Re: And Chimpeach The Chimperor!

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some old lady to stand in line for a hip replacement

How can she stand if she needs a hip replacement?


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 08-14-07 5:17 PM
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Good Lord, ogged, you didn't know this? Yes, it's the most amazing aspect of the American tax code. A Canadian moving overseas can sock money away in Jersey or Guernsey or wherever, tax-free, and not worry about welfare queens in Alberta being cheated. But not an American. There is, or used to be, or anyway I imagine there might have been, even something in your passport about how if you try to renounce your citizenship to avoid taxes, it can be reinstated for the purposes of letting the IRS get you.


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 08-14-07 5:17 PM
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I mean, in actual fact, if you move to Canada, you pay taxes in Canada, then file in the US, and deduct the amount you paid Ottawa from the amount you owe Washington -- the Canadian tax rate being hired, you don't end up paying American taxes. But you still have to file. And if you move to a tax haven country, you still have to pay.

I am, of course, neither a tax lawyer nor an accountant, and you should take none of this as professional advice.


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 08-14-07 5:19 PM
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Ach. "hired" s/b "higher." I need a drink.


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 08-14-07 5:19 PM
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I like to fantasize about being able to earmark one's tax dollars as one sees fit.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-14-07 5:20 PM
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you don't end up paying American taxes

Ok, this is what I was really asking, with "practically speaking." I don't care if I have to file.

Good Lord, ogged, you didn't know this?

C'mon, show us your teacher evaluations.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 08-14-07 5:21 PM
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Fear will keep the American expatriates in line: fear of this Internal Revenue Service.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 08-14-07 5:21 PM
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C'mon, show us your teacher evaluations

You can find them online.


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 08-14-07 5:22 PM
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You can find them online.

Actually, I knew that, and even wrote that comment at first to echo them, but I took mercy on you, you meanie.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 08-14-07 5:23 PM
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Ogged, I know I wasn't going to comment past the one thread --- but just so you know, this is what would probably happen. Assuming you are earning money in Canada, you would have to pay Canadian taxes as a resident there (both federal and provincial). As a US citizen, you'd also have to file US taxes. But there is a tax treaty between the two, so you would figure out how much US tax you would nominally owe, but then claim a credit for the tax you are paying Canada. Since the marginal rate in Canada is usually higher (this depends on state and province involved), this amount will usually be more than you owe the IRS, and so you that will be that.

Things get more complicated if you make money and/or live in both places. I'm no tax lawyer, though, and my personal experience with this has important details different than yours. So don't put too much store in it.


Posted by: anonnolongeratwork | Link to this comment | 08-14-07 5:23 PM
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Ok, this is what I was really asking, with "practically speaking." I don't care if I have to file.

Just remember, if you do flee the country (you dirty hippie and ingrate), check with a real accountant or lawyer first. Surprisingly, DHS and IRS don't put much stock in the "but I guy on the Internet told me" defense. So I hear.


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 08-14-07 5:23 PM
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even wrote that comment at first to echo them, but I took mercy on you, you meanie.

NO OUTING!


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 08-14-07 5:24 PM
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It wouldn't have outed you; it just would have hurt more.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 08-14-07 5:25 PM
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I found out this delightful little fact when some random dude left a comment about it on the blog post in which I announced that I got citizenship.

FWIW, I was talking about this recently with a good friend of mine who lives and works in Turkey. She said none of her American colleagues bothers to file.


Posted by: alif sikkiin | Link to this comment | 08-14-07 5:25 PM
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none of her American colleagues bothers to file.

There's a delightful little classic, still quite relevant, that illustrates why this is a very bad idea.


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 08-14-07 5:27 PM
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It wouldn't have outed you; it just would have hurt more.

I'm okay with the criticism, as long as it's well balanced by appreciation.


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 08-14-07 5:28 PM
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16: Neither an accountant or a tax lawyer, but I want to say that the govt. cares less, perhaps only in practice, if you don't actually owe. Maybe the people in Turkey are getting away with it because they don't owe.

That's totally ex recto.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 08-14-07 5:42 PM
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The government also has a lot of patience and a belief in the fact that they'll get their money eventually. Thinking you got away with something for three years and then getting a letter in the mail cheerfully stating that you owe forty-five thousand dollars and if you write a check now you can avoid further penalties is not at all uncommon.


Posted by: Jake | Link to this comment | 08-14-07 5:51 PM
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Even if it is evil I think I would actually have to support a death star. I mean come on. Hell I would be a little gleeful if we actually deployed a rods from god system.


