Iran

BBC Journalist Prevented From Traveling to US Because of New Visa Waiver Rules

British-Iranian reporter Rana Rahimpour stopped at airport; new restrictions weren't supposed to be in effect until April.

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BBC Persia journalist Rana Rahimpour was

You're safe, America.
Twitter/Rana Rahimpour

prevented from boarding a plane traveling from London to New Jersey on Tuesday because her dual British-Iranian citizenship disqualifies her from the visa waiver program, thanks to new rules passed by Congress last month.

Before the changes, citizens of 38 countries participating in the visa waiver program (including the US, most of Europe, Japan, Australia, Brunei, Chile, Taiwan and Singapore) could travel to other participating countries without a visa for 90 days. But under the new restrictions, passed in the wake of last November's Paris terror attacks, citizens of visa waiver countries who have dual citizenship with Iran, Iraq, Syria or Sudan are barred from entering the US without a visa. Additionally, any citizen of a visa waiver country who has traveled to any of those four countries in the past five years would need a visa to travel to the US. 

Iran's government is completely hostile to BBC Persian reporters, and because of that, Rahimpour has been unable to visit the country where she was born for more than seven years. As a noted journalist who lives and raises a family in the United Kingdom, labeling her as a potential terror threat doesn't pass the laugh test.

But no matter, when a panic-inspired law passes, no one is immune. Not even women who marry Iranian men or children born to them, because Iran automatically confers citizenship on those wives and children even if they've never set foot in the country. The new rules make even less sense when you consider that dual citizens of Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, two countries whose citizens have committed numerous terror attacks against the U.S. since 2001, are still allowed to enjoy the visa waiver program. 

In a phone interview, Rahimpour told me she was well aware of the new regulations but had understood (as most everyone did until today) that they did not go into effect until April of this year. She says she even contacted the US embassy prior to booking her tickets to the US, where she hoped to attend her six-year-old nephew's birthday party, to confirm this information. 

But when she arrived at Heathrow airport with her two-year-old daughter earlier today, she was told her Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) request had been denied, even though when she signed in to the ESTA website her request was still listed as "pending." No explanation was given for the denial. 

Rahimpour, who is 30 weeks pregnant, says she has no plans to apply for a visa waiver at this point because by the time it is likely to be approved she will no longer be in physical condition to fly. She tweeted this from the airport:

Not cool, Congress.
Twitter/Rana Rahimpour

Clearly hurt on a personal level over being prevented from visiting her family, Rahimpour also expressed exasperation over the bureaucratic morass she had unwittingly waded into. 

"What was fascinating was the confusion. No one seemed to know what was going on," Rahimpour told me. "Even the US government websites were unclear. If the law requires me to get a visa, I'm happy to get a visa, but if I had known what would happen today, I wouldn't have booked my flights and hotel. I just wanted some clarity."

As my colleague Matt Welch has explained, visa waiver rules are reciprocal, meaning any restrictions the US imposes on citizens of other countries will also be imposed on Americans wishing to travel abroad:

When you imagine those same restrictions being applied on Americans (as they almost certainly would be), you're faced with entire categories of professionals—military service men and women, journalists, NGO employees—who would now no longer be able to travel to Europe visa-free. And their counterparts in Europe will face extra barriers to entry before they can go to Disneyland or visit the Grand Canyon. 

Last week, Reps. Justin Amash (R-Mich.), John Conyers (D-Mich.), Debbie Dingell (D-Mich.), and Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) introduced the the Equal Protection in Travel Act (EPTA) of 2016, which aims to remove "discriminatory limitations recently placed on certain dual nationals who might participate in the Visa Waiver Program (VWP)." In a press release announcing the proposed legislation, Amash was quoted as saying:

Without EPTA, the recently enacted visa law could harm countless Americans—even United States-born citizens—who have limited or indirect connections to countries of concern…It's not okay to subject Americans to different standards for travel on the basis of ancestry.

It's not clear whether Amash's bill would have spared Rahimpour her ordeal, given the confusion over what laws are in effect at which time, as well as the lack of transparency regarding the approval or denial of ESTA requests.

One thing is certain, if a BBC journalist (and British citizen) can be humiliated this way, international travel is likely about to get much more difficult for thousands upon thousands of people, including many Americans. 

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  1. I say it’s payback for the Brits thinking about barring Trump from entering the UK

    1. And what do you think about Angela Merkel telling Mark Zuckerberg how to run his business in Germany?

      Suckelberg? Jews are very brand-aware, they won’t like that.

    2. BBC journalist. Oxymoron.

    3. Does she think she is going to the land of the free? first mistake.

      The pLAce with a thing called the first amendment must allow freedom of SPEACH AND PRESS. SECOND MISTAKE.

  2. America is becoming greater by the day.

  3. Look, do you want to be protected from terrorists and the BBC or not?

    1. Oh, how these things overlap.

      A version of the show dubbed into Farsi has also been hugely successful in Iran. Part of that success is due to the Iranian version’s meticulous attention to detail in directly translating Clarkson’s voice and turns of phrase.

      The man who brings the Farsi Jeremy Clarkson to life is Mozaffar Shafeie, an Iranian actor living in London and Washington. Even he is surprised by the success of “Top Gear” in Iran.

      He remembers visiting a group of Iranians living in Kurdistan. At first no one recognized him. “But then I said the word Tonight!” in Persian ? ‘Emshab!'” he says. “It was like Beatlemania! Everyone was excited and screaming. I had to sign autographs.”

  4. How does one acquire, or shed, dual citizenship? Can anyone give me some background on this?

    1. one way is becoming a naturalized American citizen. Your nation of birth does not take away your citizenship there typically. That’s how it worked for my folks.

    2. A child born to American parents in a country with birthright citizenship (like Canada) would have dual citizenship. I believe Israel also hands out citizenship to people of Jewish descent fairly easily. I actually know someone with triple citizenship under a very similar circumstance (except the parents were Canadian living in the US).

