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Guest Post: Does The US Government Want To Prevent You From Leaving?

Tyler Durden's picture


From Simon Black of Sovereign Man

Does The US Government Want To Prevent You From Leaving?

Can you imagine being trapped inside your home country, unable to
leave? It may be closer to a reality than you realize. I’ll tell you a
quick story to explain.

This weekend I rented a car in Bulgaria with the aim of driving
through Serbia, Kosovo, Macedonia, and eventually into Greece. Now, I’m
no virgin to land border crossings in the developing world and
understand the corruption and incompetence that typifies customs
checkpoints. But this weekend’s experience was much more.

With documents in hand, I drove to my first border crossing in
Strezimirovci, Bulgaria. After clearing customs on the Bulgarian side,
the Serbian officers decided that they would not allow me to enter with
the normal papers, and instead required that I obtain another customs
form to proceed.

Unfortunately, they had no such customs form at their station, so
they turned me around and sent me to another border check point in
Kalotina, over an hour away.

The road from Strezimirovci to Kalotina skirts the Serbian border for
a large part of the drive– quite literally, on one side of the road is
Serbia, and on the other is Bulgaria. It’s all part of the same
landscape with no discernable difference… these are just invisible lines
guarded by gun-toting monkeys.

When I arrived to Kalotina, I found the ‘office’ where I was supposed
to obtain the new document– just a simple, roadside concession stand.
The ‘agent’ was the shop’s proprietor, a chain-smoking Serbian woman
with rather mannish features.

Once I paid the appropriate fee, she spent the next 10 minutes
hacking at her keyboard to produce an official looking Cyrillic document
with lots of stamps and seals.

While I was waiting for her to finish, four different customers came
into the shop to stock up on snacks and drinks. All they wanted was a
cold one for the road, but they eventually got tired of waiting and

These four customers represented potential transactions that could
have contributed something to the economy. Instead, though, they were
preempted by an unnecessary bureaucracy that adds absolutely no value

As expected, the Serbian customs agent barely glanced at the form
when I crossed the border this time. Finally on Serbian soil, I pointed
my car towards Pristina.

Now, Serbia still pretends like Kosovo is part of its sovereign
territory, and Serbian police are under strict instructions to make the
immigration checkpoint on the Kosovo border as painful as possible.

The vehicle line at the checkpoint was backed up so much that it took
several hours to pass. All along the way, there was not a single
bathroom, vending machine, fuel station, or even street light. It’s
obvious that they want to incovenience travelers to the point that
people will think twice before visiting Kosovo again.

When it was finally my turn, I drove up to the policeman and handed
him all of my papers. He slowly went through every single detail,
looking for any technicality he could find to prevent me from crossing.

The rest the station was staffed with 10 other agents.  All
brandished automatic weapons slung over their backs, yet each stood
around doing absolutely nothing. One person was “working,” and the other
ten were smoking, eating, drinking, and shooting the breeze.

Frankly, I pity all of these border agents whose only function is to
deny, obstruct, or otherwise frustrate the forward progress of other
human beings.  These people will go their entire careers contributing
nothing of value to the world, and destroying what others are trying to
create. It’s truly a pitiful existence.

This weekend’s affair was a clear example of what happens when a
government imposes mind-numbing bureacracy to prevent freedom of
movement. And if you think it can’t happen where you live, think again.

In the US, the government now requires all citizens to have a
passport in order to pass the border, even when driving into Mexico or
Canada. Obtaining a passport, however, is neither free nor guaranteed. 
You must apply, pay an ever-increasing fee, and wait for weeks to be
approved and receive it.

Recently, the State Department quietly proposed a new ‘biographical questionnaire’ in lieu of the traditional passport application. The new form requires you to provide things like:

- names, birth places, and birth dates of your extended family members
- your mother’s place of employment at the time of your birth
- whether or not your mother received pre-natal or post natal care
- the address of your mother’s physician and dates of appointments
- the address of every place you have ever lived in your entire life
- the name and address of every school you have ever attended

Most people would find it impossible to provide such information, yet
the form requires that the responses ‘are true and correct’ under
penalty of imprisonment.

Naturally, the privacy statement on the application also acknowledges
that the responses can be shared with other departments in the
government, including Homeland Security.

If this proposal passes, then US citizens will have a nearly
insurmountable hurdle to obtain a passport and be able to leave the
country at will. Even if it doesn’t pass, it’s a clear demonstration of
what the people who run the country are thinking.

Have you reached your breaking point yet, comrades? Let me know what you think.


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Mon, 07/11/2011 - 13:14 | 1444405 Dangertime
Dangertime's picture

Freedom is measured not by where you can enter, but whether you can exit.

Mon, 07/11/2011 - 13:18 | 1444424 redpill
redpill's picture

Papers, please.

Mon, 07/11/2011 - 13:56 | 1444604 Ying-Yang
Ying-Yang's picture

Passports... We don't need no stinking passports.

Los Zetas are gearing up to offer cross border transport from San Antonio to Mexican safe houses for only $2,000 US per person. They insure safe passage, providing armed escorts using the best AK47 Eric Holder can provide.

See there is change you can believe in!

Mon, 07/11/2011 - 14:08 | 1444654 Rodent Freikorps
Rodent Freikorps's picture

They'll even throw in a free, unmarked grave for you and your family...after they are done killing the males and raping the females to death.

Mon, 07/11/2011 - 15:59 | 1445150 Bob
Bob's picture

Always a few bad apples. 

Mon, 07/11/2011 - 13:55 | 1444608 Josh Randall
Josh Randall's picture

cue opening riff to "Hotel California"...wait for it...NOW

Mon, 07/11/2011 - 19:24 | 1445833 asteroids
asteroids's picture

Be fortunate that the TSA doesn't steal your passport, as they did mine and my wifes!

Mon, 07/11/2011 - 13:18 | 1444429 augie
augie's picture

Makes sense, I know a lot of free assholes. 

Mon, 07/11/2011 - 13:50 | 1444589 Sudden Debt
Sudden Debt's picture

 they would not allow me to enter with the normal papers, and instead required that I obtain another customs form

I call it: 20$ and problem solved.