Posted by: CJB | Link to this comment | 08-14-07 5:54 PM
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Where do I send money to support the rocket-powered biplanes to attack the death star?


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 08-14-07 5:56 PM
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You're permitted to write off something like $82,000 of overseas income if you're a resident there, I think, on the assumption that you're paying taxes to the foreign government. Even if you end up owing nothing, you still have to file the form.

As far as I know, this holds true for expat Canadians like shivbunny, too. He'll have to file but won't owe anything. I'm not as sure about that because 2007 is going to be a messy year for us, tax-wise, anyway.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 08-14-07 6:00 PM
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Ex-pat Germans don't pay German income taxes.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 08-14-07 6:07 PM
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If you became a naturalized Canadian citizen and renounced your US citizenship, you would (I imagine, but don't know) no longer have to file with the IRS. Of course, the naturalization process could take a while--maybe a year or three after you become a permanent resident. (I'm not familiar with how that works in Canada.)


Posted by: pdf23ds | Link to this comment | 08-14-07 6:17 PM
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Even if you end up owing nothing, you still have to file the form.

But aren't all penalties based on what you owe? Maybe that's the thinking of the Turkey-ites. It tend to credit local practice in the absence of a specific reason not to.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 08-14-07 6:21 PM
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Gaining another country's citizenship is not sufficient to renounce U.S. citizenship. You'd have to declare that you were renouncing it before a State department official and sign a bunch of things.

In the U.S., a permanent resident can file for naturalization after having been a permanent resident for five years. If you're married to a citizen, it's three years. It's similar in Canada.

There was a massive fee hike at the end of July intended to get the process down to six months for green cards. In practice, it's taken them two weeks to fail to acknowledge receipt of our application. Meaning it's very likely shivbunny's visa will expire before we have proof that we've filed for adjustment of status.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 08-14-07 6:22 PM
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Hell I would be a little gleeful if we actually deployed a rods from god system.

Sadly, the numbers don't work out. You spend too much time and energy providing anti-tank coverage to large areas of the Pacific Ocean without many tanks in them, time from attack decision to actual attack is too long, and it turned out that the hard part of killing tanks is targeting, not delivering enough energy, and attacking from orbit just makes targeting harder.


Posted by: Jake | Link to this comment | 08-14-07 6:24 PM
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24: That's probably their logic. I don't know about IRS policies much (immigration, I can handle. Tax law panicks me.), but if you didn't owe anything, you'd probably just get dinged for a failure to file penalty. And that's if they had reason to suspect you had a foreign income.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 08-14-07 6:25 PM
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I lived in various places in Europe 20-15 years ago and as long as I was out of the US for 330 days/year I didn't pay taxes anywhere. Maybe that was in part because I wasn't making anything/much as a student/grad student. Well, somehow in France I had to pay the tv tax because there was a tv in the apt.


Posted by: rilkefan | Link to this comment | 08-14-07 6:25 PM
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26: I always assumed the system was designed to take out hardened targets not mobile ones. Doing some quick googling it appears that both types of systems have been discussed.


Posted by: CJB | Link to this comment | 08-14-07 6:29 PM
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The US is virtually unique in taxing its expats like this. My Aussie co-workers here in Japan delight in reminding me of it all the time.


Posted by: Gaijin Biker | Link to this comment | 08-14-07 6:36 PM
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#15: I thought that article was way too well-written for Time magazine... and then I saw it was from 1963, when they assumed their readers were not morons.


Posted by: Gaijin Biker | Link to this comment | 08-14-07 6:41 PM
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18: The government also has a lot of patience and a belief in the fact that they'll get their money eventually. Thinking you got away with something for three years and then getting a letter in the mail cheerfully stating that you owe forty-five thousand dollars and if you write a check now you can avoid further penalties is not at all uncommon.

Mmm. I knew a guy who was an IRS agent, and he compared the agency to a lumbering T. Rex. Sure, they might not seem fast, or modern, or quick-witted, but they'll catch you eventually, and then you're fucked.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-14-07 6:58 PM
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I knew a guy who was an IRS agent

Aha. Included under "People whom you might feel ambivalent about being friends with."

Here's another one: booby-hatch supervisor. Had a friend who introduced me to a friend who presided over such an institution. My friend whispered in my ear as he led me up to shake hands, "Careful what you say; he might have you sectioned."


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 08-14-07 7:06 PM
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I had a tax law professor whose father is one fo these people who deny the validity of the 16th Amendment.

