Who is the real Peter Dunn? Arguably, he is the world’s most (in)famous recent renunciant of US citizenship, after Superman, as a result of Atossa Abrahamian’s Reuter’s article. But this could lead to various portrayals who I am and why I did it. Which portrayal is correct?
Benedict Arnold (traitor): Americans are generally pretty insecure when someone talks about the renunciation of US citizenship and they get pretty testy. The most common response is, “Don’t let the door hit you on the way out.” While this is rude, to characterize me as a traitor because I’ve given up my citizenship would be extreme. I haven’t switched sides during a time of war. Nor am I fighting an actual war against the United States–yet.
Irwin Schiff (famous tax evader): Call me, “Pete the Tax Cheat”. The other Peter Dunn portrayed me as an American who left the US to avoid paying taxes. Well not exactly; I don’t owe anything. It’s not that. Besides, I didn’t leave the US under duress but during peaceful times to study in Canada, England and Switzerland.
Really, the myth that suits me best is neither the traitor nor the tax cheat, but the guy who has gone native. I found me a woman here in Canada. I’ve become a part of the Canadian people; I feel greater love and affinity to them now. Don’t I speak their two languages, eh? (N’est-ce pas?) Now, if my former countrymen from the United States attack my new people, I am ready to take up arms and fight against them on the side of the Canadians. That’s not Benedict Arnold: It’s John Dunbar, who marries a white Sioux woman and must protect her and the tribe. It’s Jake Sully, who has now fallen in love with a Na’vi and will fight against his fellow earthlings to protect his new people. The Americans who want to portray me as the bad guy must realize that John Dunbar and Jake Sully were the heroes, not the military macho types who called them traitors. Dunbar and Sully fought for their women, for their new people, and for justice in the face evil foreign invaders.
Well this is what Ms. Abrahamian quoted me as saying for the world to read:
“If it was just me then it would be one thing,” says Dunn, a part-time investor who worried that having to share information with the IRS would deter future business partners – and upset his wife, who is Canadian. “Disclosing joint accounts I hold with my wife and anyone I ever want to do business with – that’s just too much. My wife’s account is none of their business.”
This sounds like Jake Sully and John Dunbar to me. I am not Benedict Arnold or even Pete the Tax Cheat. But I admit to having gone native.
@ Just Me It seems that the comments at Huff or more devastating that at conservative sites. You may be right. I appreciate your efforts too.
@petros, even though it’s radio, I still think you should wear Blaze’s uniform. It will put you in the right state of mind.
@Petros as to — April 19, 2012 at 8:31 pm @Just me: “I’ll try to reach the dittoheads, and others here should try to reach the progressives like the Huffington and Slate. We are pretty strange bedfellows at Isaac Brock, and yet, it is really going to take every one of us with our rich diversity of perspectives to accomplish the task”
This is so true. Congresspeople often cannot overcome their partisan differences and as a result cannot resolve divisive issues constructively. What I believe is different about Isaac Brock is that nobody here cares who is Democrat or Republican, who is pro-life or pro-choice, who is pro-gun, who is gay-lesbian, who is pro-Obama-care or not. We are always 90-95% in agreement about the “US person abroad” related issues that we are upset about, and here at Isaac Brock we can set aside the other differences that we might have and concentrate on the central issues of our group. I think that Congress could learn something from us.
I had the following exchange:
Peter W. Dunn| 4.19.12 @ 1:25PM
I have [not] chickened out of anything. Have some respect. I have stood up to your government with my real name.
A. Fox| 4.19.12 @ 2:59PM
your real name…lol. Your all talk a paper tiger…
no not even a tiger.
Peter W. Dunn| 4.19.12 @ 4:13PM
I’ve been told before that I am a chicken. But whenever I make a blog comment, it is in my real name, or such manner that people can trace the comment back to my real identity (Petros is my blogger alias). I decided a few months ago, when Jim Flaherty announced that the Canadian government would not collect FBAR fines, that I could reveal who I am–before that, discretion was the better part of valour. I don’t mind being called a chicken, because I relinquished my US citizenship, but I am quick to point out when the person calling me a chicken is hiding behind an alias or a untraceable identity, such as A. Fox. That doesn’t seem particularly courageous to me.
A. Fox| 4.20.12 @ 5:27AM
A. Fox stands for Alan Fox dumb ass!
Peter W. Dunn| 4.20.12 @ 6:21AM
Ok, that’s really nice. Call me a rude name. Are there any grown-ups around?
On the bright hand, here’s a sympathetic response from Ilana Mercer (a libertarian & and immigrant from South Africa):
Many of my immigrant friends in the US and I have had arguments over this taxation issue. I guess they don’t like to hear about people leaving the US when they worked so hard to get there. And conversely I hate hearing about people migrating to the US. I guess it’s because each of our life choices calls in to question the wisdom of the other guy’s choices. 🙂
Thanks, Eric. Good article.
Those who want to see what I look like can see my picture at http://isaacbrocksociety.com/petros/ The kitty is Tertia. She wrote the Book of Romans.
I had to put a comment on the Weekly Standard too. The name calling disappointed me. I see they have a policy against it, but obviously they don’t moderate. Mine is the most recent comment. You have heard it all before.
I mean, American Spectator! duh… Gosh I wished Word Press had a comment review and edit function. The one at the Spectator is quite nice.
One thing I find rather amusing is the fact that all the pro-FATCA tax bloggers (Richard Murphy, John Christensen, Nicholas Shaxson, TJN) haven’t been touching the renunciation story with a 10-foot pole. (I’ve got all their blogs in my RSS feed; they’ve got some sensible things to say about transfer pricing, at least). TJN in particular does a roundup post almost every day with every single international tax story they could find in three different languages.
Granted, they’re all British so it’s not an issue on their side of the pond, but they regularly pay attention to other American tax issues, and the Reuters story it did make it into their Daily Mail. I’d at least expect a hearty condemnation of all us tax evading scum who refuse to pay our fair share from Murphy, who’s spoken out in favour of citizenship-based taxation in the past..