Mon, 07/11/2011 - 14:16 | 1444693 redpill
redpill's picture

$50 at least.  Inflation.

Mon, 07/11/2011 - 14:19 | 1444712 Sudden Debt
Sudden Debt's picture

30$ and my sunglasses. I'm sorry, I'm from Belgium, we're broke to you know :)


Mon, 07/11/2011 - 14:21 | 1444726 mr_T
mr_T's picture

Money talks $ $ seems like just yesterday I bribed the border gaurds crossing Laos to Cambodia...

If you can't escape from NY or LA you can always vacation at Club FEMA.... All inclusive including transportation...

Mon, 07/11/2011 - 14:55 | 1444843 Sudden Debt
Sudden Debt's picture

I remember those all to well :)

I crossed 3 border crossing going from Laos to Cambodja 2 years ago. It didn't really make that much sense and you only figure out that the first 2 where fake once you crose the 3rd.

Those guard set up as many post needed according to their money needs.

And they only take crips dollar bills.

And how was Vieng Vieng? Still like disneyland with buckets of Whiskey? :)

Don't forget to go to spider city. It's worth it! And try the fried spiders, they're pretty good.

And for 150$ you can go RPG shooting in Pnong Pheng. 500$ if you want to shoot a cow :)


Mon, 07/11/2011 - 16:51 | 1445345 MayIMommaDogFac...
MayIMommaDogFace2theBananaPatch's picture

you only figure out that the first 2 where fake once you crose the 3rd.


Now that is damn funny.

Mon, 07/11/2011 - 16:50 | 1445341 Urban Redneck
Urban Redneck's picture

The Cambodians appreciate having some genuine US worthless fiat to dilute all the counterfeit US worthless fiat in the local money supply.  It's not like UNTAC comes to town on a regular basis anymore permitting the local banks to take delivery of (heist) hard currency and stuff their ATMs full the fake stuff to supply the Toyota Taliban on payday.

Mon, 07/11/2011 - 13:57 | 1444607 chumbawamba
chumbawamba's picture

I called the "further information" number included in the "60-Day Notice of Proposed Information Collection" ( and asked about the new passport application.  This is what I was told:

- The proposal has been withdrawn.  Passport application remains the same as before (i.e. no additional data collection as described in the proposal).

- The proposal is currently being revised and will be submitted for public comment and review within 30-45 days.

- Simon Black should do more research to get his facts straight instead of talking out of his ass.

- If you have been thinking about getting or renewing your US passport before any such new rules do take affect, begin the application process today.

I am Chumbawamba.

Mon, 07/11/2011 - 14:08 | 1444660 macholatte
macholatte's picture

Simon Black should do more research to get his facts straight instead of talking out of his ass.

Less sensationalism would mean fewer readers would mean less revenue would mean fewer jobs would mean a collapse of the economy and civil unrest. You don't want the blood of innocents on your hands do you? Perhaps you should rethink your position. Simon is doing God's work.

Mon, 07/11/2011 - 14:09 | 1444665 kito
kito's picture

"Simon Black should do more research to get his facts straight instead of talking out of his ass."

couldnt have said it better myself.

Mon, 07/11/2011 - 14:09 | 1444666 augie
augie's picture

God damn right you are. +1

Mon, 07/11/2011 - 14:18 | 1444707 illyia
illyia's picture

You are Chumbawamba.


Mon, 07/11/2011 - 14:53 | 1444850 pazmaker
pazmaker's picture

Thanks Chumba,  I couldn't agree with you more... As I said below, Simon is a little late to the party!

Mon, 07/11/2011 - 15:47 | 1445075 Miss Expectations
Mon, 07/11/2011 - 17:55 | 1445561 The Alarmist
The Alarmist's picture

Chumbawamba, you may be the man, but you should at least acknowledge the seriuosness of the fact that this was a "serious" proposal from our lords and masters ... maybe it was simply with the aim of innocently gathering statistically interesting data, or maybe it was with sinister intentions as suggested by Mr. Black.

I for one would answer all the questions with, "Previously disclosed" or "Asked and Answered."  They already know all that crap on people in whom they are interested ... shame those are not the same people who are actually threats.

Mon, 07/11/2011 - 18:15 | 1445622 chumbawamba
chumbawamba's picture

I appreciate overall what Simon does but his essays tend to be poorly backgrounded travelogues of little relevance to his primary message, which is "have an exit plan from Fortress USA".  And I couldn't agree more.  But this is my "final straw" moment for his writings, where he regularly employs poorly- or un-researched assertions that are contrary to fact or reality.  It's simple fact checking, and he doesn't do it, which tends to make me feel like he doesn't take what he's talking about that seriously, but rather simply putting words to page to have something for his blog to keep the page views coming and hence the ad revenue.

I agree, it was and is a serious proposal.  According to the person I spoke to they are "re-vamping" it, so they must've felt the ire of We (the People), which is rare, and might be backing off a bit.  Or perhaps they needed to make time to hire linguists to determine how they could word the application in a more pony and rainbow way while still requesting and requiring the same information.  I guess we'll find out when the new application comes out in another month or so for comment.  Whatever it ends up being, I'd take Nancy Reagan's advice on this drug: Just Say No.

When the new application proposal comes out, watch for it, then call or write in and be heard.  If you read the proposal document (linked in the article) they actually anticipate the number of comments they will receive from the public for budgeting purposes.  If enough people can get notified and motivated to comment and the response is overwhelming, it'll actually cost them more to process the responses, and that might send a message.  Maybe.

I am Chumbawamba.

Mon, 07/11/2011 - 18:50 | 1445739 BigJim
BigJim's picture

According to the person I spoke to they are "re-vamping" it, so they must've felt the ire of We (the People)...

Naw, they're working on making it harder.

Mon, 07/11/2011 - 19:25 | 1445837 nmewn
nmewn's picture

You're a good man Chumba.