At one point (I looked it up; how could one not?) he tried to deduct his son's car while his son was in college. Now he just hasn't paid for a while. He's apparently quite a likable guy. The professor's wife who is phi beta kappa, and the guy's got some very smart daughters are afraid of the craziness. Apparently the IRS agent who deals with him likes him, and even has a grudging respect for the guy. My professor chatted amiably with him. (He was then worried that he might appear to be representing his father.)


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 08-14-07 7:08 PM
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33: he was actually one of the coolest, most grounded people I've ever met. I think part of the issue is that he had a conciliatory role, for an IRS agent: his job was to help big-time offenders who'd long since been caught figure out how to pay without completely ruining their lives.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-14-07 7:31 PM
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My now-deceased great-uncle refused to pay taxes during the Vietnam War because he didn't want to support the war machine. He was also a conscientious objector during WWII, and used human waste in his compost pile. Weird, less-than-fully-integrated-into-society kind of guy, but certainly had the courage of his convictions. He travelled everywhere (solo) by public bus well into his 90s.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-14-07 7:35 PM
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I thought that article was way too well-written for Time magazine... and then I saw it was from 1963, when they assumed their readers were not morons.

Gawd, is that not the truth.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 08-14-07 8:02 PM
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21: Plus 12,000 or more for housing expenses, depending on the city.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 08-14-07 8:15 PM
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booby-hatch supervisor

I had a friend who wore a hat proclaiming this profession, but the girls at the beach never believed him.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 08-14-07 8:16 PM
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#32: The latest scientific thinking has it that T-rexes were actually quite speedy indeed.


Posted by: Gaijin Biker | Link to this comment | 08-14-07 10:22 PM
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Thanks, killjoy.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-14-07 10:23 PM
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I would be a little gleeful if we actually deployed a rods from god system

So awesome. And what's more, we might get the">http://edusworld.org/ew/ficheros/2004/railguns.pdf">the railgun.


Posted by: baa | Link to this comment | 08-14-07 10:46 PM
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Frick. here


Posted by: baa | Link to this comment | 08-14-07 10:47 PM
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As a Canadian lawyer, and one who lived for years in a border town (knowing dozens of people who worked on one side of the border/living on the other), I can attest to the accuracy of the comments above: because you will almost inevitably be paying taxes at a higher rate in Canada (although not as high as you may have been led to believe), and your taxes in Canada are deductible against US taxes, you won't be financing Iraqi stormtroopers...

and
#2

There are no welfare queens in Alberta. Alberta is the Texas of Canada - the wild west. It is ruled by the closest Canadian equivalent to Republicans, so that those who would otherwise qualify for welfare are put in the stockade...


Posted by: 3pointshooter | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 12:08 AM
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none of her American colleagues bothers to file.

My wife, who hadn't filed for about fifteen years, tore up her American passport and took out a British one *specifically to travel to the United States*, so that she wouldn't get any hassle from this.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 1:47 AM
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I knew a guy who was an IRS agent

My dad is a retired IRS agent - similar duties to the guy in 35. With my back-and-forth between Europe and the U.S. over the years, he's given me a lot of advice about what types of failures to file or report are most likely to be caught/followed up on. On a don't-ask-don't-tell basis with regards to what I actually end up doing.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 2:02 AM
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that railgun link si soo cool


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 2:21 AM
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Filing is kind of a pain, though--the paperwork's kinda complicated, and you have to find someone who can file US taxes if you don't want to do it yourself. I think Mr. B. drove down to Buffalo.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 2:40 AM
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took out a British one *specifically to travel to the United States*

How does that work? My understanding is that even if I have UK citizenship, as an American citizen I'm required to enter and leave the US on my American passport, and if I try to come in on a British one, they'll deny me entry. This happened to Boris Johnson not too long ago, I think, and he's not even a real American.


Posted by: reuben | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 4:48 AM
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re: 49

I have a friend with joint citizenship and I think he travels mostly to the US on his British passport. I may be wrong, though.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 4:51 AM
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I'd be afraid of the punitive full cavity search.


Posted by: reuben | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 4:55 AM
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re: 51

Yes, he says he gets treated with some suspicion as often his two passports don't match e.g. he has an exit stamp for place-X on one passport and the entry stamp for place-Y on the other.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 4:56 AM
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Having two passports is well worth any inconvenience.