    3. I have it from birth. My mom gave me American, my dad gave me Turkish. It’s a fucking pain in the ass since the Turks essentially ‘lost’ my paperwork when I tried to renounce my Turkish citizenship. Thus my exile since I could still be conscripted if I set foot on Turkish territory.

      1. That sucks.

        Foreign countries conscripting American citizens? That was an issue in 1812, I believe.

        1. And 1776.

          “He (George III) has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.”

  5. Would

      1. Is it true what they say? She’s in BBC videos?

    1. There’s no middle ground. Persian girls are either hot, or they look like men.

      So there’s something for Crusty too.

  6. We don’t need no moar proggie journalists…..I say exclude em all I do !

  7. What do you get when you mix Pere Ubu and Bat-Man?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m60htejCMyw

  8. Well, she was just going to come over and rape some guys anyhow.

    1. How does that work? Is there a sign up sheet? Is it online? Gimme the URL, dammit!

    2. I think you’ve hit on a solution to the migrant problem Europeans should all be able to get behind. Send back all the ones they got, which clearly warrant a recall of some sort, and exchange them for female models. Given that the female ones are only worth 70 cents on the dollar, they might even be eligible for a refund.

      1. I would be happy to sign up for a sponsor program. i already get Russian candidates on ads here.

  9. Whatever.

    What’s the straight dope about Aleister Crowley who seems to have inspired David Bowie?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aleister_Crowley

    http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics…..ksand.html

    Was the Thin White Duke a fascist?

    1. Ok, bring the fire:

      David Bowie sucked. He always sucked, from Ziggy Stardust to “China Girl”. And Aleister Crowley was a loon.

      And CNN has an article, “Why Glenn Frey’s death shakes us.” No it doesn’t.

      1. ‘Singer/Actor Dies’
        Headline and story.
        How’s the weather up your way?

        1. Almost-septuagenarian dies of natural causes. Film at 11.

      2. I have no idea who Glenn Frey is. And I couldn’t name one David Bowie song.

        1. I have no idea who Glenn Frey is. And I couldn’t name one David Bowie song.

          The time is comin to do some soul searchin.

        2. If you watched Miami Vice you probably heard one of his songs: Smuggler’s Blues.

      3. Overrated maybe but growing up in that era I still dig when he comes on the jukebox. Suffragette City, Changes, and the like. Brings back good times.

        1. JB is feelin good, gettin tight cause he’s livin right.

          1. Sometimes:)

        2. Maybe that’s it. Sort of like how people like baseball because they remember their dad taking them to games. Or beer.

        3. Bowie was the man who sold the world.

          “We passed upon the stair, we spoke of was and when
          Although I wasn’t there, he said I was his friend
          Which came as some surprise I spoke into his eyes
          I thought you died alone, a long long time ago
          Oh no, not me
          I never lost control
          You’re face to face
          With The Man Who Sold The World
          I laughed and shook his hand, and made my way back home
          I searched for form and land, for years and years I roamed
          I gazed a gazely stare at all the millions here
          We must have died alone, a long long time ago
          Who knows? not me
          We never lost control
          You’re face to face
          With the Man who Sold the World”

          Mark Steyn explains some of it.

          http://www.steynonline.com/742…..-the-world

          http://www.steynonline.com/742…..-the-world

          Mark Styne

      4. I would say it must suck to go through life without the ability to understand the beauty of art, but I guess it doesn’t bother you if you don’t know what you’re missing out on.

        1. I’m good with art. Just not Bowie.

          1. That’s the joke, that they are one and the same, and you not liking what I like makes you a philistine or something.

            It’s cool if you’re not into Bowie. Not everyone has to like the same stuff and most of his was outside the norm. But he definitely doesn’t suck.

      5. And Aleister Crowley was a loon

        AC was also a British agent.

        ============

        BTW the “Banishing Ritual in AC’s “Book IV” works quite well.

    2. The Beatles were also fans of AC. See the cover of Sgt. Pepper.

      1. Would be cooler if “AC” was referring to our own Agile Cyborg.

        But then it would be cool. And the Beatles suck too.

  10. Oh, for goodness’ sake, more grand-jury bashing

    “We still allow a prosecutor, who is the chief law enforcement official of the county, to control without oversight the decision whether or not to charge a police officer who is alleged to have committed a crime.”

    Excellent idea, restore private criminal prosecutions, like they still have in England without the sky falling. Then the victim’s family can take the case to a grand jury and try to persuade it to indict.

    No, wait, that’s not where the author is going with this…

    “[prosecutors] are granted immunity from prosecution and from lawsuit for the exercise of their discretion.”

    Oh, so make them liable?

    No, that’s not where the author is going, either.

    “Twenty-two states have abolished the grand jury. Great Britain, from whom we brought it, abolished it 60 years ago. All parts of the UK have followed suit. It is now time that Georgia abolished it too.”

    All the cool kids are doing it! (and those 22 states didn’t abolish the grand jury, they generally keep it as an option among others)

    1. “The [Ferguson] conflagration was partly the fault of our system. Anything done under the shroud of secrecy smacks of the Star Chamber and is anathema to a society that seeks to be free from systemic racism and prides itself on a blind administration of justice.”

      The LA riots weren’t in response to a secret trial, they were response to a verdict given in open court after a public trial. The rioters in each case weren’t nitpicking about procedure, but about the *result.* Which in Ferguson was the same result ultimately reached by the Obama/Holder justice department: There was no case against the cop.

      “If we are to be free of such horror as befell Ferguson and others, we need to change our way of prosecuting allegations of police misconduct.”

      Nice community we have here. Sure would be too bad if it was wrecked by riots. Here, just give me some of your civil liberties and I can make sure things will be peaceful-like.