Mon, 07/11/2011 - 14:10 | 1444669 Eternal Student
Eternal Student's picture

Back in the 1990's, I took a flight to Canada. Upon getting in line for customs, I discovered that I had left my wallet back in my car, back in the States. The guy at the customs stand pointed me to the back, once I explained my situation. So I went there and talked to the next customs official. I explained who I was, what I was doing here, and showed my plane tickets to my next connecting flight (which was taking off in an hour). No problem.

Yes, that's right. I legally entered Canada without any ID whatsoever. And I was able to return to the States the same way.

I mention this because that's how things should be, and once were. Living in fear only benefits those power hungry sociopaths who are currently running the joint. Things used be great in this Country, and they can be again. But people have to demand it. It won't be handed out on a silver platter.

Mon, 07/11/2011 - 14:22 | 1444733 Abitdodgie
Abitdodgie's picture

You do not need a passport only 14th Amendment and federal citizens need them , they like to know where their slaves go . Stop being slaves and become a sovereign of the real America 

Mon, 07/11/2011 - 21:39 | 1446225 OrestesPenthilu...
OrestesPenthilusQuintard's picture

I remember Bill Cooper and Ralph Epperson talking about this....

Mon, 07/11/2011 - 15:05 | 1444895 Widowmaker
Widowmaker's picture

Exactly like debt.

Mon, 07/11/2011 - 16:50 | 1445339 He_Who Carried ...
He_Who Carried The Sun's picture

Permanent passports were invented by the Russians in the aftermath of WWI in order to prevent Russians from leaving the Sovietunion...

Mon, 07/11/2011 - 18:54 | 1445749 almost_have_a_name
almost_have_a_name's picture

You have to get out of it before you can get into it :)

Mon, 07/11/2011 - 13:15 | 1444410 Rastadamus
Rastadamus's picture

My whole family has passports. Soon I will have my Jamaican Passport and then my wife and kids will get one too. Born in California, I am fortuante enough to have foreign born parents and a Jamaican naturalization process that is friendly to the offspring of Jamaicans.


Mon, 07/11/2011 - 13:16 | 1444414 props2009
props2009's picture

Another Indian bank raises rates. Now Banks in India are paying 10% for keeping cash in Banks. Risk free return of 10%

Mon, 07/11/2011 - 13:45 | 1444562 Cognitive Dissonance
Cognitive Dissonance's picture

A return of 10%?


Risk Free?


On second thought, NO.

Mon, 07/11/2011 - 13:44 | 1444566 Things that go bump
Things that go bump's picture

FDIC equivalent?

Mon, 07/11/2011 - 14:11 | 1444675 Oh regional Indian
Oh regional Indian's picture

Try getting money out of an Indian Government Agency though!


Mon, 07/11/2011 - 14:17 | 1444702 Things that go bump
Things that go bump's picture

As I suspected.  

Mon, 07/11/2011 - 13:45 | 1444568 Panafrican Funk...
Panafrican Funktron Robot's picture

Depends on whether they decide to join the turbo squad, and or potential conversion cost issues.  Definitely not a crazy idea to invest in India, but risk free it's not.

Mon, 07/11/2011 - 14:30 | 1444759 Smiddywesson
Smiddywesson's picture

If, as I suspect, they can get cheap money from the government, but are willing to borrow it from you for 10%, they are worried about liquidity.  If a bank is worried about liquidity, there's a garrgantuan reason.

Mon, 07/11/2011 - 19:00 | 1445769 yesmassarothschild
yesmassarothschild's picture

They want the liquidity to purchase metals. Gargantuan amounts.

Mon, 07/11/2011 - 13:17 | 1444416 janchup
janchup's picture

I'm glad I'm 71 and wont be too concerned in a decade or two.

"Change We Can Believe In" is code for "I will destroy America" and nothing less.

Mon, 07/11/2011 - 14:11 | 1444678 Rodent Freikorps
Rodent Freikorps's picture

Social Justice is in fact code for fuck whitey.

Mon, 07/11/2011 - 16:20 | 1445234 Bob
Bob's picture

That . . . sounds good, actually.  It is nice to not have to actually say it.  Inspired, really.

I think I'll start using it. 

Mon, 07/11/2011 - 16:50 | 1445343 Rodent Freikorps
Rodent Freikorps's picture

Geez, Bob, I thought you were dialed in with the ruling elite.

Seems you have some catching up to do.

Mon, 07/11/2011 - 17:18 | 1445452 Bob
Bob's picture


Mon, 07/11/2011 - 13:17 | 1444417 darteaus
darteaus's picture


Mon, 07/11/2011 - 13:17 | 1444418 kevinearick
kevinearick's picture

gotta be smarter than a computer / black hole...

Community Currency

So, those of you who are fluid in wiring and ladder diagram transformation see Caesar’s algorithm for building black holes. It’s pretty simple stupid, once you understand the tools. Caesar has already done you the favor of distilling out all the pieces you need, while locking up the remainder of the economic tiles, for recycling. No community currency will be required.

For everyone else, I will provide an algorithm for setting up a community currency. It’s a temporary feedback signal to align the community into self-regulation and trade of surplus. It has to be withdrawn faster than Caesar can get a lock on it. In the meantime, the first piece is a top-of-the-line currency trader. Find that kid.

Mon, 07/11/2011 - 13:17 | 1444422 the not so migh...
the not so mighty maximiza's picture

I have an an enhanced drivers license so the whole hemisphere of the US empire is my oyster.

Mon, 07/11/2011 - 13:37 | 1444500 carbonmutant
carbonmutant's picture

ACLU apparently doesn't like them

"EDL’s contain a unique identifying number encoded in the RFID chip, which can be easily read and tracked up to 30 feet away without an individual’s knowledge or consent."

Mon, 07/11/2011 - 13:41 | 1444537 the not so migh...
the not so mighty maximiza's picture

They give you a big tin foil envelope to carry it around in(no joking). 

Mon, 07/11/2011 - 14:09 | 1444664 Hook Line and S...
Hook Line and Sphincter's picture

EDL can be disabled by a 20 seconds stint in the microwave at low power.

