Purpose of this thread:

1. Establishing some standard press release text to send on IBS letterhead to journalists and others. The press release would present IBS and our main issues and consensus opinions.
2. A list of journalists to whom to send such press release.
3. Agree on procedures for approving the press release (as of 26 May, this would appear to be a vote at IBS, final editing and approval by Petros and Just Me).
4. Agree on distribution plan for the press release.

Please vote (see next response to this thread for the complete plan of action).
Please check all of the points that you agree with. I will use the first answer to determine the total number of votes, so please, if you are a Brocker, or friendly towards Isaac Brock Society viewpoints, check the first question no matter what. Sorry, the Yes/No option wasn’t available on PollDaddy anymore, I don’t know what happened.

Thanks for your participation, let’s (B)ROCK ON!!!

PLEASE NOTE that the list of potential journalists, politicians and academics (in that order of priority) outside of the US would definitely be too long to agree upon here, so it would be up to the volonteers who agree to distribute the press-release outside of the US to choose judiciously a list of addressees and forward the release with a cover email stating any opinions and issues that they believe are country-specific, and state that they are an active participant at IBS. The volonteer would choose potentially-friendly Journalists, Politicians, and Academics in that order of priority (as discussed below), then potentially move on to unfriendlies as needed when the word gets out in the particular country.

Logically, each volonteer should keep a rough accounting of the sending of the release (who, when, why) and any responses to them (who, when, what reaction). We cannot possibly hope to have the infrastructure and resources scientifically to summarize all of this, but some rough data would help to evaluate our progress.

A free translation in local language of the press release and/or the cover email would be helpful, if the volonteer can do it. Otherwise, just send in English and hope somebody understands. If the volonteer could do a decent free translation in a language similar the native language of the addressee or likely to be readable by the addressee, such volonteer would be encouraged to do it. (for example, Danish to a Nowegian, Russian or German to Eastern Europeans in countries that have or have had ties with such language). Volonteers would have to coordinate with others in their region, but I don’t think that double transmission of the press release to the same target person or entity by multiple volonteers in the region would be out of hand. Everybody add their two cents in as best they can.

Also, if you click on “View Results” after voting, please ignore the percentage tallies, I will rehash the data when I close voting.

The end of the first question and several others were cut off by PollDaddy, and when I redesign a PollDaddy poll on the fly sometimes the changes don’t update the the calling page, so please excuse the limitations of the tool. The “double citizenship base” end of the first question should have referred to “double taxation on the basis of citizenship”.


89 thoughts on “PRESS RELEASE THREAD

    Please post your propositions and I will copy them here.
    ——————Just Me’s Propositions——————-:
    Josh Marshall, at TPM
    Warren Olney, at KCRW, To the Point
    Robert Sheer at Truth Digg
    Arriana Huffington at Huffington Post
    Matt Miller, Moderator of Left, Right and Center and columnist at Wash Post
    Daily Beast
    NPR All Things Considered
    Robert Siegel, Michele Norris and Melissa Block.
    NPR Morning Edition
    Steve Inskeep, Renee Montagne, David Green
    NPR Weekend Saturday – Scott Simon
    NRP Weekend All Things Considered- Guy Raz
    PBS NewsHour Program -Making Sense of it all, by Paul Solmon
    NPR Planet Money (especially Adam Davidson)
    Market Place Radio (
    especially Paddy Hirsh and Kai Ryssdal
    This American Life (we could pitch them an entire show on the unintended consequences of OVDI.)
    Rachel Maddow- MSNBC
    Daily Caller
    Stephen Colbert
    David Brooks -NYTs
    E.J. Dionne, – Wash Po
    Ezera Kliene – Wash Po
    Mark Shields – PBS
    Joe Norcera – NYTs
    Jon Stewart (Daily Show)
    James Fallows- The Atlantic
    Simon Johnson of Baseline Scenario
    enough for tonight…but I am not done Notice that I have totally skipped most of the MSM, like NBC, CBS, ABC, Fox, etc….
    ———————– END of Just Me’s Propositions————-
    ———————– BEGIN Victoria —————————
    – International Herald Tribune editorial board
    – The Nation – not sure who would be best but perhaps someone who writes on World affairs here
    – The New Yorker: Gopnik who was an expat for a time here in France.
    – Slashdot: A really popular techie hangout. They have several threads on Saverin.
    ———————– END Victoria ——————————
    ———————– BEGIN calgary411 ————————–
    Fareed Zakaria
    ———————– END calgary411 —————————-
    Comments on what Press Release should contain
    —Petros: “need to respond to immediate crises and mobilize. This means, we should make the next press release about the Ex Patriot Act, in my opinion.”
    —FromTheWilderness: “Another important theme I forgot to mention is many if not most, ex-pats left America with empty pockets. The money in their savings and pensions was earned in their countries of residence, not the US.”
    —Patrick Henry:
    1.) CITIZENSHIP-BASED TAXATION must be repealed! America’s founders refused to tolerate it, why should anyone else.
    2.) EX-PATS have NO REPRESENTATION in congress. To be specific, there is nobody in congress with voting rights who is elected by and represents the interests of EX-PATS.
    3.) EX-PATS do not use US highways, bridges, dams, power grid, schools, hospitals, fire, police, courts etc. They are not able to receive unemployment benefits or Medicare. EX-PATS receive NO SERVICES from the from the US government other than a travel document, which they pay for.

    Jeff D Tom’s proposed press release text with input from Patrick Henry and FromTheWilderness
    Dear xxxxxxx,
    We are the Isaac Brock Society,, a group of concerned Americans and Green Card Holders who have joined together to discuss many issues, one of the most important being US extraterritorial taxation and financial reporting policies. Most –if not all of us– are not millionaires or billionaires, just hard working middle-class, working-class, or retired persons living abroad, or people living in the US that are concerned about issues facing their friends and family who live abroad.

    There are 6-7 million Americans abroad, according to recent estimates. Most of them pay income and other taxes to foreign countries where they live and work. Many of them hold dual nationality or permanent resident status in foreign countries and have been residing abroad legally for many years. Many of them have non-US-citizen spouses and children with multiple nationalities born abroad.

    The US violates the economic freedom of US Persons abroad, effectively refusing them a level playing-field in their professional activities, and forces discrimination upon them that violates the founding principles of the US Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, the constitutions of many democratic nations, and longstanding principles of international law such as the Master Nationality Rule and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR).