Posted by: Willy Voet | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 5:08 AM
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re: 53

I suppose technically I could get a Czech one. Never really seen the need, though. Friends of Irish descent get to have an Irish one too, aka the 'please don't kill me first Mr Terrorist' passport.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 5:10 AM
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Never really seen the need, though.

If you've already got an EU passport, no. But as an American, an EU passport lessens the hassles of living and working abroad.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 5:18 AM
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Abroad in the EU, that is.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 5:19 AM
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Boris Johnson is a US citizen? My parents told me never to travel to the US on my British passport, but I don't actually know what would happen if I did.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 5:34 AM
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I don't actually know what would happen if I did
You'd be forced to run for London mayor on a campaign of Japes and Hi-jinks.

My understanding is that he has an American parent, which means he's an American citizen (that's not true for all children of American parents, though - but I do think it's true for all children of American women).

And citizenship allows you to vote, which gives you the right to complain.


Posted by: reuben | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 6:10 AM
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That last paragraph is re reasons to take citizenship, besides faster queues after EU flights.


Posted by: reuben | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 6:18 AM
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How does that work?

In a practical sense, it works by carrying a British passport and not having "Oh, by the way, I'm actually a US citizen" tattooed on your forehead.

In principle, I didn't know that rule and I doubt she does either. She hasn't actually owned a US passport for 20 years.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 6:20 AM
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IANATL, but 3 and 21 are both correct. You get to choose whether you take the foreign income deduction or the tax credit for foreign taxes paid. There might be advantages to one or the other depending on your situation, particularly if you can carry the credit forward or backward (no idea if you can). Getting some professional advice here is probably worth the money.

I went 8 years...I mean, I have this friend who went 8 years without filing a 1040 because all of his income was earned abroad and he wouldn't have had any US tax liability after the deduction/credit. I don't necessarily recommend this course of action to anyone else, because it's still possible that a letter will arrive in the mail one day a la 18.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 6:21 AM
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You'd be forced to run for London mayor on a campaign of Japes and Hi-jinks.

And black children having watermelon smiles. I suspect you would have a hard time running for mayor of Washington with that one (or any other city in the USA, to be fair).


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 6:23 AM
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Boris is why I'm going to get my citizenship this winter - I must vote against that fop. (Albeit not for his foppishness.) On a positive note, his candidacy may be useful in that it will encourage Ken to really work hard to get out the vote amongst the poor, non-white, etc. I'll be interested in seeing how successful he is, what if anything works, etc. As with congestion charging, there may end up being some political lessons other politicians can learn and use elsewhere.


Posted by: reuben | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 6:37 AM
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I like to fantasize about being able to earmark one's tax dollars as one sees fit.

You wouldn't believe the number of times people want to do the same with child support.

Horrible generalization:

Men: "How do I get an itemization of how she spent the child support?"

Women: "He gets the kids AND he wants ME to pay HIM child support?!??!? Asshole."

I usually start by saying "Ok Dumbass....."


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 6:38 AM
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If you're a U.S. citizen, you're required to file a U.S. tax return whether you owe the U.S. treasury or not. There are penalties for a failure to file - plus the statute of limitations on any unpaid taxes does not start to run until you have filed. Thus, if you did not file a return 20 years ago and the IRS audits you for that and it turns out you have unpaid taxes, you will have to pay them, plus interest (and possibly penalties).

Ogged - I think you can get out of paying current U.S. income taxes by renouncing your U.S. citizenship, but there are residual taxes on any realized capital gains (for something like 10 years), although I think Grassley introduced a bill recently that would impose an immediate tax on any unrealized gain of someone who gives up their U.S. citizenship.


Posted by: Ugh | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 6:45 AM
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I must vote against that fop.

Boris Johnson may be many things, but he is not excessively concerned with fashion and appearance.


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 6:56 AM
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Boris is as studiously disheveled as a would be teenage rock star. I think he is concerned with his highly valuable image as a devil may care Tory, and that his look plays to how he wants to be perceived.


Posted by: reuben | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 7:04 AM
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And that hairdo? That is the height of upper middle class foppishness in the UK right now. THere's barely a single self-regarding upper crust young 'party boy' to be seen without that sort of moppy hairdo right now, or so it seems to me.


Posted by: reuben | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 7:06 AM
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Am I correct that unfiled taxes have no statute of limitations but merely dishonest tax filings expire after 3 years? My ex-GF was told this directly by a tax accountant, but I wouldn't mind some internet confirmation.

