). The long "gray" form took between 30-40 hours to fill out and went to this kind of detail. I had to call relatives to find out what hospital they were born in and shit like that. Then this tough guy interviewer calls me at 6 a.m. and starts grilling me on when and how often I smoked pot in college. I said "I don't remember, wasn't that the point?" I didn't get the job.

  • My Interviewer||

    "Was it three times a week?"

  • ||

    I had to take a polly for a loss prevention job years ago. The interviewer asked me when was the last time I smoked pot, then was it last month, last week, yesterday? I think the needles showed a fair amount of anger on my part when and he moved to the next question. I did get the job.

  • Robert||

    It is still April, and I haven't checked whether this is really in the Federal Register. But in case it is, why don't they just say, "No Arabs need apply"?

    Clearly the problem is that the gov't needs to exclude people they legally aren't allowed to. So we have to go thru ridiculous shit like this instead of simply amending the Constitution to allow gov'tal discrimination against types that correlate with real security threats.

  • Robert||

    The Federal Register doesn't list or link to it with the notice of proposed rulemaking. Seems this is all relying on what is alleged to be what The Identity Project obtained, so hoax is still, fortunately, strong in the running as to what this is, and remember...it's still April.

  • Edward Hasbrouck||

    @Robert - The Identity Project (PapersPlease.org) is clearly identified on our website, and in the comments we filed (co-signed by other libertarian, privacy, and consumer groups):

    http://papersplease.org/wp/wp-.....mments.pdf

    We're a project of a California non-profit legal and educational organization. You can read press reports about some of our previous work at papersplease.org/press.html.

    I can understand that it may seem fishy that the State Department chose to publish a notice in the Federal Register that it was proposing a new form, but not the form itself. But that was their choice, not ours.

    We were sent the proposed form in March, in response to our request, by the person identified in the Federal Register notice as the point of contact from whom it could be obtained: Alexys Garcia, GarciaAA@state.gov, 212-736-9216. We immediately published the form we received from the State Dept. on our website.

    I *wish* this were a hoax. It's not.

  • Robert||

    Thanks, Ed. For those of you who don't know, we go back in movement stuff to 1979 with the Chi. Coalition Against Registr'n and the Draft, so if nobody's spoofing his identity ( ;-) ), that's pretty trustworthy a source.

  • Robert||

    And the code here forces a line break in the middle of my emoticon regardless of what text size the browser displays! :-(

  • Zeb||

    A passport should be an absolute right for any citizen, at least. That the government could restrict your movement without a very compelling public interest being served is very disturbing prison state kind of stuff.

  • ||

    A state can have the State Dept deny your application if you owe back taxes or child support. They can actually restrict your right to travel outside of the US even though you have not been convicted of a crime.

    Look it up.

  • ||

    It might be time to get a foreign passport.

  • sasob||

    Reads like a tool to allow the State Department to turn down a passport when they can't find a more legitimate reason.

    I'd say that's exactly what it is - just something to prevent one from leaving the country or otherwise traveling. By rights one shouldn't need a passport to leave the US.

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    Do you need one to leave the US?

  • ||

    Only if you want to get into any country worth getting into (referring to Meta_Man's comment at 10:54).

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    Isn't that because of restrictions created by the country you are trying to enter?

  • ||

    Yeah, but I figured those restrictions are reciprocal, from a America-does-it-to-our-citizens-so-we're-gonna-do-it-to-theirs angle.

  • ||

    You need one to get past immigration at your destination.

  • jester||

    You can easily enter Mexico or Canada by car or on foot without a passport. From there, I believe you could concoct all sorts of ways to escape wider afield.

    You could get in a boat and sail as well.

  • ||

    This proposal was published in the Federal Register for February 24. That means that the State Department's 60-day comment period expires today. Fortunately, you can let State know what you think of their idea by e-mailing your comments to GarciaAA@state.gov. Be sure to "include the DS form number (if applicable), information collection title, and OMB control number in any correspondence." The DS form number is DS-5513, the information collection title is "Biographical Questionnaire for U.S. Passport," and there is no OMB control number (but you'd better include that fact in your comment--don't want to give them any excuse to disregard it).

  • Rich||

    there is no OMB control number (but you'd better include that fact in your comment--don't want to give them any excuse to disregard it).

    Slick.

  • ||

    I wonder if protesting this too much gets your name on The List?

  • Bubba||

    Yes, let a thousand flowers bloom

  • ||

    You don't need a passport to leave the United States, at least if you are going into Canada.

  • ||

    Doesn't that kind of eliminate the point of leaving the US?

  • Otto||

    Wrong. You now need a passport or passport "card" to go to Canada or Mexico.

  • ||

    More correctly, you need such to get back into the US.

    Passport or not, we Canadians are perfectly happy to soak American tourists for every dime in their pockets welcome our visiting neighbours with open arms.

  • ||

    A passport, or passport card, is now required for Canada. Their are exceptions for residents of certain states that border Canada. New York made some enhancements to their state issued drivers license, so it can be used in place of a passport.