      1. “1. Abolish the grand jury, the secretive proceeding that creates mistrust and suspicion over its pronouncements, and adopt the law followed in 22 states guaranteeing an accused the right to a preliminary hearing with all his rights as guaranteed by the constitution. This would guarantee that both civilians and the police are treated the same. The openness would go far in providing assurance that racial prejudice is not at work in the process and promote trust in our criminal justice system.”

        Begs the question. First show that having one’s case heard by a grand jury *isn’t* a “right[]…guaranteed by the [C]onstitution.”

        If you want openness, release the grand jury transcript or a video of the proceedings in controversial cases. Or allow private prosecutions if the grand jury allows it.

        But bottom line: Ignoring the Bill of Rights isn’t going to protect you from riots or ensure justice.

    2. …like they still have in England without the sky falling.

      That was unconvincing.

      1. You’re *against* private prosecutions?

        1. London cops brought into court in a private prosecution.

          I couldn’t find any follow-up on the story, unfortunately, so I don’t know how it turned out.

          1. I think the Spanish Inquisition burst in at the end.

            1. Well, that was unexpected.

              1. +3 weapons

                1. I think they’re immune to anything less than +5 or Cold Iron.

    3. The problem, of course, is that both the police and prosecutor play for the same team. Getting rid of grand juries won’t change that. Neither will supposedly independent prosecutors for investigations of the police. Your first suggestion is the best solution I’ve heard.

      1. “Neither will supposedly independent prosecutors for investigations of the police. ”

        Wrong. This is the best solution. The prosecutors need to be truly independent, however.

    4. Prosecutors should be drawn and quartered on nationwide TV. Starting with fat-assed Christie, though you’d need a couple of Clydesdales to stretch that fat-assed motherfuicker.

      1. He should die in a fire, along with his family.

        1. Or hanged, though they’d need a hawser to support his corpulence.

  11. Stupid bitch is too dumb to apply for a visa? Maybe we should bar her entry as a mental defective too.
    If the government is now “humiliating” BBC journalists maybe they’re doing something right.

    1. Yeah, let’s cheer for the bureaucracy and its mental defectives.

    2. In a phone interview, Rahimpour told me she was well aware of the new regulations but had understood (as most everyone did until today) that they did not go into effect until April of this year. She says she even contacted the US embassy prior to booking her tickets to the US, where she hoped to attend her six-year-old nephew’s birthday party, to confirm this information.

      Sounds like she looked into it and was told she didn’t need to. It was also a timely occasion.

      1. Her ESTA denial?

        No explanation was given for the denial.

        She could have accidentally or intentionally failed to fill out a required field on her application. It would have read “pending” up until it was denied .

        1. Oh, I see what your talking about now. Carry on.

  12. I’m sorry, but this has got to be the most trivial issue Hit & Run has covered in quite a while. On the 1-10 scale of government outrages, this is about a 0.5.

    1. What’s a 1?

      1. Two dogs fighting outside the *Reason* offices.

        1. Ahh… So they didn’t find home for those puppies. So sad.

        2. Those dogs weren’t fighting, if you know what I mean. 😉

          1. More puppies! So cute!

            1. Christie would eat them.

    2. Yeah, freedom of travel and association are such trivial issues!

      1. 4 Billion people need a visa to travel to the US. Fisher is only outraged about one BBC journalist who failed to obtain one.

        1. No welfare state, nothing to worry about, comrade.

          1. I don’t believe I should need a prescription to purchase dilaudid. I think requiring one is an egregious violation of my natural rights. That said, if I go down to CVS tomorrow and they refuse to sell it to me I don’t expect anyone to feel outraged on my behalf.

            1. There are many people here who would, including me.

              Why champion the arbitrary, capricious, and liberty depriving machinations of democrat and republican party politicians and the parasites at the State Dept.?

              1. I’m not “championing it”. Almost all foreign nationals are required to obtain a visa or waiver to enter the US. She did not go through the necessary procedures to get either one in time for her trip. She blames it on her dual nationality (with NO supporting facts) and claims some sort of ethnic victimhood. I may not believe in “the rules” but I don’t have much sympathy for someone who consciously fails to follow them and suffers the very minor consequence of her inaction.

                1. SIV, your comment suggests that you have more sympathy for following the edicts of statists than those who are victimized by the same.

                  Besides, there is not one word in the federal constitution that permits the government to restrict travel to dual British / Persian journalists or anybody else.

                  Ditto for establishing a bureaucracy empowered to establish arbitrary, inconsistent, capricious rules governing travel.

                  Ditto for requiring passports.

                  If the grant of power is not specifically set forth, why indulge the progressive fallacy that such power is implied?

                  If the framers had intended for these things to be, they would have so said. They did not so say.

                  1. If the framers had intended for these things to be, they would have so said. They did not so say.

                    So no e-mail then?

            2. I would.

    3. How precise is the scale? Is there like a 1.1? Or a 1.000001?

      And does it include only rational numbers, or can something rate e or pi?

      And is there a zero? Is negative government outrage possible? Is there imaginary outrage, like maybe for Lyndon LaRouche?

  13. The overwhelming majority of foreign nationals need a visa to enter the US. The reporter knew her waiver had not been approved. Fisher seems to think her social class and profession deserve some sort of special treatment. Mrs Rahimpour is in effect saying “do you know who I am””? and Fisher writes “Yeah! Do you know who she is?”

    1. What a phony narrative.

  14. “As a noted journalist who lives and raises a family in the United Kingdom, labeling her as a potential terror threat doesn’t pass the laugh test.”

    Is she being labeled a potential terrorist threat?

    It looks like they’re just requiring her to get a visa.

    1. Visas are for the little people, especially if they’re poorer, browner, yellow or aren’t members of the journalist’s guild.

      1. Rules are for the peasants, not their rulers.

        1. But you appear to be for genuflecting to the rulers and their regulations. It makes you FEELZ safe.

    2. She looks pretty scary.

    3. “It looks like they’re just requiring her to get a visa”

      AND WHY ARENT WE OUTRAGED?!?!