PS - And I'm not just saying this to cover myself, but I don't actually lie on my taxes. But I used to, and like to believe that it's all water under the bridge.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 7:11 AM
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Am I correct that unfiled taxes have no statute of limitations but merely dishonest tax filings expire after 3 years?

Yes and it depends on how dishonest one was.


Posted by: Ugh | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 7:19 AM
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The statute of limitations on good-faith filings is something like 3 years but for fraudulent filings it's much longer.


Posted by: Becks | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 7:35 AM
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The basic statute is three years, but that goes up to six if the underpayment is large enough and for fraud I don't think there is a limit at all.


Posted by: Ugh | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 7:37 AM
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I think you can get out of paying current U.S. income taxes by renouncing your U.S. citizenship

Is that something you can renounce? What do you do, ceremonially burn a copy of the constitution in the departure lounge at Kennedy airport?


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 7:41 AM
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Wow, Boris Johnson is running for mayor of London? When I first heard of him I was vaguely certain that he was, in fact, a popular British television parody of an MP. Guess I was wrong.


Posted by: destroyer | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 7:44 AM
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I think you can get out of paying current U.S. income taxes by renouncing your U.S. citizenship

Is that something you can renounce? What do you do, ceremonially burn a copy of the constitution in the departure lounge at Kennedy airport?


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 7:46 AM
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Renunciation of citizenship.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 7:46 AM
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74: Destroyer, you were absolutely right. Unfortunately he's a real life parody and also running for Mayor of London.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 7:48 AM
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Hmm... I know he's a horrible Tory, but at least he's a cyclist; Ken Livingstone seems to be mainly concerned with the ability of London taxi drivers to make vast amounts of money and try their best to kill everyone else on the roads.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 7:56 AM
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My understanding is that he has an American parent, which means he's an American citizen (that's not true for all children of American parents, though - but I do think it's true for all children of American women).

How the child has American parentage doesn't matter, though it's less likely to be contested if the mother is American (as opposed to, say, a foreign fiancee from an impoverished country with a high risk of fraud.) Any kid born in the U.S. (excluding diplomats & a couple other cases) is a citizen. Any kid born to citizen parents who have lived in the U.S. is automatically a citizen.

Where it gets tricky is something like the following case: shivbunny and I have kids, and they have American citizenship through me, but they grow up in Canada, and then one of *them* has a kid... they can still apply for citizenship, but they have to reside in the U.S. for a period of time (I think it's a year) in order to maintain citizenship.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 8:04 AM
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...but at least he's a cyclist

That's what politics needs: a runoff between Chris Boardman and Beryl Burton—I know she's dead; play along—David Millar forced to break off talks with Laurent Fignon for having failed a drug test. Phil Liggett on election night coverage. Yes!

May as well be politics, since the sport has taken a massive hit.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 8:07 AM
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I know she's dead; play along

In that case Tommy Simpson is a shoo-in for any elected office in Britain.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 8:09 AM
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Even the dead can fail drug tests, and on this continent, often fail alcohol tests.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 8:12 AM
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When I first heard of him I was vaguely certain that he was, in fact, a popular British television parody of an MP. Guess I was wrong.

You're thinking of George Galloway. He's the one with the beard.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 8:25 AM
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No, I'm definitely thinking of Boris Johnson. I was probably confused because of the way I heard him mentioned. "Oh, Boris Johnson? I love him - he's so funny!"

Also, his appearance. Fop is dead-on.


Posted by: destroyer | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 8:37 AM
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Is the word "fop" appropriate for non-British fops? Does it only apply to Englishmen?

What's the equivalent for other nationalities? I've been told that "flâneur" is right for Frenchmen.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 8:39 AM
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OH NO

In 85 I seem to be implying that "British" and "English" mean the same thing. I intended to imply the exact opposite, in other words, does "fop" only apply to Englishmen? Or can it be used for other people of the British Isles? Or preening dandies of all nationalities? Only Europeans?


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 8:40 AM
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I don't want to encourage Johnson, but for those who are interested, he sorta kinda blogs here.

He is, in fact, a very clever, funny eccentric. Sadly, he's also a right wing racist piece of shit.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 8:43 AM
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Late to this, but the foreign income exclusion doesn't depend on any tax you may be paying to the country in which you reside. Even if there's no income tax, you still get the $82,400 exemption, so long as you're out of the country for at least 330 days (or something like that). This is part of the reason why it's so lucrative to be a private contractor in Iraq--most of your income is tax-free.