    The voting rights of Americans abroad have long been abridged, and recent legislative efforts to improve access to the franchise are not sufficient and have not been completely successful. Also, as Americans abroad are not counted in the decennial census mandated by the Constitution, they are not afforded the proportional representation in the House of Representatives as the Constitution requires. Those who have lived outside the US for more than 10 years are not counted at all, unless their relatives in the US erroneously report them to the census as household members. The estimated population of 6-7 million Americans abroad forms a much diluted minority constituency when divided over the 50 states, and many Congresspersons or Senators do not understand or do not bother with the serious issues facing US Persons abroad.

    We are especially concerned that the press in the US has historically slammed Americans abroad when we talk about citizenship renunciation or the unfairness of the US system of citizenship-based taxation. For example, in recent articles and editorials about the Saverin issues, we feel that that all Americans abroad being grouped together with very wealthy people. Most, ex-pats left America with empty pockets. The money in their savings and pensions was earned in their countries of residence, not the US. The American people as a whole are not being allowed to see the whole story.

    The fact of the matter is, US persons abroad are struggling to deal with ever increasing US double-tax burdens (especially in countries with very high costs of living) and the invasions of privacy represented by FBAR and FATCA, which impose very complicated privacy-invading reporting requirements and excessive and confiscatory tribute fines for non-compliance or late compliance (in violation of the 8th Amendment). US persons abroad are being shut out of business partnerships abroad by potential foreign partners who do not want to compromise their privacy or have anything to do with the IRS. They are being refused jobs due to their American connection (US citizenship or green card), and are even being shut out of basic banking services abroad (due to FATCA) and in the US (due to US banks’ hard-line interpretations of Patriot and “Know your Customer”). The US is not helping its trade balance by impeding 6-7 million potential commercial ambassadors abroad.

    Many of us are or were proud Americans who still do uphold and cherish the core American values of democracy, equal opportunity, and hard work. But we are increasingly flabbergasted, saddened, and enraged by Congress and the Executive Branch enacting and imposing increasingly punitive measures upon US Persons abroad. We feel that Americans abroad are being mistreated like the Crown mistreated the colonists prior to 1776. In summary:

    Americans abroad have NO REPRESENTATION in congress. To be specific, there is nobody in congress with voting rights who is elected by and represents the interests of Americans abroad.

    Americans abroad do not use US highways, bridges, dams, power grid, schools, hospitals, fire, police, courts etc. They are not able to receive unemployment benefits or Medicare. Americans abroad receive NO SERVICES from the US government other than a travel document.

    Therefore, CITIZENSHIP-BASED TAXATION must be repealed! America ’s founders refused to tolerate it, why should anyone else. If not, the majority of Americans abroad will be forced to renounce US citizenship or return to the homeland — to look for work.

    We would like to ask that you help us spread the word about the issues Americans and green card holders living abroad face. Voters in the US need to become better aware of the issues, and people all around the world need to be made aware of the continued attempts by the US to exersize extraterritorial jurisdiction. Please feel free to visit us at American Citizens Abroad also has a wealth of information on the issues.

    Let’s go viral Brockers. I propose the following phases for distributing our press release once we agree on it. The first steps will take a lot of work, the ensuing steps will take a huge amount of work, but if we can get articles published on only 20% of the press releases we send out, then we will definitely be heard:
    1. Distribute to all of the people on the list in this thread.
    2. Distribute to all ABC, NBC, CBS stations in every State Capital, and in every city over 100’000 people. This means at least 275 cities, I’m not sure if there are any capitals with smaller populations.
    a. Divide the US up among 4 Brockers according to time zones, Alaska and Hawaii go to Pacific time.
    b. Each Brocker finds the websites for all 3 stations in the capitals and cities in their zone. Send the press release via whaever email one can find (editorial, newstips, email for feedback on the website, etc.)
    3. 4 Brockers (divided by time zone as above) send to the major TV stations or major newspaper in each county for every state in their zone (will need some assistant Brockers for each of the 4 Brockers, as this is a huge task). The technique might be to look up each state on Wikipedia and identify a list of County Seats.
    4. Do the same thing for all major cities and national and provincial capitals (attention, some countries have more than one capital e.g. Brazil) in every country where Brockers live.
    a. Would need to add some text explaining why FATCA is a risk to financial markets worldwide and a big expense in time and money for no real wealth created.
    5. Do the same as in #4 for all countries of the world.
    a. I wonder if Roger could take care of Portuguese (Angola, Mozambique, Brazil, Portugal).
    b. I can do Francophone and Anglophone Africa, maybe with Victoria’s help to proofread any French text.
    c. Brockers in Canada do the Americas
    d. Somebody please volunteer for Europe (Tell, Don, Victoria?)
    e. Somebody will have to take Asia and Oceania.
    f. Iceland (Formerly to Denmark) and Greenland (to Denmark) are part of Europe.
    g. If we can’t get anybody to do it in local language, then we just send it in English.
    This may sound grandiose and a lot of work, but sometimes brute force does work. Judging from the “Rush or not to Rush” vote, We are at least 40 strong in terms of people that visit IBS regularly, so I think it is feasible.

    As @FromTheWilderness suggested, I agree that the most bang for the buck would be to address all journalists first, then friendly politicians and academics as a second priority.

    Also, every active Brocker should have their own WordPress or Blogspot with links to IBS, ACA, and all of the other sites. Even if the blog is not updated very often, it should contain each person’s personal position papers on the subject. This should increase the hits for keywords like FATCA, FBAR, double taxation, expatriation, etc.

  2. Just Me — May 19, 2012 at 3:12 am said: [Post redacted and moved here by JDT to keep list of propositions at the top of this thread]

    Petros could write Rush, as I would be unable as I would be gritting my teeth too much 🙂 … It is late, and I could expand this later, but here is my quick target list… Will try to follow later with emails and twitter accounts for each, but my eyelids are about closed… enough for tonight… but I am not done… Notice that I have totally skipped most of the MSM, like NBC, CBS, ABC, Fox, etc….

  3. Moved by JDT HERE

    JDT@Victoria@all once we have a complete list, should we vote on a common email to send them, or should we just split up the list between us and each send their own letter?

