Now Open: Maple Sandbox for standing up to IRS bullies.
Outraged Canadian and Blaze invite you to come play with us at Maple Sandbox in a spirit of fun, friendship, sharing and enthusiasm as we learn, grow and share together.
While Maple Sandbox offers a calm and casual approach, we know the battle against the IRS is a serious one that has turned lives upside down. So, we are determined to stand up to bullies, wherever they come from.
We know how alarming, distressing and worrying issues of dealing with IRS from afar can be. At Maple Sandbox, we aim to offer a dwelling for rest and relaxation in an atmosphere of sharing, exploring, and learning. We are starting small, but we plan on adding building blocks and new friends along the way.
We do not shy away from the conflict. We plan to arm ourselves and others with resources, respect and advocacy against the attempted intrusion of IRS into the lives of honest, law-abiding tax paying people outside USA.
Canadians and Americans fight wars differently. Likewise, Maple Sandbox will conduct this dispute to reflect Canada’s long and esteemed history of fighting for freedom, while also promoting global peacemaking and international development. .
Isaac Brock Society literally saved our sanity and gave us strength and strategies for saving ourselves and others. Eventually, as both we and Brock changed, we decided it was time to Blaze a new Outraged Canadian trail. Thank you usxcanada for the superb suggestion that we go find another sandbox to play in. We have done just that by building Maple Sandbox. .
Blaze and Petros have sealed a treaty. We are allies with Brock and others around the world. As strong trading partners, many of our toys were imported from Brock. We hope to export buckets of sand to Brock. Maple Sandbox and Brock will share building blocks as we expand our treasure chests.
Brock soldiers are welcome to relax in our playground. Likewise, we expect some Sandboxers may also be Brock troopers.
Maple Sandbox believes learning and growing occurs through open, honest exchange of thoughts, ideas and communications. We cherish freedom of speech and freedom of expression as fundamental Canadian values. At the same time, neither freedom is absolute– nor should they be in a civilized world. So, we will follow Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which provides that “reasonable limits” may be placed on individual rights in a free and democratic society.
Come to Maple Sandbox to play, explore and even fight with us as we Blaze a new Outraged Canadian Trail.
Blaze: Thanks for the work that you and Outraged have put into building your sandbox. I wish for you every success in attracting readers.
*First, I clicked the link to the Maple Sandbox and it failed. I hope that was a temporary error.
Second, I Believe that we all have the right to express ourselves fully though not abusively. I believe that the posts on Brock are excellently balanced including comparison of various dictatorial actions with the actions of Dictators in history. I do not believe in being “mash mouth” and avoiding the truth. Brock will remain my Number one link to sanity on the FATCA and extra territorial-ism issues. I might enjoy playing a sand box from time to time as well however …. so please fix the link.
@NervousInvestor, I’ve fixed the link. Thanks too for expressing your sentiments.
*I can see the value of both approaches.
“Likewise, Maple Sandbox will conduct this dispute to reflect Canada’s
long and esteemed history of fighting for freedom, while also promoting
global peacemaking and international development.”
lol. Yes, Canada should be proud of all that the British Empire stood for. All those “just” wars for king and crown and empire. But now they can also be proud for what Nato still is and hope for future no-fly-zones across the middle east. And don’t forget being America’s greatest ally in all those wars against bad things like terror, drugs, and extremists. Oh Canada!
My loyalty to Canada over against the United States is based upon one small reality: Canada is only thing standing between me and the long, capricious and confiscatory reach of the United States.
O Canada indeed!
*During visits to Canada as a teenager how it struck me as more civilized and gentle than life in the US. I could sense it right away.
Petros, I would be concerned too especially with all this talk of a north American union. But if we remove citizenship based taxation from the picture, Canadians are in many ways far less free than Americans. Take gun ownership. Or freedom of speech. But that’s all going to be history soon anyway as all the western welfare states are busy ganging up together with the UN to remove any tax competition or freedom competition. They want to make sure that there is no where to hide from government, and Canada is a big part of this movement. To think that somehow Canada is a refuge from this is a delusion just like “Canada’s long and esteemed history of fighting for freedom“. When it comes to a beauty competition between western welfare states looking out for fundamental rights the choices range between hideous and medusa.
@ConfederateH: One day late with our payroll taxes. Worried look on our faces. It’s less than 1K. You’re preaching to the choir.