  15. Here’sHere’s a NYT editorial from 1990 by Judge Sol “ham sandwich” Wachtler (before his own legal troubles) calling for the abolition of the grand jury.

    “As a result of the drug crisis, more than half the felony cases filed in New York City involve drugs. Most are the result of ”buy and bust” operations, or street observations, by the police. A grand jury presentation of such cases requires police officers to lose as much as an entire day that could be spent fighting crime. [i.e., more buy-and-busts]

    “Because of complications the grand jury system creates, last year about 4,500 felony drug defendants were released from jail because a grand jury indictment could not be obtained in the time required by law.”

    Let me get the world’s tiniest violin.

    1. Some people might look at a system like that and say, “Damn, we sure are prosecuting an awful lot of people. Maybe this wasn’t such a good idea to put people in cages for politically incorrect substances.”

      Others, as Watchler nicely demonstrates, are authoritarian assholes.

  16. Trump comparison. Out Hitler. In Nixon.

    http://www.washingtonexaminer……le/2580793

    1. Na, Obama is Nixon he followed Bush who was LBJ. This makes Trump Reagan ’76 and Bernie Sanders is Jimmy Carter, or something.

      1. HE’S HISTORY’S GREATEST MONSTER!

      2. I don’t think Sanders would have deregulated anything as Carter did.

        1. I don’t think Bernie will reintroduce Selective Service and poison the marijuana supply as Carter did

    2. Trump might represent the silent majority, but he isn’t the candidate I would compare to Nixon, if you know what I mean.

        1. Yes, Hitler was nearly as bad as Nixon, but he isn’t running this time around — the birthers would have a field day.

    3. Sorry, Hillary is already the female Nixon.

      1. Or the *female* Stalin. Those cankles are hard to ignore.

  17. I read the first two paragraphs and i’m still not sure what i’m supposed to be giving 2 fucks about.

    1. I think you’re supposed to be outraged.

      1. You will be outraged when some dirty European country doesn’t let Welch in, because they will start returning the favor. And then we will have a World War.

        1. Seems like a serious serious problem. Something must done. Oh wait, something was done.

      2. “I think you’re supposed to be outraged.”

        I was outraged. I was outraged i read 2 whole paragraphs and still didn’t know why i should care.

    2. (skips to conclusion)

      ” international travel is likely about to get much more difficult for thousands upon thousands of people’

      namely, people from Iran, Iraq, Syria or Sudan who may or may not have dual-citizenship.

      righto.

      1. Why wasn’t it already like this after 2001?

        You mean people have been coming here with citizenship from Syria without needing a visa–for all this time?

        Somebody was asleep at the wheel!

        1. You afraid of some Syrians?

          1. Syria is a hotbed of terrorism and anti-Americanism, and there’s been an ongoing civil war there for five years now.

            ISIS hates us, and Al Qaeda affiliates there hate us. The Shia factions there are chiefly represented by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard and Hezbollah–both of which hate America.

            Those who back Assad hate us for trying to bring him down and assisting in the ongoing chaos, and that includes the Christians who back Assad for stability’s sake. Yes, Christians there hate America, too!

            Yes, the legitimate purpose of government is to protect our rights, and if Syria is a hotbed of terrorism and anti-Americanism, then I don’t think it’s out of bounds to ask Syrian citizens to apply for a visa. If Syrians presently represent a security threat, then protecting our rights from such threats is a legitimate function of government.

            1. I see.

              Ken needs to FEELZ safe – at the expense of his neighbors, even if they do not consent.

              1. Yeah, that’s exactly what I wrote.

                1. In so many words, yes.

                  1. You and Tulpa should go bowling.

              2. Are Syrians his neighbors? I do the think so.

          2. Short version:

            The only two things on which all factions in Syria’s ongoing civil war seem to agree:

            1) The legitimate use of civilians as targets

            2) Hatred of America.

            1) + 2) = Go Get A Damn Visa

            1. (1) The deliberate killing of civilians as a justifiable repercussion of war. Also referred to as “collateral damage.”

              (2) Hatred of liberty, free enterprise, and those who resist wars for democracy and making the world safe for democracy.

              1 + 2 = Washington must go.

              1. Yeah, “Washington must go” and “Go get a visa” are totally equivalent.

                1. Your syllogism fails because you are asserting facts not in evidence.

                  Syrians have not made war upon the United States.

                  Syrians have not threatened to make war upon the United States.

                  Syrians do not have military installations in the Bahamas, Bermuda, Canada, Cuba, or Mexico.

                  Syrians do not have military operatives killing people in the United States.

                  Syrians do not have military operatives training other people to overthrow the United States government.

                  Syrians have not bombed, droned, invaded, or made war upon the people of the Bahamas, Bermuda, Canada, Cuba, or Mexico.

                  Yet, Ken wants his neighbors taxed so that he can feel safe.

                  Yet, Ken thinks he has a right to a collective defense.

                  Ken, therefore, is a collectivist.

                  1. ^ Speaking of facts not in evidence… Syria is basically terrorism training ground central right now, and Syrians are committing, facilitating, and instigating attacks throughout the world. What the fuck do you think the second S in ISIS stands for?

                    All sane people are collectivists. Libertymike isn’t going to leave his kids in a room filled with wolves, even though he can’t possibly know that those particular wolves will eat those particular kids. He just has use empirical evidence to link particular traits (what big eyes, what big teeth, etc.) with likely outcomes (dead children and possibly grandmas).

                    1. If the situation calls for it, I can do like Liam Neeson in The Grey.

                    2. do like Liam Neeson in The Grey.

                      White out? Or Black out?

                    3. I’m not an anarchist. I believe that government has a legitimate function–protecting our rights from various threats. Police to protect our rights from criminals, for instance. Courts to protect our rights from police. A military to protect our rights from foreign threats.

