The Isaac Brock Society has moved to Canada

Please note that the Isaac Brock Society has moved to Canada:  Please see isaacbrocksociety.ca.

Background

The Isaac Brock Society started as an informal group of Canadians who began meeting in person and through email to discuss their US tax and citizenship problems. Some of these people were taking part in a discussion at the Expat Forum in the Fall of 2011. I was in contact with one of them because she had commented on my blog, and when I saw what she was involved in a lively discussion at Expat Forum, I joined in there.

Then, we started to see censorship at the Expat Forum, followed by censorship of attempts to discuss openly the censorship. A whole new genre was born: the Expat Forum moderator joke, but I digress.  I was horrified by the Expat Forum’s censorship of our important discussion. So I reached out to some of the people affected by it, and suggested that we begin a new site where we were in control. Then, I was brought into a e-mail conversation of five other Brockers. We decided to start this site at WordPress.com because I offered to administrate it and (1) WordPress.com was what I knew how to do; (2) WordPress blogs are great a product; (3) I didn’t know how to do a forum or run forum software; (4) it was cheap (our current hosting costs have been $25 total).

The Issues

For awhile now, some people have urged me to leave WordPress.com.  Here are some of the issues, which have recently converged into a major headache for me and I’ve had to take some steps to address them this week:

  1. Renounce contacted me early in the week to inform me that WordPress had taken down his very excellent blog.  We did not know the reason, but he began to urge me to move the Isaac Brock Society to private servers outside the United States.  We speculated about the reasons, including a conspiracy theory that the US government or Obama operatives had put pressure on WordPress to remove his embarrassing site.  If that were so, then it was only a matter of time before Isaac Brock would also go down.  It turns out that it was an automated spam remover that took his blog down, and WordPress restored the blog the next day.  Nevertheless, it was a wake up call to the potential power that the US government and WordPress have over our site.
  2. The United States claims jurisdiction over servers which are in the Untied States and over dot.com websites.  We learned this when bodog.com was shut down.  Please note that bodog.ca is still operational.  Hence, the advantage of dot.ca domain.  Furthermore, the United States claims jurisdiction over e-mail addresses with a dot.com address (gmail.com, hotmail.com, etc.).  This means that we should change not only the location of Isaac Brock:  We must move this discussion to Canadian servers and we should issue a dot.ca email address to anyone who contributes posts to the site who is currently using a dot.com e-mail address as their point of reference for this blog.  Our concern isn’t to remove every claim of jurisdiction of the United States over us, but to reduce the possible pitfalls along the way.  Certainly it is clear from bodog.com that the United States government can shut our current operations down at any time.
  3. We seem to have reached the limit of our ability to back up this blog using the export feature.  This is a converging set of circumstances.  Indeed, the last time I was able to do the full export file was the day Renounce told me that his blog was down. There may be a work around; however, this becomes seriously more work for us as the sheer volume of the blog grows. As I write we are at 783 posts and 18,019 comments.
  4. It would be excellent to integrate our forum with our blog on a single domain.  Indeed, the person currently hosting the forum insists that we do this before the year is up.

The Plan

My plan is to repatriate the Isaac Brock Society and to move this blog to Canada.  I have registered the isaacbrocksociety.ca and purchased hosting from webnames.ca, whose servers are physically located in Vancouver, Canada.  I have begun to work with wordpress.org — WordPress’s stand alone software that can be used on any server.  It is a steep learning curve for me, and it is draining my time.  Not only so, but I’ve found that I am not able to import our blog without technical help–the size limit for importing the blog is 2mb and we are currently at 38mb.  In addition, it requires changing the php.ini in order to change the size of files that can be uploaded.  I don’t have the technical knowledge to do this.  I will have to pay someone for the transfer.

For a cost of $1.50 per month, we will get 100 isaacbrocksociety.ca email addresses and every author will receive one.  Authors can set it up to receive these emails via pop3 or have them forwarded to any address that they want.  But this will reduce the direct jurisdictional claim of the United States over the content that our authors provide.

One advantage, however, over wordpress.com is that we can generate revenue with our dot.ca.  WordPress.com expects a 50% cut on revenues, and so it is hardly worth trying to find sponsors.  So my suggestion for dealing with the finances of the blog are as follows:

  1. My company, Petros Research Inc. will maintain the site and receive sponsorships.
  2. Those of you who have wished to contribute may send a sponsorship cheque to Petros Research Inc. or find some other means of payment.  A receipt will be issued.
  3. I will create a box at near the top of the blog for sponsors:  Sponsor of the month: calgary411 (she will be our first sponsor, as she has already sent me money).
  4. Suggested price will be $150 per month for professional (e.g., lawyer or accountant) or corporate sponsor; or up to six individual sponsors can send $25+ each.  As for pricing, some of you out there may think that this is too little to pay for a spot on a 5000 view per day site.  Let me know if you think the pricing is fair or not.  Also, the sponsorship is a “donation” towards the maintenance of this site, and it would not imply an endorsement of the services provided.

