Ecuador Expat Forum - Renouncing US citizenship

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Maxxgold
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4/28/2010 01:08    
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http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/26/us/26expat.html?src=me&ref=general


More American Expatriates Give Up Citizenship

By BRIAN KNOWLTON
Published: April 25, 2010

WASHINGTON — Amid mounting frustration over taxation and banking problems, small but growing numbers of overseas Americans are taking the weighty step of renouncing their citizenship.

“What we have seen is a substantial change in mentality among the overseas community in the past two years,” said Jackie Bugnion, director of American Citizens Abroad, an advocacy group based in Geneva. “Before, no one would dare mention to other Americans that they were even thinking of renouncing their U.S. nationality. Now, it is an openly discussed issue.”

The Federal Register, the government publication that records such decisions, shows that 502 expatriates gave up their U.S. citizenship or permanent residency status in the last quarter of 2009. That is a tiny portion of the 5.2 million Americans estimated by the State Department to be living abroad.

Still, 502 was the largest quarterly figure in years, more than twice the total for all of 2008, and it looms larger, given how agonizing the decision can be. There were 235 renunciations in 2008 and 743 last year. Waiting periods to meet with consular officers to formalize renunciations have grown.

Anecdotally, frustrations over tax and banking questions, not political considerations, appear to be the main drivers of the surge. Expat advocates say that as it becomes more difficult for Americans to live and work abroad, it will become harder for American companies to compete.

American expats have long complained that the United States is the only industrialized country to tax citizens on income earned abroad, even when they are taxed in their country of residence, though they are allowed to exclude their first $91,400 in foreign-earned income.

One Swiss-based business executive, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of sensitive family issues, said she weighed the decision for 10 years. She had lived abroad for years but had pleasant memories of service in the U.S. Marine Corps.

Yet the notion of double taxation — and of future tax obligations for her children, who will receive few U.S. services — finally pushed her to renounce, she said.

“I loved my time in the Marines, and the U.S. is still a great country,” she said. “But having lived here 20 years and having to pay and file while seeing other countries’ nationals not having to do that, I just think it’s grossly unfair.”

“It’s taxation without representation,” she added.

Stringent new banking regulations — aimed both at curbing tax evasion and, under the Patriot Act, preventing money from flowing to terrorist groups — have inadvertently made it harder for some expats to keep bank accounts in the United States and in some cases abroad.

Some U.S.-based banks have closed expats’ accounts because of difficulty in certifying that the holders still maintain U.S. addresses, as required by a Patriot Act provision.

“It seems the new anti-terrorist rules are having unintended effects,” Daniel Flynn, who lives in Belgium, wrote in a letter quoted by the Americans Abroad Caucus in the U.S. Congress in correspondence with the Treasury Department.

“I was born in San Francisco in 1939, served my country as an army officer from 1961 to 1963, have been paying U.S. income taxes for 57 years, since 1952, have continually maintained federal voting residence, and hold a valid American passport.”

Mr. Flynn had held an account with a U.S. bank for 44 years. Still, he wrote, “they said that the new anti-terrorism rules required them to close our account because of our address outside the U.S.”

Kathleen Rittenhouse, who lives in Canada, wrote that until she encountered a similar problem, “I did not know that the Patriot Act placed me in the same category as terrorists, arms dealers and money launderers.”

Andy Sundberg, another director of American Citizens Abroad, said, “These banks are closing our accounts as acts of prudent self-defense.” But the result, he said, is that expats have become “toxic citizens.”

The Americans Abroad Caucus, headed by Representative Carolyn B. Maloney, Democrat of New York, and Representative Joe Wilson, Republican of South Carolina, has made repeated entreaties to the Treasury Department.

In response, Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner wrote Ms. Maloney on Feb. 24 that “nothing in U.S. financial law and regulation should make it impossible for Americans living abroad to access financial services here in the United States.”

But banks, Treasury officials note, are free to ignore that advice.

“That Americans living overseas are being denied banking services in U.S. banks, and increasingly in foreign banks, is unacceptable,” Ms. Maloney said in a letter Friday to leaders of the House Financial Services Committee, requesting a hearing on the question.

Mr. Wilson, joining her request, said that pleas from expats for relief “continue to come in at a startling rate.”

