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Trump’s Inaugural Speech: My Response

I’m finding it difficult to identify my feelings in response to Trump’s inaugural speech. My first reaction was “He prepared. He’s using full sentences and not repeating himself.” My second reaction was “This is a recycled campaign speech.” Trump’s Inaugural Speech That campaign speech tinge is what particularly bothered me about it. Inaugural speeches are…

close-up of the American flag, representing the American Dream

Watching America Fall Apart on my Renunciation Anniversary

This entry is part 23 of 23 in the series US citizenship

One year ago today, I renounced my US citizenship. Here in the Netherlands, since last week’s US elections, friends and colleagues often ask me “Are you glad you gave up citizenship?” I always say “Yes!” but that’s a lie. I didn’t want give up citizenship then, and I still feel sad that I had to…

A street in Yemin Moshe, a neighborhood just outside the old walls of Jerusalem

Tit for tat: the American version

But is it safe? or… There have been incidents lately. Please be careful! or… Are you sure you want to go there now? These are the sorts of comments I’ve received each time I’ve gone to Israel. The fact is that “incidents” do sometimes happen in Israel. Lately, it’s been a few stabbings on the…

a lithograph of the Boston Tea Party

FATCA, the Tea Party and Me

This entry is part 6 of 23 in the series US citizenship

“No taxation without representation,” a slogan going back to colonial America, is commonly cited by overseas Americans like me in discussions of FATCA. It’s also the basis of the Tea Party’s name: a reference to the Boston Tea Party, an act of rebellion against the taxation of the American colonists by the British government. FATCA…

My Renunciation Day

This entry is part 4 of 23 in the series US citizenship

I renounced my US citizenship today. I’ve talked about this issue before here and then here and then here. Right now, though, I don’t want to discuss the politics, but rather just let you know what my day was like. Getting there Like any good Dutch resident, I got to Amsterdam by first riding my bike…

John Lewis and Stuart Gaffney, wearing tuxes with rainbow-colored bow ties, carrying a sign reading "Love is Supreme"

How marriage equality could strengthen straight marriage … or not

In a recent op-ed piece in The New York Times on Sunday, Ross Douthat argued that, despite Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy’s inspiring words about marriage equality and the strengthening of marriage, marriage is in fact losing importance. In Douthat’s words, marriage has become “malleable and optional, one way among many to love, live, rear kids—or…

A message to moderate Muslims about terrorism

When there’s some big event in the news, like the recent brutal attack on the Charlie Hebdo offices in Paris, I usually don’t post about it. It just always seems to me that enough people are commenting—people like me who don’t have any specialist knowledge; as well as all sorts of experts, who do. This time,…

Is flying safe?

I read an article today at Renegade Travels that looked at some statistics and declared that flying is indeed still safe, despite how it looks in the news. The author is right, of course, even if you don’t choose to believe the Wikipedia statistics the article relies on: flying is still far, far safer than driving….