Sitemap of The Picket Line blog

2014

  • 1 October 2014: Last month I kept track of every cent I spent, in an attempt to confirm that my low-income tax resistance strategy is financially sustainable. Here’s what I found.
  • 30 September 2014: Rumors of impending martial law sweep South Wales as the authorities struggle to impose the force of law on the Rebeccaite uprising.
  • 26 September 2014: Notes from two minor U.S. tax rebellions, including one against a vehicle tax in Ohio, and resisters from disputed border areas in the California / Utah / Nevada region.
  • 24 September 2014: A paper on discouraging tax evasion may offer hints to those of us trying to promote it. Also: more hints of Northern League tax resistance. And: finally a conservative responds with tax resistance to the “IRS Scandal”. Also: war tax resisters in the recent climate march.
  • 23 September 2014: Farmers in Brittany torched a tax office last week after a judge sentenced eleven bonnets rouges to prison terms for participating in the destruction of highway tax gantries.
  • 22 September 2014: Mass meetings in Wales aired the grievances that lay behind the Rebeccaite uprising.
  • 21 September 2014: Some news dispatches from Russia about tax resistance during the Vyborg Manifesto period.
  • 20 September 2014: Is the Northern League crying wolf again with its tax strike? Also: The fate of one U.S. tax resister who refused to file a return. And: jailed U.S. war tax resister Joseph Olejak looks forward. Also: a communist-led tax boycott in Kerala. And: the trustees can’t tear down tollgates fast enough in Wales.
  • 19 September 2014: The authorities keep trying to put up gates, bars, or chains at the Pontardulais bridge, and Rebecca keeps tearing them down. Also: a reward offered in the killing of Sarah Williams at the Hendy Bridge gate. And: the Oddfellows weigh in on Rebecca.
  • 18 September 2014: Rebecca drives off the bailiffs and reseizes goods distrained from a household behind on its rent. Meanwhile, the toll farmers try to figure out how to get the taxpayers to pay for it.
  • 15 September 2014: “It had been asked who Rebecca was. He had never seen her; but he thought that Rebecca was every man who earned his bread by the sweat of his brow.” — William Evans
  • 14 September 2014: The Coalition of the Radical Left, an important Greek political party, has launched a “Won’t Pay” movement, inspired by the more grassroots movement of the same name. Also: the authorities bring in a crack detective from London to hunt down Rebecca.
  • 13 September 2014: Rebecca shows she won’t be discouraged: she goes back to destroy the Pontardulais gate. Meanwhile, she cleverly sends the authorities on wild goose chases to keep them away from her. But others are starting to impersonate Rebecca to pursue their own private grievances and exploits.
  • 12 September 2014: What do you know? The magistrates presiding over the Rebeccaite trials seem to be the same set of people who were profiting from the tollgates the Rebeccaites were destroying. No wonder Rebecca expected no justice from the authorities.
  • 11 September 2014: More revealing testimony is given about two Rebeccaite attacks in which the authorities captured suspects. Also: the jury in a coroner’s inquest of a woman shot during a Rebecca attack incredibly says she died of “unknown” causes.
  • 10 September 2014: Rebecca burns the barns, buildings, and produce of a Magistrate who took reprisals against her, and he is forced to flee Llanelly, as Rebecca’s fury grows.
  • 9 September 2014: The suspected Rebeccaites captured at Pontardulais get a chance to cross-examine their captors, who describe what it was like to ride upon a Rebeccaite tollgate attack.
  • 8 September 2014: The capture of some Rebeccaites doesn’t seem to have slowed down the Rebecca movement much, but it did give some hope to the turnpike trustees.
  • 7 September 2014: An account of a Rebeccaite clash is noteworthy for its description of how the Rebeccaites used fireworks as signalling devices when coordinating their raids.
  • 6 September 2014: Several suspected Rebeccaites were captured during an attack on Pontardulais Gate. In the subsequent examination, the first witness for the prosecution was the son of one of the presiding magistrates.
  • 4 September 2014: Lorenzo Kom’boa Ervin calls for “A Black Tax Boycott.” Also: more hints about the progress of the Rebecca Riots found in a letter sent this date in 1843.
  • 3 September 2014: “The book is a bargain for anyone wanting to do serious work on putting faith into practice in the area of tax resistance” — The Friends Journal reviews “99 Tactics of Successful Tax Resistance Campaigns.”