                      It is possible to be a small government libertarian and not a collectivist. Just believe that government should be limited to only those functions that serve to protect our rights–and insist that the government a) doesn’t tax essentials like food and b) is only funded with sales taxes, which are the most voluntary form of taxation possible.

                      Meanwhile, I’m not even saying that we should use the military or the courts or the police to protect our rights from the threat of terrorists coming from Syria. I’m just saying that Syrians should have to apply for a visa.

                      In fact, requiring visa applications may be even more basic than protecting our rights from foreign threats. It’s probably a constituent part of basic sovereignty. If sovereignty is the right to make choices for ourselves about how we govern without having to answer to some foreign power, granting visas (or not) depending on whether the applicant is from a nation that represents a threat to our rights is probably a natural implication of that sovereignty.

                    4. Hell, my only qualification on open borders with Mexico is that the Mexican government should develop a reliable identification system so that we can identify Mexican citizens and give them an automatic visa–so long as we can verify that a) they aren’t convicted felons, b) they’ve been immunized against certain diseases, and c) that they aren’t currently carrying an infectious disease. All of those considerations, of course, are aimed at using the government to protect our rights to life, liberty, property, and the pursuit.

                      Regardless, thinking that sovereign states should be free to require visas or not doesn’t make me a collectivist. It just means I’m not an anarchist.

  18. “@ranarahimpour My fully #British daughter can’t attend her #American cousin’s bday cos her mum was born in #Iran.”

    My Mom is kind of a big shot, and a few years ago, she needed to go open an office in London, hire and train staff, etc. She was going there for a year to create 300 high paying jobs.

    Getting her a visa to do so was a royal pain in the ass.

    Her company had to prove–over numerous objections from their government–that there was no one qualified anywhere in the UK who could work to open and train that office on her behalf. It took months.

    Daddy-O was accompanying her for that year in London, and once he got to Heathrow, they decided he had the wrong kind of visa to accompany her and was initially denied entry on that basis.

    I think Mom had a legitimate gripe, but it wasn’t that she couldn’t create 300 high paying jobs in the UK because her husband was born in the U.S. That would have been bullshite. Her complaint was that she followed all the rules and procedures months in advance, and even after she did all that, they still gave her problems.

    It isn’t that this little girl can’t go to her cousin’s birthday because her mother was born in Iran. This little girl can’t go to her cousin’s birthday because a) the INS is a pain in the ass and b) her mother didn’t see that everything was in order months ahead of time.

    1. Yerp.

      I lived in the UK for a year+. I had to have my company jump through hoops for months and they said it (*internally) cost them $10,000.

      We shuttled employees back and forth from the UK/NYC all the time, and rarely was it headache free.

      Thisis just opportunistic bullshit victim-claiming. wah, wah, Evil Fascist America hates Iran, give my TV personality-daughter more attention…

      1. But still:

        Would.

      2. I think I’ll just fly to America.

        What, there’s a problem?

        How can you let your petty security concerns get in the way of something important–like my niece’s birthday party?!

        This is like the story from a few weeks ago about the K-Pop band being held up because they didn’t bother to get the proper performance visa. Then they complain that Customs can’t fix their visas fast enough so they can make their performance . . .

        Visas are a pain in the ass, and it shouldn’t be. But Zsa Zsa not bothering to get it right ahead of time is hardly an excellent reason to reform the system.

        1. So you guys are outraged that you were supposedly supposed to be outraged? And over a journalist. of all things!

          1. Are you outraged that I was outraged over supposedly being supposed to be outraged?

            Because that would be outrageous!

            1. No, but yes, just to continue the outrage. Because it’s outrage all the way down.

      3. No, dude, it’s the Islamophobia. No group in the world is more persecuted than Muslims.

        .
        .
        .
        Wait, I think I fucked up my verb tenses back there. Meant to say “persecuting”.

  19. Did anyone say, “would”? Would.

    1. No question

    2. The wooden leg and glass eye aren’t deal breakers?

    3. Really? As Persian girls go, she’s like a 4. We can hold out for better.

      1. “A bush in the hand is worth two in the….er something like that.

  20. “What was fascinating was the confusion. No one seemed to know what was going on.”

    As opposed to the crystal clarity associated with the IRS, say, or Democratcare.

  21. Couldn’t you find someone more sympathetic for your human interest story than a journalist? Like a lawyer? (kidding…sort of)

    1. Or soldier boy who did not had neither the brains nor the intestinal fortitude to resist Caesar’s crumbs and ribbons?

      1. Adam Lanza? I don’t know if I’d go that far…

  22. Ouch her balls!

    Bernie Sanders’ lead over Hillary Clinton in New Hampshire is on the rise, with the Vermont senator leading the former secretary of state by 27 points, 60% to 33%, a new CNN/WMUR poll has found.

    http://edition.cnn.com/2016/01…..index.html

    1. the prospect of a potential meteoric Hillary flame-out gives me a semi

      1. Like a truck?

        That’s weird.

      2. No one needs that many erections in a day when kids are going hungry

      3. Hillary losing to a senator nobody’s ever heard of? Never going to happen.

        1. She’ll see to it that he meets with an accident.

          1. I know, right? What happened to the last guy?

        2. What you did, I saw it

      4. The prospect of any of the current candidates having to fight off Bernie makes my nuts crawl up inside.

  23. We only have Mrs Rahimpour’s “feelings” that she was denied entry because of her dual nationality:

    But when she arrived at Heathrow airport with her two-year-old daughter earlier today, she was told her Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) request had been denied, even though when she signed in to the ESTA website her request was still listed as “pending.” No explanation was given for the denial.