Mon, 07/11/2011 - 14:15 | 1444691 Rodent Freikorps
Rodent Freikorps's picture

Will my brand new AlumaWallet save me?


Tue, 07/12/2011 - 11:49 | 1447897 Winston Smith 2009
Winston Smith 2009's picture

Been wondering how confortable one of those would be since they wouldn't conform to my ass like a conventional wallet.  Anyway, not nearly enough room for my stuff.

Mon, 07/11/2011 - 16:28 | 1445252 Bob
Bob's picture

Spent a few days in VA last month and bought some beer at a 7-11.  They insisted on swiping my Driver License before they would sell it to me for cash.

The cashier claimed that most Virginians are just fine with that, "only a few complain" she said. 

Mon, 07/11/2011 - 16:57 | 1445370 MayIMommaDogFac...
MayIMommaDogFace2theBananaPatch's picture

Didn't see that one coming...Not yet anyway.  Wow.

Mon, 07/11/2011 - 17:51 | 1445554 toady
toady's picture

They tried that here in AZ, but it didn't fly. They issue licenses for 20+ years here and the magnetic strips stop working after a few years.

When they tried to scan me it didn't work. Then it becomes 'do I lose a sale over this'?

They sold me my whiskey and moved on.

They don't even ask anymore. I suppose it was such a pain in the ass that they just gave up...

Mon, 07/11/2011 - 17:59 | 1445570 MachoMan
MachoMan's picture

Apparently I'm getting old...  I don't get carded anymore...  but, they sure as shit don't swipe drivers licenses in my neck of the woods in arkansas...

Mon, 07/11/2011 - 18:16 | 1445625 rolypolyfishhead
rolypolyfishhead's picture


Been living in NoVA for several years now- never seen or heard of this.

Mon, 07/11/2011 - 21:06 | 1446137 Bob
Bob's picture

It was a 7-11 in Culpepper, VA.  It was the only store I bought anything at, so don't know about the rest.  The cashier had two other people also behind the counter and a long line of customers behind me as she explained herself in response to my incredulous questions, and nobody but me even batted on eye, as if it was all common knowledge.  I rarely spend time in VA . . . perhaps it is a 7-11 customer data harvesting program??

Beats me. 

Mon, 07/11/2011 - 13:17 | 1444423 carbonmutant
carbonmutant's picture

Which is worse, being trapped in or locked out?

Mon, 07/11/2011 - 13:21 | 1444444 Dagny Taggart
Dagny Taggart's picture

As opposed to trapped out or locked in?

Mon, 07/11/2011 - 13:24 | 1444458 augie
augie's picture

There is no spoon. 

Mon, 07/11/2011 - 14:10 | 1444673 Hook Line and S...
Hook Line and Sphincter's picture

This is the silver lining of the refusal to build the fence to keep the Mexicans out of the U.S.


Mon, 07/11/2011 - 14:18 | 1444706 Rodent Freikorps
Rodent Freikorps's picture

They'd have to station troops on the border, and then explain why they act like a diode.

Mon, 07/11/2011 - 15:42 | 1445051 Hook Line and S...
Hook Line and Sphincter's picture

Yes, the spicy jalapeno hot current would continue to flow North, regardless of an impending pole shift.

Best be learning your Mexican Hat Dance compadres!

Mon, 07/11/2011 - 13:44 | 1444565 Temporalist
Temporalist's picture

Ever meet anyone from East Berlin or a Soviet era eastern block country?

Mon, 07/11/2011 - 13:56 | 1444611 Confused
Confused's picture

Yes. And their stories never cease to amaze. We'd be silly to think that it couldn't possibly happen here.

Mon, 07/11/2011 - 13:49 | 1444588 FeralSerf
FeralSerf's picture

Is it worse to be a prisoner or locked out of the prison?

Mon, 07/11/2011 - 13:18 | 1444425 Dr Zaius
Dr Zaius's picture

The tighter they squeeze the faster it all crumbles.

Mon, 07/11/2011 - 13:18 | 1444426 MonsterZero
MonsterZero's picture

Mislead much? The US Govnerment does not require you to have ANYTHING to leave the country. Leaving the country you go through Canadian/Mexican border security. They are the ones who require you to have passports, because THEY want you to go back when you're done with your visity and know you can not re-enter the US without a US passport.

Mon, 07/11/2011 - 13:22 | 1444443 Turkey
Turkey's picture

The practical effect is the same.  In order to get a US passport, which you need in order to enter any foreign territory, which means almost everywhere, you need to fill out the referenced form.  Therefore, in order to leave the country, you need to fill out the above referenced form.

Mon, 07/11/2011 - 13:28 | 1444483 MonsterZero
MonsterZero's picture

The practical effect is only the same because of the other countries immigaration policies, it has nothing to do with US law/requirements. If a nation WANTED people to come into the country to live fulltime/become citizens they wouldn't really give a crap if you had a US passport or not. That however is not the case and their is no neighboring country to the US with such a welcoming immigrant policy. The fact remaind saying the US is keeping you here is plainly incorrect, it's 100% up to Canada/Mexico whoever to let you into their country or not, the same policy applies to any other countries citizens (Canada won't want you to visit unless they know you can go back)

Mon, 07/11/2011 - 18:56 | 1445756 BigJim
BigJim's picture

The 'other countries' may indeed demand you have a US passport, but they're not demanding the US make it incredibly difficult for a US citizen to qualify for one.

Try again.

Mon, 07/11/2011 - 14:08 | 1444657 DosZap
DosZap's picture

Fortunately, I got wind of these new "Super Bug Regs", and renewed our's, prior to expiration.

They are ( as most here know) good for 10 years(or until a new law is passed making them renewable yearly.

IF you read the questions of the articles hit list, ask yourself how in the HELL could you know all the answers to those questions?.

Bottom line, YOU would not be able to, unless you parents are still alive, and have a great memory for a lot of this info.

As an older than the norm for this site, all my nuclear family except brothers are dead.

Same goes for spouse.No way these questions are relevant to Natl Security.

It's a Brown Shirt fest, pure and simple.

If this law passes, that will cause me to take one of two paths.