Posted by: Matt F | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 8:48 AM
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Boris's mother lives in New York. His father's family is originally Turkish. His great-grandfather was "Ali Kemal, a Turkish journalist who was briefly interior minister in the puppet government of Ahmed Tevfik Pasha, Grand Vizier of the then defunct Ottoman Empire." (Wikipedia). I heard Andrew Marr tease him about this on Start the Week once.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 8:56 AM
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at least he's a cyclist; Ken Livingstone seems to be mainly concerned with the ability of London taxi drivers to make vast amounts of money and try their best to kill everyone else on the roads

Do you cycle a lot in London? I do, and Ken's congestion charge has made me feel far safer than I used to, and his work with the cycling campaigns has been pretty good. The cycle lanes are pretty crap, but Rome wasn't built in a day. Boris's laissez-faire attitude would send us straight back to the 90s in terms of safety.

His cycling makes him no more trustworthy than does Bush's fishing, clearing brush, etc.


Posted by: reuben | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 8:57 AM
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re: 85

You certainly get Scots who exhibit foppish tendencies. There's a special prison outside Arbroath where we keep them. Sometimes they are allowed out; if they complete all their rehabilitation classes: Stabbing 101, Gruff and How to Get It, Connery: Better than that Twat Moore, or what?, Whisky: A Man's Drink, etc.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 9:00 AM
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I'm visualizing the incarceration scene in A Clockwork Orange, with Michael Bates examining Malcolm MacDowell.

Maybe Ogged can be appointed Superintendent of the American Branch.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 9:05 AM
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Cala, perhaps i'm misinterpreting you, so het up am I by my loathing of dastardly Boris, but I don't think you're exactly right - or at least aren't covering all the potentialities. When my daughter is born (in the UK, to a British mother and an American father), she will not be an American citizen, because her non-American mother and I are not married. (This even though I am a US citizen who lived many years in the US.) Only once we go to the consulate and fill out lots of forms attesting that she is mine and even though not married to her mum I will be financially responsible til age 18, does she qualify to become an American citizen. (A process that is expedited if I can teach her to recite the second amendment before the age of 3.) Whereas if the mum was American and I were British, she'd automatically be American. Or so I understand it from the consulate.


Posted by: reuben | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 9:06 AM
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I daydream occasionally about seeing if I can get Irish citizenship (I think I'm entitled, on the basis of either one or two grandparents depending if my grandmother counts), but I'm not sure what exactly I'd want it for.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 9:21 AM
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re: 94

For the 'please don't kill me Mr Terrorist' reasons given above.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 9:23 AM
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Maybe, but it's not as if I could pass as Irish unless my accent-faking got better (I used to do a pretty good brogue, but I've lost it in the 20 years since I've been back). I was thinking more of 'if I ever need to leave the country, it might be nice to have another nationality ready', but I doubt that's realistic. If Rudy gets elected, I might look into it again.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 9:28 AM
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This country has peaked in prestige and power. If Rudy gets elected the decline will happen really fast.

I wish it wasn't happening at the same time that the western world in general will have to tighten up on everything (peak oil, global warming or the stringent regulations/rationing necessary to limit it).


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 9:30 AM
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93: I didn't describe all of the cases (upon looking up the regulation, it's 5 years, not one), but....You have to fill out a form registering an overseas birth in either case; and I think the extra forms in your case are due to the fact that you're not married to the mom (so people just don't go around claiming American citizenship for random babies. Immigration law is weird.) and because you're the dad (they assume maternity is easier to prove than paternity.) But a form has to be filled out in either case, and as far as I know, there's no residency requirement that would apply if you were the dad and not the mom.

In other words, there's no difference in your child's rights based on from which parent citizenship is derived. It's just harder to prove in the case of dads.

Here's the relevant text. No difference based on the gender of the qualifying parent.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 9:31 AM
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re: 96

Heh. Yeah, I'm fairly sure the 'they kill the Americans and Brits first' thing is exaggerated anyway. Maybe they'll take pity on you because you're a lawyer? [evil laugh]


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 9:32 AM
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This country has peaked in prestige and power.

Absolutely. How do you think the soldier's slap on the wrist for beating to death a detainee will play in the world?!?!??!?!?!?!


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 9:33 AM
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Incidentally,

http://www.guardian.co.uk/iran/story/0,,2149187,00.html

is fucking stupid.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 9:36 AM
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This country has peaked in prestige and power

The trajectory 1965-1983 was pretty grim. Someone writing in 1973 might say the same thing. There is some hope, I think-- amnesiac optimism can work wonders, and if enough people realize soon enough that they have something to lose, perhaps some of us will act on decent convictions. Other countries have recovered from much lower lows.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 9:38 AM
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This country has peaked in prestige and power.