  • 2 September 2014: An international tax resistance news round-up, with notes from italy, France, Ireland, Spain, and Greece. Also: Rebecca copycat vandals muddy the waters in Wales.
  • 1 September 2014: Katsuki James Otsuka got 90 days behind bars for refusing to pay $4.50 in income tax for war in 1949.
  • 31 August 2014: A new tax law quirk may make it easier to get self-employment income without it being reported to the I.R.S. via 1099 reporting forms.
  • 30 August 2014: Fewest IRS enforcement officers since 1970s. Cost of renouncing U.S. citizenship goes up more than 500%. War tax resisters to gather in New England. ⅓ of filers will owe Obamacare overpayments in April. Banks liable if they fail to freeze levied accounts quickly. War tax resister at Seattle Anarchist Bookfair. New Handbook for Nonviolent Campaigns released on-line.
  • 29 August 2014: A Catholic church (but don’t worry — not a normal one) resists war taxes.
  • 26 August 2014: The London Peace Society chides the Rebeccaites for their violent ways.
  • 25 August 2014: Rebecca and Her Daughters, “in battle array… blowing their horns, shouting in triumph” defiantly parade through Pontyberem.
  • 24 August 2014: The authorities lay a toll-gate ambush for Rebecca and capture two Rebeccaites in the act. Also: Poles in Kingston, N.Y., killed their dogs rather than pay a dog tax in 1895.
  • 23 August 2014: A tax resistance protest of how El Paso used its city sales tax, by the National Student Association in 1969, incorporated symbolic and media-friendly tactics. Also: the Rebecca attacks continue unabated.
  • 22 August 2014: Rebecca moves from attacks on toll-gates to intimidation attacks against the homes of tithe collectors and other government rent-extractors. Also: a not guilty jury verdict comes down in a Rebeccaite prosecution.
  • 21 August 2014: More details on the planned tax strike by Italy’s Northern League. Also: Rebecca’s lawless tollgate destruction proved to be a powerful implicit bargaining chip that could be used to advantage by meeker, more law-abiding petitioners.
  • 20 August 2014: Resistance to a tax to pay off fraudulently-issued railroad bonds in several parts of Kentucky lasted from the 1870s to the 1910s, used a variety of tactics, and was an effective strategy for reducing or eliminating the burden of those taxes. Newspaper articles from the time show the dynamics of this resistance struggle as it played out.
  • 19 August 2014: On Sunday, the leader of a major Pakistan opposition party called for a nationwide tax strike to oust the prime minister. Also: More tales of the Rebeccaites.
  • 18 August 2014: John “Pacificus” Payne’s war tax resistance continued after his death, with his careful avoidance of inheritance tax. Also: the powers that be begin to eliminate tolls at some Welsh gates in the hopes of forestalling Rebecca.
  • 17 August 2014: Several articles from the Spectator concerning the Annuity Tax resistance in Edinburgh spanning more than twenty-five years. Also: the Rebeccaites continue undaunted in their tollgate-destroying during the Summer of 1843.
  • 16 August 2014: The Pittston “wage tax” strike of 1953 is a good example of tax resisters adjusting to changing circumstances and changing their tactics to keep tax authorities off-balance.
  • 15 August 2014: A report that 20 people were killed and another 10 wounded after refusing to pay a “war tax” to the Taliban insurgency in Afghanistan. Also: people in Wales air their grievances, and get listened to for a change, thanks to Rebecca.
  • 14 August 2014: Preliminary examinations of other accused Rebeccaites begin, and we can read the testimony of two tollhouse keepers who were victims of one of Rebecca’s raids.
  • 11 August 2014: The War Tax Resisters Penalty Fund has sent out a new appeal to its subscribers. Also: the number of ex-U.S. taxpatriates continues to rise. And: what to do with this inconvenient Rebecca-informer?
  • 7 August 2014: Some recent tax resistance news from Kenya and Italy, and another dispatch from the Rebecca Riots in Wales.
  • 6 August 2014: Podcasts and books on frugal living (free on-line, of course), a look back at the original bonnets rouges of 1675, Cindy Sheehan on war tax resistance, inheritance issues for tax resisters, and a conservative radio host “goes Galt.”
  • 5 August 2014: A couple of brief notes about the Rebeccaite movement from around this date in 1843.