  4. I held my nose and read the Rush Limbaugh article. If I understood correctly, he thinks that Saverin is escaping the US without paying any tax. But in fact, Saverin is paying about $350 million in exit tax, according to the Bloomberg estimate.

    That misconception should be corrected.

  5. @Jefferson D. Tomas: Hi, I’ve been lurking but have posted a few times. I don’t think I can bring myself to write Rush…I despise the man and I don’t think my e-mail will be read anyway.

    I have been posting on NYT and Bloomberg but I am beginning to feel it’s hopeless…renounce is the only choice. That’s true especially after reading the comments in the latest Bloomberg article on Saverin today.

  6. As for a letter to Rush on IBS letterhead, the Nay’s have it 25 to 19 with 1 maybe. So any communication to Rush will have to be individual and not on behalf of IBS.

    If Rush picks it up later when he hears the noise (which he probably would if the others listen and publish something) fine, we will see what he says and if he sees our side of the story at that time.

    The problem with renunciation is that it requires a number of tax-related forms that might be difficult, expensive and time consuming to fill out and might subject someone to a breach of fiduciary duty in their home country, let alone a very long wait (at least in my country) for even the initial renunciation appointment. I have looked into shopping for other consulates in my region, but they don’t seem very enthused to accept my renunciation. I am personally more inclined now simply to avoid visiting the US until further notice (which I haven’t done in a decade) and if the IRS comes after me, I’ll see them in court in my home country.

    We have to fight the fight in the US press, even if it is an uphill battle. But at the same time, we need to struggle in our host countries (and this goes even more for people that have the nationality of their host/home country) to ensure that the national sovereignty and rights and privacy standards of such countries are preserved and respected.

  7. @JDT. I just voted yes. I don’t like most of what the man says, however, he is (from a quick investigation) listened to by a lot of people. We may have to deal with people we don’t like in order to get the message out there (like Ackerman, etc). However, an always present danger is that he might spin it in a way we don’t want, need or like and which might cause harm to our cause. Of course, that’s a danger will all of the media, so I’m not saying that in only in relation to him. I’m not sure that there’s a forum for us to contest any issues we don’t agree with, other than calling in to his radio show? I like the op-ed pieces or articles where we have the opportunity to comment and present our differing view, right there online for everyone to read.

    I have a question for those that are media savvy. I’ve always been taught to keep the correspondence short to get the attention of the person you’re writing to. Is that still the case in today’s world? This is a very complex issue and hard to capture in a one page letter/email, but is it something we need to strive to do? I’m wondering for myself as well, for my letter writing campaign to the politicians.

  8. How about Fareed Zakaria [*** JDT: OK ADDED ABOVE] who seems to deal with global issues in a literate, reasoned way:

    Fareed Zakaria hosts Fareed Zakaria GPS , is editor-at-large and a columnist for TIME magazine, and a columnist for The Washington Post. Fareed Zakaria GPS is an international and domestic affairs program on that airs Sundays on CNN/U.S. and around the world on CNN International. The forum is a television destination for global newsmakers, U.S. politicians, CEOs, and thought-leading authors and journalists. He is based in New York.

  9. I agree, geeez. He turns a lot of people right off and him talking about expats might be detrimental to our cause or at least I think so.

  10. I don’t know anything about the US media, but I spent many years working in financial & personal finance PR. We always issued one general press release (there’s a standard format which always includes a quote for anyone who just wants to lift from the press release) plus did follow up phone calls which were tailored to the specific journalist’s interests. For this type of subject, the press release would be one page long and then any additional stats and sample case studies would be included in the notes.

    My personal opinion is that IBS should have one centralised place which issues the standard statements to the press and then the rest of us can make our own individual contact, whether by email/phone call/letter/online comment so that journalists have multiple sources and contacts.

  11. I too would love to see Fareed Zakaria devote some time to these issues – he is one of the very few adult voices left in the American MSM. I will consider it to be a watershed moment when he says the words expats, Americans abroad, dual-citizens, accidental Americans, citizenship-based taxation, FATCA, FBAR, OVDI, penalties, reporting burden, extraterritorial overreach, draconian, ridiculous and laughingstock all in the same episode. The few Americans left with any functioning brain cells and any sense of America’s place in a global context pay attention to Fareed, and well they should. Number one on my list.

  12. @outragedcanadian..

    Regarding Rush… I am not sure that we want to fan that flame, as he can turn into a uncontrollable wildfire and do a lot of damage with hyperbolic and over the top rhetoric, like calling that George Town student a Slut. Do we want him representing our positions even if he does have a large audience?

    When he speaks, then the Progressive side of the equation closes their ears to what he has to say for reasons like this. We need them too, so I would stay away from Rush, even when he is right. You never know what will come out of his mouth in search of ratings.

  13. @calgary411 and Deckard1138 Absolutely on Fareed! Good one that I should have added to my list. He has spoken on Tax simplicity issues many times. Getting rid of Citizenship taxation is in the simplicity spectrum.

  14. @Just Me, I do hear you loud and clear, and I’m not saying I don’t have real concerns about contacting him, for sure. I’ve been debating, to myself, on that whole thing about any publicity being good publicity. I don’t really buy into that, but then again, when it’s bad publicity like Ackerman, it allows us to jump in and give the opposing view.

  15. @Jefferson D. Tomas

    I do appreciate and like your attempt to put together a standardized letter that we can use. I know we all attack this issue from multiple view points, but when contacting journalist it does help to have a model or standard format to use, if nothing else to help you organize your thoughts.

    I am going to be otherwise occupied today, and then traveling the next two days, but I just wanted to let you know, that I like your efforts here. I will definitely get back to it as media contact has been a keen interest of mine. I have no expertise or skill in this area. I just thrash around trying to get attention. However, I do recognize the need to be more focused, deliberate and have a strategy if that is possible for such a diverse and scattered diaspora.

    Speaking of media, maybe before you started commenting here, I had posted on this very subject some time back… Amongst the many good comments there, maybe there are things we can build on.

    Getting Media Attention on Harmful US Citizenship Tax policy

  16. @just me. If we can get Rush on board we would be so lucky. He has huge audience that agrees with most of what he says and he is a powerbroker on conservative side. Definitely could use him. That’s why I started writing for the American Thinker because Rush often reads their articles on the air.