And this is a bad thing?


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 9:41 AM
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101: I meant to post on that. Yeah, it's nuts, although I'd argue that it's not unprecedented -- the way we regard the Taliban (which, unpleasant as it is, was the ruling political party in an actual country in 2001) is similar.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 9:43 AM
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94: Would your European citizenship potentially be useful to your children? I don't know the law - perhaps it would be non-transferable, given the tenuous way you would get it. But if it was available to them, as the child of an Irish citizen, how grand would that be? Free to live anywhere in Europe, and not just in the US. (Not quite yet, of course.)

The same 'Europe's a lovely place to live, even (often especially) for Americans' thinking might also apply to you.

98: cheers


Posted by: reuben | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 9:52 AM
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Yeah, that was part of my thinking -- I think I can get Irish citizenship, but you need a grandparent, and so my kids couldn't on their own behalf. I assume that if I did, that would open the door for Buck and the kids.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 9:54 AM
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106: It really is a lovely continent, and much more palatable than the US in terms of the range it offers, both politically and in terms of quality of life - or so think I. And as long as you can get a decent job and speak the language, being a foreigner in a developed country is a truly wonderful experience, for too many reasons to list.

C'mon in, as they say, the water's fine.


Posted by: reuben | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 10:08 AM
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I assume that if I did, that would open the door for Buck and the kids.

No, you can only pass on Irish citizenship to your kids if they're below a certain age (2 or 3, I think) when you get it.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 10:18 AM
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Bleah. But (ignorantly) I'd bet that that's an 'automatically pass on as by right' and that there'd be some method of getting them in if I moved to Ireland with them. And I'd still be an Irish grandparent for grandkids.

But I'm not actually planning to do this right this minute.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 10:21 AM
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The method if you actually moved to Ireland would presumably be through Buck et al being resident in the country long enough to qualify for citizenship in their own right. At least in the UK, the spouse qualifies after 5 years, I think.

I'm not sure if residency would also do the trick if you moved to another EU state, eg the UK, or if the residency would have to be in Ireland.


Posted by: reuben | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 10:26 AM
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As far as I know (and my mom is eligible, so I have looked into this), the only way for them to get citizenship would be to move to Ireland and go through the naturalization process just like everyone else; your status wouldn't help.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 10:26 AM
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Yeah, I'm fairly sure the 'they kill the Americans and Brits first' thing is exaggerated anyway.

If only.

Actually, IIRC, the reason Stetham got pegged as U.S. military was that he didn't have a passport at all, which was commonplace for travelling service members in those days.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 10:45 AM
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re: 112

I knew it wasn't a myth. But I can't think of any recent similar events.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 10:48 AM
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My mom knew a bunch of the flight attendants on that flight.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 10:48 AM
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I could take a Canadian passport anytime, but having naturalized fairly recently, after long dithering, I doubt that I ever will; they can just shoot me.

This country is the Schwerpunkt of the worldwide political struggle now. Alienate yourself and you'll be on the sidelines.

But I understand the dread and the anxiety, the revolting sense of lost opportunity and inevitability. And in our neck of the woods, Hillary-foisters bear a lot of the responsibility for that feeling.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 11:00 AM
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Simply accepting another country's citizenship is not enough to defray you of American citizenship; but I think there are few if any countries that will naturalize someone who has not already renounced their prior allegiances.

I don't know quite how this works -- I take it that you have to walk as a stateless person out of the U.S. Embassy with your stamped form of Not A Citizen Any More, and hope that there's nobody waiting to kidnap you outside the gate.

If it were actually possible to get another passport without giving up your U.S. one then I assume a lot of people would do it.


Posted by: neil | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 11:25 AM
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Quite a few countries allow dual citizenship, actually.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 11:29 AM
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And this is a bad thing?

This is the hope I cling to, actually.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 11:29 AM
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If it were actually possible to get another passport without giving up your U.S. one then I assume a lot of people would do it.

Why so? If you're an immigrant they can't expect you to be stateless while you qualify. Also, there are various countries, like Ireland, which give you a passport with very loose connections.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 11:33 AM
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'Allowing' dual citizenship is different from naturalizing someone who's already a citizen of another country. Maybe it really is true that some countries don't require any documentary evidence of the renunciation of prior citizenship, but it seems like an invitation for abuse.


