Love an American, Just Don't Come Here

From the same people that brought you 10 week minimum waiting periods for passports (because that's how far in advance I make my vacation plans), we now bring you the never-ending struggle for fiancé visas, courtesy of the burgeoning mail-order bride/internet dating/How Stella Got Her Groove Back (but without the he-turns-out-gay part) emulating crowd.

Of course, to avoid the appearance that this is limited to the men of the world who find us American broads too "pushy," two-thirds of the people quoted in the story are women, but, whatevs. The real point is that the State Department is scared so shitless that one of us will marry the next terrorist that people have to submit to the inspection of their love letters and online sex chats to prove to some 25 year old consular officer in some backwater country that they are really in love because that will totes prevent the terrorists from striking again!

Of course, the difficulty in getting visas isn't just limited to the lovelorn and horny. The State Department consular officers are also in charge of determining which artists from abroad have enough "sustained international recognition" to be allowed to get visas to perform here, which they're totally doing a bang-up job of, really.

Passport problems snarl travel plans [MSNBC]
Finding Love Abroad, Then Support Online for Visa Quest [Washington Post]
Strict Visa Regulations Discourage Visiting Artists [Washington Post]
US revoke Lily Allen's visa over London arrest [Times Online]