Since we have to pay someone to make the data transfer, I suggest that we shut down this site for a moment during the transfer.  During the shut down, no author will provide new content and I will shut down the comments. I will aim to have this done within 24 hours, and since we have to pay someone to do it, it will probably happen on a week day.  The whole site will be moved to Canada, and when start up again, we will operate only over at the new site; I will eventually have hits redirected from this site (dot.com) to our dot.ca.  Things may be a little messy for a few days as people get used to the somewhat different software.  However, we must deal with this problem now.

I open this topic up to discussion.

(Originally published Jun 1, 2012 @ 8:04)

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73 thoughts on “The Isaac Brock Society has moved to Canada

  1. @Renounce, you should put pressure on WordPress to give you the reason why they shot down your blog.

  2. Well, it sounds messy, fraught with some technical complications, which hopefully will not kill off momentum and the hits to the dot com address. Maintaining that linkage or redirection from day one will be critical, I think. I think the “take down” concern is a bit over blown, but understand the paranoia, just think it probably is misplaced. There is no illegal activity here, and if there was I would take myself down! 🙂

    America does a lot of foolish things. It intervenes around the world in ways I wished it would not, and creates unintended blowback it is incapable of acknowledging or even recognizing. But in-spite of the well argued concerns about all the constitutional amendment violations arising from current IRS practices of enforcing stupid US Statutes, amendments 1 and 2 do not get messed with! So I would not worry.

    We still allow the Westboro Baptist Churchto leave its message up on line. We allow theKu Klux Klan to continue to thrive on-line, and we still allow flag burning, all an anathema to those “real Americans” that love America so much they think that expatriating is an act against nature along with bestiality and should not be allowed without severe punishment, like an Ex-Patriot Act.

    But… as the original organizers of the blog, I support your right to expatriate if you are concerned. I just think it is misplaced.

    If you do, then my comments would be this:

    I do not like the idea of advertising for raising revenues. Prefer to leave things as non commercial basis. Too many opportunities for conflicts of interest. I fear seeing advertisers pop up that I personally would not approve of or want to be associated with.

    I would not want commentators or readers who come here to be hit up for money or with advertising. I personally do not want any financial profit making to creep into the forum that might leave us suspect to ulterior motives that we so rightfully complain about with “some” practitioners. I know that the profit motive is important to many endeavors in life, but I would rather leave “this one” out of that equation.

    Sponsorship by those that Post and are considered IBS Contributors is fine. I would be happy to contribute. There should be enough of us willing to pay the maintenance burden of the site, except for our time which would continue to be free. That is more of an NPR model, and I like that.

    And those are my thoughts this morning. Others may disagree.

  3. My blog is on hostgator, and I use wordpress to run it. It works fine. You’re the administrator, and if you think it needs to be moved into Canada I’m behind you. I agree we don’t know what will happen in the future re: the US and what this site might actually grow to be. I am also quite willing to send a sponsor cheque and will do so. This site has been a sanity saver for me and I want to see it continue. To be very clear though, there is no obligation for anyone to pay anything, and anyone who just wants to comment, read, and/or lurk can continue to do so without paying any kind of fee.?
    I think you/we should expect some technical glitches and confusion to start, but I don’t think it will take long to get things straightened out. We’re a motivated bunch here.
    I have only one concern, and that’s around the revenue generating idea. Not that I’m against this society getting some revenue, but one of the things I’d hate to see, which I hate on other blogs, are all the distracting boxes and flashing colours and banners, etc. I don’t know what your plans are for the revenue generation, but I do hope it’s not too intrusive.
    That’s my nickle’s worth

  4. @outraged: hostgator is a dot.com. I’ve put a note in the main post to indicate that the servers for webnames.ca are in Vancouver, Canada.

  5. @ Just Me
    Do I need to remind you that more than once Steven Mopsick has said that the IRS would target me for special treatment because of the stances that I’ve taken? My response is that I am telling Canadians to stand up to the IRS by relying on the protection of the Canadian government and their Constitutional rights. We are already on the margin of those who are treated as fringe. I’m a gold investor. That too puts me in a camp of those whom the United States government carefully scrutinizes.

    I agree that we are doing nothing illegal, or rather, nothing that should be considered illegal. That said, why should we let a US government official or an Obama operative determine the future of this blog? WordPress may on the flimsiest of reasons say that we have violated the terms of agreement and take our site down. Now that it has becomes so important to people around the world, I think we shouldn’t risk this service to someone within the jurisidiction of the United States could shut us down or prosecute us because we are doing our activity on servers in the United States or because we are using dot.com e-mail addresses.

    I think that if we were promoting some evil or vice, such as KKK or bestiality, we’d have more free speech. But we are advocating freedom. That is too dangerous to allow in a repressive and totalitarian society. This is the Brave New World.

  6. Is it so broken that it needs this kind of fix? I agree that any organism that ceases to evolve is doomed to extinction but there is such great momentum right now it would be a pity to have it interrupted. That being said, none of us want an unfair burden placed on you in maintaining the status quo.