One I prefer(but won't happen due to grown kids, not being able to get a Passport),my preference.

Number two, is something no one will want, me included.

As passage of this, will let anyone with half a brain know what's coming.

Think about it.

Tue, 07/12/2011 - 12:04 | 1447951 Winston Smith 2009
Winston Smith 2009's picture

"IF you read the questions of the articles hit list, ask yourself how in the HELL could you know all the answers to those questions?.

Bottom line, YOU would not be able to, unless you parents are still alive, and have a great memory for a lot of this info."

Answer I will give: "Both parents deceased.  Residences and other data dating prior to my birth unknown."  Disclaimer on my data "Information accurate to the best of my recollection."  I'm not going to do any digging for them.  If they want that info so much, let them dig themselves.

If I'm then denied a passport, I'll give them hell via my Congressman.  Believe it or not, that's one time you can get some actions from a Congressman.  When dealing with another fedgov agency, it doesn't cost them more than a call or a letter and, if successful,  generates a very grateful constituent who they feel will certainly vote for them in the next election.

Mon, 07/11/2011 - 13:22 | 1444445 InconvenientCou...
InconvenientCounterParty's picture


Building walls is in the plan though. How could it not be with an Earth absolutely infested with hairless monkeys?

Mon, 07/11/2011 - 14:16 | 1444603 sleepingbeauty
sleepingbeauty's picture

Sorry MonsterZero, Canada will let you in with no passport.

When you try and re-enter the states however, you will need it. And hey we don't really care whether you go back or not. We like Americans and our immigration policies are pretty weak.

Oh and if you are coming, leave your guns at home. We do not have the right to bear arms and we like it that way.

Mon, 07/11/2011 - 14:17 | 1444695 MonsterZero
MonsterZero's picture

It's nice to see that in writing.. I really haven't tried to cross the border without pulling out documents. The first time we crossed after the us passport requirement the Canadian border agent made a point in asking that we all had valid passports to get back INTO the US without a problem. It's nice to know Canadians have such an open border policy now.. I hope it stays that way. Looking back in on it I rememebr thinking, the border agent doesn't care that we're coming into Canadian, they justw anted to be sure we could get home if we wanted to (which they assumed we did).

Thankful the rest of my family maintain dual citizenship anyway.

Mon, 07/11/2011 - 14:24 | 1444742 machineh
machineh's picture

Not exactly. Canada has a point system for immigrants. If you are a young adult in a skilled trade, you'll be welcomed. If over 55, quite unwelcome unless you invest $800,000.

Thus a 28-year-old Pakistani welder is far more welcome to immigrate to Canada than a 58-year-old retired American.

These rules are economically rational -- no complaint on that score -- but hardly friendly to older Americans who might want to retire in Canada, but don't have a million dollars lying around to purchase the privilege of doing so.

Mon, 07/11/2011 - 14:54 | 1444828 DosZap
DosZap's picture

Dominica is half that, or less, and you can travel nearly all the EU w/ their passports.

Canada doesn't want to add to their health costs w/older retired Americans.( Medicare is no good outside the US.)

Incedentally, most here know this, your personal stateside health insurance is no good in most all countries, and neither is you personal auto,theft of other insurance.

Something one must consider before leaving the US, even on a vacation.

Mon, 07/11/2011 - 14:43 | 1444802 Abitdodgie
Abitdodgie's picture

Canada refused me for not having my passport with me .But that was 10 years ago

Mon, 07/11/2011 - 15:00 | 1444875 Pool Shark
Pool Shark's picture

Sorry Sleeping Beauty; not so.

Took the ferry from Port Angeles to Victoria B.C. last July. Spent more time going through Canadian customs than on my return to the US.

Canadian customs agent, though polite, thoroughly examined all passports for our party (including my 11-year old daughter's) and asked us all what the purpose of our visit was and how long we would be staying.

On the return trip, US customs merely briefly looked at our passports and asked us if we were carrying any fruits or vegetables.

Just sayin'...


Mon, 07/11/2011 - 19:00 | 1445767 BigJim
BigJim's picture

When you're travelling with children, they scrutinise documents more closely out of concerns about child trafficking.

Mon, 07/11/2011 - 20:13 | 1446002 FlyPaper
FlyPaper's picture

2 trips to Canada in the last year; both times I had to present a passport.

Mon, 07/11/2011 - 18:00 | 1445578 The Alarmist
The Alarmist's picture

... unless you are coming to Canada on a business trips -- then they ask 400 questions to make sure you are not doing something that a Canadian could be paid to do.  Can't blame them though, but they seem more dogged about it than most countries.

Mon, 07/11/2011 - 15:35 | 1445016 legal eagle
legal eagle's picture

Good point.  Canada could allow people coming from the US to immigrate without presenting a passport.  It is within their purview.

Mon, 07/11/2011 - 13:19 | 1444431 Smiley
Smiley's picture

Have an exit plan.  "Change" may end up being more tollerable when in another country than the one being raped...

Mon, 07/11/2011 - 13:36 | 1444522 Saxxon
Saxxon's picture

I rule out MX completely and utterly and I am certain everyone else reading this does as well.

That leaves CAN. I like my chances there, as I am white, speak English, will have $$ and have good friends in BC.

I will leave when I feel like it. That's a very large border, amigos.

Mon, 07/11/2011 - 13:19 | 1444437 sabra1
sabra1's picture

the bernank said he could leave within 15 minutes!

Mon, 07/11/2011 - 13:28 | 1444484 Confused
Confused's picture

Sounds like "hope" to me!

Mon, 07/11/2011 - 13:21 | 1444442 downrodeo
downrodeo's picture

Ok, time to renew my passport...

Mon, 07/11/2011 - 13:22 | 1444449 wandstrasse
wandstrasse's picture

hey you guys from Amerika, in Germany we have a lot of 'specialists' regarding protection of your country from imperialist/capitalist enemies. It is not soooo long ago, their (zeir) knowledge will quickly be refreshed!

Mon, 07/11/2011 - 13:23 | 1444451 Hondo
Hondo's picture

Sort of like East Germany in the me your papers!

