Who is the real Peter Dunn?

Who is the real Peter Dunn? Arguably, he is the world’s most (in)famous recent renunciant of US citizenship, after Superman, as a result of Atossa Abrahamian’s Reuter’s article. But this could lead to various portrayals who I am and why I did it. Which portrayal is correct?

Benedict Arnold (traitor):  Americans are generally pretty insecure when someone talks about the renunciation of US citizenship and they get pretty testy.  The most common response is, “Don’t let the door hit you on the way out.”  While this is rude, to characterize me as a  traitor because I’ve given up my citizenship would be extreme.  I haven’t switched sides during a time of war. Nor am I fighting an actual war against the United States–yet.

Irwin Schiff (famous tax evader):  Call me, “Pete the Tax Cheat”.  The other Peter Dunn portrayed me as an American who left the US to avoid paying taxes.  Well not exactly; I don’t owe anything.  It’s not that.  Besides, I didn’t leave the US under duress but during peaceful times to study in Canada, England and Switzerland.

Really, the myth that suits me best is neither the traitor nor the tax cheat, but the guy who has gone native.  I found me a woman here in Canada.  I’ve become a part of the Canadian people; I feel greater love and affinity to them now.  Don’t I speak their two languages, eh? (N’est-ce pas?)    Now, if my former countrymen from the United States attack my new people, I am ready to take up arms and fight against them on the side of the Canadians.  That’s not Benedict Arnold:  It’s John Dunbar, who marries a white Sioux woman and must protect her and the tribe.  It’s Jake Sully, who has now fallen in love with a Na’vi and will fight against his fellow earthlings to protect his new people.  The Americans who want to portray me as the bad guy must realize that John Dunbar and Jake Sully were the heroes, not the military macho types who called them traitors.  Dunbar and Sully fought for their women, for their new people, and for justice in the face evil foreign invaders.

Well this is what Ms. Abrahamian quoted me as saying for the world to read:

“If it was just me then it would be one thing,” says Dunn, a part-time investor who worried that having to share information with the IRS would deter future business partners – and upset his wife, who is Canadian. “Disclosing joint accounts I hold with my wife and anyone I ever want to do business with – that’s just too much. My wife’s account is none of their business.”

This sounds like Jake Sully and John Dunbar to me.  I am not Benedict Arnold or even Pete the Tax Cheat.  But I admit to having gone native.


35 thoughts on “Who is the real Peter Dunn?

  1. On another website this morning (I can’t find it now), they’re calling us lefties. Yep,that’s me. I left US long ago. I think they actually meant the political lefties, but I’ll take that too.

    I think you are Sir Isaac Brock reincarnated.

  2. I left out one: Chicken Peter

    Not Special Ops Bill| 4.19.12 @ 12:23PM
    “A good many years ago, when I opposed the Vietnam War because the government used draftees to fight that war, I was told that I should leave the U.S. if I didn’t support its policies. I told those people then, and I say now, that if you don’t like something that America is doing, your duty is to stay here and fight for change. To leave is to chicken out.”

  3. Thank you Peter. This site has been a source of solidarity and comfort for all of us. One day we others will be more comfortable using our real names. In the meantime, perhaps some of us can meet wherever we are in our local Il Fornello’s across Canada. I offer up the Il Fornello on Danforth Avenue in Toronto as one venue. Perhaps we can invite Craig Scott,my newly minted NDP MP

  4. When Americans have asked me over the years about “adjusting” to life in Canada. I have stated that the biggest adjustment is realizing that the “red coats” are the good guys!

  5. Don’t take the chicken label too personally Petros.

    A reply to me after I posted on that website that I live in Canada signed “Fuck Canada” as his middle name.

    He did mind his manners. He said “thanks for giving those pussy draft dodgers a place to run to.” You’re welcome.

  6. @OMG: I don’t think Mr. “Fuck Canada” has any idea what a great contribution “those pussy draft dodgers” made to Canada–or what a loss they were to the US.

    Of course, I’m biased. To use Arrow’s term, I was a “spiritual draft dodger.”

  7. Love your gravatar Blaze. And Petros you are the full of zeal, real deal and I can’t think of anyone better to help us defend Canada from what lurks below the border.

  8. @Em: Thanks. That’s me ready for battle in my War of 1812 uniform–complete with sword.

    I decided it was time for this soldier to come out of the closet and show her face in support of all “those pussy draft dodgers”and other comrades.

  9. @ Blaze
    All I’ve got is a tin pot helmut and a left over piece of rebar but I’m ready to enlist in the War (of Words) of 2012 (i.e. WOW2012).

  10. @That will do. You have to be well rested to fight though. So, I hope you slept better last night–and will continue to do so.

  11. @petros
    the role of“if Benedique Arnold“ is taken I applied to emigrate to Canada as while an active duty USAF captain.

  12. Well Peter Dunn. You have certainly gotten some notoriety, and now you have even a bigger responsibility as to how you use it more widely. You are now on a bigger stage than just the originator of this blog.