  7. Well, Like I said, I am not that paranoid, yet, but understand you might be. They still allow Ron Paul, the ultimate gold devotee, to remain on line, and somehow I don’t feel you are at risk, in spite of Steven Mopsick’s comments. You both might be a little hyperbolic here, but understand why. I support your right to decide where you want to host the blog, and hope it doesn’t disrupt the flow and exchange of information or slow any momentum. I will stick with you, as long as an ad trying to get me to buy gold coins doesn’t start bleeping in my face. I don’t come here to be marketed to, or receive investment advice. 🙂

  8. @Justme, and Chris Hedges hasn’t disappeared even though he’s suing the POTUS! I’d be more curious to see if Isaac Brock in it’s present location will be taken down as Petros speculates it might, and then have it reincarnate itself elsewhere, rather than a preemptive move. But then it isn’t my call.

  9. I agree with Just Me. The freedom of speech in the US is protected by the first amendment. It seems highly unlikely that this blog would be shut down, as nothing illegal is done here.
    And I don’t think anyone would get prosecuted for the posts that are made here.
    This site is providing help and advise for those caught in the IRS mess.
    It seems backing up the site would give peace of mind of not loosing the data if the site were to be shutdown.
    I would be happy to contribute to help pay for hosting and maintenance fees as this site and the people who post here helped me tremendously, but I think it would be a pity to turn it into a for profit site. What would IBS do with the profit?

  10. @Christophe: Currently the Isaac Brock Society is losing me money. I am not suggesting turning it into a profit making venture as much as a venture which pays for itself. My administrator of this site takes my time and that costs me money because I have a paid assistant. Asking for sponsors is a means of recovering some of the costs.

    And I should add that having sponsors in a discreet box at the top right hand side of the page is not going over the top with adverstizers.

  11. Petros,

    I, for one don’t want you to “lose money” in this endeavor, and sites that serve a public interest do need support, i.e., money to run it.

    http://antiwar.com/ is like that too, and frankly would be much higher on the list of sites that the US government might target for take down in some frenzied suspension of 1st Amendment rights.

    What they do have is a quarterly fund drive to support the costs of maintaining one of the better sites for non partisan antiwar news, commentary and analysis. They have one on right now. I have contributed in the past, and probably will do so again.

    There is also sites like http://www.tomdispatch.com/ who again need money to run the site, and do it in multiple ways. (Again, come suspension of first Amendment rights, they would go down a lot sooner than little ole Isaac Brock Society.com, in my opinion)

    Those might provide models to raise money to keep your efforts from being totally philanthropic, and not have to stoop to blatant commercial advertising which I don’t think you are really now proposing. I am just cautioning against the temptation that might arise later.

    Finally, running or expatriating to a .ca domain doesn’t protect you from denial of service attacks, or protect you from the US government who might want to try something else, like they do with Stuxnet and now Flame. Again, I am just questioning the risk vs reward analysis for disrupting the .com domain right now. I understand the emotional reasons, but as a non passionate observer, I do think you fear too much. Love ya anyway Petros, so take my opinion and ignore as you wish. You have that right! 🙂

  12. @Bubblebustin, No. We are not a charitable project, neither in Canada nor in the US. We are still an informal group, and I am trying to find a model which will allow me to direct funds that people are willing to pay in a transparent manner. Thus, I suggested taking sponsors, publishing their names, and then everyone knows how much funding that we are taking in.

    @ Just Me: Now as for me being “paranoid” or “fearful”, I don’t think that is accurate at all. I think it is important to take precautions.

    As I outlined above, there are already practical considerations for moving from WordPress. First, we cannot host both the forum and the blog at wordpress.com. Secondly, we are reaching the limits of where it is easy for us to back up our own blog. When the Expat Forum took down an entire thread with over 4000 comments. Now you realize that we are as equally vulnerable to WordPress today, as our discussion over at the Expat Forum was when a huge part of the conversation was just simply wiped out. This is not paranoia. This is prudence.

    As for losing momentum, if the redirects work correctly, we should have no problem. I can continue to register the dot.com at wordpress and pay $25.00 to have it redirected, or I can move the dot.com to webnames.ca, and have it redirected for free. In either case, all of the old links should continue to function properly.

  13. Short of time. Three main issues stand out. (1) Improved “security.” (2) Technical limitations. (3) Funding.

    Security

    The risks of undertaking such a migration without thorough technical planning are huge. If you yourself lack the technical skills, and do not have a solid personal relationship with someone who does, those risks become difficult to reduce to an acceptable level. (If I wanted to become new home and kingpin of Brock, I would look toward mounting a competing glitch-free site while this one tried to transition.) So I say do nothing hasty. No no no. But (a) do formulate a solid contingency plan (b) advertise continuously where that information could be found in event of emergency – USxCanada InfoShop web site etc (c) wait for the anticipated disaster to strike first and plan to exploit it as evidence of US oppression [I don’t think that will happen].

    Technical

    If you are having trouble backing up now, how is staying with WordPress software going to solve that? This sounds like a scale problem. Any platform migration whatsoever is fraught. Migrating from one software to another is far fraughter, especially in terms of losing and/or turning off people who do not like multiple learning curves. WordPress has the advantage of already wide familiarity – think MSWord for word processing vs the alternatives.

    Funding

    If I see you trying to capitalize Brock, I will take steps backward. Solve those difficulties some other way. Time and effort? We are all volunteers. Direct cash outlay is a different matter, seems minimal, should not be an issue. Without transparent and full accounting, and discussion, I do not buy any financial change from present set-up.