  17. @bubblebustin… I understand, but he is a “loose canon”, and he will make this very partisan. Now, maybe that is where it has to go to get any media attention, but it will alienate all the progressives, so I am torn.

    Regarding Bill Maher, Bill Moyer, Jim Hightower?

    All good for varying reasons…

    Bill Maher is funny, will have both conservatives and liberals on his show, but is a bit too profane for me and has a problem with his mouth like Rush.

    Bill Moyer is excellent, and I definitely like his style of discourse. You know he is liberal, but some of the best conversations I have seen is between him and long time Conservatives. Two old warriors in reasoned discussion.

    I am not that familiar with Jim Hightower, so will defer to others.

    Another to add, is Charlie Rose. He is very good too, and some of his interviews with Fareed are great, so would be a natural for a non polemic discussion on Citizenship taxation..

    Got to run… my wife is trying to get my out the door.. 🙂

  18. @Petros, Re ur: MAY 19, 2012 AT 1:32 PM

    I understand, but when you play with a volatile substance, such as “Rush the bomb thrower,” be prepared to be burned. Maybe it would work out if he got into a fight with Fox publicly and turn his audience against them. That could be a benefit! 🙂

  19. @Just me,

    I think we should be reaching out to ALL: conservatives, liberals, progressives, libertarians etc.

    We need to be engaging with and informing friends and enemies alike about our plight.

  20. @FromTheWilderness…

    I hear you! 🙂 Of course we should. Rush is just a special case, and I personally would rather not have him engaged. He is too volatile. I just know that is toxic to Progressives, like Maher is to Conservatives. Actually more so, as Rush never has guests on his program for discussion or debate, he is a monologue, plain and simple. He doesn’t care about other views. Maher, at least will have Conservatives on his panel for back and forth discussion.

    Ultimately, what I think about Rush doesn’t matter. I have no control over what Rush discusses or goes ballistic on. If it is Saverin Citizenship that elevates our topics into the MSM, then hopefully we can benefit, but if it pushes away any chance of bi-partisan dialog and makes it more difficult to convince progressives of the error of their way, than I am not sure that we win.

    Again, what I think probably doesn’t matter, and I just worry that Rush might cause a worse backlash on the left and close out one side of the equation to our persuasion. I hope I am wrong, I truly do. I do agree, we need conservatives to understand this issue. I just want the debate to be open and honest, and not have Left and Right retreet into their talking point corners. It is probably what will happen anyway, politics such as it is in America today. Sigh

    If others want to contact or stir up Rush, then that is your decision, and I will respect what you do. It is not for me to say “don’t do it.” I am just expressing my cautions and concerns. It won’t be me trying to engage him. He violates everything I believe about civil discourse and debate, even when I think he is right!

  21. I intend to send a letter to Rush under my own name and explain the issue from my point of view. I have a lot more confidence in how he will treat this than many others here, though I understand the reluctance on your part. Frankly, I have more confidence in him than Bill Maher, whom I vehemently detest. I’ve never heard Rush be so overtly and consistently vile as Maher. Still, I’ll back the idea of contacting anyone who may help us. I agree with fromTheWilderness: Getting the message out there is essential at this point, since very very few people really know about it or understand the implications.

    Here is a question to ponder: what is the issue, in one sentence (or two), which would be most likely to get the attention of Mr and Mrs Front Porch America? That expat Americans are being double taxed? That expats are renouncing in droves because of fear of the IRS? That citizen-based taxation is harmful to the US economy? What do you-all think the general US population would most care about regarding this issue? That should be what we focus on, when soliciting attention to the situation.

    Edited to add: Just Me, I see you have answered this question in your March post which you linked to ( ) RenounceCitizenship said he will one day post his “Collected Wisdom of Just Me”. I admit I am compiling a “Collected Wisdom of Roger Conklin”. Thank you for bringing him on board here.

  22. Hi Ladyhawk: good luck reaching Rush. he does tend to look at his emails. Give him your phone number too, and perhaps he will call you while on the air. We might have better success reaching Mark Steyn (frequent guest host for Rush) and Ezra Levant.

  23. @foxyladyhawk, Not exactly a sentence but: When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another. Late last year it became necessary for me to dissolve my connection with the US.

  24. @Petros
    Yes, of course I am, but it was only after a strong backlash by left and right. Then with advertisers departing, he really had no choice. I wasn’t that impressed with his “apology” as it was pretty qualified with his false equivalency justifications. It was not very genuine, in my opinion.

    The point is, he is a wild canon, and a wiser and measured spokesman for the conservative cause should have never gotten himself into that low level of name calling on air. It speaks to his style. He will do it again. Hyperbole and outrageous rants is what he sells, and a certain segment of the population lap it up. I, for one, do not! Just not my style. Although I do have friends that love him. As they say, there is no accounting for taste! 🙂 To each his own.

  25. @Just Me. I think that this thread is about whether we should reach out to Rush or other media figures as a group, and also, whether the text that Jeff has proposed above would make a good sort of introduction. At this point there seems to be a lack of direction and consensus, especially about approaching controversial figures like Rush Limbaugh in the name of the Isaac Brock Society. We can nevertheless send our press releases to him as well as Savage, Michael Moore and anyone else we can find an e-mail for.

    Furthermore, you and I are among the only ones here whose names are in the open. That is a major reason I have become a spokesperson for this informal society–journalists much prefer someone they can quote by full name as opposed to anonymous sources. You are a potential spokesman too, and we have spoken of this in the past.

    Thus, any press releases that we do as the Isaac Brock Society really should done with the approval of the spokes people. They are the ones who have to defend and promote whatever statements are made; I also have a committee of six original brockers, whose opinions I seek on such matters.

    Anyone can say, Hey, this is my opinion, and I blog at Isaac Brock, or you should read about what’s going on at Isaac Brock. This is how we have propelled this blog. But to actually come out with a statement that says something in the name of the Isaac Brock Society–on letterhead as it were–requires more teamwork, consensus and a spokesperson who is willing to put their personal name on the line as well.

    That said, I think Jeff’s idea is good and that we should come up with a press release regarding the Saverin expatriation and the Ex Patriot Act, much like we did with the 2012 OVDI. Then, we can get brockers to flood the media people with it. That’s where a list like the one in the above post is excellent place to start.

