Let’s go back to two of the most valiant protesters of the Vietnam War era,
the Berrigan brothers, Daniel, the Jesuit and Philip, the former priest (now
dead), who were at the center of lots of disruption as the anti-war movement
found its way. I’m not here to argue about those positions. But the Berrigans
at least were effective.
That was because they were willing to give up everything they had, including
their freedom, for their causes. You don’t take a hammer to the nose of a
warplane unless you are willing to spend some time in a prison cell. You
don’t spill blood on draft board records, or burn them with homemade napalm,
unless you understand there are consequences, and those consequences become
part of the protest effort.
So, here’s my question: Are you angry enough about taxes to go to jail? Are
you angry enough about taxes to forfeit some of the federal benefits you
might collect, starting with Social Security and including Medicare (if that
relates in your case) or any other benefits? Are you angry enough to go
stand at the gates of Ft. Bragg
and set fire to copies of your taxes to protest federal spending on the
military? Are you angry enough to break into an
office and spill cow blood on some records?
His conclusion: “Will the tax protests become more serious? No. The problem
with getting the right-of-center middle class involved in much of anything is
that it likes too much being right-of-center middle class.” Well, tea
partiers? You gonna take that kind of abuse?
Some notes from here and there:
I’ve since learned that the International Conference mentioned below will be
held from . — ♇
I’ve just received word that the 13th
International Conference on War Tax Resistance and Peace Tax Campaigns
will be held in (early April? early
July? the announcement was unclear) in Sandefjord, Norway.
Siobhan Phillips tries an experiment:
“My husband and I would eat conscientiously for a month, not just on our
regular grocery allotment but on the government-defined, food-stamp
minimum: $248 for two people in our hometown of New Haven,
Conn. We would choose
the SOLE-est products available — that is, the sustainable, organic, local or
ethical alternative. We would start from a bare pantry, shop only at
places that took food stamps and could be reached on foot, and use only
basic appliances.” Follow the link to read how it turned out.
If you tell someone that they’re a good person, will that make them more
likely to do good things?
Maybe just the opposite. “Primed to think about what a
good person you are, your most likely reaction is to think you’ve paid
your morality dues and go on about your business.” In other news: the
United States is the is the greatest, freest and most decent society in
existence. Perhaps you’ve heard.
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