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How Many Bubbles in a Bar of Soap?

Quick, can you name all the people who were in the room when you were born? Could you give the name and number of every supervisor you've ever had? Or tell me the address or addresses of both your parents one year before your birth?

If you have trouble answering any of the above questions, then the US government may deny you a new US passport. And simply in order to apply, you may be asked to divulge some extremely personal information, though I can't imagine any good reason the government needs to know whether or not you were circumcised.

PapersPlease.com reports:

"Ignoring massive public opposition, and despite having recently admitted that it is already using the 'proposed' forms illegally without approval, the State Department is trying again to get approval for a pair of impossible-to-complete new passport application forms that would, in effect, allow the State Department to deny you a passport simply by choosing to send you either or both of the new "long forms".

"Early last year, the State Department proposed a new 'Biographical Questionnaire' for passport applicants, which would have required anyone selected to receive the new long-form DS-5513 to answer bizarre and intrusive personal trivia questions about everything from whether you were circumcised (and if so, with what accompanying religious rituals) to the dates of all of your mother's pre- and post-natal medical appointments, your parents' addresses one year before you were born, every address at which you have ever resided, and your lifetime employment history including the names and phone numbers of each of your supervisors at every job you have ever held.

"Most people would be unable to complete the proposed new form no matter how much time and money they invested in research. Requiring someone to complete Form DS-5513 would amount to de facto denial of their application for a passport -- which, as we told the State Department, appeared to be the point of the form."

These are the same tactics that US states in the South used to use to keep blacks from voting during the Civil Rights Movement. The whites at the polling booths would ask blacks impossible-to-answer questions like "How many seeds in a watermelon?" or "How many bubbles in a bar of soap?" in order to deny them voting privileges. Interesting how the federal government treats its subjects like blacks in the Old South.

And note that Soviet Russia used bureaucracy to similar effect to delay or deny passports to its subjects. Applications would get "lost" or linger in the system for years. What's happening now is the same "soft totalitarianism" that doesn't outright deny freedom of movement, but just makes getting outside the border much more difficult to the point of impossibility.

Jim Sinclair of MineSense.com recommends that you get a passport with the maximum validity period. According to Jim:

"All this may turn out to be is the birth of a new business whereby legal counsel or accountants are required to make passport applications...Regardless, getting a passport to a maximum period now is wise."

I'd even go so far as to recommend that even if you currently have a valid passport but it only has a couple of years left on it, claim you've lost it and apply for a new one now. Because you may not be able to apply for a new US passport by the time your current one expires. Further I'd recommend getting a second passport (along with citizenship, of course) from a country that will treat you more like an honored guest instead of like a farm animal to be used or a prisoner to be pushed around. Someplace like Paraguay.

Maybe this will just amount to an extra layer of expense for those seeking US passports, like Jim says. Jim is a very smart guy and is worth listening to. We here at TDV take a very jaundiced view of governments, however, and always suspect them of being up to the very worst--especially the US government.

We believe that the US is slowly closing off the means for its subjects to escape. The US needs to keep the productive ability of its citizen-cows as collateral on the debt it keeps racking up. It must discourage the flight of these citizen-cows as economic conditions in the US inevitably deteriorate and encourage both capital and physical flight.

I don't know if the US will just outright make leaving the country illegal, but the government may well make leaving impossible even if still technically legal. US citizens will find themselves physically trapped inside the USSA. Maybe then those repeated comparisons of the US to Stalinist Russia or Nazi Germany won't see so far-fetched.

 

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