  26. So, here is the problem that FATCA was supposed to be about, and the PR problem we have, as we get identified as part of this in the public mind.

    Family Told How to Hide Inheritance, U.S. Claims

    Mr. Little, 61, who has residences in Hampshire, England, and in New York, would face a maximum of five years in prison if convicted. On Friday, a federal magistrate judge said he could be released on a $2 million personal recognizance bond.

  27. @Petros

    I am not opposed to a new press release on Isaac Brock letter head on Saverin expatriation and the Ex Patriot Act. In fact, I think it was a good idea. If this is just a blanket type approach, then I favor it. I personally would rather leave the likes of Rush Limbaugh, Michael Savage, Michael Moore and Bill Maher off the list, (as they are too polarizing, in my opinion) However, I am one that will go with the consensus. If it is your desire and those that started Isaac Brock to reach out to those too, either collectively or individually, then I will not get my nose out of joint! 🙂

  28. @Just me

    I am a political atheist. I think it doesn’t matter who we contact. Ex-pats have been getting tag teamed from both sides the proverbial aisle for too long.

    Now is the time for us to speak up – to anybody who may listen.

    Expatriation is a very controversial issue right now. I think now is the best chance for us to have our say.

    I am going to write to as many as I can.

  29. @petros, I will not mention Isaac Brock or anyone’s names when I write Rush. It will just be me. I don’t expect anything to come of it since he probably gets way more correspondence than he can handle. I want to give him some thoughts and some public links already out there to direct his attention to the issues I care about, as a segue from his handling of the Saverin. I agree that anything in the name of Isaac Brock needs to be approved by you and anyone else you care to appoint.

  30. @TrueNorth, I am aware that many people here have renounced or relinquished, and although I have not, I respect the decisions that individuals make in whatever they perceive to be their own best interests.

  31. Just to be clear, I think anything that goes out on “Isaac Brock” letterhead should be approved by Petros and Just me.

  32. Ok, forget about Rush for now, the Nay’s have it, write him individually if you want, but not representing IBS.

    May we please focus on reviewing and editing the text I proposed and finishing the list of journalists to whom to send. Once we have both completed, then we can put both to a vote and then if the vote is positive, we can submit to Just Me and Petros for final review and transmitting to the people on the list. Is it all right if we proceed that way?

  33. @ ladyhawk By all means mention Isaac Brock Society and our website. But represent yourself as just one writer here, not someone who speaks for the whole. You see what I mean?

    We want people to drop our name everywhere possible. That’s how the internet works.

    Also, if we do a Press Release, we send it to anyone and everyone. Rush, Savage, Obama. Who cares? It is a press release for general distribution. The last time we did this, I wrote the press release, then everyone else distributed to various members of the Canadian press.

  34. @From the wilderness: Thanks. It has to have the approval of the real person. I don’t see how we can have a letter to Obama sent out by a voice from the wilderness, or a badger, a boiled frog, William Tell, or even Patrick Henry. Cheers.

  35. What about WikiLeaks? Too contraverisal maybe? Actually, nothing we have at IBS is really a leak of state secrets so probably they won’t be interested. I joined their site but they are supposed to contact me with a list of coaches before I can do anything.

    Anonymous? I’d rather not because they do distributed denial of service attacks and that’s definitely not our style as far as I’m concerned, I don’t do business that way. And who are they anyway? Nobody is in charge. At least here at IBS we have a couple of people in charge and a rough 90% consensus of the people that contribute on a regular basis.

    Would some of the leaders of the “occupy” movements be interested in exposing some government abuses that they maybe don’t know about yet? Or would associating ourselves with them be too risky?

    What y’all think? I really think we’ve got to get cracking now while the issue is warm.

  36. I am in complete agreement with anything being represented as being from the Isaac Brock Society being vetted, or sent, by Petros or Just Me.
    I like Jeffersons idea of some standardization. I would see myself picking out key phrases to hammer home points in my own comments or letters so that there is a consistent message. I do think that individualized letters or comments might have more impact in certain places than what might be seen as a ‘canned speech’ or form letter, similar to what Flaherty’s office sent out to us all.

  37. @outragedcanadian Well, I envision that whatever text we agree on could be saved to a PDF. Then the email would have the PDF attached with a short cover text written by the person sending.

  38. @Jefferson. Okay, I see what you’re saying.
    On another note, ran across a couple of articles in the Costa Rica Star, a Jaime Lopez has been writing on the issues, there. There must be a significant amount of Canadian and US tourists and immigrants there, in one article he compared difficulty in renouncing US to Canadian citizenship. In another he wrote about Americans living in Costa Rica potentially having their passports seized,
    “Let’s say an American living in Costa Rica visits the Embassy in Pavas to request a consular service, such as a notary stamp on a Power of Attorney. Should the consulate have access to IRS records and see that the individual owes $50,000 or more to the IRS, his or her passport could be confiscated at that point. If that American happens to be a perpetual tourist with no other identification or travel documents, such confiscation could make his or her life very complicated.”

  39. Has anyone looked at the Washington Wire,
    John D McKinnon, Tax History: Why U.S. Pursues Citizens Overseas,
    “The U.S. is the only country that taxes its citizens on their world-wide income, no matter where they live. OK, there’s also Eritrea. It imposes what is derisively termed a “diaspora tax” on its citizens”
    The story is obviously getting traction, thanks to the Saverin controversy….

  40. @joe “Brink Lindsey has explained this dynamic very well:
    Here in the United States and around the world, we have entered what might be called the era of “frontier economics.” Older, easier sources of growth are drying up and, as a result, the prospects for continued dynamism and prosperity hinge more than ever before on the pioneering entrepreneurial upstarts that explore and extend the technological frontier. As a consequence, the political imperative to maintain satisfactory economic performance is putting national economies under ongoing pressure to free up markets and knock down artificial barriers to competition— in other words, to make their particular versions of capitalism more entrepreneurial. The purpose of this paper is to offer a general explanation of this trend and the social forces driving it.

