Monthly Archives: April 2014

Charles Murray @TheGlobalist: The end of American exceptionalism

This very interesting article from The Globalist includes:

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Sheryl Saperia: The case for revoking citizenship

The people who commit these crimes are not victims. They have spoken through their actions about their level of commitment to the country. Removing their Canadian citizenship makes sense. The punishment fits the crime.

National Post | Full Comment

An op-ed recently appeared in the National Post criticizing Bill C-24, the Strengthening Canadian Citizenship Act. The legislation would revoke the Canadian citizenship of dual nationals convicted of treason or terrorism or who have engaged in armed conflict with Canada.

[np_storybar title=”Azeezah Kanji: Stripping convicted terrorists of their citizenship leaves all Canadians vulnerable” link=”http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2014/02/14/azzeza-kanji-stripping-convicted-terrorists-of-their-citizenship-leaves-all-canadian-vulnerable/”]Over the last century, Western societies have identified and demonized various “enemies within.” These subsets of people were singled out as posing a unique threat to the country, such that the state was supposedly justified in stripping them of their citizenship and casting them out. In pre-Second World War Germany, it was the Jews. In post-Second World War Canada, it was the Japanese. In Cold War-era America, it was the communists. Today, it is the terrorists.

History has harshly judged the perpetrators of citizenship-stripping. The United States Supreme Court declared citizenship revocation unconstitutional 50 years ago: “The…

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Cast as tax evaders, those deciding to give up U.S. citizenship do it as much for life as wealth

Peter Dunn, born in Chicago and raised in Alaska, moved to Canada to pursue a graduate degree in theology. He met his wife, Catherine, and they made Toronto home when her work as one of the owners of an aviation maintenance firm made her the breadwinner.

Dunn remained an American. But he was alarmed by a change in U.S. law requiring those with more than $2 million in assets to pay an exit tax if they gave up citizenship. He didn’t have $2 million. But his wife was doing well enough that he imagined one day they could get there. The idea of the U.S. government taxing his Canadian wife’s money didn’t seem right.

“When I learned about that, I decided that to protect my wife, I better expatriate,” he says.

National Post | News

Inside the long-awaited package, six pages of government paperwork dryly affirmed Carol Tapanila’s anxious request. But when Tapanila slipped the contents from the brown envelope, she saw there was something more.

“We the people….” declared the script inside her U.S. passport — now with four holes punched through it from cover to cover. Her departure from life as an American was stamped final on the same page: “Bearer Expatriated Self.”

With the envelope’s arrival, Tapanila, a native of upstate New York who has lived in Canada since 1969, joined a largely overlooked surge of Americans rejecting what is, to millions, a highly sought prize: U.S. citizenship. Last year, the U.S. government reported a record 2,999 people renounced citizenship or terminated permanent residency; most are widely assumed to be driven by a desire to avoid paying taxes on hidden wealth.

The reality, though, is more complicated. The government’s pursuit of tax…

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Senate reform hopes live: Supreme Court delivers blueprint for ideal version of the Red Chamber

Stephen Scott, professor emeritus of law at McGill University in Montreal, hailed the court’s strong support for the basic premise of the Senate as an institutionalized means of checks and balances to the elected government.

“The only protection we have from a government with a majority is the Senate. We’ve seen some of what a government can do within parliament,” he said, mentioning omnibus bills and tight controls on Question Period.

National Post | News

[np_storybar title=”Read the full judgment here” link=”#1″]
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ANALYSIS

The Senate is likely here to stay, and in its current form, but in Friday’s landmark Supreme Court of Canada ruling on Senate reform — in which the court trumpeted an idealized notion of the upper chamber as a cornerstone of Canada’s democratic process — there can be seen a blueprint of the way it is supposed to work.

[np_storybar title=”John Ivison: Harper reminded he’s not omnipotent, even with majority power” link=”http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2014/04/25/john-ivison-harper-reminded-hes-not-omnipotent-as-court-dashes-senate-plans/”]
On some days, politics is marble; on others, it’s mud.

On Thursday, life for the Prime Minister was cool and smooth, as the Commissioner of Elections cleared the government of the charge that it rigged the 2011 election in the robocalls affair.

But by Friday, it turned sticky and unpleasant, as Stephen Harper saw his ambition to reform the Senate blocked by the Supreme Court and his democratic reform…

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@TheoCaldwell shows how the “Land of the Free” embraces “Tax Slavery” – That’s Congress

Great article from Theo Caldwell includes:

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The Māori struggle is not a ‘left’ thing

The Maori struggle is not one of class. The class struggle is as already mentioned, an imported conception. Its not a struggle confined to the hubris of parliament. The Māori struggle is to break free from the institutions that dominate and control Māori life. The Māori struggle is realising tino rangitiratanga, self-determination proper and not the artificial markings of self-determination through Pakeha specific legislation that allows Māori minimal meaningful participation in their system.

Ellipsister

Morgan Godfery wrote an amazing obituary to Shane Jones’s retirement from politics. I was going to write something on Jones specifically, but Godfery’s piece summed up most the things I would have tried to express (although I would have done a poor job in comparison). However, one particular statement stood out as more of a general observation Godfery makes about Māori politics:

… I’ve said it before: Māori politics doesn’t sit apart from the political spectrum, but below it. At least the political right doesn’t pretend to be a false friend

While my personal preference would be to use ‘outside’ rather than ‘below’, I think Godfery makes the salient point about the subjugation of the Māori struggle to eurocentric conceptions of the political economy, namely, the socialist/left vs capitalist/right dichotomy.

It is becoming increasingly irritating (for me anyhow) when people claim that only the political left in NZ are capable of representing Māori in politics…

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FATCA – NZ’s Insidious Future

Putting FATCA in context of jurisdiction – the U.S. cannot exert jurisdiction over the territory of NZ, so the U.S. is arguably in breach of this very fundamental principle of international law through the specific provisions in FATCA that implicate foreign finance institutions (FFI’s). In my view, FATCA impacts jurisdictionally on NZ despite assertions from Officials who claim that FATCA does not breach NZ’s sovereignty because:

Ellipsister

Earlier this week Mark Hubbard (Laissez Faire Capitalist) wrote about the monstrosity of the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA). In it, he queried why those on the Left who staunchly opposed the GCSB legislation were appallingly silent on FATCA – an equally (if not more) intrusive piece of legislation passed by the U.S. government that implicates NZ.

I think its a fair claim made by him, and I will attempt to give a position from my point of view as a Left identifying person, noting that this is my personal opinion and not intended as a reflection of general left wing thought in NZ.

My view is that FATCA is undeniably intrusive and a threat to the privacy of New Zealander’s and in fact all persons who are citizens of OECD countries because Officials in NZ have indicated a willingness for FATCA to be emulated internationally as part…

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