Relinquishing citizenship is relatively simple. The person must appear before a U.S. consular or diplomatic official in a foreign country and sign a renunciation oath. This does not allow a person to escape old tax bills or military obligations.

Now, expats’ representatives fear renunciations will become more common.

“It is a sad outcome,” Ms. Bugnion said, “but I personally feel that we are now seeing only the tip of the iceberg.”

ILA
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4/28/2010 12:44    
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Thanks Maxxgold,

What a concept,the 27pound PATRIOT ACT,snuck through in the middle of the night,never having been read in its entirety,and very few Americans even know of it's existence.
Now there's a contentious topic for the forum. Doubt anyone will touch it.

The banksters glopping on to the money that expats have in their US accounts under one pretext or another? Why not. They are not above and beyond corrupt practices. Rewards in the elitist clique circles , are accepted practice Especially among the greediest in the pecking order.
Social security Ponzi is in demise, tried and true. You would have to be stone deaf,dumb and blind not to see which direction the wind blows.
The Ecuadorean banks are part of US banking/global system for now?
Whatever is to be, personal bankings' future will happen regardless of any formal denunciations. We may all wake up some day to find our bank accounts have been rifled through and emptied.It happened in the last depression.
Of that scenario,I have more faith in South America and Ecuador than in land of the Goldmanns.

Demi
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4/30/2010 17:58    
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No matter how bad things may seem here in the USA, I would never, ever, EVER, renounce my citizenship. That would be like denying who I am. This country is the very essence of freedom and we Americans draw our very unique identities from this essence. Those who complain and are prepared to renounce are silly cowards who have little value for how special their national identity is. These other countries are nice to hang your hat in- even indefinitely, but no worth the price of renouncing your identity. Saving all those unfair taxes are not worth the price of renunciation. People are dying for freedom, so stop whining their in your happy foreign homes, and fight for saving your country.

canman
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4/30/2010 19:30    
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Well... that's one man's opinion, Demi.

clee
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4/30/2010 20:00    
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Let's see how many who are collecting Social Security or Disability would consider renouncing.
Is it moral or economic?

ILA
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4/30/2010 22:35    
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"people are dying for freedom" People are dying that part is true.

HGQ2112
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5/2/2010 13:58    
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Giving up one's native citizenship is a highly personal and, therefore, subjective issue. Whether one looks upon that option favorably or not, those opinions should be respected. For my money, we all live on this "third rock from the sun" together...rather limited space, really, if one truly thinks about it. It is amazing the amount of time we spend creating artificial border demarcation lines, molding ever-shifting nation-states, and then creating the armies and bureaucracies required to manage them, often...all the while...forgetting our basic humanity towards one another and responsibility to the one planet we all share. Sure seems like a lot of work and drain on resources to fuel those "nationalistic" passions. Where it is made worse, at least for me, is when some nation-states determine that they "own their citizens" and, even if those citizens exercise free-will and *choose* to terminate the privileges of citizenship, they are tethered as "indentured servants" by the requirement to continue to pay taxation to the very government they repudiate. That some of the governments doing this consider themselves "free-states" makes it all the more curious.

HGQ
They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety. - Benjamin Franklin

Maxxgold
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5/3/2010 22:58    
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I'm hearing you HGQ and ILW.

Those that have had run-ins with the IRS cannot sing without some consternation Lee Greenwood's song "I'm proud to be an American because at least I know I am free". What a joke. Forced to fill out 1040 forms by such and such date or face fines and imprisonment. Forced to keep receipts and other records to prove your income and expenses. To be subject to an audit at the whim of the IRS. Is this what the founding fathers fought and died for?

I got to laugh when I hear people say "My taxes" as if it's some sort of prized possession, a sign of being a good citizen. The most patriotic thing I can do for my country is to make the least amount of income I can. Pay the least amount of taxes as a result. Then live where my money will go the farthest. There are of course other reasons to relocate. Renouncing citizenship is going too far IMO.

Sorry, I'm in a mood.

jayw
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5/4/2010 03:46    
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I'm having a second thought about this internet gadget. This forum thing is mostly a gathering place as a pissing post for bunch of losers, outcasts and deviant. Hardly seen any intelligent conversations or exchange of ideas. If there is anyone who attempts these crowds will kill him. It's happening in this topic and happened before months ago. Bad money drives out good money.

