It should be a regular feature here -- government programs so silly they sound like a spoof. Seriously, I thought this was some spoof birther proposal. Via Radley Balko, from Consumer Traveller
The U.S. Department of State is proposing a new Biographical Questionnaire for some passport applicants: The proposed new Form DS-5513 asks for all addresses since birth; lifetime employment history including employers’ and supervisors names, addresses, and telephone numbers; personal details of all siblings; mother’s address one year prior to your birth; any “religious ceremony” around the time of birth; and a variety of other information. According to the proposed form, “failure to provide the information requested may result in … the denial of your U.S. passport application.”
The State Department estimated that the average respondent would be able to compile all this information in just 45 minutes, which is obviously absurd given the amount of research that is likely to be required to even attempt to complete the form.
It seems likely that only some, not all, applicants will be required to fill out the new questionnaire, but no criteria have been made public for determining who will be subjected to these additional new written interrogatories. So if the passport examiner wants to deny your application, all they will have to do is give you the impossible new form to complete.
In fact, this text misses some of the real doozies. Here is a jpg of the 2nd page of the application (click to enlarge)
Dates and locations of your mother's pre-natal doctor visits? My mom would laugh her ass off if I called her asking for these. And how can the government get away with asking for details of religious ceremonies connected to one's birth?
I swear the combination of the religious ceremony stuff and the residence of one's mother before, during, and after birth is so parallel to birther arguments about Obama I thought this was a spoof.
Update: Apparently this form is for people who have lost their birth certificate. If a person cannot track down his or her birth certificate and can't find his or her birth hospital to get a replacement, I find it hard to believe any of this stuff is answerable either. To me, this factoid makes the whole Obama/birther irony even funnier.