Our problem in the West today is that so many people fear self-reliance. So they give a paternalistic government all this power, and now those governments have brought us to the edge of precipice: economic chaos. Because they are happy to provide everything for us, cradle to grave, but they cannot do so in manner that doesn’t eventually create inequities, unfairness and the ultimate destruction of the economy. Politicians are awful investors. It is proven time and time again. Henry Hazlett, Economics in One Lesson, explains why.
When the dollar and the Euro collapse, the global economy as we know it will also collapse creating a vacuum of power that no one knows who will fill. No matter. They can create a world tax system but they are chasing only phantom tax gap losses. It won’t stop the collapse. The real gains from such a system will be tiny compared to the outlay of resources to chase them. All this cooperation in any case is a Zero Sum Game. Only the low hanging fruit is worth the trouble–anything else provides diminishing returns. That’s why residential based taxes is the way to go. The residents of your country are the only ones on whom you can create enough fear that they will actually pay their taxes. I laugh at the IRS. They are complete joke. But I fear Canada Revenue.
Maple Sandbox, or Brock ‘lite’ with half the buzz. But still, I’m inclined to pop in, after all, it’s information I’m seeking and the more the better. I’m hoping Blaze will still lend me her uniform for my visit to Parliament (just waiting for the PM to invite me).
@bubblebustin, “half the buzz” : May be it will cause less dependence as well. Folks could use it to break the Brock habit, once and for all. Maybe we should start a detox clinic for folks who need to go cold turkey.
Well put and you’re preaching to the choir too. Does Canada Revenue ruin lives, arbitrarily make examples of people and throw people in jail?
One feature of Swiss tax lax that the OECD (including Oh Canada!) really hates is the differentiation between tax evasion and tax fraud. In Switzerland not declaring income is not tax fraud (there are no capital gains in Switzerland anyway) and it is a misdemeanor without threat of jail (AFAIK neither is tax fraud).
Another interesting feature of Swiss taxation is the level of tax competition between Cantons. Since often the largest tax bite is by the Canton (especially in the non-German speaking Cantons), Cantonal tax rates have a very large impact on tax burden. Cantons Schwyz and Zug have very low tax rates and much flatter progressions so that wealthy people in these Cantons often pay half as much or less as those in the French speaking cantons. The low tax rates attract businesses which pay a far larger share of taxes, and this cycle repeats itself and the low tax Cantons end up with more tax revenue. Also the real estate prices in low tax cantons are much higher than in the high tax ones which drives out the welfare cases who naturally flow to the socialist cantons with low land values, low rents and high benefits (and socialist governments).
This situation, in a perfect mirror of the problems facing the western welfare states, drives the socialists batty and they are constantly trying to force the wealthy low tax cantons to redistribute income.
Well we know where Canada would stand in this picture and the Maple Leaf Sandbox crew would be wise to focus just as much on changing Canadian tax policy as it focuses on changing US tax policy. Like Norway, Canada has the “curse” of natural resources. This curse allows the government, in the name of the people, to skim vast amounts of income from the private resource sector that they can use to bribe the people in order to stay in power .
@petros, I feel pretty confident that MS evolved out of some folks not able to handle some of the opinions here, however there have been in the past an unpleasant ‘echo chamber’ effect that those more controversial opinions have worked to diminish. To each his own. I like mine ‘neat’, after all, as adults shouldn’t we use self-restraint, vs having it imposed upon us?
Maple is an awful pricey hardwood for a sandbox.
attractive and durable and capable of oozing sweetness.
*Finally the Sand Box is finished. Let’s Play!!
A continuum of approaches and opinions exists in the history of every social movement and human endeavour.
* @monalisa1776, I agree that Canada is a gentler place to live than the US. Last week I posted the following account of my falling in love with Canada, but it was at the end of a dormant blog thread and probably hasn’t been seen by many Brockers. Maybe it would be more appropriate for the Maple Sandbox(?):
Growing up in the US, like most USans I knew little about Canada, but gradually I discovered its advantages:
1. Traveling as a teenager with my family through Ontario from
Detroit to Niagara Falls in the 1950s, I was surprised that Canadian
Cream of Wheat tasted better than the US version because of better
2. At a pub run by Canadians off my university campus in the 1960s I discovered that Canadian beer tasted better than US beer.
3. Being able to receive CBC radio from a town near the border, I
discovered that Canadians broadcast serious classical music and
interesting discussions on the radio, better than any US radio I could
receive at the time.