    She could have been denied for a variety of reasons such as her passport expires in less than 6 months, certain diseases, moral turpitude, legal troubles and a whole lot more. She could have obtained an ESTA anytime in the last 2 years and it would be perfectly valid. She also could have obtained a visa. Interestingly, even if she obtained the proper travel documents she could have been denied entry in the US airport if she did not have enough money to cover any and all expenses that might arise from her 30 week pregnancy. She would not be able to obtain any insurance product to do so.

    1. Well, clearly they haven’t heard of Obamacare. That would cover any pregnancy-related expenses for anyone! And ponies and unicorns.

    2. So says the buddy of big bureaucracy.

    3. Another complication for this woman is that she’s a journalist. They actually need to obtain a special journalist visa to the US, if a consular officer is mean and suspects that a foreign journalist might write something (work as a journalist) during a tourist visit to the US. I don’t know exactly how it affects citizens of countries with a visa waiver, but it is a real issue for those who must get an actual visa before visiting the US.

  24. Millennials undecided, but free shit takes commanding lead over criminal:
    “A new poll shows Bernie Sanders annihilating Hillary Clinton in New Hampshire”
    http://www.sfgate.com/technolo…..351349.php

    1. Ooops.
      I see I’m late to the party once more.

    2. Yeah, but someone on NPR had a good point — most people who bet on young people to get out and vote for them are going to be sorely disappointed come election day.

      1. In fact, I’m guessing that distills his anger at being a life-long loser better than any vid.
        The man has sucked at the public teat since day one; the pathetic piece of shit has never held a job or earned a paycheck.
        I’m guessing he has friends who have actually accomplished something in their lives and it pisses him off that he’s been nothing other than a whiny bastard for his entire life.

        1. Hey, I just thought we were wondering what Brad Neely was up to.

          1. He was up to Pepsodent?!

            1. You win. I have no Idea what you are talking about.

              1. I got the Pepsodent ad when I clicked on the link…

  25. So to boil down the BS, citizens of Syria, Iran, Iraq, and Sudan now have to get visas to visit the US, like the vast majority of mankind, even if they’re also citizens of one of the country’s in the visa waiver program.

    I can live with that.

    “But but but OPEN BORDERZ! You’re a NAZI! ”

    You see, unless you’re of the OPEN BORDERZ religion, this is a minor adjustment of who was in or out of a government program for specially privileged ease of access into the US.

    That citizens of “Death to America, Inc.” no longer have specially privileged access to the US is probably considered a good thing by most Americans. (Yes, “NAZIs! “, heard it before.)

    1. What a fool.

      What type of analphabet reposes any confidence or trust in government?

      Do you think that the state should play a role in travel? If so, upon what libertarian basis do you support that proposition given that any decent libertarian strictly abides by the NAP and does not support confiscation by the thugs at the IRS in order to make you “FEELZ” safe from whomever Bibi and the cryptkeeper Senator from Arizona tell you to fear?

      1. So that is the very first time that I have encountered the word “analphabet.” I tell you, I learn something every time I read through this wretched hive of scum and villainy.

        Not sarcasm.

        1. It’s French for “illiterate”, because “illiterate” isn’t Romance enough for the French Language, or something.

          1. I mean by “Illiterate”, “illettr?”.

            1. “I mean by “Illiterate”, “illettr?”.”

              WHOA!

              1. Dude, I know right? *huffs glue* Where’s Heroic Mulatto?

                1. Don’t order “steak” in France; it used to whinnie.

                  1. Stop horsing around!

        2. You come here to a libertarian forum and call a defense of the NAP and condemnation of warmongers who have been in government almost their entire adult lives “scum and villainy”?

          Rich.

          1. Doubt the /not sarc was referring to the scum and villainy part.

            1. To what, then, was the / not sarc referring?

              1. The part about learnin’.

                The scum and villainy part was a reference to Popehat’s description of our comment section in his defense of our first amendment rights re: woodchippers.

      2. Aren’t you also the guy who thinks the State has no interest in national security either?

        1. “national security”

          Slaves gonna be slaves.

          1. Aren’t you the guy who thinks not answering “yes or no” makes you seem clever?

              1. If you don’t believe in even a minarchist state, i fail to see how you’re supposed to be lecturing people about “what proper libertarians are supposed to think” about any issue.

                You don’t seem to want to accept even the most basic aspects of the world-as-it-is, so none of your views have any application in anything other than some ideological wanking-competition.

                1. If you fail to believe in the NAP and that the NAP is the cornerstone of libertarianism, I fail to see how you can lecture people about any issue.

                  You don’t seem to want to accept the most basic aspect of the world as it is – statism FAILS and that it fails miserably with the US.

                  1. “If you fail to believe in the NAP and that the NAP is the cornerstone of libertarianism, I fail to see how you can lecture people about any issue.'”

                    First you don’t answer “yes or no”, now you’re putting words in people’s mouths.

                    Does the NAP require a stateless world?

                    1. Yes.

                      If there are states, those governed by the same are, at bottom, slaves.

                      If one must obtain permission to travel from the state, one is a slave.

                      If one must have papers to be presented to state actors, one is a slave.

                      If one must carry identification to be presented to state actors, one is a slave.

                      If one must surrender any portion of the fruits of his labor to the state, one is a slave.

                      If one thinks that he is entitled to a collective defense, at the expense of his neighbor, one is a slave.

                      If one cries at fly-overs, one is a slave.

                    2. So where is your anarchist paradise located?

                    3. Can you argue without employing logical fallacies?

                    4. I asked a question = where is your anarchist utopia?

                    5. The question is founded upon a false premise.

                      Do you understand logical fallacies?

                    6. What is the false premise?

                      You have repeatedly stated that you live free, while we all live as slaves.

                      I can only assume you live in an anarchist paradise. So where is it located?

                    7. Show me where I have specifically articulated “that [I] live free, while [you] all live as slaves.”

                      To the contrary, I am as much a subject of Leviathan as you. The difference is that I know that and you pretend that you are not.

                      Note, the use of the “we” in your assertion. I am not the only anarchist who posts here.