    You have become a spokesman, of sorts, (infamous as they say) of a subject so few in American understand. We are putting a lot of faith in you to use that position in a measured non hyperbolic way when dealing with the press.

    I say this with great admiration for what you have accomplished. I have assumed that at sometime, with all of our joint efforts to reach out to media, email journalists, post comments in responses to stories, or even do that strange thing called Twitter, eventually someway or another the story would get a little more of a viral following with the associated “negative” back lash and foul name calling as we see in comment sections.

    Somehow, we have to resist in responding in kind, as good as it feels to lash back. You have no idea how many times have have had to pull back and modify my words to be more measured in comments I make online. Some hyperbolic slips do occur, and I usually regret them if they shut down the conversation instead of advancing the argument.

    I think “Pete the Planner” has responded positively and fairly to your well written comments on his blog. I note these updates… He manned up to his failures!

    ****Update: To be fair, I don’t know the ins and outs of the “other Peter Dunn’s” perspective. I’m not trying to insult him or his cause. I just wanted people to make sure they understood that we weren’t one in the same.

    ****Update #2: I really had no idea what the hell I was talking about. The more I read about Peter Dunn’s problem, the more I see that it is a MAJOR problem. I refuse to remove my original asinine comments. I deserve living with my initially prejudiced words. Peter Dunn, I’m sorry.

    ****Update #3: Peter Dunn will appear on Peter Dunn’s radio program Friday night at 7pm EST on 93 WIBC. We will get to the bottom of this entire issue. You can listen online.


    I will be listening (Saturday in NZ) to hear how you do Mate. Our hopes are resting on your representation of the issues to a wider audience of”real Americans” in the heartland from INDIANAPOLIS. Wow! What an opportunity. They will be experiencing new information for the 1st time! It may cause “cognitive dissonant” in response when they hear things that don’t fit the American Expectionalism belief system. It should be interesting… Be careful and measured with your words, is my advice. That is also advice I give myself constantly, and often fail to heed! LOL


  13. @Just me: Well, if that doesn’t put the pressure on me . 🙂
    I said I have a face for radio. So it should go well. Do you suppose I should dress in a suit and tie, or do you suppose casual dress will be adequate?

    WIBC is the Rush station in Indianapolis. So it is a good size market and it will perhaps lead to great things. But I don’t think that Pete’s program is syndicated nationally.

  14. @Petros. I think a ‘bath robe’ would appropriate… 🙂

    The “Rush” station! OMG So lots of ditto heads will be listening then. I will refrain from serious negatives comments about Rush’s style, other than to say, I once found him entertaining, and appreciated the conservative commentary (many many years ago), but even when he is right, I now refuse to listen any longer as his over-the-top hyperbole and self centered “Me” commentary plus all the commercials have turned me off. If you ever get a chance to obtain a text version of any of his rants, do the find function on “me”. It is all about him. 🙂

    If I offend anyone who likes him, I apologize, but I have moved on. There is no accounting for taste, as they say, and his style is not to my liking. I understand that others do. 25 million a week at his peak.

    Good luck Mate. You will do well, I am sure.

  15. @Just Me Rush is one of the most listened to people. If I get on his show, I’d have reach what is for the pinnacle of what I can do for the Isaac Brock. Something like 20 million listeners per week. An interview with a Rush station talk show is the closest I can get for now. Pretty happy about it, I must say.

  16. @Just Me, Petros: We know already The Other Peter Dunn is far classier than Rush.

    Who knows, Petros, this week Pete the Planner, next week perhaps Rush (Wouldn’t that be an interesting conversation?!?), the following Week maybe Shulman!

    Fox News could even be in your future. No, that wouldn’t work. You would probably have to go to the US to be on Fox or any of the other networks. Then, what would you do? You have vowed to never again cross the border.

  17. @Petros,

    Your commentary on American Spectator was hilarious. I’m a big Ron Paul fan (from the old right). You had more patience than I will ever have in dealing with some of the main stream conservative commentators.

    But I think you managed to get through to some of them and they are actually starting to scratch their heads.

    Good luck on Rush radio. I would expect some of the callers to be along the same lines as the guys you were playing verbal judo with on American Spectator.

  18. @petros…

    I understand, but Rush doesn’t do interviews on air, does he? I think the program is mostly self commentary, but then I haven’t listened in soooo long, I could be wrong.

    You are right though, he does have a big audience, and you would reach folks you don’t reach otherwise. Not sure how the “ditto heads” will respond. If it is perceived as a beat up on the IRS, then it will be favorable. If it is perceived as dissing American Exceptionalism, or as an un-patriotic thing, then it will not be well received. Thank god you are not gay, or you would really be dismissed. Although maybe marrying a Canadian woman is being “unequally yoked together” which we are warned about in the Bible… I joke… 🙂

    The audience you need right now, I think, is the progressive audience as they are the ones that need to be putting pressure on their guy, Obama, to show him the errors of his ways. Unfortunately, Rush’s opinions and how he characterizes things, even when he is right, turns off that side of the spectrum. They oppose just to oppose without thinking, as most partisans do. I think I am more in the middle, and it turns me off, but then maybe I am not normal. I am usually wrong about what sells or what consumer good is considered cool! 🙂

    I prefer programs like “To the Point” on KCRW.