  14. @USX, with regard to backing up: WordPress.com is responsible for backing up the blog. But if they delete it, will we have access to the backup? I don’t know the answer to that.

    Now, WordPress.com has an export tool. It stopped working for the full blog earlier this week. Now I would probably have to break it up into time segments to make sure that we have a copy of the blog that we control.

    Security risk: if we pay a technician at webnames to move the data to a blog on their servers, then there are no real security issues. They do this sort of transfer all the time.

    Backup: If we go to our own domain, we have real time access through FTP program to the files that are on the server. This greatly simplies that question of having our own back up copy of the files.

    Funding: The proposal that I made is to receive a maximum of $150 per month for sponsoring the Isaac Brock Society to be paid by the volunteers, and potentially other friends, such as the professionals who sometimes comment on the blog. That is $1800 per annum. I can’t live off of that kind of money even for 1 month.

    This is hardly a commercialization of the Isaac Brock Society. If you want to come up with another model, then I am open to suggestions.

  15. @all

    I want to weigh in on this before the comment thread gets too long.

    I think that the priority of issues has been lost in the post and in the comments. Here is how is see this in order of importance:

    1. I believe that this blog must be removed from wordpress.com. As Petros mentioned, my blog was taken down in a very arbitrary way. I would point out that it was reactivated by wordpress.com in a very arbitrary way. What if somebody else had been reading my request for reactivation of the blog? I want to say also that I have had blogs taken down before by wordpress.com – even without a single post on them. I assure you that the names of these blogs were not suggestive of any kind of illegal, immoral of offensive activity. With respect to this getting away from the wordpress.com platform – I believe that is a no-brainer. You can’t allow wordpress.com to have control over the blog as a general principle. But, when it has been proven that wordpress.com will take it down, it removes all argument. For the record, it has ALWAYS been my opinion that the blog needs to move to wordpress.org where the administrators and not wordpress.com control it. WordPress.com is great – I love it as a platform – but you are a guest there.

    2. Given that the blog must be moved from wordpress.com, the next question is how to do it. The first issue is “what does it mean to move it?”. I agree that the isaacbrocksociety.com name has traction and it is the search engines. I would try to move the site away from wordpress.com to wordpress.org and keep the domain name isaacbrocksociety.com In other words, take the name and the content and move it another hosting service. Again, the main problem is the wordpress.com platform.

    But, I don’t see that as a permanent solution. I would try to keep isaacbrocksociety.com forever, but establish the isaacbrocksociety.ca site where the growth should be.

    3. I agree with Petros that the permanent solution is to move the blog to a isaacbrocksocity.ca and hosting outside the United States. There is no illegal activity on this blog and I would not participate here if there were. That said, the day the Patriot Act was enacted, was the day that constitutional rights in the U.S. came to an end. So, with respect to those of you who are taking first amendment rights etc., they are irrelevant. I think it is unlikely that anybody in the U.S. would try to shut this blog down. But, they do, for the reasons Petros has given, have the power and authority to do so. So, given that one can choose to run the blog with a U.S. connection or without one, why would anybody take the U.S. connection? People all around the world are avoiding the use of U.S. servers for this very reason. It makes no sense to have any kind of data on U.S. servers. So, why would the Isaac Brock Society? Now what about the domain name?

    4. As Petros has pointed out (and this was the basis of the U.S. attempt to use SOPA as way to get extraterritorial jurisdiction over companies with .com domain name), the use of a .com gives the U.S. jurisdiction over this blog. It’s probably not a huge problem – I do not believe that there will ever be a problem with the content of this blog. (The people on this blog are so afraid of not being in compliance with the law that they can’t sleep at night.) That said though, we have a choice. The choice is:

    – to run a blog subject to U.S. jurisdiction; or

    – to run a blog that is not subject to U.S. jurisdiction.

    The blog has to move off the wordpress.com platform anyway. Why not take the opportunity to avoid a possible future problem?

    Why not move it away from the U.S.? People are moving away from the U.S for pure business reasons.

    My vote would be to keep the existing isaacbrocksociety.com (on a different server), establish the isaacbrocksociety.ca and run it on non-U.S. servers. I would run both blogs but have all new posts go the isaacbrocksociety.ca

    5. Advertising

    I am not hugely in favor of this. What I would rather have is an agreement of contribution to the costs and upkeep. I suspect that we underestimate how much work Petros does in administering the blog. Not to mention his posts. I have written in excess of 100 posts for isaacbrocksociety.com and that has been an incredible amount of work. He has written more and has had the work of he administration. Therefore, I believe that isaacbrocksociety.com has been a “full time job” for Petros.

    I suggest participant contribution. We should all be contributing in some way or another.

    That said, isaacbrocksociety.com was started by Petros and at the end of the day, he has the right to make that decision.

    To summarize:

    A. The big issue is moving the blog off the wordpress.com platform;

    B. Since it has to be moved anyway, why not try to keep the existing site on another server, but start a new site – isaacbrocksociety.ca – and have the growth accrue there. Long run, data is moving away from U.S. servers for good reasons.

    That’s all folks!

  16. I already have a .ca e-mail address. Would I have to get another one? What happens to all the existing posts and comments? I’ve got a list of IBS URLs which are particularly helpful to me. How will I find those again?