I am not that exuberant for paying taxes whether I'm proud of or not but I would rather live in a society with order and civility with not corrupt civil servants than a country with low taxes but chaotic civility and bribing as a customary practice like one of S American nation in the equator. Even though I work hard and pay big chunk of taxes I still have better standard of living in better environment, what am I losing by paying taxes? And I don't have to cross the border to smuggle into other country in order to survive and to escape the starvation. To add icing on the cake I can live like a king with small pension by moving to one of third world countries after retirement. Can any Ecuadorian come to US and live like a queen after retirement with their government pension? I'm not whinning for paying tax. I'm glad to be a citizen of US instead of others.

Just one favor from you. Expressing your opinion is guranteed freedom. But don't go beyond that. We don't need any more Timothy McVey or Johnny Walker Lynd. Enjoy Ecuador.

HGQ2112
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5/4/2010 12:15    
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JP...JP...is that you? Lol. I couldn't resist. Glad you enjoy where you live. Don't want you blowing stuff up either in the name of "freedom"...check...so we're both good there. So...you want order and civility...do you? Order like the OJ riots? Order like the highest number of murders on the globe? Order like police corruption scandal after police corruption scandal? That kind of order? And...of course....you want incorruptible civil servants. Ummmm...I live in Illinois...Chicago no less. But you could travel to Boston...New York...Miami...etc., see pretty much the same thing. Let's see...our last two IL Governors...one is in jail...one headed there. Our next Governor...well...since fraud has already been alleged in one candidate...and tax evasion alleged in the other...we might hit "The Prison Ball Trifecta". Btw...how about that "Tricky Dick"...ya' know...Nixon. Pretty much anybody ever to be Mayor in Chicago, just about? Ummm..the former Mayor of the town of Cicero...yep...just got out of prison for criminal acts connected with her term. Listen..I don't even have to leave my home state...we got a million of 'em! I just mentioned Nixon cause I like saying "Tricky Dick"....heh..heh..heh (channeling Beavis & Butthead). But if it is meaningful banter you want...lead us off...so exactly to what do you refer when you slyly allude to Ecuadorian corruption? Because they have had some...just wondered what reference point you are citing.

HGQ
They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety. - Benjamin Franklin

Olon11
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5/4/2010 13:57    
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Hector -
LOL!
The JP resurrection possibility crossed my mind too.

ILA
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5/4/2010 14:28    
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forum "a gathering place as a pissing post for bunch of losers, outcasts and deviant"
jayw,probably you are correct,at least in your own mind.



"I don't have to cross the border to smuggle into other country in order to survive and to escape starvation" That part has a ring of truth.For now anyway.
America is the ONLY NON single payer health care system in the developed world.Even those who Know best,doctors and nurses want single payer.In Western Europe, Canada, Japan, Australia, Singapore, New Zealand, the population in those countries enjoy the BEST medical care and shortest waiting periods,despite fairy tale propaganda on the topic.They are free from fear of financial ruin or bankruptcy or early death. They are seen by doctors just as good.

Us lifestyle,promotes sickness and the revolving door (good for pharmaceuticals and hospital corporations) Food industry lobbyists, bought off the already bought and paid for,representing themselves,representatives
Gm/Monsanto food pollution, feces in hamburgers,rock.. High fructose assures a type 11 diabetes future for a third of adults.
Even the enormous levels of pesticide poisons, threaten the population of humans and ALL species.. Three million Us bee colonies have died since 06. Vatroa mite, bloodsucking bee parasites,attack weakened bee immune systems and bees are probably headed for EXTINCTION.but Hey, the fertilzer corporations are in good shape.Some commercial bee losses are 60%.A world without bees,dire implications, you think? According to BernardVallat,WHO,
121 pesticides are in use for profit, in America.