                    8. ” I am as much a subject of Leviathan as you. The difference is that I know that and you pretend that you are not.”

                      No, i think the difference is that I and other people are interested in policies to ameliorate it, while you get off on pretending that you’re morally superior because you never get your hands dirty with the reality of actual ‘policy’.

                      basically you’re an ideological narcissist. I only care about ideas insofar as they help address reality. You seem to only care about them if they allow you to sneer at people.

                    9. also, you’re stupid, and this makes you feel ‘smart’.

                    10. Again, with the imaginative narrative.

                      You ascribe certain characteristics to people without a scintilla of evidence to support your ascriptions.

                      To wit, you claim that you are interested in policies to ameliorate Leviathan’s chains, while I get off pretending that I am morally superior because I never get my hands dirty with the reality of policy.

                      What proof do you have that I have never gotten my hands dirty with the reality of policy? Do you have any actual proof to support your statement?

                      You claim that I only seem to care about ideas if they allow me to sneer at people.

                      What proof do you have that I only care about ideas if they allow me to sneer at people?

                      If we reviewed the totality of your posts and compared them to all of my posts, I guarantee that you have belittled, demeaned, mocked, and made fun of far more people than moi. By a long shot.

                      Most posters here and elsewhere would recognize that I am a kinder, nicer guy than you.

                    11. “What proof do you have that I only care about ideas if they allow me to sneer at people?”

                      (looks around)

                      …oh…. the “slave” thing…. the pretentious verbiage you break out when you realize you seem dumb…. uh, the pedantic assertions about the absolutism of the NAP with no regard for the status-quo…. your fondness for james howard kunstler….

                      for a start.

                      Its fine mike, i’m sure everyone is super impressed

                    12. How about my fondness for Rothbard? Peyton Manning? Heroic Mulatto? Bionic Mosquito? Irwin Schiff? Tom Woods?

                      What, pray tell, constitutes my fondness for James Howard Kunstler? Is it his worldview? His view on the suburbs? His view on peak oil? Peak energy? Peak fossil fuels? His doom and gloom prognostications? His sympathy for a one-payer health care system?

                      If you recall, in exactly one thread (last August or September?), I opined that he writes well and that he has enjoyed some success because of his writing. If I recall, you and Irish took out a can of whoop ass on him and proclaimed that he is not a good writer, notwithstanding all of the folks who have bought his books and follow his blog and comment there.

                      Did that make you feel good? You got to sneer.

                      Like I said, if we were to review all of your posts and compared them to mine, the review would show that you have belittled, demeaned, mocked, and made fun of far more people than me.

                    13. “the review would show that you have belittled, demeaned, mocked, and made fun of far more people than me'”

                      I have no doubt this is true.

                      It does not make my observations about you any less true.

                    14. But, it does.

                      You are more apt to sneer at people than me. It is not my first thought, my first impulse or my natural state of being.

                      Take the Kunstler point. You and Irish took out that can of whoop ass on him and me because I opined that he was a good writer. Note, I did not defend his diatribes against suburbia nor did I defend his peak oil position or his overall gloom and doom. As I pointed out to you, even though there is a grand canyon gap in our deontological orientations, I still could admire his writing.

                      Do you not see the fallacy of your point about me only liking ideas to be able to sneer at people? If I was such an ideological narcissist, how could I possibly bring myself to praise the writing of a guy who favors single-payer healthcare and who voted for Obama?

                      Its not as if I only like anarcho-free enterprise-individualists.

                    15. Observations about your behavior aren’t fallacies.

                      I do wish you the best of luck in your efforts to abolish the state via preening.

                    16. “What proof do you have that I have never gotten my hands dirty with the reality of policy?”

                      history.

                      But as an example = You’re not going to ever provide a useful argument re: “what is the best US attitude re: “Nuclear Weapons Proliferation” if you don’t believe the state has any business in national security in the first place.

                    17. What if one cries during Lion King?

                      Asking for a friend.

                    18. One is not a slave if one cried during Lion King.

                    19. What if one cries during Lion King?

                      GAAAAAYYYYY!

                  2. Failure is a sort of a relative term. Anarchism is even more of a failure than the state*, insofar as it falls short of the rather minimal requirement of actually existing.

                    *using “state” to any corporate body whose authority is largely unchallenged within a territory, where said authority is maintained, at least as a last resort, by aggressive violence or threats thereof.

                    1. *using “state” to refer to any…

                2. “so none of your views have any application in anything other than some ideological wanking-competition.”

                  You say that like you think he would consider that a bad thing.

                  1. i don’t mind deontological retards, its just when they pretend to have any insight into actual real-world ‘policies’ that they need to be told to go back to the corner and play with their dolls.

                    1. So, is it fair to conclude that you accept that you are a slave who willingly submits his tribute to the Great Black Father (for the next year) in Washington?

                      Is it fair to conclude that you accept that you are a slave who cheerfully produces his papers upon the request of the state’s privileged purveyors of violence?

                      Is it fair to conclude that you accept that you are a slave who insists upon being protected by men with guns financed by your colleagues, friends, neighbors, and others?

                      Is it fair to conclude that you accept that you are a slave who regards as crazy those who would challenge the legitimacy of your overlords and taskmasters?

                    2. Sure. As i asked above = where do you live that these basic facts don’t apply?

                    3. Is it fair to conclude you’re a derpwad who lives inside a utopian fantasy world in his own head? Words are tools. If the term slave applies essentially to all human beings who have ever lived, then it’s worthless for helping us understand or communicate about the world. Yes, I’m a slave. Hillary Clinton is a slave. Uncle Tom is a slave. A Yazidi woman being raped to death is a slave. Thanks for the fucking Zen koan.

                    4. Libertymike|1.20.16 @ 12:10AM|#
                      “So, is it fair to conclude that you accept that you are a slave who willingly submits his tribute to the Great Black Father (for the next year) in Washington?”