  • ||

    That's location discrimination!

  • Vermont Gun Owner||

    Vermont has an enhanced driver's license as well.

  • ||

    Is that anything like enhanced interrogation?

  • Vermont Gun Owner||

    Well it makes it harder to get beer (by which I mean when I go drinking with friends who have them, the bouncers inspect those longer than they do with my regular one).

  • Rrabbit||

    It is bad enough that they burned the Constitution, but did they have to hire Kafka's ghost?

  • ||

    Step one in preventing Americans from emigrating.

    You only need a passport if you're planning to come back.

  • ||

    Yeah, but emigrating in one trip would be pretty tough, unless you're already a hobo.

  • ||

    ""You only need a passport if you're planning to come back.""

    Or if you're going somewhere else. They will want to see it.

  •  ||

    The Department will accept comments from the public up to 60 days from February 24, 2011.

    I was going to recommend to all the comment-taters here to commentate at the specially approved comment-tater site, but...

  • ||

    Quel suprise. Talk about timing.

  •  ||

    I blame Balko.

  • Colonel_Angus||

    I don't even fucking remember the address at the last joint I lived in. Fuck statism.

  • ||

    Is resurrection considered a religious ceremony?

  • Not a Jew||

    My mommy's baked ham yesterday was a religious experience.

  • ||

    When I was in the ARmy, I needed a secret clearance. I was no yet a citizen, so it required signficant paperwork. It was excruciating to fill out. The Army lost the paperwork. Not once, but twice!

  • ||

    Maybe the Army was trying to tell you something. Apparently you didn't take the hint.

  • ||

    Maybe they really wanted it in triplicate and not carbon copied.

  • ||

    unless you're already a hobo.

    Timmay is working on it.

  • Current Occupation?||

    HoboTravel Investigator

  • LOL...||

    ...'cause if you don't, you'll COL.

  • 0x90||

    "The proposed new Form DS-5513"

    Proposed by whom? I mean names, dates of birth, current and prior addresses, etc., etc.

    Why? Well, why not? The request implies no ill intent on my part, right?

  • AU H20||

    1) Raise taxes
    2) Prevent people from fleeing those taxes
    3) 50's style worker's paradise.

    Also, when did liberals start liking the 50s? It used to be 60s=Good 50s=Bad, but now its, 50=unions, 90% tax rate and 30s-to-60s good, 80s-to-now bad.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    Yeah, they always conveniently leave out the 1970s.

    Also, when did liberals start liking the 50s?
    A couple years ago, I tagged a liberal for being more nostalgic for the 1950s than the Moral Majority. Unsurprisingly, he had no comeback for that one.

  • ||

    Now that I've peeped at the proposed form, I think the intentions behind it are probably good. If someone is having trouble producing the documents normally asked for when getting a passport, the Fed Gov is trying to offer an alternative. (For example, the religious ceremony question reads like they are asking if there might be another way that your birth was recorded, not like they need to know your religion.) If you think about it, in a way a passport is kind of a big deal. The US government is vouching for you to the rest of the world.

    Not saying that this couldn't be misused as a tool to stop someone from traveling. Not saying that it might not be overly onerous for most of the people it would be asked of. Not even saying that I believe that governments should do squat to to us when we cross their borders peacefully. Just pointing out that the kneejerk reactions may be a bit overblown for what appears to be a poorly designed form.

  • ||

    I'm not sure I agree. They have workarounds already for people with documentation issues, and the government certainly has no business "certifying" all of the citizens who travel. If we're known criminals, we should be locked up, right?

    I had to go through something like this to practice law. Others have for security clearances. Travel to other countries simply doesn't rise to that threshold and shouldn't require anything more than proving you're an American citizen, not fleeing from a criminal prosecution (or incarceration), and maybe a couple of other things I'm not thinking about.

  • ||

    I have no experience with the alternative documentation requirements for obtaining a passport, either for myself or anyone else. I have helped people gather documents for obtaining state IDs. It can be difficult and I can recall situations when being able to provide all these details would have been not easy, but at least easier than what was required.

  • ||

    There's always the V-K Empathy Test.

  • ||

    I've never read or seen Blade Runner, so I didn't know what a "V-K Empathy Test" was.

    So I googled it.

    Google's response:

    "Did you mean: V-I-C-K Empathy Test"

  • ||

    Okay, that's weird.

    In any case, you need to watch the film. Also, the V-K Empathy Test was actually administered live to highnumber, who failed.

  • ||

    Also made a video of it (though I have no idea what site this is that I'm linking to): http://wn.com/Blade_Runner__Voight_Kampff_Test

    I just read Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? for the first time. I think I'd read every other PKD book years ago and that I avoided this one just because I like the movie so much and did not want to be disappointed by either. Good book. I'd put it maybe in his 5 best. Different enough from the movie that they both stand alone.

  • ||

    It's one of the few cases where the book was almost ignored yet the film ruled, anyway.

