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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…

American Flag

Indignation Fatigue and FATCA

This entry is part 20 of 23 in the series US citizenship

A lawsuit against FATCA, the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, was filed back in 2014 by Senator Rand Paul and the Republicans Overseas and, while I am certainly no fan of the senator, I support this lawsuit. It was, however, dismissed in April because the Ohio federal judge who heard the case decided that the…

"Good Heaven! what sorrows gloom'd that parting day etc", by Thomas Falcon Marshall (taken from Wikimedia)

So You Think You Want to Emigrate …

This entry is part 19 of 23 in the series US citizenship

“If Trump gets elected, I’m leaving the country.” I don’t live in the US, but I have read comments like this on social media and in the news. Apparently, sometimes this isn’t just an idle threat. The Guardian cites a Luminoso survey which found that: … about 4% of 4.5 million Donald Trump-related tweets contained threats…

at a voting station in Florida

Vote … as a Non-Citizen? Really?

This entry is part 16 of 23 in the series US citizenship

On my return from a short vacation with my family, I was surprised to find a letter from the Department of Elections of the City of San Francisco waiting for me, offering me the opportunity to vote in the Democratic primary. Before I moved to the Netherlands back in 1997, I lived in San Francisco, so San…

a box of kleenex, a cup of tea with lemon juice and honey, and cough drops

Explaining the health care debate

Every time I try to explain the health care debate to Dutch people I am faced with the same wrinkled-brow, gaping-mouth, puzzled expression that the Japanese president’s wife, Miyuki Hatoyama, must confront when she starts talking about her latest jaunt to Venus. The whole debate is simply unfathomable to the average Dutchman. Or perhaps I…