    Thanks for that link

  41. Nationalistic Narcissism

    For a long time, when I have thought of the U.S. I have thought of the words “nationalistic narcissism”. Today I decided to do a search on those words. What came up was, what appears to to be a very interesting book called: American Narcissism: The Myth of National Superiority by Wilber Caldwell. The book appears to consider the question: “how did the U.S. become this way?”, (which is what all of us wonder). Here is some descriptive material:

    About the Book
    Nationalism is not unique to America: it was invented with the birth of modern nations. But nationalism is unique in America. Americans conceive themselves and their nation to be incontrovertibly superior to the other peoples and nations of the earth. When does national pride cross the invisible boundary that separates benign patriotism and malignant nationalism?

    Historically, American notions of superiority spring from myths of the unique regenerative power of the new land; from visions of chosen-ness, mission and high destiny; from the indelible legends of frontier self-sufficiency; from the confidence and self-reliance needed to succeed as immigrants; from a powerful sense of AmericaÂ’s isolation and uniqueness; from the realization of abundance; and finally from the perceived universality of American ideology.

    This predisposes us to a distinctively virulent strain of nationalism unlike that found in almost any other modern nation. As the unipolar moment fades into memory, this sense of unquestionable superiority — expressed through politics and foreign policy — does not play well before the global audience. In fact, it never did.

    Drawing on sources from within the academic disciplines of history, sociology, political science and foreign affairs, the book seeks to decode scholarly jargon and lay bare this corner of the American mind for the benefit of a wider readership.

    The discussion is organized in four parts:


    The Evolution of the American Superiority Myth

    The Presumption of National Superiority

    Tolerance And Plurality

    In America today, notions of national superiority are far more deeply ingrained and far more potentially ruinous than most of us imagine. This is a journey that slides from reason to emotion, from individual liberty to mass tyranny, and from humanity to inhumanity.

    This book will interest readers of US history, current events, and social commentary; and all who wonder, “Why do they hate us?”

  42. I liked the NRO article, but I did feel the author undid a chunk of his good work with “[Saverin] … stole hundreds of millions of dollars from the women and men who’ve actually built Facebook into a successful business enterprise.”

    That looks thrown in just to appease the crowd currently baying for Saverin’s crucifiction. As far as I know, Saverin stole nothing. If dubious legalities were involved, they were nevertheless legalities. That’s not theft.

  43. In case my computer poofs out (showing its age with screen flickering at the moment) I just want to say that JDT’s press release and plan look great to me. There can be no “sound biting” this issue — it’s just too complex with too many subtypes of IRS victims.

  44. @Petros: “By all means mention Isaac Brock Society and our website. But represent yourself as just one writer here, not someone who speaks for the whole. You see what I mean?” Message received. And thank you. I really like spreading the word about the Isaac Brock Society. DAMN I’m proud to be a Canadian!

  45. @ foxyladyhawk
    Until all of this FBAR/FATCA fiasco filtered into my life I never thought much about being Canadian or anything else other than being a human being but now I’m at the very least grateful to be here rather than there. There’s no politically ideal country in this world to go to (for me) but Canada is home and I will take it warts and all. I know patriotism is a big thing in the USA but taking it, warts and all, is about as far as I can venture into patriotism. However I’m proud of most of the people here in Canada (extremely proud of Brockers) but not terribly proud of our government which seems determined to sell out Canada’s sovereignty to the USA (or perhaps more accurately USrael).

  46. Em from what we’ve read in news releases Israelis are suffering as much if not even more than Canadians under FATCA.

    Israel, Canada and every other country on earth are having their sovereignty threatened by the US.

    Mixing personal political views about Israel with FATCA hurts our message. These are two completely different subjects and should not be confused.

    If I was a US/Israeli citizen affected by the FATCA situation I might not feel welcome at this website because of posts made by a very small minority of posters. I don’t mean to offend anyone but I think we should stay away from anti-Jewish posts.

    I’m not Jewish. I’m Indian. If I have picked up on the anti-Jewish slant, I’m sure a Jewish person would be offended.

    I may get alot of flack for making this post but I don’t want us to be portrayed as a group that has a beef with Israelis.

  47. @Em, I agree with you, and on second thoughts about my impulsive outburst above, nationalism per se can be a dangerous thing. What I really mean is that I am very pleased to be in the company of the people here on this site, and to be part of this movement against the abusive practices of the IRS. Canada is a large and diverse and therefore fascinating place to be. But I feel about Canada as I feel about the US, namely that the people are great, but the governments they choose are not. As HL Menken said, democracy means that the people know what they want, and they deserve to get it good and hard.

  48. @OMG.. I’m solidly with you. We cannot afford to be seen as anti anything other than anti US policy regarding expatriats and former US persons, and extra-territorial overreach, etc. I personally am uncomfortable if I pick up on any negative tendency toward any nationality, race, religion or whatever else puts a bug up someones you-know-what. And I am just a mixed bag of I don’t even know how many nationalities. Keep it clean, keep it on point. that will get our message across.

  49. @JDT, Count me in. I can translate if you like or check yours (I have two lovely young native French speakers here at home). Can also check with some friends connected to the MSM here to see who we can contact in France. Would be delighted to work with Don or anyone else who wants to be the lead for Europe.

    A vos ordres, mon Général!

  50. @ omg
    The USrael insert was not to do with who or what suffers more or less from FATCA — sorry if it was interpreted that way. It merely reflects my belief that Israel via AIPAC and other resources has an undue influence over US foreign policy. And by Israel I by no means mean the people of Israel, only its government. I do not mean any slight to the people of Israel anymore than my criticisms of the Canadian government are a slight to Canadians. I’ll just leave at that — don’t want to tarnish IBS in anyway.

  51. @Em, understood. It’s one of the common difficulties with writing online, or emailing. Nuance doesn’t get picked up, and often sarcasm is taken at face value, unintended meaning can be read.

  52. @Jefferson

    The main themes that I think need to be emphasized [JDT 26.05.12 I copied these suggestions to the top of the thread]:

    1.) CITIZENSHIP-BASED TAXATION must be repealed! America’s founders refused to tolerate it, why should anyone else. we.

    2.) EX-PATS have NO REPRESENTATION in congress. To be specific, there is nobody in congress with voting rights who is elected by and represents the interests of EX-PATS.

    3.) EX-PATS do not use US highways, bridges, dams, power grid, schools, hospitals, fire, police, courts etc. They are not able to receive unemployment benefits or Medicare. EX-PATS receive NO SERVICES from the from the US government other than a travel document, which they pay for.