Mon, 07/11/2011 - 18:02 | 1445583 The Alarmist
The Alarmist's picture

The more interesting analogy was that nearly one in every four East Germans was either on the Stasi payroll or beholden on them in some fashion to rat on their neighbours.

"If you see something, say something."

Mon, 07/11/2011 - 13:24 | 1444457 Van Halen
Van Halen's picture

One day, and I hope it is soon, we will march, set up guillotines, and start offing the heads of some politicians, bankers, CEOs and JournOLists. THEN you'll see things start turning around real fast.

Mon, 07/11/2011 - 13:26 | 1444465 Confused
Confused's picture

Boarder crossing has become such a pain. Especially re-entering the US.

Mon, 07/11/2011 - 13:31 | 1444499 MonsterZero
MonsterZero's picture

Funny.. I was stuck at the Canadian Border for two hours two weekends ago and the line coming into the US was empty (Sarnia N of Detroit). Has no line coming into the US again this past weekend but the line into Canada was backed up again. I agree it's more of a pain now than years ago but you can just get a NEXUS if you're impatient.

Mon, 07/11/2011 - 13:41 | 1444550 Confused
Confused's picture

Haven't been into Canada since the passport requirement. My experience in the last year+ coming into the US from a European country has been slightly more of a hassle than I could have imagined.

Mon, 07/11/2011 - 14:11 | 1444674 decon
decon's picture

No doubt!  I've maintained a US passport for over 40 years and have travelled overseas a fair amount and re-entering the US is always the biggest hassle.

I hunt in Mexico at least once each year and have never had any significant problems crossing in or while hunting and that includes bringing a scoped hunting rifle into MX.  The big problem is always getting back into the US.  A never ending change in requirements for this or that and the Customs Agents are almost always unfriendly and uncooperative.  They know they have you by the short hairs and never let you forget it!

Mon, 07/11/2011 - 13:27 | 1444473 baby_BLYTHE
baby_BLYTHE's picture

No one can leave the country in any decency.

Not without first getting molested and having every inch of your personal belongings searched.

and don't forget about the ever increasing amount of capital controls.

Remember, they hate us for our freedoms and liberty

Mon, 07/11/2011 - 13:33 | 1444511 Dr. Richard Head
Dr. Richard Head's picture

One can leave the country quite nicely.  Last I check (not to give these pricks any ideas), one could cross the Mexican or Canadian border sans "freedom touches" and then travel by plane to another country.  

Mon, 07/11/2011 - 13:57 | 1444620 Raymond Reason
Raymond Reason's picture

Um i don't think you're going to be exiting Canada on a plane without an entry stamp in your passport. 

Mon, 07/11/2011 - 14:02 | 1444640 Vic Vinegar
Vic Vinegar's picture

This is the best website in the world if for nothing other than your comedy.  Thanks for the laugh Blythe.

Mon, 07/11/2011 - 15:13 | 1444937 baby_BLYTHE
baby_BLYTHE's picture

tyranny is fun, right?

Mon, 07/11/2011 - 15:46 | 1445073 Vic Vinegar
Vic Vinegar's picture

Where's the tyranny?  Good luck to you b.

Mon, 07/11/2011 - 16:35 | 1445289 baby_BLYTHE
baby_BLYTHE's picture

When I was referring to "airport molestation", I was obviously talking about the TSA.

You really don't find this most intrusive government agency as the slightest bit 'tyranical'?

Mon, 07/11/2011 - 17:42 | 1445533 Vic Vinegar
Vic Vinegar's picture

That's a bit of an exaggeration.  But not an exaggeration to those folks who like to wake up angry...

Mon, 07/11/2011 - 13:28 | 1444485 Madcow
Madcow's picture

the "smart money" fled the US years ago.  They're sitting by the pool in safe foreign locals - with their money off-shore. And they're going to watch the USA go up in flames along with Europe on CNN.

Once the West has descended into anarchy and cannibalism - and the bankers have been allowed to foreclose upon 90% of the nations homes, businesses, farms, city and state parks, etc - they will come back.  And they will buy up all the assets from the bankers at pre 1950 (nominal) prices. 

Anyone who got tricked into borrowing money, paying taxes, and believing in the future is going to be destroyed.

Washington (and Brussels) have not embraced "socialism" or "fascism." more accurately, it is "psychopath-ism" 

what could go wrong with this plan ? 

Mon, 07/11/2011 - 13:29 | 1444492 williambanzai7
williambanzai7's picture

Can Obama answer these questions?

Mon, 07/11/2011 - 13:34 | 1444517 knukles
knukles's picture


Mon, 07/11/2011 - 13:37 | 1444530 Agent 440
Agent 440's picture


No. He'll have a waiver.

Mon, 07/11/2011 - 16:40 | 1445306 Steaming_Wookie_Doo
Steaming_Wookie_Doo's picture

Probably not, but his Indonesian passport says he can pass Go and collect $200.

Mon, 07/11/2011 - 18:07 | 1445600 The Alarmist
The Alarmist's picture

That would be "Pass Go and collect 1,715,000 Rupiah." Give or take a few.

Mon, 07/11/2011 - 13:30 | 1444494 1100-TACTICAL-12
1100-TACTICAL-12's picture

The tree of liberty needs to be refreshed with some tyrant blood pretty soon .

Mon, 07/11/2011 - 13:36 | 1444525 wandstrasse
wandstrasse's picture

The tree of liberty ran away long time ago, because nobody cared about him. But I do not want to stop you spilling some tyrant blood.

Mon, 07/11/2011 - 13:59 | 1444629 WALLST8MY8BALL
WALLST8MY8BALL's picture

The tumbleweed of liberty?

Mon, 07/11/2011 - 14:18 | 1444703 Shell Game
Shell Game's picture

The nadir of Liberty, a contrarian indicator?

Mon, 07/11/2011 - 20:14 | 1446006 FlyPaper
FlyPaper's picture

More likely public blood (as the government would define you as a terrorist and you'll lose your rights).  They are already calling public protests 'soft terrorism.'