    I don’t know anything about forum running but I certainly understand taking precautionary measures. I read about the push to no anonymous online activity (internet ID), total internet surveillance, the kill switch, etc. and I know what starts out as talk often becomes a reality. Unfortunately Canada seems to walk in step with the USA when it comes to curtailing freedoms. (I’ll never forget or forgive G8/G20.) Anyway I’ll follow to wherever you lead IBS in the future, Petros.

  17. @em, do you want an email address: em at isaac dot ca? As far as I know all the URLs would continue to work, but they would redirect you to the appropriate page at new dot.ca site.

  18. Hello fellow Brockers (as i’ve consider myself one of you, for many months now).
    I’ve tried SEVERAL times, to contact any of the ‘main’ people running the site, to express my interest in contributing to its operating expenses. Somehow, none of my attempts have made it through to anyone who could respond. I’d be GLAD to send at least a low 3-figure sum via PayPal or any other convenient, LOW-fee means, the MOMENT someone tells me WHERE/ HOW to do so! Hope this time, someone will see – and respond!

    I think MANY of you who post regularly, are doing a WONDERFUL service! Hope you/ we can keep it going sound & strong.

  19. @ Petros
    I think I’d like to just keep using my regular .ca e-mail address if possible but I’ll think about the other. If you can only get 100 addresses you might need them for people outside Canada. I think IBS is going to grow much bigger as FATCA descends on us.
    BTW I like being a Brocker. It’s kind of like being a rocker with a B for Bravo!

  20. @Petros

    If you copy everything to http://www.isaacbrocksociety.ca and make that our principal site, why not just reblog everything occasionally to the .com WordPress site?

    Also, on financial contributions, there needs to be a solution to send small amounts of money to IBS in as an anonymous way as possible as some of the contributors are in full-ostrich mode.

  21. @all as to Spam, I guess my email address is all over the internet by now, because I am starting to get Nigerian 419 advance fee fraud solicitations. “hello I am such and so, and need your help to transfer an [obscene amount of money from dubious sources] you will get xxx%”…. be wary of these, they are 100% bullshit. Delete them.

  22. Yikes Petros! A possible 24 hours without Brock for transition?!? I’ll go through withdrawal (or maybe I’ll actually Get A Life again for a day).

    I don’t think you’re paranoid. In fact, I think changing to a dot.ca domain would be a strategy Sir Isaac himself would support.

    I’m willing to contribute to keep Brock active.

  23. @Petros, I am like Blaze, a day without Brock what must I do?? I will be lost but I am lost most of the time anyway.. I will definetly contribute..

  24. I agree with Petros’ proposal as it stands, provided comments can still be made anonymously and without registering.

    Most, if not all, of us are ex-pats and many have already legally expatriated from the US. It is therefore only fitting that Isaac Brock does the same.

    Trust US constitutional protections? I got some swampland in Florida if your interested.

  25. At this point I think that I will be able to move the data myself. It requires moving out small bits of posts at a time, i.e., one author at a time for infrequent authors. And more frequent authors will have their data moved out in 2 mb segments. Every file has to be under 2 mb, and the entire blog is 38 mb. This will be a time consuming task, because I must for each download associate some of the authors to their ID (manually), or otherwise, Tertia (my gravatar) becomes associated with other user’s comments.

    Also, one inconvenience is that I cannot assign the same comment number to the new blog, it wants to assign new numbers. This means that the permalinks to comments currently in the blog will not work.

    I am thinking at this point that we keep the present blog up as a reference, and turn off comments and the ability to make new posts. Then, invite everyone to continue the discussion at the dot.ca.

    I estimate that this will take at least two full days of my time–or I assign it to my assistant.

  26. Thank you Petros for all the time you are putting into doing this. If the new blog works as good as this one, I think everyone will be happy.

  27. It looks like the “custom menus” cannot be recreated easily. I am going to have to redo them by hand (such as the “our resources” menu).

    On the brighter side, I was able to add a google search widget–this is a feature not currently available at wordpress.com.

  28. @Petros
    Would it be possible to make a donation to IBS via Paypal or some other means workable from overseas? Very grateful for all that you do Petros together with the other Brockers. Quite an amazing group of people.

  29. @ Petros
    Here I am with another question. So it looks like you are going to keep .com and start fresh at .ca. Right? Obviously you will be hanging a big sign on the door “WE HAVE MOVED” before you turn off the lights here. I’m just wondering how the reference site (.com) gets backed up and will that be done on a Canadian server too?

    I should have mentioned earlier that I will be happy and eager to make a donation. There is no price I can put on regaining my sanity (I think?), thanks to IBS but I will try. Oohlala is right — Brockers are an amazing group — and I would add that our lead Brocker is literally a Rock.

  30. I am the person that created, and hosts the forum. I am a big fan of WordPress, but not necessarily the wordpress.com hosting. Right now the forum is hosted at a US provider, but they are not that great for hosting robust forums due to their database connection limit. (They fail to mention this in the fine print!). I pay have been paying around $7/month for YEARS because I already host my own databases that are used for my own stuff, so hosting anything related to this site isn’t going to kill me. The extra of so $50 I spent on registering domains also isn’t going to break me either. By my calculations, you can have 1 domain, and everything integrated for about $195/year with almost unlimited capacity (truly unlimited if you shop around!)