  • 4 August 2014: Rebecca and her daughters, undaunted, and gathered in the hundreds, continue their tollgate-destroying spree in the face of increasingly determined efforts by the authorities to capture and try offenders.
  • 3 August 2014: The preliminary hearing of alleged Rebeccaites continues, and meanwhile there are fresh attacks at Tycoch gate, Furnace gate, Sandy gate, and several others. The Rebeccaites also start taking revenge against those cooperating with the retaliation of the authorities. Also: the government begins to eagerly show that toll-payers can indeed get some justice via “the proper channels” (while at the same time offering a reward for turning in Rebecca). And: a closer look at the corruption that led to the Rebeccaite movement.
  • 2 August 2014: The preliminary hearing of some alleged Rebeccaites begins, with testimony including a lengthy account from a supposed witness of one of the toll gate attacks. The very evening of the trial, more gates are attacked.
  • 1 August 2014: A lighthearted overview of the latest news of the Rebecca uprising, from this date in 1843.
  • 31 July 2014: A new edition of NWTRCC’s newsletter gives news, updates, and other useful information from the American war tax resistance movement.
  • 29 July 2014: News from the Rebecca Riots of 1843, and the “trade-subsidy” tax resistance in Barcelona in 1847.
  • 28 July 2014: An editorial from the Monmouthshire Merlin on this date in 1843 tells us a bit about the Rebecca movement and about public support for it (and a lot about the opinions of the editor).
  • 27 July 2014: Tax resistance news from Ireland, Catalonia, and Italy. Also: the U.S. government seems to be cracking down on home-distilling.
  • 26 July 2014: The examination of the alleged Rebeccaites continues, and cheering throngs greet the bailed-out prisoners. Also: another tollgate-destroying spree in Cardiff in 1886.
  • 25 July 2014: A transcript (more-or-less) of the second examination of witnesses in the alleged Rebeccaite case (and the first one the public, or even the prisoners’ attorneys, were allowed to attend).
  • 24 July 2014: Some revealing details can be found in these latest accounts of the Rebeccaite movement, as “Becca for ever!” becomes a popular (and hazardous) hurrah.
  • 23 July 2014: The trial of the accused Rebeccaites fingered by the sketchy informant John Jones begins.
  • 22 July 2014: On the 108th anniversary of the signing of the Vyborg Manifesto, some contemporary accounts of that event and its aftermath. Also: Rebecca gets her revenge on an opponent, and the toll gates continue to fall.
  • 21 July 2014: More tales of Rebecca, including one false alarm of unknown motives, and a case of Rebecca, or someone like her, threatening a landlord to get rents lowered.
  • 20 July 2014: On this date in 1843, a group of Rebeccaites met and drafted some resolutions that set out their program. So now we get to hear from the Rebeccaites themselves, rather than having condescending members of the press speak on their behalf.
  • 19 July 2014: The government finally gets a break in the Rebecca investigations, as an informer comes forward to finger some of Rebecca’s daughters… or maybe just to collect a reward, satisfy a grievance, and get drunk on the detectives’ dollar.
  • 18 July 2014: A century before Rebecca and her daughters were engaging in their cross-dressing, toll-booth-destroying sprees in Wales, a group of “Jack-a-Lents” were doing much the same thing in England.
  • 16 July 2014: The government brings out the military hardware and brings in their best prosecutors to try to muffle the Rebecca uprising, on this date in 1843.
  • 15 July 2014: The Rebecca phenomenon in Wales spurred at least one copycat tollgate attack in Ireland, as this Monmouthshire Merlin report shows.
  • 14 July 2014: The Cambrian tells of the destruction of the Porthyrhyd, Pompren, Pumfold, and Pontyberem gates, the Kidwelly, Llanddarog, Rhydypandy, and Minke toll-houses, and the Bolgoed bar, as the Rebecca movement continues to grow.
  • 12 July 2014: Two more news briefs from the Rebeccaite outbreak of 1843.
  • 10 July 2014: I talk up tax resistance, tax avoidance techniques, and frugal living on the Radical Personal Finance podcast. Also: Rebecca, “dressed gaily in female attire and sporting a parasol,” supervises another tollgate demolition.
  • 9 July 2014: A Welsh magistrate defends himself in from charges of being insufficiently eager to repress the Rebeccaites, and gives us a behind-the-scenes peek at the government’s response to the crisis.