Mon, 07/11/2011 - 13:31 | 1444501 steadysteve
steadysteve's picture

I believe this is going to be first used for citizens that have been naturalized before going to first time natural-born applicants. If you've had previous passports or other federal ID and are already "in the system" this will probably not apply. Likewise it will probably not affect persons like myself that hold a merchant mariners license. What it will accomplish is to slow the number of new applications and keep the "lower classes" from fleeing.

Mon, 07/11/2011 - 13:41 | 1444545 Saxxon
Saxxon's picture

Steadysteve, I am in accord with that.  We are certainly slounching towards Prison Planet status however the application of that patina will not be evenly distributed. 

if the shtf we will very quickly separate ourselves according to race - it's the instinct of the million year-old species, which I don't think 100 years of propaganda is going to reverse.

Mon, 07/11/2011 - 13:50 | 1444592 Temporalist
Temporalist's picture

Your idea is narrow minded and myopic.  It will not be race before it is family and community.  Knowing people to trust is paramount not if they look differently.  The first instinct is family and friends.

Mon, 07/11/2011 - 14:04 | 1444644 Raymond Reason
Raymond Reason's picture

Saxxon is not myopic.  You, Temoralist obviously didn't attend "integrated" schools when you were a kid.  The birds of a feather always flocked together.  Lunchroom was always segregated by the children.  It is instinctive.   

Most Americans have burned relations with family. 

Mon, 07/11/2011 - 15:06 | 1444901 AnAnonymous
AnAnonymous's picture

He might not be myopic but he is for sure a US citizen and these days, it means a poor propagandist.

Failed to see when Europe split on race, cause there has been divisions in Europe way before the concept of race was invented and implemented.

Mon, 07/11/2011 - 15:52 | 1445103 Raymond Reason
Raymond Reason's picture

That's my point.  Race wasn't invented, as language wasn't invented.  They evolved.  And like those with a common language will tend to congregate, so do races, religious groups, sports fans, etc., etc.

Mon, 07/11/2011 - 15:01 | 1444885 Max Hunter
Max Hunter's picture

+++.. I don't trust anyone because they are white. I'm in 100% agreement with you, I trust who I know, if I trust at all..

Any suggestion that this will come down to races is absurd and barbaric..

Mon, 07/11/2011 - 19:58 | 1445916 smore
smore's picture

+1 for realism.  I fled the US for an almost entirely white country 5 years ago, being much more pessimistic than the average ZHer.  Read "The Road".  That's where we are all heading.

Mon, 07/11/2011 - 13:36 | 1444524 Vic Vinegar
Vic Vinegar's picture

Tell you what we are an a-hole Black.

You describe a nightmare scene in E Europe...and then because of a longer gov't form here in the US ask us if we have hit our breaking point yet? 

Have you hit your breaking point yet loser?

Mon, 07/11/2011 - 13:43 | 1444558 Saxxon
Saxxon's picture

Agreed Vic; Mr. Black please cease rattling what you think is a cage, from your perch in Peru or the DR or wherever you happen to be.

Good for you but give us a break with the comrade B.S.

Mon, 07/11/2011 - 15:58 | 1445140 Raymond Reason
Raymond Reason's picture

VV, you can learn a lot by studying E Europe.  We've been blessed with a great constitution and reserve currency status.  Without those, we would be a lot further down the path of oppression.  And that path is fairly well-worn and predictable. 

Mon, 07/11/2011 - 13:36 | 1444527 latizziforchizzi
latizziforchizzi's picture

My passport expires in 2015. Maybe I should apply for a new one now. My wife just recieved her passport 9 months ago and the whole process was simple. It did not take very long for her to recieve it (surprisingly).

Mon, 07/11/2011 - 13:40 | 1444538 n00b tube
n00b tube's picture

You all are overreacting. The economy is fine. VIX, GLD and LNKD are all in the green. This is a soft-patch buying opportunity. Every down day is transitory. The next tranche of bennybux printing is imminent. See that shiny object over there? Look away from the markets, you'll see it eventually.

Mon, 07/11/2011 - 13:40 | 1444544 Magnum
Magnum's picture

When I was in Vietnam years ago, locals could not even leave their own local provincial jurisdiction without a special travel permit. I can imagine dumbed-down Americans accepting this in the future, as long as they think it's to prevent terrrrism.  

When I was in the former CCCP it was the same deal--I could enter the place as long as I had prepared the trip plan documents via their one and only agency Intourist.   But Soviets had a very difficult time leaving even their own neighborhood.

I recently attempted to open a bank account in Switzerland, in person, not to hide any income but just to have an account in a paper currency I trust.  

I discovered that all Swiss banks have a new rule specifically for Americans.  The rule states that ANYONE who is American or who has ever worked in America is absolutely not allowed to open a bank account.  The reason, as I was told, is that the US govt has enacted extremely difficult reporting requirements.  If a bank overseas (I assume not just Swiss banks for ANY foreign bank) has an American customer, that bank must prepare several times each year a burdensome stack of paperwork to submit to the IRS.  I can imagine some foreign banks will just ignore this, but the Swiss banks have decided to rid their customer list of all Americans.

One sympathetic banker said that even Swiss people who spent any time living in the United States, if they have ANY connection to America such as previous residency, they are not allowed to have a bank account in Switzerland.

This guy Simon Black travels around and makes money from his website, promising some inside key to "planting multiple flags" and he says the first step is a foreign bank account.  If what the Swiss told me is true, it's just a matter of time before Americans have zero opportunity to have money if they leave the country.

Mon, 07/11/2011 - 13:45 | 1444571 Saxxon
Saxxon's picture

Good report. Switzerland is obviously humping America's pantleg on that one.

For a bank account, try a Govt. that more or less extends its middle finger to such 'Requirements'. You may be pleasantly surprised.

Mon, 07/11/2011 - 13:48 | 1444583 Cognitive Dissonance
Cognitive Dissonance's picture

Your comment needed a visual.

Mon, 07/11/2011 - 13:49 | 1444587 Confused
Confused's picture

Out of curiosity, exactly how new is this? 6 months? Longer perhaps? Thanks for sharing.