Then there is the US drug normalcy.The highest consumption of illegal drugs on the planet, takes place in USA.A normal lively kid,instead of family,( on the treadmill, trying to keep up with the bills) doing some healthy active energy channeling,like biking or hiking, the kid is put in the system,Ritalin regimen is not an option it would be un American. Adult depressed and dogs swallow poison prozac, as routine as teeth cleaning, consequence, impotence, not to worry, there is a pharmaceutical answer. the answer argaiv backwards, good thing we live in the modern world.
Tainted water,the future war excuse,contains fluoride/rat poison among other invisible genocide ingredients.
The fat diet, comfort food, translates into high cholesterol and obesity even in children but then there is lipitor.Then whip out the street drugs or the booze or lunestra to be able to sleep at night, no counting sheep for Americans .

The average 12 day vacation is nickled and dimed
Vacationers who earn enough to even take one, will NOT be seen all over the planet ,prevalent for other countries' citizens
PAID VACATION DAYS
Finland 44
Italy 42
France 39
Germany 35
UK 25
Japan 18
US 12
We were in UK two years ago and clerks in the supermarkets, stated that they fly to New York to do xmas shopping.Even subway workers have second homes in Turkey, Cyprus, etc.
American workers wages have sat still for decades and small businesses are gobbled up.
Those lucky enough to still have jobs are Played off against co workers with the uncertainty scam.The ever present outsource threat to keep everyone in line. Then get rid of the non game players is the rule, or strip the pensions and benefits.

In most developed world countries, HIGHER education is free or subsidised.US University graduates, emerge, scathed, averaging $100,000 DEBT,to the banksters.
In debt we trust/Aaron Russo. is the name of the game.America's wealth is ILLUSION for the masses..Us has been sinking over decades to third world status.The dollar has become the new peso. Class is fiction.Citizens OWE.
Freedom IS fantasy.
3 million incarcerated work for corporations like Lexus from behind bars for 26 cents per hour,most are lifers.
E-mails, phone calls mined/ NSA (No such agency) and medical rejectionists know every detail,never one stray away from TAZOR or RUBBER /STEEL BULLETS that have resulted in amputations for some California protesters.They don't plan to protest again.

Psychological petrie dish in the form of tent cities, being wiped out financially, foreclosures, bankruptcy,homelessness, medical bankruptcy,job losses for significant numbers of American devotees,who did everything right.

The country has been taken over,occupied by another non elected government. 70% of tax dollars support that government.
The occupier PENTAGON.
The brightest and best in order to get some college relief money, are lured by empty promises, to do the killing for the (trillions of dollars of profit) war industry profiteers,under the guise of FREEDOM Corporate lobbyists, media whores,Limbaugh,Beck Hannity,O'reilly stir it up,to pit one half against the other with their garbage of blame and scape goating of the least among us.
Ever heard any of them suggest the truth ,like single payer that the nurses and doctors want, would be good and could be a accomplished, if Pentagon warriors retire to south America and bailout bums and lobbyists go into the fema concentration camps designed for the unruly, when the greatest DEPRESSION becomes full blown.

America is,the most corrupt political process on the planet. Behind closed doors, a standard operation of political action committees, bribes from the rich, flourishes.
Rigged diebolds, LOBBYISTS, MEDIA INDOCTRINATION, determine the non party system's outcome.

Us has maxed out it's credit.Suburbia, truck transport Dependent on, about to be unaffordable gas,will further decimate America.
MILLIONS of Americans have left the land of the FREE,sampled abroad and liked it.
Do they miss their former country at times?of course.In a blizzard a horse will return to the stable it was born in.
American Ancesters came to the US, not because they were traitors but for many of the same reasons millions of expats are leaving now.
"I can live like a king with small pension"blah blah blah don't be so sure, jayw. The government is winking at the pensions/ Social security cuts and elimination entirely.Would you trust the American government?
"Enjoy Ecuador"I WILL AND DO.

nancyross
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5/5/2010 02:27    
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My government is me. Just as my teenagers are. Sometimes they act inappropriately and sometimes I cannot wait to get to Ecuador to have some time out but in the end I would never quit on them. I can't. I am responsible for them. When they act inappropriately it is my job to help turn it around. It was, in my opinion, important to work diligently to get Obama elected. Not because he is perfect but better. It was my job to help my daughter pick a gown for the senior prom not because it was perfect it was just better than that trashy short thing she tried on first. I can't quit on the things that are mine. I can only work to make things better. I will bring those same morals to Ecuador and I hope you can retain some of yours for the US.

