Melissa Etheridge’s pledge to stop paying California state taxes in the wake
of California voters’ decision to outlaw same-sex marriages like hers struck
me as a sort of heat-of-anger decision — not necessarily well thought through
as far as its ramifications, but with the sort of appealing righteous logic
that makes you think “damn the torpedoes” and just forge ahead.
In that way it reminded me a lot of my own decision to become a tax resister,
in which refusing to pay taxes seemed to have become a moral imperative for me
well before I’d figured out how I was going to do it.
Now Etheridge is on to stage two: figuring out the messy details.
Etheridge and her wife were on ’s
Oprah Winfrey Show, talking about their reaction to
the California election results. I didn’t see the show, but here’s an excerpt
from the show’s summary on oprah.com:
In a recent blog posting about the passage of Proposition 8, Melissa vented
her frustration by saying she would stop paying taxes. “I tell people I have
until to make true on that blog,” she
says. “That was [me] letting off a lot of steam. What I wanted to do was show
the absurdity of a populace thinking they can take a right away or deny
someone a right … and yet feel completely fine taking 100 percent of our
taxes. It doesn’t make sense.”
Meanwhile, same-sex marriage tax resistance pioneer
Charles Merrill was on The Ron Reagan Show
. There’s some discussion of the
Etheridge tax resistance pledge and general pro-same-sex-marriage talk
throughout the show, but the Merrill segment itself starts about 19½ minutes
in and lasts about 10 minutes.
Merrill has been resisting
, and expects to finally be able
to make his case in court .
And it hasn’t escaped my notice that John Bisceglia has refashioned his “Gay
Tax Protest” site into one that is promoting a
National Equality Tax Prote$t
for . Today, I’m tracking these three tax
resisters for legal recognition of same-sex marriage, but it feels like it
won’t be long now before I’ll be able to write about the “movement.”
As the financial crisis makes cash and credit increasingly scarce, the
ancient custom of bartering is booming. Cost-conscious consumers are getting
creative to make every dollar count.
Some are dusting off books, DVDs, video
games and other little-used items to trade for necessities or gifts. Others
are exchanging services such as house painting for Web design or guitar
lessons for clerical work.
Every recession triggers bartering, economists say. But the Internet has
given the practice unprecedented reach. Before the Web connected strangers
from all corners of the country, bartering was limited by geography and
…exchanging something you no longer want or need for something you do is
appealing to many. A growing number of websites, including
TradeaFavor.com and JoeBarter.com,
cater to the cost-conscious. There were 148,097 listings in the barter
category of Craigslist in
, up sharply from 83,554
, according to the classifieds
website. Bartering via Craigslist’s Los Angeles service was up 72% over
, with 4,009 listings in
. Specialty sites such as
PaperBackSwap.com and Peerflix.com, are also popular.
Jessica Hardwick, founder of SwapThing.com, started noticing an uptick in bartering in the
spring. Families who were worried about the soaring price of groceries and
gas started taking vacations by swapping homes with people who lived within a
few hours’ drive. As the kids prepared to go back to school after their
trips, they bartered PlayStation games, skis, even a bicycle for school
Over the last few months, her Cupertino,
membership and traffic have snowballed as more people look to trade their
talent and time. With 162,000 members,
SwapThing.com, which used to be populated by
collectors and video-game enthusiasts, has been transformed into a bustling
bazaar for everyday goods and services.
Sunni at Sunni and the Conspirators has
some commentary on
the Times article.
The Internal Revenue Service has serious issues with outdated financial
management systems and insufficient information security that could affect
the accuracy of its financial statements, according to a Government
Accountability Office report released on Wednesday.
The report concluded that the agency’s internal controls were not effective
and that it did not comply with legal requirements for federal financial
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