4. I saw that Canada had the good sense not to follow the US into the
Vietnam quagmire, and that it didn’t conscript its citizens for
military service. Moreover, it welcomed draft-age USans as immigrants. When I had an opportunity to take a permanent job in Canada, I jumped at the chance.
5. Living in Canada, I observed that most Canadians lack the gun-toting mentality that has become so pervasive and dangerous in the US.
I could go on an’ on an’ on with the list … .
After I became a Canadian citizen, I thought I was free of the US and
I never looked back. But apparently the US has been sneaking up
behind me all along, and it’s now snapping at my heels. I hope that if I can acquire and waive one of those magical CLNs at it, it will finally
let go of me.
Thanks everyone for your comments both here and at Maple Sandbox.
@bubblebustin’: The uniform is yours for Parliament. Let me know when. I would love to be there.
@usxcanada: Only the best for our sandbox.
@AnonAnon: Your comments would be welcome at Sandbox. Show and Tell might be the best thread for it right now or you might want to share your story under Johnnb’s thread One Couple’s Experience.
Cool! The name is easy to remember and it looks great! Any effort to fight for what is right is welcoming. I hope that the Maple Sandbox, IBS, ACA and all the other sites, blogs and groups that represent or consist of Americans abroad will continue to work better and more closely together for the benefit of everyone.
Now, for a little criticism that crossed my mind while reading this post. This criticism, however, also applies to IBS, ACA and all the other sites and blogs. What is missing is the combination of collaboration with facts and wikis. Not only should people post opinions, but they should also work together to build a wealth of facts and figures that are easy to find. What I’d like to see is a software merge of WordPress, Drupal, vBulliten, Facebook, Google docs and Skype into one box that makes it easy for people to express themselves and contribute knowledge. Of course, with this criticism I’m just dreaming and nobody will take this seriously, but, hey, any friendly comment must be critical about something. 🙂
Swisspinoy, at least one of our contributors is also editing Wikipedia articles. If that would work, it is a great way to do what you suggests. Yet Wikipedia is fraught with issues. I personally will not contribute after my first attempt was taken down by an almost 14 year old who applied the letter of the “rules” without common sense.
Petros – Right on. Wikipedia is run by fascist geeks whose primary motivation is to use a rule to kill, and to advance themselves within the hierarchy of their secret society. The information architecture stinks. Coverage has no level of consistency. The functional principle is, if you find a bit, if you like that bit, you may choose to use that bit. Bit-brain city.
@Petros & usxcanada, I once tried to make a wikipedia edit years ago and it almost got me banned, so I haven’t done anything there since. In my previous post, I was thinking more of custom wikis which are specialized on certain topics, like the plastics wiki: http://plastics.inwiki.org. In this case, expats would be the only editors, documenting all things related to expats or simply US expats.
@USX, are we allowed to use the f…ist word?
@swisspinoy, how many boards have you been kicked off? Seems we have something in common.
@ mona lisa & anon anon
It’s interesting that you had that impression of Canada because living where I did in the USA I too experienced kind and gentle folks (location, location, location). (Okay, there was one “red neck” but even he had a sweet gooey interior which surfaced one day when he huddled inside his shower stall trying to comfort his terrified dog who had just spotted a bear on the other side of his back door.) That’s people. World wide people tend to be kind and gentle, in varying degrees or perhaps nuances of being civilized, but they are also easily misled into acts that are anything but kind and gentle. Psychopathy, by (non)virtue of its ruthless and unempathetic nature, rises to the top in government, the military, corporations and financial institutions. All of us in the western world are misguided by a very deep, dark and completely self-serving mindset in the so-called upper echelons. So although I’d love for Canada to actually be the “peace keeper” it has at times pretended to be, it is not and often was not in the past. Canada played a complicit role in a great deal of ugly history (even Hiroshima and Nagasaki if you look into it) and continues to do so as a member of NATO. People on both sides of the political spectrum can rant about their disappointment in what they perceive the system to be in Canada or any other nation but underneath it all the beat goes on and let’s just say the crazies are running the funny farm and they don’t care what label we try to slap on our systems or ourselves — capitalism or socialism, right or left, conservative or liberal. They see things only as master and slave and will use propaganda, surveillance, drugs, wars and whatever it takes to maintain and expand their control. It’s maybe not so close to the surface in Canada (yet) as in the USA but it’s here nonetheless.