    Forgot about the video version. Nicely done. Here's the link to your Urkobold posting of it.

  • ||

    I just thought the reference to Michael Vick was humorous in the context.

  • ||

    Hype.

  • ||

    The US government is vouching for you to the rest of the world.

    Bullshit. It's merely "proof" of residence and/or citizenship. Or at least it was until we became a Neocon Warlord-topia.

  • ||

    The other countries do want to have a reasonable assurance that you are who you say you are before they let you in. They trust the US govt on that matter. I don't see how that's b.s. or how that makes us a "Neocon Warlord-topia."

  • ||

    But wouldn't a birth certificate (verified by the issuing state/hospital) be adequate for that?

  • 0x90||

    According to DHS, we've been at threat level yellow (Elevated) or higher since March 12, 2002, when the Homeland Security Advisory System was introduced. What's the over/under on when we drop to blue & green?

  • ||

    What's the over/under on when we drop to blue & green?

    What's the over/under on when Atlantis rises from the sea?

  • Robert||

    They're dropping the color code so we never get to find out. The new code eliminates all the hypocrisy by having no "normal"! Yeah, it'll always be either an alert or a high alert, only now they're saying so in advance.

    NYC meanwhile was always on orange, and I kept mixing up yellow with the Amber alerts.

  • cynical||

    Aren't they ditching the color-coding system?

  • Wolf||

    Boy! Boy!

  • I, Kahn O'Clast||

    I grew up an air force brat and even after my father left the service we moved quite frequently. I know for a fact that even my folks do not have a full list about when we lived where. And when I introduced them to google maps they really wanted to look at a couple of places we lived but could not come up with the addresses..... There is not a chance that I could do it..... As an adult I have had 12 addresses (and am making an offer on number 13 this afternoon).... Forget it.

  • ||

    "The new questions also ask for the names and contact information of all witnesses to your birth."

    So... has Obama complied with this yet?

  • Invisible Finger||

    As if we needed another reason to despise the very existence of Hilary Clinton.

    It'll take a goddamn village to fill out a fucking passport form.

  • jester||

    Most countries could care less about your passport other then there is somewhere to mark your entry and departure so as to charge you for your visa and departure taxes. They wouldn't know if your passport was real or fake.

    Really it is the USA that is interested in gathering information on the people of the world. For example, a European connecting through the USA going to Mexico must present his passport, etc and officially enter.

    Many places in the world, one can hand out in diplomatic limbo at the airport without having to record his presence. I've done that at least in Singapore International and it seems that if you fly to some point in Europe via say Charles De Gualle, at CDG they send you to the transfer desk and when you arrive at your destination in another EU country it is treated like a domestic arrival.

  • ||

    They hate us for our freedom!

    That's going to be my comment for everything I read in here from now on in as much as it is apropos for just about everything I read in here. God bless Amerika!

  • prolefeed||

    Surprised they haven't used this tactic to get around SCOTUS gun rulings: "Sure, we allow concealed carry of machine guns. All you have to do is complete this one form -- Harry, bring in the forklift with one ONEHEAVYMOFO-NOEFFINGWAYYOU'LLPASS-69 Form, we got a live one!"

  • ||

    You want to know how many hairs are on my ballsack while you're at it!?

  • ||

    That is to be entered on the back of the form.

  • Carl||

    I've been looking into this and so far I have NOT been able to find that form on any official government website. While it would be appalling if it is real, I am suspicious that someone could have created that form as a hoax. I'm not denying the government is looking to make changes to the form, just that this questionnaire is nowhere to be found on official websites.

  • Robert||

    The weak link in the chain of provenance is The Identity Project, and we don't even know their identity!

  • ||

    The only other time I remember the government doing this was the brief and terrible trend of Eugenics.

    http://www.intellectualtakeout.....ogressives

  • Robert||

    I keep checking back here hoping for confirmation of hoax status, and lack of confirmation of "it's for real".

  • ||

    As an older American, all of the people who were witnesses to my birth are now dead, including my mother and father. So, how do I find out where my mom was living a year before I was born, as well provide names of any witnesses that were there. Just more communist leanings from this government looking for ways to deny our constitutional rights.

  • Robert||

    My parents are dead too, and with Daddy having been a doctor, in those days he probably took prenatal care of Mother any time he looked at her, even though he wound up not doing the delivery. Ah, what the heck, I could make up any answers I wanted, and nobody could prove otherwise. Just like my resume.

    Still, faced with that kind of application, I'd get a fake passport. That industry is bound to boom as a result.

  • Maggy||

    ..and I was thinking that they are doing this only to us, legal immigrants.

  • ||

    LMFAO- this is why other countries are laughing at us

  • ||

    whoa, it becomes more and more like behind the iron courtain. People did not leave communist states because they were denied passports.

  • TWylite||

    Can we make all presidential candidates fill out this form? I think that would create dozens of jobs in the conspiracy theory industry. That economic sector is going to suffer with Obama's birth certificate release.

  • دردشه عراقية||

    Thanks

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