Posted by: neil | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 11:37 AM
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'Allowing' dual citizenship is different from naturalizing someone who's already a citizen of another country.

Doesn't the latter have to occur before you allow the former?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 11:39 AM
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No, you could have kids who are born under certain circumstances automatically get dual citizenship. I'm pretty sure there are other ways to get it, though.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 11:45 AM
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The Irish grandparent thing, for instance, doesn't require renouncing your other citizenship.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 11:46 AM
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Everyone I know of with a dual citizenship is born with the right to be a citizen in both countries (for instance, my son). Naturalization is the sticky wicket here.

Apparently, though, there are some countries, such as Canada, which really will naturalize people who hold another nation's passport. The U.S. will not, you have to renounce your prior citizenship for reals.


Posted by: neil | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 11:47 AM
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s/is/was/


Posted by: neil | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 11:48 AM
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Apparently, though, there are some countries, such as Canada, which really will naturalize people who hold another nation's passport.

Ireland, too.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 11:50 AM
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This is the hope I cling to, actually

Oh, me too. This is my quarrel with the Hilzoy/Katherine "America must be a force for good" view. I don't believe this country ought to be much of a force for anything, given how it's been constituted for a very long time.

But Germany's and Japan's defeats weren't the kind of checks, never really effecting the home, that Vietnam and now Iraq are; they constituted The Natural History of Destruction. Who would wish that on anyone, on us? Might it be necessary?

I've been re-reading Friedrich Meinecke's postwar statement The German Catastrophe, and its prophetic vision of Germany as a lesser, cooperative member of a European Federation, alongside other successfully-evolved former Imperial Powers, like Sweden and Denmark. Sort of "Germany as an ordinary country."

That's been my chosen free-time reading the last few months: Meineke, Lucy-Ring, Bonhoeffer. Their issue, patriotic love and service for a country deeply in the wrong, is the way I see mine.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 11:57 AM
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Hopefully we'll go down like Britain, rather than like Germany or Japan.

By which I mean, selfishly, hopefully we'll confine ourselves to horrible wars in far-away places rather than having to get the shit bombed out of us at home.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 12:00 PM
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I can't believe you liberals are so blind to the obvious reality that America will be ripped apart from within by the vast quantity of Muslim immigrants flexing their might and imposing sharia. Isn't it obvious?


Posted by: neil | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 12:02 PM
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This country has peaked in prestige and power.

People seem to decide that this is true once every fifteen or twenty years. See the Eighties.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 12:03 PM
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The U.S. will not, you have to renounce your prior citizenship for reals.

This is not really true. Maybe technically, because when I took the oath there's a part about renouncing fealty to any foreign potentate, etc. But no one made me give up my Canadian passport, and as far as the Canadian government is concerned, I'm a Canadian citizen. I've never heard of a case of the US stripping anyone of US citizenship because they have not renounced their previous citizenship.


Posted by: alif sikkiin | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 12:13 PM
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Really? That's excellent to know. I had read that the opposite was the case, but it was written by someone who didn't have to do it themselves. In that case I think I must have been totally mistaken before and the oath of renunciation that you have to take to be naturalized is really never enforced. (Not that people don't get in trouble when they show one country their passport from another country. No country wants to know it's being cheated on.)


Posted by: neil | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 12:20 PM
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I seem to remember hearing a story about someone who went through that whole "renouncing citizenship" thing, after which the U.S. official simply slid their other-nation passport back across the table at them without comment.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 12:23 PM
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The State Department has a handy guide about how to renounce your citizenship. Fun fact: It can't be done from Cuba.


Posted by: neil | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 12:33 PM
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Neil,

What you say isn't remotely true for the UK (despite the cricket metaphor). You can have other nationalities and passports, and still get naturalised as a UK citizen. I suppose it's a legacy of imperialism and the commonwealth.


Posted by: reuben | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 2:51 PM
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I had the impression the US was much more hardass about renouncing other countries before being granted citizenship until a decade or so ago.

Then the state department finally realised that they could posture about requiring sole citizenship as much as they like, whether or not another country considers you their citizen is not influenced by what the US says...

In the Netherlands this is an issue for people of Turkish descent, who may or may not hold a Turkish passport, who may be third or even fourth generation living in the Netherlands, but Turkey still considers them citizens and still requires any males to fulfill their national service. Most men end off buying it off and spent just a few weeks following the abbriviated course.


Posted by: Martin Wisse | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 3:52 AM
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