HGQ2112
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5/5/2010 03:41    
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Nancy...I could not agree more with what you said. And I have always respected folks that approach the issue from your perspective. Consider me cynical if you must, but the problem is there aren't enough "mes" or "yous" to go around. Less than 50% of our population in the USA even bothers to vote in a Presidential election. You don't even want to think about what those numbers look like for local elections. When they do, they just find it easier to pull the lever for the same guy or gal as last time, with nary a thought as to why. The very same folks that likely wouldn't tolerate immoral or unethical behavior from their dentist, doctor or lawyer... well...they are more than happy to excuse it away for their President, Governor or U.S. Senator. Think of it another way. You could have just "given up" the search for your daughter's dress...said the heck with it. But you didn't. Because it was *your* responsibility. You could just as easily have said to your daughter... hey...let's just go to the same store that we went to last time, because it's easier...and settled for what was already there...but you didn't. Because it was *your* responsibility. Sadly...you just exercised more personal responsibility, by making those two decisions in buying your daughter's prom dress, than most "Americans" exercise in making their political decisions. Our country just gave us a $530 billion economic stimulus package, from imaginary money, because we are trillions - that's trillions with a capital "T" - in debt and no one even questions those accounting practices. Where is the responsibility then? Do we even ask of a President anymore to prove they can balance a checkbook? I admire your courage to keep up the fight...I did for decades...even being majorly involved in the political process behind the scenes. I saw the view from inside the belly of the beast. I am not naive enough to believe anywhere else will be Utopia. I just want to pay less to be abused and enjoy a sliver more of personal liberties and freedoms. At my cynical age...that's really all I am looking for with eyes wide open. If you think you can do better...and inspire change, I wish you all the best...and quoting the rock band The Who, "Hope We Don't Get Fooled Again". And the *only* reason I find *any* of this pertinent to an Ecuador forum is because folks need to understand what is motivating some of the Expat influx into Ecuador [and other countries]. It matters on many levels.

HGQ
They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety. - Benjamin Franklin

carolannemck
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5/5/2010 06:43    
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Nancy,
I could not agree with you more. I am a US American who opted some 3 plus years ago to move to Ecuador not because I loathed the US, but because I wanted a new adventure and to experience a new culture. The US has over the years provided me job security (income) and a nice retirement income which I could also live on nicely in the US. I did not come here because it was 'cheap'. As I read through the posts, I realize that many of the circumstances in our lives are brought about by our own decisions. I recently sold my 4/3 house in south TX on the 3/4 of an acre--the taxes were about $2400 a year, and TX has no state income tax. I am definitely an anti-war person, so I always encourgaged my children to avoid the armed services because by their definition the possibility of getting killed in a war is great. Fortunately, the US had no draft, so no one was forced to join, and my children did not. I think Ecuador has some type of mandatory military service requirement.
I have voted absentee since I have been living here, even in the local elections. Sometimes it is a pain, but I do it anyway. I guess the US could, as Ecuador does, force everyone to vote or fine them. If you don't vote here or pay your fine, you can not purchase or sell real estate or purchase or sell a vehicle. I am sure there are others things you can't do, but I am not sure what they are.
I pay the taxes required of me by the US and really don't think much about it. When I drive from Otavalo to Quito, roughly 53 miles, on the best of days, it takes an hour and a half, but usually it takes around 2 1/2 hours. I think of driving from Harlingen to Kingsville, TX which is roughly 80 miles and could always get there in an hour and twenty minutes. Taxes support roads for one thing, and I do appreciate good roads.
People have many choices about where to live, and if one choses to live in an area with inflated values, one pays for it. There are still places in the US where one can live quite reasonably. My eldest granddaughter and her husband, are in the process of purchasing a 4/2 with a 2 car garage, 2000 sq ft in Fort Wayne, IN (not a fixer upper) for $35,000. Taxes $300 a year. I know in my part of Ecuador they could not buy a decent, liveable house for that money.
I guess my point is that life is full of decisions, and we are responsible for our decisions, so why blame them on somebody else. We decide where to live, how much money to borrow, what we have to have in our lives, and that is only about us, not our government.
Oh, anyone, from what I hear, who has had a run in with the SRI here can attest that they are very similar to the US IRS in their tactics and perceptions.
Carol