    But, will grant you that it doesn’t have the listeners Rush radio stations would have.

    Anyway, just my opinion, and I could be wrong! I often am.

  19. @Just me:

    I’ll try to reach the dittoheads, and others here should try to reach the progressives like the Huffington and Slate. We are pretty strange bedfellows at Isaac Brock, and yet, it is really going to take every one of us with our rich diversity of perspectives to accomplish the task. I don’t see that reaching only one group or another is going to help us. If we ever manage to have widespread and bi-partisan outrage at our situation, then perhaps, the US will change. Until then, there is little hope.

  20. I agree, you have to reach both. It is easier to reach the conservative side, in my opinion, as there are some natural affinities surrounding liberty / freedom agenda that probably aren’t there on the progressive side, except in the area of civil liberties. Therein lies the way to bi-partisan appeal, I think.

    Good luck, and certainly appreciate all your efforts.

  21. @ Just Me It seems that the comments at Huff or more devastating that at conservative sites. You may be right. I appreciate your efforts too.

  22. @Petros as to — April 19, 2012 at 8:31 pm @Just me: “I’ll try to reach the dittoheads, and others here should try to reach the progressives like the Huffington and Slate. We are pretty strange bedfellows at Isaac Brock, and yet, it is really going to take every one of us with our rich diversity of perspectives to accomplish the task”

    This is so true. Congresspeople often cannot overcome their partisan differences and as a result cannot resolve divisive issues constructively. What I believe is different about Isaac Brock is that nobody here cares who is Democrat or Republican, who is pro-life or pro-choice, who is pro-gun, who is gay-lesbian, who is pro-Obama-care or not. We are always 90-95% in agreement about the “US person abroad” related issues that we are upset about, and here at Isaac Brock we can set aside the other differences that we might have and concentrate on the central issues of our group. I think that Congress could learn something from us.

  23. I had the following exchange:

    Peter W. Dunn| 4.19.12 @ 1:25PM
    I have [not] chickened out of anything. Have some respect. I have stood up to your government with my real name.

    A. Fox| 4.19.12 @ 2:59PM
    your real name…lol. Your all talk a paper tiger…
    no not even a tiger.

    Peter W. Dunn| 4.19.12 @ 4:13PM
    I’ve been told before that I am a chicken. But whenever I make a blog comment, it is in my real name, or such manner that people can trace the comment back to my real identity (Petros is my blogger alias). I decided a few months ago, when Jim Flaherty announced that the Canadian government would not collect FBAR fines, that I could reveal who I am–before that, discretion was the better part of valour. I don’t mind being called a chicken, because I relinquished my US citizenship, but I am quick to point out when the person calling me a chicken is hiding behind an alias or a untraceable identity, such as A. Fox. That doesn’t seem particularly courageous to me.

    A. Fox| 4.20.12 @ 5:27AM
    A. Fox stands for Alan Fox dumb ass!

    Peter W. Dunn| 4.20.12 @ 6:21AM
    Ok, that’s really nice. Call me a rude name. Are there any grown-ups around?

  24. On the bright hand, here’s a sympathetic response from Ilana Mercer (a libertarian & and immigrant from South Africa):

    Many of my immigrant friends in the US and I have had arguments over this taxation issue. I guess they don’t like to hear about people leaving the US when they worked so hard to get there. And conversely I hate hearing about people migrating to the US. I guess it’s because each of our life choices calls in to question the wisdom of the other guy’s choices. 🙂

  25. Peter…
    I had to put a comment on the Weekly Standard too. The name calling disappointed me. I see they have a policy against it, but obviously they don’t moderate. Mine is the most recent comment. You have heard it all before.

  26. I mean, American Spectator! duh… Gosh I wished Word Press had a comment review and edit function. The one at the Spectator is quite nice.

  27. One thing I find rather amusing is the fact that all the pro-FATCA tax bloggers (Richard Murphy, John Christensen, Nicholas Shaxson, TJN) haven’t been touching the renunciation story with a 10-foot pole. (I’ve got all their blogs in my RSS feed; they’ve got some sensible things to say about transfer pricing, at least). TJN in particular does a roundup post almost every day with every single international tax story they could find in three different languages.

    Granted, they’re all British so it’s not an issue on their side of the pond, but they regularly pay attention to other American tax issues, and the Reuters story it did make it into their Daily Mail. I’d at least expect a hearty condemnation of all us tax evading scum who refuse to pay our fair share from Murphy, who’s spoken out in favour of citizenship-based taxation in the past..

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