Because in the middle of all this FATCA nonsense it's very easy to forget just how damn funny it can be if you look at it a certain way.
I was highly amused this morning by Stephen Mopsick's latest post, IRS, FATCA, NSA, And The International Banking Conspiracy. His tongue-in-cheek take on Datagate:
No one in our government is thuggish enough to presume to read the content of a private e mail message but it’s good to know at least that a few people in the States have pen pals in the quaint, ethnic hamlets in the Swat Valley in Northern Pakistan.And mark your calendars, everyone, because Stephen notes that the new IRS FATCA Portal to Mordor will be having it's grand opening in July. This will be THE place to be with bells on for those Foreign Financial Institutions caught between a rock and a hard place. Once registered these non-US banks will be on record (and on a list) as being perfectly willing to screw over their domestic customers (and in many cases, their fellow citizens) in order to be "FATCA Compliant". (And isn't there something about that stamp of approval that just screams, "bend over and grab your ankles?") I'm very much looking forward to seeing that list and I completely agree with Monsieur Mopsick - what an entertaining summer we have ahead of us.
This brilliant and very funny take on the 12 Steps was written by WhiteKat over at Isaac Brock. My sincere thanks to her for allowing me to repost it here at the Flophouse. I laughed so hard when I read it.
The 12 Steps of Americans Abroad Anonymous
1: We admitted we were powerless over America–that our lives had become unmanageable.
2: Came to believe that a Power (IRS) greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
3: Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of IRS as we understood Him.
4: Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves and all our foreign bank accounts.
5: Admitted to IRS, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
6: Were entirely ready to have IRS remove all these defects of character, along with our life savings.
7: Humbly asked IRS to remove our shortcomings, in addition to the contents of our "offshore" accounts.
8: Made a list of all homelanders we had harmed, and became willing to make amends (i.e pay for services we never use) to them all.
9: Made direct amends to such homelanders wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
10: Continued to take personal inventory (i.e. FBARS) and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
11: Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with IRS, as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.
12: Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to other Americans Abroad, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.
To this I would add my take on the first paragraph of chapter 2 of the Big Book. Not a joke like the 12 Steps above but a serious statement about who we are and how all this nonsense has nevertheless brought us together:
We are average Americans living normal lives. The only difference between us and the homelanders is that we are doing these normal things outside of the U.S. Some of us have only one nationality, some are Accidental Americans who have just learned of their citizenship status, others are duals. Some have already renounced, some are still thinking it over. Some of us grew up in the homeland, others are more recent emigrants.
All sections of the homeland and many of its occupations are represented, as well as many political, economic, social and religious backgrounds. We are IT workers, managers, secretaries, missionaries, stay at home moms and dads, retirees, veterans, musicians, writers, Republicans, Democrats, Progressives, Conservatives, small business owners and independent contractors.
We are people who normally would not mix. We live in many different countries. Sheer distance and the cost of travel makes it hard for us to meet each other in person. However, through email, websites, skype, and social media we have forged a strong connection.
But there exists among us a fellowship, a friendliness, and an understanding, which is indescribably wonderful. And this is the silver lining in this catastrophe that keeps us going and gives us hope.