  • 8 July 2014: American war tax resistance news, featuring Ruth Benn’s visit to Milwaukee and some Catholic Worker archives, Juanita Nelson telling her stories, and a profile of S. Brian Willson. Also: is Puerto Rico a workable tax haven for Americans? And: the government sends in the troops to repress Rebecca.
  • 7 July 2014: Today we can add Llandilo-Rwnws, Mansel’s Arms, and Llanvihangel to the toll gates destroyed by the increasingly bold Rebeccaites, who also horse-whipped a stubborn toll-collector.
  • 6 July 2014: Bolgoed, Pumpsaint, Bronvelin, Twely-bridge, Gwarallt… the toll gates are falling rapidly as the Rebeccaite struggle kicks into high gear in the Summer of 1843.
  • 5 July 2014: The Monmouthshire Merlin inquires a little more deeply into the grievances of the Rebeccaites (but has to go fishing in the London Times to do so).
  • 4 July 2014: Tax resistance news from Venice, Catalonia, and the Canary Islands. Also: to what extent were the Rebeccaites encouraged by nonestablishment Christian church leadership?
  • 1 July 2014: The magistrates tried the classic government gambit of “forming a committee to study the problem” as a way of trying to mollify the Rebeccaites, but their patently condescending approach only infuriated Rebecca.
  • 30 June 2014: The editor of the Monmouthshire Merlin tried to speak for Rebecca and articulate the various grievances that were animating the Rebeccaite movement.
  • 29 June 2014: The trusts in charge of the toll gates in Wales began to consider ways to mollify the Rebeccaites, but they were slow and reluctant to act, and Rebecca was in no mood to wait for the bureaucracy to do its thing.
  • 28 June 2014: A new website to help the distributed DIY solidarity economy, tax resister barricades in Ireland, a profile of war tax resister Jon Klein, more vermin at the IRS, and another toll gate destroyed by Rebecca.
  • 27 June 2014: Here are some examples of tax resistance from modern China, including one campaign in 1993 “which lasted for six months, [in which] they blockaded traffic, held police officers hostage, set police cars ablaze, attacked officials, rampaged through government offices and marched en masse through town streets, nearby mountains and fields and on local highways carrying pitchforks, rods, and banners.”
  • 26 June 2014: The bonnets rouges have managed to abolish the hated “écotaxe” — or at least to force the government to fall back to Plan B. This shows that a study of movements like the Rebeccaites in Wales has significance for today’s efforts.
  • 23 June 2014: With their faces painted and feathers in their hair, Rebecca and her Daughters attack tollgates in Cardigan, and make me want to take a second look at the disguises used by the Boston Tea Party raiders.
  • 20 June 2014: Some tax resistance news from Catalonia, India, and England. Also: an armchair quarterback from London gives the authorities some advice on how to handle the Rebeccaites.
  • 19 June 2014: On this date in 1843, “Rebecca and her daughters” attacked the Carmarthen Workhouse. This was a departure from their usual attacks on tollgates, and was an unusal development for a number of other reasons.
  • 15 June 2014: A summary of some of the coverage of the early part of the Regulator movement, from issues of the Virginia Gazette published between 1768 and 1771 that are now available on-line.
  • 13 June 2014: Mennonite war tax resistance in 1969 and today, a conspiratorial look at the Republican plot to destroy the tax system, another highway tax portal in Brittany destroyed by fire, and a peek at tax resistance used in the Cypriot struggles of the 1950s.
  • 12 June 2014: A contemporary newspaper account of Rebeccaite activity meshes in a chronologically awkward way with Henry Tobit Evans’s book on the movement.
  • 10 June 2014: Thatcher’s “poll tax” was a complete disaster… but the conservatives thought it was a splendid idea at the time, and that the protests against it weren’t going to amount to anything.
  • 9 June 2014: I contributed an article on the American war tax resistance movement to “RADI.MS” — a new, internationally-oriented media platform organized by the “comprehensive disobedience” movement in Spain.
  • 8 June 2014: International tax resistance news from Kenya and France. Also: the proprietors of the True Sun found in 1833 that the Whigs, who had been swept into office on a wave of tax resistance, were nonetheless not going to be tolerant of any more of it as long as they were in power.
  • 4 June 2014: NWTRCC sponsors a Google Hangout today. Also: Welsh tithe resisters may have looked like an undisciplined and incoherent mob to unsympathetic outsiders, but they had a sophisticated understanding of the techniques of grassroots tax rebellion.