  53. I am not a fan of either side of the double-headed one party system of the US. Both sides have done their fair share of damage to expats.

    However, IMHO the Democrat side has been more aggressive with anti-expat legislation and policies than the Republican side.

    In any case, I think our focus should be on reaching out to journalists rather than politicians and academics (unless already empathetic to expats).

    JOURNALISTS are supposed to report facts, which we know is not always the case. Our story is only just now being told. Even if they are anti-expat in outlook, our plight is interesting for them to write about.

    POLITICIANS only care about votes and campaign contributions. We carry no weight with them. In fact, we are a danger to most of them.

    ACADEMICS are supposed to conduct independent research, which we also know is not always the case. And once an academic takes a position on an issue, it is almost impossible to convince him / her of the contrary because academics think they already know everything and to change position costs them too much in credibility.

    In conclusion, I think we will get the most “bang for the buck” reaching out to journalists (pro and anti-expat ones) and also to pro-expat politicians and pro-expat academics. Trying to enlighten unknowing / unfriendly politicians and academics can consume an enormous amount of energy and yield little results.

    In short:

    Primary Targets: All JOURNALISTS to build public awareness and support for our plight.

    Secondary Targets: Ex-pat friendly POLITICIANS and ACADEMICS.

    Politicians will follow public opinion. Academics for the most part need to come to their conclusions on their own.

  54. @Jefferson,

    Another important theme I forgot to mention is many if not most, ex-pats left America with empty pockets.

    The money in their savings and pensions was earned in their countries of residence, not the US.

  55. I once contacted the Tea Party Patriots about the tax situation with non-resident US persons. This was last year and they didn’t know too much about it but were VERY interested in knowing more. I couldn’t bring myself to call myself a “patriot” and didn’t pursue it any further…

  56. Another thing we have is discrimination on many fronts, one of the most glaring any assistance in our own countries for the complexity of the reporting we have to do. I received this back from my submission to TAP:

    From: Taxpayer Advocacy Panel
    Sent: Tuesday, May 15, 2012 11:47 AM
    To: calgary411
    Subject: [Taxpayer Advocacy Panel]
    RE: More International Discrimination:

    Thank you for your suggestion regarding International Discrimination. Your comment has been forwarded to the Taxpayer Advocacy Panel for review. Based upon this review, your suggestion may be elevated to the Internal Revenue Service for action. We sincerely appreciate you taking the time to let us know your concerns and suggestions about the Internal Revenue Service. Your comments are important to us, so please contact us if you have additional suggestions for IRS improvement.


    This is a reply to the following comment(s):
    From: calgary411
    Date: 5/5/2012
    Message: For Canada non-service:

    The information on this page is intended especially for taxpayers residing in Canada. Note: Owing to budget cutbacks, the Internal Revenue Service will not/not be providing any in-person assistance or tax seminars at the U.S. Embassy and certain of the Consulates General in Canada. Introduction On this page is some of the most commonly-needed information. Please click here for additional resources. IRS Ottawa The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) does not maintain an office in Canada. For information tailored to both U.S. citizens in Canada and Canadian citizens, please refer to this page at the IRS web site.

  57. @FromTheWilderness I agree. All journalists first. Once our story and the abuses we suffer get out in the press, then we might be less of a danger to politicians if they listen to us, as the people will know more about the issue.

    The danger with the academics in the US is that they might take an Amerocentric stance. I would address academics that have a more international outlook, actually have read foreign constitutions, and know about the UDHR.

  58. Pingback: Of Memberships and Groups | The Isaac Brock Society

  59. @Bubblebustin

    I think you would be surprised how receptive Tea Partiers will be to the plight of expats, particularly the Ron Paul movement types.

    I have seen several articles posted on Lew Rockwell’s (former Ron Paul Chief of Staff) blog in support of expatriation. To Rockwell, if the government had respected the constitution, nobody would be interested in expatriating.

  60. So I guess I’ve been lurking here long enough to finally comment. Kudos to you all for the insightful blogs and the commenting blitzkrieg!

    Weighing in on the press release debate, I think draft by Jefferson D Thomas is really spot on. And regardless of how vile Rush can be, the more attention this gets from the press, the better.

    As we are so little regarded in the US, I think it might be our only chance of having any say/sway in public opinion. In the very least, we have to at least fight against the depiction of all being in the same boat as Saverin.

    In that respect, as someone just starting her career, I have to say, it wouldn’t hurt our case either if we were to argue for our informal role as American ambassador abroad. I teach English to kids, so obviously they are excited about America and want to hear all about it. The more I lose faith in the country, the more the kids pick up on it. But not just kids, Germans I meet practically jump out of their skin with excitement when they find out where I’m from.

    The world is becoming more global and mobile, and if the USA becomes more insular, it will lose. I don’t think this point can be overstated enough. I too worry about joint accounts and pension funds, but I think perhaps it’s less divisive to talk about why young people should be given the chance to try something abroad, just as an easy way to get people more interested in the debate,rather than what sometimes can be viewed as purely about taxes.

    so my two cents and greetings from Germany.

  61. Sami.. the media,unfortnately, likes to make it 95% about taxes. I think writing a story about my boring life is not what resident Americans want to read about. Eduardo Saverin, on the other hand, is something that gets Americans riled up.

    Mark Zuckerberg married his girlfriend that is of Asian descent. I’m really quite happy for them both. When I told my wife yesterday that they got married, he first reply was “He’s moving to China (Singapore) too!!??). Imagine that if the American Golden Boy, Mark Zuckerberg, did the same thing as Eduardo Saverin? I really think that’s the only thing that would wake up Americans from their fear-induced coma: someone very famous bringing the issues to their lives. Eduardo Saverin is easy to criticise because he’s rich, but not famous. Zuckerberg is RICH, famous, and is never really criticised anywhere.

  62. @littlemsami, welcome! I’m intrigued by your comment “Germans I meet practically jump out of their skin with excitement when they find out where I’m from”, can you give us some insight into that remark? Also, I can see your concern as an ambassador for the US, it becomes more and more difficult to keep a smile on your face for a country that punishes you for living abroad. We just did our US taxes, $2,000 in filing costs to pay just dollars in tax, a true waste of resources!
    @geez, I think that the US needs to hear our boring stories! Extraterritorial taxation hurts the little people too!

