A friend has renounced his US Citizenship

I used to work with a guy named Mike Gogulski. I used to work at an ISP, first doing telephone tech support (never again!) and then building and managing servers, routers, a state-wide network, and a bunch of custom programming to make it all work together smoothly. When I started, he was running the servers and routers by himself (well, there was one other person who "sorta" helped with it) and when he left to take another IT job, I started running the servers and routers myself. He was a good guy, and he introduced me to Discordianism, something for which I had always had an affinity but just never knew there was a name for. I don't recall ever talking politics with him, but knowing what I know now, he and I see eye-to-eye on a lot of things.

Mike has since moved on in life. He now lives in Slovakia, doing translations for hire. He recently did something rather drastic- he formally renounced his citizenship in the US, without "becoming" a citizen of anywhere else. He is, or once the paperwork is done he will be, a man without a country.

I had seen before where he was talking about doing this, and I guess now the process is actually in motion. Assuming the US State Department "allows" him to give up his citizenship (I don't see how or why they would stop him, but apparently they could if they wanted to) he will have done something which I suspect a lot of people might want to do- basically remove himself from being controlled by what passes for the US government these days.

I have a lot of respect for him, both for doing what he's done, and because he's genuinely one of the smartest people I've ever met. I'm not sure that I would be able to do the same thing, especially since I don't have the luxury of physically being outside the US... and with things the way they are in this country right now, I suspect I'm already on a "watch list" of "subversive" people who aren't happy with the government, and they would find an excuse to not let me leave the country anyway.

http://www.nostate.com/1253/interview-radio-slovakia-international/ is an entry on his blog, where you can hear (and read the transcript of) an interview he did with Radio Slovakia International. I think it's also interesting to read some of his other blog entries, especially where he found that the Department of Homeland Security is apparently reading his blog entries. (I'm sure they'll eventually read this one as well- and I'll never know about it, because this blog is on Google's servers, Google won't show me the raw logs, and I'm pretty sure DHS has direct access to the log files and could remove their own tracks if they wanted to.)