    I’m all for integrating everything. After all, What you usually see is a blog as a showcase, and forums are used for comments and off-topic discussion. I’m quite happy with the MyBB functionality and would consider keeping them. In the beginning, I offered to set up the forum as a result of expatforum’s censorship. When people kept posting to the blog, I just kept quiet and waited for things to evolve.

    In the forum registration agreement, there is a clause on keeping everyone everywhere that this about being compliant, and not trying to cheat any sort of system, whether the US system or where someone is a resident. What we are doing here is discussing our own issues, compliance issues, and US political issues. I haven’t seen anyone here promoting any illegal behavior. After all, we are the honest people because we DO care about laws. People who usually break laws can care less about laws and staying “legal”. So I am undecided on the issue of needing to use a .ca or other country’s domain name. Yes, the US *does* consider itself to be the owner of .com domains, but then again, those sites that were shut down were blatantly breaking US laws. Last time I checked, we don’t do that here.

    Back to integration, if you want to integrate everything, I will be happy to do it since making databases and installations is something that I like to do. It’s not really much of a headache or difficult. It would involve a few hours work on a Sunday. The key is to maintain everything AS IS, until the new copy is running 100%.

    I’m also FOR a model of donations, not just to pay for hosting costs, but also maybe for marketing in the future, which could involve changing the names. I’m not against the current name, but as someone said, Isaac Brock was the guy who burned down the White House, so maybe a “softer” name in the future wouldn’t hurt either.

    If we’re able to soften the name, then maybe some paid advertisements in major publications would help to get the message out. Furthermore, I can’t help but feel that some energetic people on this site have been more effective at getting the word out in a much shorter period of time than some major groups have accomplished after several years. If anything, there is great potential here.

    There are also some strategic issues to discuss with key people should they/we decide to take this from an informal blog to more of an organization. I’m happy to volunteer with money, technological know-how, or managing related projects. What I’m not good at is writing; there are others here that are MUCH better than me.

  31. More details.. I wasn’t that specific:

    I’m NOT for the advertising model since:

    1- this site involves too many contributors;

    2- if you benefit financially from the absurd US laws, then how are you different from many overpriced “professionals” that benefit from the same things? (No, I’m not saying that all professionals are devils. There are some good ones on here, but they know too there are many who just want to make an easy buck.)

    3- the site will be labelled as one that promotes “alternatives” to the US system, i.e., expatriation, when we really just want Residency-based taxation and reporting. How can you say otherwise when you are receiving payments from 2nd passport providers, attorneys, or accountants?

    There is more, but I wanted to say the main reasons why I think that a donation not-for-profit (or milking) system is the best. I believe we should stay as neutral as possible, but keep the emphasis on the absurdities (and impractical nature) of extraterritorial taxation.

  32. @geez….

    Good comments, and wished I had your technical skills, so I could assist in some way besides just contributions. If this move is to be made, (again I question the necessity, but understand why others might think it prudent.) we want it to be seamless, as they say!

    BTW, who said you couldn’t write. I think I understood everything you said, well almost! LOL

  33. @Geez, 11.38 am.

    Sir Isaac was not involved in burning down the White House. He led the forces that successfully prevented the attempted US invasion of Canada in 1812. The symbolism is a successful defence against extraterritorial incursion.

    The Brock Army of 2012 is, of course, a non-violent one. The keyboard is mightier than the sword!

  34. @pacifica777, ok you got me on that one, the history I posted was written by a school child, but I thought it was cute nonetheless. Sir Brock certainly was not involved in the burning of Washington and the White House itself in 1814, as he had died in battle on October 13, 1812. Mark that date Brockers!

  35. I confess to being a chronic lurker. I read almost all of the conversations, usually on my phone. Since I’m too old to be able to do very much keyboarding on an iPhone, participation would have to wait until I was at a real keyboard. I also live in the west and it seems a lot of conversations start in more eastern time zones. By the time I am in a place to enter into the discussion, my contributions would be redundant. I would bw jumping on a moving train.

    So, for what it’s worth, here are my opinions. I’d like to think that maybe I represent the feelings of a good number of lurkers:

    1. Yes, it would be good to repatriate (see–I’m weighing in after repatriation has already started!). If not for security reasons, then because of principle. I don’t want this to be American-based.

    I confess that I am naive when it comes to security issues but, while it might not be an issue right now or in the near future, some of the things that have been legislated in the US recently, and some of the things that are being proposed, are over the top. When I am in conversations about my tax issues, people can’t believe this is possible. To be sure, as @Em pointed out, we are not immune to this loss of freedom in Canada either.

    2. I don’t want to see advertising if possible. I’d support the donation route first. I will be a financial supporter and will start as soon as the PayPal option is set up.

    3. I support combining the forum with the blog. I think would be much more inclined to participate on in the forum format.