  63. Welcome, littlemsami. Tell us your story. I know little of Germany, but I understand there is a big segment of the German population that is enamored of the Cowboys and Indians of the Old West culture, with gatherings and costume shows and black powder shooting competitions as in the US west. As someone starting your career, your insight is valuable.
    I agree that not enough press is given to the advantages to America of having citizens living abroad and speaking of the benfits of a Constitutional republic, even if in practice it is now deeply flawed. The ideas behind it appeal to all people. I remember how moved I was by the appeals from the rebellions in Iran and in Libya when they asked for moral support from the US, which is still regarded as the repository of the values associated with liberty and individual rights.

  64. @ all, esp. Jeff, Thanks for this thread. Yesterday and today, I’ve been holding back responding, as I was busy with the Amerian Thinker article which Thomas Lifson so kindly published this morning.

    In releasing a press release, I think we need to respond to immediate crises and mobilize. This means, we should make the next press release about the Ex Patriot Act, in my opinion. [JDT:copied above to HERE]

  65. @Petros @FromTheWilderness @Patrick Henry

    I have summarized your suggestions about press release content at the top of this thread. I have also moved my proposed distribution plan and proposed text to the top (second post in the thread).

    Would you please copy my proposed text to your word processor and integrate your suggestions into the text? To keep this word-processor independent, please do not use the revision functions of Word, just write anything you add or change in red.

    Then I will look at all 3 versions, make an amalgam, and post it back here. You could send me the 3 versions to, because the red letters from the word processor would be lost when you copy to a post here.

    @All If I overlooked anyone’s imput, please let me know and I will add it to the second post in the thread.

    As soon as we come up with the revised text, I propose that we call a vote and then if ok, proceed to divide up the worldwide distribution responsibilities between Brockers as discussed in the second post above.

    Let’s get going while the going’s good.

  66. @Jefferson

    I think my input would fit the best into paragraph five (5) of your draft. Please see below:

    We are especially concerned that the press in the US has historically slammed Americans abroad when we talk about citizenship renunciation or the unfairness of the US system of citizenship-based taxation. For example, in recent articles and editorials about the Saverin issues, we feel that that all Americans abroad being grouped together with very wealthy people. Most, ex-pats left America with empty pockets. The money in their savings and pensions was earned in their countries of residence, not the US. The American people as a whole are not being allowed to see the whole story.

  67. @Jefferson

    Before distributing, I would like to suggest that Petros and/or Just Me edit it with an eye towards shortening it, while preserving the main themes.

  68. Pingback: Glossary Thread — Jargon of IBS, and groups that deal with common issues | The Isaac Brock Society

  69. @Jefferson,

    I have been meaning to get back to this, and I apologize it has taken so long. I know you are trying very hard to get something going here, and it needs to “get going”, but you see the difficulties of using a “distributed model” for responsibility of media releases and email distribution.

    Just a thought here…, but as Petros works on his seamless switch over to a .ca server for Isaac Brock, and then tries to come up with a contribution model to fund this effort, I think we need to search out the “ONE” Brocker who has the aptitude, interest and the time to be the media PR point person for both creating IBS Press Releases and distributing them. It is too hard to do this by BCC (blog comment committee), in my opinion.

    For sure, some of this media outreach is being done by our individual efforts, some more than others, but it is haphazard at best, if my own efforts are any indication of what others might do.

    We each try, but get distracted with normal life and real jobs, demanding wives 🙂 and even with the best of intentions, just don’t get back to it and let opportunities slip by.

    I only look at myself for these failures. I should be more supportive of your efforts, and yet it slips my mind, and you have to comeback, somewhat frustrated to ask me to do your poll. I hate polls BTW.. 🙂 Just a personal peccadillo, and tend to ignore them and petitions.

    I will do your poll, after I finish this. I promise.

    I do have a list of additional reporters that I email from time to time. I keep meaning to add them to this list, but then find something else I would rather do, procrastinator that I am…which got me thinking……..

    I don’t know much about how you do this, but Isaac Brock should consider using a web based Press Release media. It might be a good idea, like ACA does. They use PRWEB. Here is their latest.

    I don’t know what the costs are for use of this service, but I could research it, just too lazy this morning… See what I mean? 🙂 (Yes, I do see the button to create a Free Account, but I am sure there is a catch. Will check later.)

    Also, I know there are others out there like

    Don’t know the advantages or disadvantages of one over the other, (maybe both are good) but once we have some sponsorship money coming in, combined with a Volunteer PR point person, we could be using these resources to advocate positions or opposition to misguided U.S. policy in the future…

    Then we would have a directed media strategy, with someone reaching out to the media in a regular and consistent way, while the rest of us would continue our ad hoc outreach. I do not think a single media PR strategy will be enough, and we all have to do what we do the best, or have the time for, whether it be direct email to our favorite journalist, tweets, letters to editors, or comments to news storie on line.

    I will try to add to my list of journalist I have emailed in the past 6 months, for all to see later today… No promises, as I have to work on my FBARs. See, I procrastinate! 🙂

  70. I’m late coming to this thread. My one concern is that the release not imply that all of us on this website are US citizens; many of the people on the Brock site are NOT US citizens but FORMER US citizens who the IRS deems to be US citizens, contrary to the US Immigration and Nationality Act. Others are people who are considered by the US to be US citizens by birth, but who hold another dominant citizenship by virtue of their parentage or birthplace, who have never lived in the US, earned any income in the US, held a US passport, or in any other way exercised rights of US citizenship and who never will, but are still liable for US taxation in the eyes of the IRS.

    We are NOT all Americans or US citizens (“dual” or otherwise), nor do we all consider ourselves as such. Yet we are still affected, or our spouses and their children are.

    PLEASE ensure this distinction is made. I do NOT agree to myself, my wife, my wife’s adult children, or the other folks whose relinquishments I am advising, being described as US citizens or Americans. We are NOT. We are Canadian (in our specific cases) citizens who are being targetted by the IRS.

    I appreciate that this may complicate the wording of the press release, but I strongly object to any simplification of the release that would lump all of us as “Americans” or “dual citizens.” That would be the same kind of arbitrary over-simplification that is the hallmark of the IRS and the US State Department, and I don’t want us to go there.

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