nancyross
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5/5/2010 12:59    
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Carol, you made me think of one of the reasons I want to move, 1/2 time, to Ecuador. You had said how you were against war. I am certainly not pro war and although I can see times that it is appropriate, as a last resort I have never nor will I ever support torture. My brother in law is high in the state department and while visiting several years ago I read a report he had regarding Abu Ghraib and "enhanced interrogation techniques". One of the, so called, techniques was to keep peoples clothing slightly wet and in a slightly darkened room. Well I say WELCOME TO OREGON which is probably why I am confessing my lunacy to the forum on a regular basis now, lol. I am really looking forward to my month of house hunting, and hanging out in late October and my official retirement which is 4 months, 1 week and 3 days "but who's counting" The same month I turn 50. Now that is pretty nice huh? And although Oregon is about the best place on Earth in the summers I am dreadfully tired of gray weather and too much rain! Now that is something I am happy to renounce. Glad to be joining you all soon.

ILA
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5/5/2010 13:12    
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Nancy, you have the right to your opinion of course but I do not share it.

My husband is fourth generation American,I don't have the pedigree but was born in America, as were our children.

I AM CERTAIN that "MORAL" can be debated too,who is and who is not.
Whether I am or not,I do know, I do NOT pledge ALLEGIANCE TO LIES MANIPULATIONS AND GENOCIDE.
Ecuador is NOTcomparable to US.Ecuador being a tiny third world country, undergoing an immense, valiant, struggle.
Despite America's obvious privelege,it'sGOVERNMENT chose the path of planet annihilation,WITHOUT THE CONSENT OF IT'S PEOPLE =TREASON
Vis a vis Depleted uranium weaponry,among other things.One of many of their school yard bullying practices.
I do NOT see any correlation ( teenage daughter prom dress analogy) between loyalty to one's flesh and blood to blind loyalty to a false, deceptive, exploitive group of strangers. In fact it is precisely because of my devotion to my family that I continually search for the TRUTH.
The box cars rolled on by night and day and the Germans pretended it was NOT their business, sometimes even going so far as to say they DIDN'T KNOW. Germany "UBER ALLES" was the arrogant position,over humanity and children and we have German blood so I am not attacking Germans.
I once said to a friend "If I had lived in Nazi Germany,I would have hidden the jews." She was a school teacher/church goer and replied "and I would have reported you"
"morals hope you can retain some of yours for the US"
I am NOT THE TRAITOR, the AMERICAN GOVERNMENT BETRAYED ME. I am first and foremost, a citizen of PLANET EARTH and my concerns are for it's survival. The BIG picture, are in my choices. America's fate hangs in the balance.I won't support the darkness by silence and endorsing preposterous self entitlement and lies, there but for the grace of God go I. The victims on the planet are in the billions.

You can buy a nice house in Michigan for $20,000 or not so nice in detroit for $100.00.So be it but on the backs of whose misery.

When ONE CHILD suffers on planet earth I SUFFER.
Might is NOT right.
Technology ,propaganda and illusion, feature in the USA.The flip of the rigged DIEBOLDS switch determines election outcomes.The media hype up the winner, like a rock star and it is effective.The reality of America is well hidden. The OBOMMA farce ,one billion dollars to have the do nothing puppet elected, the majority of that money was wall street money.

Dr Doug Rokke,35 year veteran of US ARMY,ran the depleted uranium project.(health and environmental hazards)
DU is low level nuclear waste,contamination and disposal, is done through US military weaponry,a deliberate Pentagon choice. Iraq ,Afghanistan,Asia, Pakistan,Persian gulf battlefields,UK, Europe, Indiana,Florida,NewMexico, Massachussetts, Maryland, Puerto Rico, Kosovo, all are areas, heavily polluted by DU /radioactive nuclear waste,which circles the planet,contaminating ground water and air and remains radioactive for billions of years.
DU causes birth defects, missing brains, cyclops,
cancer, death, Children in particular are susceptible to DU poisoning,causing leukemia,bone cancer and now ( rare in children under 12) lymph system cancer.All similar to babies born after Nagasaki and Hiroshima.
Radioactive waste is NON discriminatory.As DU does not disolve in water,it is NEVER,excreted from an animal's body.
I just shared some of the reasons that our views differ.