    4. Isaac Brock rocks!! This amazing group of people are proving to be an increasingly powerful force in making these issues more widely known. And, IBS has been incredibly valuable for me personally in sorting out my own thinking and actions. Woodrow Wilson said, “I not only use all the brains that I have, but all I can borrow.” Thanks all for your intelligent and insightful contributions and analysis. I’ve borrowed your brains a lot.

  36. @Karcan, I know what you mean about coming in at the end of a conversation, but I’m sure your comments would be welcome anyway. Sometimes the comments are added days later as we all try to catch up. Good that participants are from different time zones – up early, or up late, there is often someone else on!

  37. @Badger: Or to use bubblebustin’s recent term “Brocking Around The Clock.” Love it–although I’m not one of the multitude who seem to do it.

  38. @blaze, I like bubblebustin’s phrase about ‘Brocking Around the Clock’ – very apt! Citizenship-based taxation is akin to caffeine – prevents one from sleeping. It’s also been a diet aid and very slimming.

  39. @ Geeez, Thanks for the offer of technical help. I may take you up on it.

    As for paying for advertising elsewhere, my first concern is to pay bills. As I said to Just Me above, the time I spend on Isaac Brock is lost money because I have a full time research assistant. Every minute I spend on this project is time taken away from the research project for which I hired my assistant. Donations sent to Isaac Brock Society would provide me a financial justification for devoting time to it. Thus, I greatly appreciate all those who offer to help!

  40. LOL, all! @Karcan, there will always be someone east of you no matter where you are. I personally love getting up to posts from the other side of the world like NZ, Europe, and I’m sure they feel the same about ours from here.
    @badger, I eat more when I’m stressed!

  41. @Karcan: Welcome. Of course, you have much to add. Great minds think alike. One of my first entries when I discovered Brock in January was Isaac Brock Rocks.

    Badger: A slimming aid? I wish! For me, it’s the opposite. Chocolate is a great antidote to stress. Laura Secord and Isaac Brock are a winning combination!

  42. On this weight issue. My husband and I always joke that on many polls Canadians come out 50/50. I lost 6 pounds then gained 50% back. 🙂

  43. I’m really happy to see things get this far. It appears as though there’re growing pains, but it’s welcomed, to say the least.

    I showed up here in the 2nd week of operation and it’s amazing to see the progress made my many of the posters and contributors. Hats off to everyone!

  44. This is just a wonderful site and I was very thankful that I found it the very day that I renounced. Just reading what others say, is very supportive to me. Count me in for making a donation.

  45. @all On a similar note, I would also like to repatriate my blog, or at least have an additonal blog outside of the .com realm. Does anybody here have any good, free, anonymous blogging platforms with .fr, .de, .ch, .co, .uk addresses to recommend me?

  46. Payments/contributions: Ok, I am currently set up to receive contributions in US dollars or CDN funds at paypal. The email address is at the isaacbrocksociety.ca and the name for it is petros (so remember to put the “at” sign in the email address, i.e., petros@). I don’t want to make it to easy for a spam crawler to figure out my email address.

    Now, anyone want to donate can do so with paypal. Or they can send me an email at the above e-mail address and I can send them my address. Cheques should be made out to Petros Research Inc.

    As for transparency, I propose the following:

    I can list on the website publicly the donations by number, and/or the aliases (anonymous if the person prefers) of the people who contributed. You will receive a numbered donation receipt. Then every donor can verify that their donation was on the list and call me to account if I fail to mention theirs. This will allow for transparency. Few people like the advertising or sponsorship idea. How does this suggestion sit with folks?

  47. Thanks for making the effort Petros. Some of us don’t do PayPal, which doesn’t mean we can’t, just haven’t or prefer not too, so a mailing address for checks would be good.

    I would suggest, that there be a separate bank account for Isaac Brock instead of Petros Research. That would make for better transparency, better accounting, and no co-mingling of funds, don’t you think?

    Lists of donations by a reference number works for me, so you can see your donation was cataloged. I personally do not need receipts, but understand others might.

    A quarterly balance sheet would be nice for all to see what the totals are that are coming in, and what the expenses are. That works you towards basic budgeting process, and maybe a quarterly or semiannual pledge drive. You would want to have a regular process for this, or else the best of intentions go un-acted on. I know, as I used to always put off my NPR pledge!

    Another thought would be for some of us to be able to make electronic transfers or just monthly recurring donations of small amounts that allow for regular cash flow. I do that now for NPR as part of my monthly budget, so now I don’t have to remember to do that!

    Mull those over. I know this process is evolving, so nothing set in stone and no idea is dismissed out of hand. I would be interested to hear what others think too.

  48. @Just Me, Isaac Brock has no organization structure. So essentially a contribution is being made to Petros Research to handle the administration, data transfer and other issues of the website. I am not opposed to the incorporation Isaac Brock and then Isaac Brock paying Petros Research or some other company to do what I am offering to do. But I will not organize the incorporation of the Isaac Brock Society–that requires a different skill set than what I have. At this point, incorporating Isaac Brock is nigh on impossible since most people are still lying in the shadows. USX asked for transparency and accountability and that’s why I suggested making the level of contributions public.

    Obviously, the higher the level of contributions, the more time that I can devote to this project, writing, research and developing the website.

    As for monthly donations, I don’t think that is necessary. If people want to send $25 +, it can be once for the entire year. This will hopefully provide adequate support level.