Mon, 07/11/2011 - 13:58 | 1444621 Magnum
Magnum's picture

I believe it depends on each bank, when they decided to cut bait with Americans.  As I recall, one bank mentioned something like before the end of 2010 they had enacted the rule.  Some banks, I think, grandfather existing clients with a connection to USA and allow them to stay.  But for how long I am not sure.

There are not a lot of Swiss banks to choose from.  I hit them all up, and got the same answer.  If you want to research this yourself check out PostFinance.  I believe they were among the first to kick out Americans, and all the rest followed.  

It is discouraging to me because I don't want to find another paper currency to invest in, such as Norwegian or Singapore $ or whatever.  I wanted an account in Swiss Francs, and that is not going to happen.  I am actually not a radical hate-the-US-dollar guy either.  I think the US$ will probably survive in some form, but those lucky enough to be able to have Swiss Francs will come out the biggest winners.

I have not investigated opening an account in Swiss Francs via a third party bank like HSBC.  That might be an option, but for me I wanted the real deal and I wanted to sign up myself in Zurich.

Mon, 07/11/2011 - 14:57 | 1444864 Moe Gamble
Moe Gamble's picture

It's been this way since at least late 2006. Went to one Swiss bank after another.



Mon, 07/11/2011 - 14:32 | 1444766 machineh
machineh's picture

The US requirements to which foreign banks are reacting (by banning Americans from opening accounts) are in the HIRE Act of 2010, enacted March 18, 2010.

These requirements go into full effect at the beginning of 2013.

Mon, 07/11/2011 - 14:33 | 1444770 machineh
machineh's picture

The US requirements to which foreign banks are reacting (by banning Americans from opening accounts) are in the HIRE Act of 2010, enacted March 18, 2010.

These requirements go into full effect at the beginning of 2013.

Mon, 07/11/2011 - 14:58 | 1444866 Moe Gamble
Moe Gamble's picture

The law may be 2010, but the hassles started at least four years earlier.

Mon, 07/11/2011 - 14:20 | 1444719 Raymond Reason
Raymond Reason's picture

Magnum, it's already happening in the US.  If you travel within the country, it is getting almost impossible to pay cash at a hotel.  You can pay cash, but they still want to swipe a you are on the radar as you move about. 

As you say, the US haven't yet prevented foreign bank accounts, but are making them more and more difficult, throwing ridiculous burdens on the banks (recent development).   Plus, i think last year they started the FBAR must report maximum value of account (to prevent money laundering *sarc*) 

If you're still single, marry a foreign girl, this is your best out.  You can complete a process to carry two passports.    Or if Jewish, you're eligible for dual citizenship with Israel.   If you have a foreign born parent or grandparent, also possible. 

Expatriating your money...that's the tricky part. 

Mon, 07/11/2011 - 14:36 | 1444781 Magnum
Magnum's picture

This reminds me of a common term I kept hearing from the Swiss bank employees.  It is "FATCA".  Look into it.  Every other sentence, when talking to them, they would blurt out FATCA this and FATCA that.  They don't like it.  As I recall, FATCA is not yet enacted but when it is, all bets are off for Americans to have any funds overseas.  It's quite embarrassing, really.  I could be Malaysian or Turkish, Mexican or Nepali, and do business just fine overseas.  American?  Forget it.  The average American has no clue though, they still think America is the great beacon of freedom and "freedom isn't free blah blah blah".

Mon, 07/11/2011 - 16:01 | 1445157 Raymond Reason
Raymond Reason's picture

I've read that we have the most well developed and sophisticated tax collection system in the world.  Now that's something to be proud of! ;)

Mon, 07/11/2011 - 18:18 | 1445631 The Alarmist
The Alarmist's picture

FATCA is indeed the most recent iteration of moves to crack down on disclosure of foreign accounts by American nationals and residents, but the hassle has been ramping up for several years now.  Banks in more than a few European nations are refusing to take new American customers, and some are indeed dropping existing accounts to avoid the extra hassle.

So, the Treasury might unearth a few extra dollars of investment income that was "sheltered" abroad, but the stark reality is that they are making it increasingly difficult for Americans who aspire to be anything more than students or starving artists to take up residence abroad and earn a living in a position where they might actually steer business back to the good old USA.  The Brits, on the other hand, bend over backward  in terms of tax policy to plant their expats abroad.

The net result of things like that and SARBOX has been to start NY on the path to being a financial backwater ... but hey, we can feel good about that much, right?

Mon, 07/11/2011 - 22:28 | 1446395 laomei
laomei's picture

Easy solution to this really. Bank account opened in wife's name over here.  Just like how we do our trading on the US markets using her account. W8BEN means tax free and China doesnt have individual capital gains taxes.


As far as passports go, I only keep mine for convenience of travel, once there is no longer convenience, it goes in the trash.  Right now, the only thing a US passport gets me is having to pay more for visas, pay stupidly high fees in the embassy for anything and everything and deal with tax crap every year that does not concern the US in any way.

Mon, 07/11/2011 - 20:05 | 1445987 smore
smore's picture

"Or if Jewish, you're eligible for dual citizenship with Israel. " 

If you choose to escape the US to live in Israel you will deserve a Darwin award.

Mon, 07/11/2011 - 20:44 | 1446091 Suisse
Suisse's picture

Israel is actually much safer than the United States.

Mon, 07/11/2011 - 21:30 | 1446201 smore
smore's picture

The United States is not surrounded by tens of millions of hostile arabs.  Although your TV may have convinced you that it is.

Mon, 07/11/2011 - 14:21 | 1444727 honestann
honestann's picture

Answer:  gold and silver bullion and private international transportation.  Somebody could create a huge business with international travel that avoids the TSA and assorted perverts.  Corporate and government big wigs already travel this way, and someone who makes this available to everyone else at a less-than-insane price level will have a great business, albeit limited in scope.

Another related business is bullion jewelry, since the gestapo regularly lets people travel with million-dollar jewelry even while they steal a pocket full of gold coins.

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