nancyross
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5/5/2010 13:53    
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Ila, in many ways we do share the same opinion. I respect your voice and condemnation of wrongs. I share you view of one world, and I too hurt when I see atrocities being committed. I am not a person who would not speak up while I saw injustice being committed ( much to my husbands chagrin) but I also feel that real political and social change can only come from within each nation, which is why I am so determined to continue to retain my American citizenship (the original point of this thread) and help make the US a better country than it is now. The way I try to help with change is by taking personal responsibility for the wrongs of this nation, my nation, which allows me to fight even harder. The government of America are the people and when we quit fighting for change, exposing injustice, writing letters to the newspapers and organizing with other what hope do we have then of ever being instrumental in change?

jayw
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5/5/2010 15:43    
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I always hear this government things. I don't get it. Government does not have brain, nose, ears, mouth, etc. You blame this lifeless invisible one for your own calamity, you will never get anything you want. Government don't screw up nobody. Government is like a soccer ball. Whoever kicks, it will fly toward whichever direction. It is not the government but us, the player. One wants this the other wants the other. It is the continuing process of struggle and copmpromise. We made rule. Majority prevails. Once rules are made, we all supposed to follow. Otherwise it will be chaos. The government does not make one country as good or bad. It is the people who consists of the nation defines the nature of the country.

Most of nations in the world have better written constitution than US. One country I know hired the best of all linguists and authors in literature and picked all the good words in its language to draft new constitution and it is so beautiful that anyone who read could not help crying. But the regime finally ended by assasinating the creator of the constitution. The beauty or ugly to some people of US is not in its constitution or government. It is the people. So is Ecuador, Venezuela, Iran, Afganistan, etc. You plant US system of institutions and constitution there and expect US style of democracy will flurish. It is illusion. It is not the government but people including its culture, value, tradition, etc.

Stop blaming the government and quit whinning. Join and play the game and follow the rule. Someday we lose and we will win other days. Life goes on. Enjoy life and Ecuador.

ILA
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5/5/2010 15:48    
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Nancy,
I respect your perspective and your determination.
I believe change is possible, if the worst of the worst change course. Germany changed after being totally defeated.
The only power evil has, is the power to destroy itself. Entropy has been the fate of numerous powerful empires,before.
I have to have faith and do, in a better world being possible.
As disillusioned as I am at this point, I have NOT made any decisions,other than to do the best I can for the planet.
The American tragedy is one,I no longer care to support, by being part of it.That is the reason we are leaving, as soon as possible and forever.
To put effort into America, makes as much sense as trying to personally plug up the holes in a dam about to burst.I wouldn't. I'd get out of the way
Having lived seventeen years in Europe,middle East and America ,that may be why,I feel more like a global citizen.

BEST.
ILA

ILA
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5/5/2010 16:32    
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H,
LOL

phunt37
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5/5/2010 17:01    
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I think ILA should add El to her name. I am surprised Argentina is not her home of choice. Of course, it is very easy to be revolutionary on the internet but actions speak louder than words. Lets see kids born in US, born in US herself & married to an American. Lives in Ecuador because it is close to US. Hmmm, just do not see her renouncing any time soon so it seems a little much to be throwing words out there so fiercely. Go renounce then I will heed your words with more of a sympathetic ear. Not trying to attack you Ila buy you seem to be so convicted that I just wonder why you do not seem to practice them.

Maxxgold
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5/5/2010 17:46    
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This is government

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ybcu2itqvEQ&feature=player_embedded 31 seconds long SCARY What's next? Tom's wife and kids?

"Government is not reason; it is not eloquent; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master."

~ George Washington

ILA
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5/5/2010 18:06    
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jayw,
you are so right ,"government does not have a brain".
"stop blaming the government and quit whining"
words of wisdom jayw.
"Enjoy life and Ecuador"
Good advice.
It's time I listened to you.
BEST,
jayw,
ILA

Maxxgold
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5/5/2010 18:10    
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Does the PM feature work here??