  49. @Petros
    maybe IBS can be set up as a regestered company or a sole-proprietorship. I had one when I worked under contract in Ontario and recently in Québec. I needed to go to the Québec revenue office which issued enterpise number and both tax licenses on the spot. This structure will permit separate acconting and transparency without the overhead of corporate reporting.

    would fellow Brockers in the Toronto area be willing to help you the bookkeeping?

  50. @Rivka Thanks. I have a corporation already which is set up to do business–to run it through that is no extra expense at all, because I am already paying for the expenses. Sure, it doesn’t bear the Isaac Brock Society name, but I think it is actually more honest, in a way, than setting up the Isaac Brock Society as a sole proprietorship. The National Inflation Association is an example of non-transparency because, to my knowledge, it is a business, but they have chosen a name and manner of operating that makes it look like non-profit. Petros Research is a for profit company which will provide a service for those who are part of the Isaac Brock Society–an informal group–who wish to make contributions to make it happen. At present, my company is losing money because my trading schemes are not very successful at the moment and because I have a full time assistant.

    In addition, setting up Isaac Brock at this point requires opening up bank accounts and at this point, having recently moved accounts from Questrade to TD, I am not keen on creating any new structures.

    People making the check out to Petros Research will be aware that they are contributing to the costs of the site. No matter how it is set up, there has to be trust and transparency. Some people are already so happy with what we are doing that they are willing to trust me to continue this work, and I am suggesting a means by which they can see how their contributions are making a difference.

  51. I would strongly agree with moving the site off of WordPress.com The WordPress hosting solution is simply incapable of hosting a site this large. I don’t see any reason as to why not use a Canadian hosting provider. Your typical WordPress site is 1/100th of Isaac Brock Society. The one issue I can think is making sure those who go to IsaacBrockSociety.com domain are redirected to the new site.

  52. Petros..
    I see some threads have comments closed, so assume that means you are moving stuff, one chunk at a time?
    mvh

  53. I put this message at the top of the thread which is at the top of the frontpage of this site:

    Please note that I’ve begun the process of moving this blog to isaacbrocksociety.ca. Therefore, I have shut off comments on every post before 1 June 2012. My goal is that by Tuesday evening, the blog will be completely moved to it’s new site.

    Comments are open at the new site. But I have to check for duplicates, because the transfer wasn’t flawless.

  54. The other reason I think it’s good to move is due to CONFIDENTIALITY. I don’t really trust WordPress.com and I suspect they have been selling email addresses due to some rather specific SPAM I have been receiving lately.

    Webnames.ca on the other hand, has databases that are “practically” impregnable. This works both ways though.. it’s good for security, but bad for customisation.

  55. @ Geeez, yet the customisation of the blog is much easier in many other respects, because of the availability of third party plugins. For example, I’ve added a plugin which will give every commenter the ability to format their comments or add a video. Also, if you want to embed a youtube video, you just add the URL, you don’t have to enter into the “insert media” feature anymore. Also, I’ve added a Google search plugin/widget, so that people use the google to search the blog rather than the WordPress feature that only searches posts.

  56. UPDATE: Today, I will be arranging the new blog (http://isaacbrocksociety.ca) with custom menus; the ones from here did not transfer as WordPress.com said they would. I also have to deal with user accounts, and I am not sure how that is going to go down. Hopefully it is straightforward, unlike the transfer, which took me a couple day’s work to figure out and finally someone at the hosting service’s helpline was knowledgeable and able to fix my upload limit, so that I could upload the May 29 export file of 38mb. If you made an important comment on a older post after May 29, it may not have been uploaded. That will have to be checked. You are my eyes and ears. Geeez is working on transferring the forum, but that is not pressing priority, as it is not hosted by WordPress.com.

  57. Hey everyone: the new blog is almost there. I expect that by the end of the day we will have sent to everyone their new login information. You will receive a new password for the new blog, but you should be able to change it again once you’ve logged in.

    Those who provide only comments will be able to continue as normal.

    Just before the transition we will shut off comments and posting at the isaacbrocksociety.com; there will be a transition time of hopefully less than one hour where it will not be possible to comment or post here. Bear in mind, for those who depend this site for their sanity, that commenting is already open on the pre-June 1 posts at the new site: http://isaacbrocksociety.ca

  58. Petros, thanks for all of your good work on this — from identifying the risk to all you’ve done to remedy the risk. Early intervention is wise considering why the Isaac Brock site was started in the first place.

  59. @Petros
    I truly am not computer literate. Am I interpreting correctly that for someone like myself (who thus far has only provided comments), I would be able to continue using the original email (it is @ gmail.com)? Or will I be receiving new login information, also?

  60. @ Tiger

    Soon you will receive new login information for the new blgo. After the new blog is up and running, I will provide an isaacbrocksociety.ca email address for anyone with a dot.com email address. In it will be instructions on how to access and redirect it to the email of your choice (forwarding).

  61. @tiger, sorry I didn’t even read your comment correctly. As a commenter only you can proceed as usual. We are not going to worry about the e-mail addresses of non-authors (those who can start new posts). The information (new username and password) I provided will be sent to authors.

Comments are closed.