When we travel to report, often we like to stop and listen, to the opinions and views of the people we're sometimes covering. When we were in Southeast Asia earlier this season, we gathered some Americans living in Singapore to get a few views, from the other side of the world.
Sharyl Attkisson: I'm sure you're well aware of the security concerns and the increased worries about terrorism in the United States since you've been here. How do you reflect upon that, living in a place that for the moment at least, is much safer in those terms I think?
Glenn van Zutphen: The government here has had a campaign over the past 9 months or so, very clearly stating it's not a matter of if, but when there would be some sort of a terrorist attack. They claim to have foiled a couple of terrorist attacks last October, and they've talked to people about that. I think the bigger issue is, we all know that there's a lot of silent and soft security around Singapore, so I think we feel very safe. They always have their ears on, they always have people watching, even though you may not see police walking around the streets.
Sharyl Attkisson: Are you Kat, finding it disconcerting to start coming across warnings that terrorism perhaps is coming?
Kat van Zutphen: There are things happening around us all the time, and we know that. I travel a lot to Indonesia, Malaysia's right here. So we know that there are factions in the region and very near us. We know that things are happening, but we're - It's relatively safe for us to live our personal lives.
Sharyl Attkisson: You all are so close to very major terror hot spots. Why do you think Singapore has escaped that to date?
Glenn van Zutphen: A couple of reasons. First of all, there have been some Singaporeans who have gone to Syria, or who were planning to go to Syria to fight with IS there, and they've captured them. They've jailed them. The government is very, very cognizant of what's happening.
Sharyl Attkisson: Explain to me how Americans are treated in terms of taxes living overseas compared to other nationalities.
James Duckworth: Here, we actually have to pay both Singapore and U.S. taxes. Now there are some breaks that you get on your U.S. taxes for what you earn here. But you actually have to also report, all of your earnings, all of your investments, everything here, and that gets taxed back in the U.S. as well.
Sharyl Attkisson: What do you think about that, Cheryl?
Cheryl Duckworth: You know, it's just an is. It's always been that way. I don't really have a strong opinion one way or the other. There is advantages that I still take by having family and a home still in the U.S., so obviously I firmly believe I should be paying for that in some fashion.
Sharyl Attkisson: There are probably fewer Americans here than there otherwise might be because they have to pay more than other nationalities in taxes.
Glenn van Zutphen: When we see that around the globe there's some 5 million, or maybe a few more, expat Americans who live overseas, and they are by and large trying to do work for companies to take money and or jobs, and or opportunity back to the U.S. The idea that they would be taxed for living overseas when they don't use services and things and we've been in Singapore 13 years, how many government services have we used in the U.S. in 13 years? I would say pretty much zero.
Sharyl Attkisson: Cheryl, what is your impression of how America is viewed here? By people who aren't Americans?
Cheryl Duckworth: I've actually had a lot more interesting political conversations than I had when I was living in the U.S. Only because you've got so many different people from so many different nationalities that have gone through their own different types of elections. They are curious in my opinion. They're curious to know Americans are thinking. And I remind them I'm only one American, I'm not all of America so I'm only going to have my own opinion. I think the only thing from my perspective with our government and hearing things on other governments, is you just want your government ultimately to work. And the questions that I get is, "your government doesn't seem to be working, why is that the case?"
Sharyl Attkisson: Are you learning about that from watching the news, talking to friends and family, or what?
James Duckworth: We do keep, we don't watch the news. It's not so as easy to just turn on the TV and get network news here, but you do read a lot of news. I think the challenge is that you have to read a lot of different things to get the different perspectives.
Sharyl Attkisson: Do you believe what you read, because that's another issue in United States right now, whether media is telling the whole story.
James Duckworth: I think that's the thing, staying informed is a matter of reading lots of different sources, and then making up your own mind. You have to use an educated perspective to think about, "does this make sense, does it actually ring true, is it real?"
Sharyl Attkisson: When you look at the campaign season, or just really the last 8 or 10 years if you like, what how have you felt about being far from home while all these discussions are taking place?
Linda Nguyen Schindler: In that sense, although I feel connected in a way, I feel like I can't possibly understand exactly what they're going through. But I think coming from my background, I think I view being an American in such I have different lenses that I view being an American with my background. I think I'm an American who was born and raised in the United States, which makes me very proud to be an American. I am an American whose family is an immigrant family, and not only that they are a refugee family. I have to say that with everything negative that's going on, I still have to look at the positives. People still feel the sense of patriotism, the sense of responsibility for our country, and they want to do something about it. For that, I feel very proud.
So, what brought the people in our group to Singapore? In a word: work from financial services to media consulting. Our thanks to all of them.