                      Is it fair to conclude you have found a way to avoid ‘submitting tribute’ to Washington? I certainly don’t do so cheerfully, but I’ve yet to find a way to avoid it; I’ll bet you have a lot of people here eagerly awaiting your plan.

                    5. Regardless of that one weird trick to avoid paying taxes, can’t we all agree that, like tax law, immigration law is both Byzantine in its complexity and, more importantly, arbitrarily interpreted and enforced?

                    6. “Regardless of that one weird trick to avoid paying taxes, can’t we all agree that, like tax law, immigration law is both Byzantine in its complexity and, more importantly, arbitrarily interpreted and enforced?”

                      HM, I’m firmly on the ‘open-borders’ side of the issue; it you can’t freely trade labor, why call for free trade at all?
                      But I’m still not willing to accede to “slavery” since I’ve yet to figure out how to avoid paying taxes. Nor am I convinced that anarchy is a viable social arrangement.
                      So at this point, I’m waiting to hear how Mike has avoided the condition of “slavery”, and I’m as yet un-enlightened.

                    7. Sevo, anarchy is not a promise of Utopia.

                      Just remember what Josey Wales told Ten Bears.

                      If one does not think that one can live in a world without nation states and their caging, confiscating, mass murdering, raping, taxing, and warring ways, that is a form of slavery. It is a form I do not accept.

                      As for the IRS, Irwin Schiff chose not to be a slave.

                    8. Libertymike|1.20.16 @ 12:48AM|#
                      “Sevo, anarchy is not a promise of Utopia.”
                      Irrelevant; utopia is not an option. Is anarchy a functional system? Not that I’ve seen.

                      “Just remember what Josey Wales told Ten Bears.”
                      Uh, movies aren’t my sources of reality.

                      “If one does not think that one can live in a world without nation states and their caging, confiscating, mass murdering, raping, taxing, and warring ways, that is a form of slavery. It is a form I do not accept.”
                      OK. How do you ‘not accept’ it?

                      “As for the IRS, Irwin Schiff chose not to be a slave.”
                      Yeah, and now he’s *really* a slave.
                      You’re not winning a convert here.

                    9. Mike, you’d do better reading about V?clav Havel and working his pitch. He made the point that you should live ‘as if you were free’ even if you weren’t.
                      Of course the differences are pretty stark; he lived under the USSR thumb, and for all the griping we do, the US is not anywhere close to that.
                      He was also ‘wealthy’ enough that that time spent in prison didn’t seem to cause him much harm.
                      So I’d suggest you take that as a text and work up a new pitch that meant freedom without jail time, or without much of it.

                    10. Lighten up, Francis.

                      Is the warfare / welfare state a functioning system?

                    11. Libertymike|1.20.16 @ 1:14AM|#
                      “Is the warfare / welfare state a functioning system?”

                      Yes, it is. It is not utopia, but it functions.
                      And I see (up thread) the problem here is your grudge with Gilmore. You and he can work that out; there is nothing left for me to say.

      3. Sorry, I’m not an anarchist.

        Feel free to have a pants shitting hissy fit about it if it makes you feel better.

        1. Okay, slave.

          1. Okay, slave.

            1. Keep it kinky you too. Safe word is “Zoning”.

                1. HM, you do see the funny that I do? Yes, Quincy merits a bravo.

                  1. As you point out above, the only zoning here is “field” vs. “house”.

                    1. BRAVO.

                      Or, Stephen don’t take kindly to Django.

          2. And you are a Free Man in the stateless utopia where, exactly?

    2. You’re probably one of those Peacenazis that doesn’t want to drop bombs on brown people either.

      1. Peacenazis generally dress like slobs. Somebody stern and authoritative should help them dress like a boss. Alas, they probably couldn’t afford it.

        1. “help them dress like a boss”

          Hmm, I’ll bet there’s a story there.

          1. Hugo girl!

  26. “The new rules make even less sense when you consider that dual citizens of Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, two countries whose citizens have committed numerous terror attacks against the U.S. since 2001, are still allowed to enjoy the visa waiver program. ”

    Right you are!

    Let’s remove dual citizens of Saudi Arabia and Pakistan from the list of people with specially privileged ease of access into the US.

    Thanks for catching that!

  27. What does it take to pass the laugh test?

    1. I would say dedication, hard work, a solid plan of attack and maybe a book or coach or something. It’s worked for me before, but I wouldn’t recommend anyone going in to a test relying on only natural ability and wit.

      1. Xenophobe. You’re probably a Trump voter too.

      2. Yeah, I can’t tell the difference either.

        1. Oh, no you didn’t.

    1. Squirmishes?

      1. Accurately transcribed. The speech is a thing of extemporaneous wonder.

  28. A low level apparatchik was inconvenienced, and it’s worth more pixels than a any number of families wrecked by h Total State?

    Check yor privilege, Reason.

    1. I can enter Canada for *looks at watch* five years.

    2. Kinda falls in the “first-world problems” category, really.

    3. I can’t enter Canada for *looks at watch* five years. Yeah, that’s what I meant.

      1. The wages of moral turpitude. I hope you have the lifting of the 5 year ban in writing. Can’t trust those seal-clubbing, sap-swilling, beaver-trapping, First Nation-givers.

  29. With those glasses, she kind of looks like a Persian version of Kennedy.

  30. Very simple…… She should renounce her Iranian citizenship. Effective immediately.

    1. Why she wants to be the subject of a bunch of medieval mullahs is something of a mystery.

  31. New Visa Waiver Rules for USA is not good. According to that rules people who belong to Iran is not allow to enter USA. I don’t know why America made that rule because he talk about Iran with as a friend after restriction of atomic programs of Iran Then such rules. So, government rethink on that rule. However, I’m finding best essay writing service but i’m not happy with that rule which need a lot of changes.

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