@Brodie: Sure, I’ve heard of it. I’m hoping to attend PorcFest next year, but that’ll depend on as-yet-unknown visa adventures and the success of a fundraiser I’ll need to do to offset some of the costs.
Mike, that was a great interview you gave on Russia Today. I have to agree with you, our federal government is no longer responsive to the needs of the people – instead, our American national government is run by Corporate America.
Here in Florida, our State of Florida is an American state no longer responsive to the needs of the people. Instead, the State of Florida is run by greedy real estate developers and by greedy bankers who contributed to the downfall of the real estate market among other things. Case in point: The recent legislative session in Tallahassee that was supposed to put a constitutional amendment on the ballot in November that would have prohibited any kind of oil drilling near the Florida coastline; instead our legislators bow to corporate interests and go to Tallahassee for one day sitting there doing nothing.
Besides, more and more people are becoming homeless here in Florida due to the mortgages on the inflated values of homes (thanks to the greedy real estate developers) that people can no longer afford. All these greedy bankers cared about was that their mortgage loan officers get a sizable commission rather than check to see if the borrower was capable of paying the loan back over time.
On the subject of homelessness in Florida, once one loses his or her home due to foreclosure, it is the beginning of a status which turns a person into a second class citizen which can result in involvement with law enforcement. It can result in harassment and intimidation by law enforcement for no reason, not to mention being the recipient of not one but many trespass warnings from both public and private places.
Now Mike, renouncing your American citizenship was a choice that was entirely yours, and I feel it is your right. I look at it this way: You live in a place but your work place is so far away meaning a long commute for you. You find another place which is just around the corner from where you work. OK. Now you got that mortgage on the place you are trying to sell and you got a buyer who is paying what you are asking for. Since you have the mortgage on your place, you would pay it off from the proceeds that you would get at the closing table. Instead, the bank who holds the mortgage turns around and will not let you sell in the first place – the bank keeps you in that home which is a long commute for you until it’s paid off (which would be, say, in 20 years). Having a bank hold you in a house that you can no longer stay at until the mortgage is paid off can be compared, in theory, to a country that you want to get rid of its citizenship that will not let you.
Again, this was a great interview. You got a great web site – keep up the good work!
I kind of got a kick out of her rather forceful statement about “the country where you were born”. Do any of us really have a choice where we’re born? Why do we owe anything to a government (which wasn’t in place at the time we were born) and a country just because it’s where our mother was when she popped us out?
Admittedly, I have a strange perspective on this because I feel the same way about biological family (you don’t get to choose them, and you don’t have to stay in a relationship with any of them if you don’t want it) and because I’m a military brat, I’ve known scores of people who were born to American parents in all kinds of exotic locations, giving them unasked-for DUAL citizenships to deal with.
I guess “because you were born” just isn’t a good enough reason to justify most things, at least not in my mind.
Just saw your interview, Mike. I am headed to Manila later this year to set up operations over there. No plans to renounce but definitely thinking strategically and finding the environment here a bit too toxic.
Hope to catch up with you one of these days. I’d love to put you in touch with a good friend of mine in the FSP if you make it to that Porc thing next year. Stay well!
While the interview wonderful in its own right, I’m surprised there was no mention as your statelessness; I’m sure plenty of people who saw this video simply assumed you traded one citizenship for another.
Nice interview. Actually, the reporter did a nice job, too, given that nothing was written down.
I have lived in Japan for 10 years, and have been finding it very unpleasant to think of returning to the US. I really appreciated your point about “the land or the people.” Of course, a large percentage of my friends are American, and my family is American, and people in America are as nice as they are anywhere–most people on this ball of dirt are really nice. But the oligarchy masquerading as a republic… not so good.
I’m not an anarchist. I like the idea of government. But the purpose of government needs to be the same as anything: To provide value to the stakeholders. I pay my taxes here and I get clean water; cheap, but high-quality healthcare with free yearly checkups; schools that pay teachers enough to get good ones; plenty of support for low-income people so they don’t stab me for my iPod; even liability insurance on my car bundled into my registration. Overall, I pay less in tax here than the US, but I actually get real-life benefits for that investment. It’s better. It’s a lot better.
I don’t know that I want to renounce my citizenship, though. My wife is Japanese and having two different passports in the family seems like it could be useful if all hell breaks loose. I’m here legally on a spousal visa indefinitely, and I could evac her to the US in the same way if something were to happen.
If you do not have Slovakian citizenship, how do you handle travel? Or have you simply given that up?