Maxxgold
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5/5/2010 18:22    
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"He gazed up at the enormous face. Forty years it had taken him to learn what kind of smile was hidden beneath the dark moustache. O cruel, needless misunderstanding! O stubborn, self-willed exile from the loving breast! Two gin-scented tears trickled down the sides of his nose. But it was all right, everything was all right, the struggle was finished. He had won the victory over himself. He loved Big Brother."

LOL I'll stop now.

ILA
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5/5/2010 21:57    
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For my part whatever anguish of spirit,it may cost,I am willing to know the whole truth, to know the worst and to deal with it.
Patrick Henry.


I have never thought of myself as revolutionary, thanks for a large COMPLIMENT.
It is something I should consider, if that has been your perception,maybe I could be.
Whether I would want to be,is another matter. Revolutionaries have great courage,Gandhi,Martin luther King.
I have never thought of myself as courageous. How would one know though,unless you came face to face with death for a cause?
You are right, actions speak louder than words.My actions so far in this life, have been, perhaps insgnificant but I may live forty more years, so give me some time.phunt.

I think of myself as dust in the wind/a pee in the ocean,maybe/a grain of sand in the scheme of things.
My own sympathies, phunt, are towards ALL INNOCENT CHILDREN on our planet today,victims of perpetual war=genocide atrocities,refugee children,starving children and children who go through all the HORRORS going on on planet earth today and they number in the millions.
The WAR FACTS,should disturb any human being in 2010.
I have stated CLEARLY, REPEATEDLY, I AM A CITIZEN OF THE PLANET. If you find that insulting to you personally, in some way,it has to be that way,phunt,no apologies "To thine own self be true"William Shakespeare.VERY IMPORTANT. I HOPE YOU ARE PHUNT.
The content of my posts has bothered you,I notice, your close
scrutiny,bears that out
"Lets see kids ,born in the US, born in US herself & married to an American, Lives in Ecuador because it is close to the US,(Your deduction) just do not see her renouncing anytime soon."
Whether I were to renounce or not to renounce, is that going to improve yours or anyone else's life?
"It seems a little much to be throwing words out there so fiercely""I just wonder why you do not practice them "
now what would you have me do,phunt,cut off one of my breasts like Boadicea and round up a following?
I guess I touched a nerve,I certainly detect phunt is idealizing the late great America and may be annoyed because El ILA does not share his view?
Actually You phunt might be surprised to learn that El ILA has had quite a number of on going "I concur" private E-mails

Ditto.phunt

Don't mean to attack you either.Enjoyed the opportunity you afforded me,Thank you.

BEST,
EL ILA.

Maxxgold
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5/5/2010 23:26    
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"The spirit of resistance to government is so valuable on certain occasions, that I wish it to be always kept alive. It will often be exercised when wrong, but better so than not to be exercised at all. I like a little rebellion now and then.”

~ Thomas Jefferson

Olon11
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5/6/2010 00:31    
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Ummm....am I missing something here?
What is a "phunt"?
Who is a phunt?
What the phunt?!

Maxxgold
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5/6/2010 00:53    
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look 7 posts up.

Olon11
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5/6/2010 01:20    
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Thanks, Maxxgold.
Found it.
Totally, phunting missed it on last review.

Maxxgold
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5/6/2010 11:15    
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I missed it at first also. I was puzzled thinking it was a new made up word.

Olon11
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5/6/2010 11:27    
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LOL, Maxxgold.
I'm glad I wasn't the only one. I thought it was a some new texting lingo that I wasn't familiar with. :)

ILA
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5/6/2010 11:32    
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what the phunt?!

LOL

ILA
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5/6/2010 14:48    
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Thankyou for your private message.Seems I get blocked,whenever I try to reply to private messages.
Could you Email me your private E-mail so I can reply off site.
Thanks,Maxxgold
ILA

OceanHideaway
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5/6/2010 22:44    
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Hi ILA

Re: Private Message Problems

Try upgrading to the Beta Version of this site with the MY HOMEPAGE function and the PM problem should clear up.

The problem seems to a computer glitch as they switch over the system to the new format.

Good luck.

ILA
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5/7/2010 12:59    
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Thanks Susan.

All times are ET.  


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