27 December 2004

US gov requires Loyalty Oath from overseas importers?

I remember the first time I read a tax form and noticed the line on it that asked me to report all my illegal income. It led me to speculate about really stupid criminals ("Hey guys, do you remember how much profit we took in on that liquor store heist? Let's see, deduct for stocking masks and bullets, depreciaton on my street piece. . . Damn! I am going to have to pay taxes on that job, and I was just hoping to break even.") and even stupider government clerks who expected such items to be reported. Now we've done it again.

Seems that our government might want packages from overseas shippers to include a sort of loyalty oath (shades of McCarthy! ) First I want you to take a good close look at this note found in a package recieved from an Italian distributor of DVDs. Now think about it. Yep, you can rest easy folks, our administration is out there collecting loyalty oaths from anyone who might ship an Osama bin Laden video to the unsuspecting liberal media where they might accidentaly infect us all with the urge to commit treason.

I find this potentially disturbing. I looked at the Senate and House pages looking for the law that required this "declaration," but no luck.

So I tried the Fedex pages for copies of international documents, but there was no info on "Video Declaration" forms. I tried looking at Snopes.com which is the best rumor buster site out there, but again no info. So is this something dreamed up by some bizarre government idea that terrorists and pornographers (talk about strange bedfellows) are going to identify themselves in their shipments of videos to the USA?

Read the the original post from the blog of Matteo Bittanti where I first found out about this (copied below): http://mbf.blogs.com/mbf/2004/12/no_sex_please_w.html

the copy of the letter in his shipment is here:

Anotice_1"Attached is a notice contained in the package. Its a hoot--its just like the 1950s. I am so glad that the government is protecting me from the nasty old terrorist propaganda--not to mention sleazy, indecent, decadent, European smut/porno merchants" (John)

I love the Americans. I mean, who else would require any visitor to specify on a green form if he or she is a terrorist or a Nazi supporter and submit it to the custom clerks before entering the country? (Well, the Russians, for instance - they started using the same forms a while ago). I did not know, however, that when you buy DVDs from Italy and have them shipped overseas, the seller has to declare that the movies do not contain obscenity, illegal matter, or "anything that could lead to treason or insurrection against the US". And what about "Bodily harm"? Now, I ordered many movies through Amazon.com, but I never found a note saying, for instance, that The Godfather does not represent a menace to the Italian republic ;-)

No comments: