In other news: A new
TIGTA report says that in tax year
issued $43.7 billion dollars via the Earned Income Tax Credit. $10–$12 billion
of this was in error. That’s about 25%. The tax system is a mess.
The following comes from a letter from Henry David Thoreau to Thomas
Cholmondeley, . Cholmondeley
had visited America and spent time with Thoreau but then returned to England
to volunteer in its military after hearing of setbacks in
the Crimean War.
I cannot say that I am surprised to hear that you have joined the militia,
after what I have heard from your lips; but I am glad to doubt if there will
be occasion for your volunteering into the line. Perhaps I am thinking of the
saying that it “is always darkest just before day.” I believe it is only
necessary that England be fully awakened to a sense of her position, in order
that she may right herself, especially as the weather will soon cease to be
her foe. I wish I could believe that the cause in which you are embarked is
the cause of the people of England. However, I have no sympathy with the
idleness that would contrast this fighting with the teachings of the pulpit;
for, perchance, more true virtue is being practiced at Sevastopol than in
many years of peace. It is a pity that we seem to require a war, from time to
time, to assure us that there is any manhood still left in man.
I was much pleased with [James John Garth] Wilkinson’s vigorous and telling assault on
Allopathy, though he
substitutes another and perhaps no stronger thy for that. Something
as good on the whole conduct of the war would be of service. Cannot
supply it? We will not require him to provide the remedy. Every man to his
trade. As you know, I am not in any sense a politician. You, who live in that
snug and compact isle, may dream of a glorious commonwealth, but I have some
doubts whether I and the new king of the Sandwich Islands shall pull
together. When I think of the gold-diggers and the Mormons, the slaves and
the slaveholders and the flibustiers, I naturally dream of a glorious private life. No, I
am not patriotic; I shall not meddle with the Gem of the Antilles.
cannot count on my aid, alas for him! nor can General Pierce.
My father and mother and sister all desire to be remembered to you, and trust
that you will never come within range of Russian bullets. Of course, I would
rather think of you as settled down there in Shropshire, in the camp of the
English people, making acquaintance with your men, striking at the root of
the evil, perhaps assaulting that rampart of cotton bags that you tell of.
But it makes no odds where a man goes or stays, if he is only about his
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