  • 3 June 2014: A new issue of NWTRCC’s newsletter, including articles on tax day actions, the recent national gathering, legal updates, and a close look at the ramifications of the Affordable Care Act for war tax resisters. Also: Rebeccaites tear up a turnpike gate and throw it into the Tivy, on this date in 1843.
  • 30 May 2014: A couple of bits from the archives concerning the tax resistance campaign against taxpayer-funded sectarian education in Britain a century or so ago.
  • 28 May 2014: An international tax resistance round-up, with news from Sweden, Austria, Spain, and Italy. Also: Syracuse University students resisted a collective-punishment tax in 1902.
  • 22 May 2014: An upcoming google hangout explores how to continue to resist war after the anti-war rally ends. Also: frugal living in the service of philanthropy, more evidence the I.R.S. is falling down on the enforcement job, the tax trouble of bitcoin, and another suspicious package evacuates an IRS building.
  • 20 May 2014: A European tax resistance news round-up with the latest from France, Italy, Greece, Spain, and Austria, (and some late news from Germany).
  • 19 May 2014: A look back at the massive property tax strikes in Chicago and elsewhere in the early 1930s.
  • 18 May 2014: A photo from a 1914 tax auction protested by the Women’s Tax Resistance League. Also: Erica Weiland recaps the recent NWTRCC national gathering. And: a look back at the energetic war tax resister and anti-war activist Robert Anthony… and his nemesis.
  • 17 May 2014: News accounts/editorials about the tax resistance of Welsh miners in 1919, and of Rebecca Rioters in 1843.
  • 15 May 2014: The question of whether something is a tax-exempt, charitable enterprise or is one with a half-concealed political motive and therefore is undeserving of a tax exemption has been causing a lot of headaches for the I.R.S. in recent years. But the issue is not a new one, as this interesting anecdote from Gandhi’s khādī campaign shows.
  • 12 May 2014: I just got another letter from the I.R.S. (ho hum). Meanwhile, the agency tells Congress that budget cuts mean will prevent it from collecting $3 billion that it would otherwise be able to bring in through its enforcement mechanisms.
  • 10 May 2014: Gerardo Fernández Noroña adds tax resistance to his campaign for nonviolent revolution in Mexico. Also: the Women’s Tax Resistance League were considered the sensible moderate faction in the British women’s suffrage movement, thanks to the arsonists and bomb-throwers.
  • 9 May 2014: The war tax resistance movement in Spain has been ramping up lately and I have been impressed by the quantity of and the creativity shown in the graphics being used in the campaigns. Here are some examples.
  • 7 May 2014: Venetian separatists advance their tax resistance campaign. American taxpatriates multiply. Scottish bedroom tax resisters chalk up a victory. Also: an earlier imperialist war in Afghanistan strikes some familiar notes.
  • 5 May 2014: A report back from the Spring 2014 NWTRCC National Gathering which was held in San Diego, California, last weekend.
  • 30 April 2014: A critical look at Obamacare from a tax resistance perspective, an announcement of a major divestment from U.S. “private” prisons, research into attitudes toward the ethics of tax evasion, and tax resistance news from Zimbabwe, Brittany, Ireland, and Spain.
  • 26 April 2014: Here’s an example of (the threat of) tax resistance being used in the Irish unionist movement, in this case in reaction to the First Home Rule Bill which would have given Ireland some limited autonomy.
  • 24 April 2014: Another international tax resistance round-up, with news from France, Italy, Ireland, and Spain.
  • 23 April 2014: Jehovah’s Witnesses have put a lot on the line for conscientious objection, but they show up only rarely in my tax resistance research. Here is one example, from 1937.
  • 22 April 2014: Notes on the Beit Sahour tax strike, tax noncompliant I.R.S employees, virtue ethics for children, war tax resistance as a Christian shibboleth, whether war tax resistance is legally compulsory, how to force the U.S. tax system to the tipping point, cigarette smuggling, early feminist tax resisters Abby & Julia Smith and Abby Kelley Foster, revocation of passports from U.S. tax resisters, the massive ongoing I.R.S.-impersonating phone shakedown scam, and updated numbers on how the I.R.S.’s use of liens, levies, and seizures has changed over the years.
  • 21 April 2014: Thousands of old newsreels from the British Pathé archives have been posted to YouTube. Here are a handful that show some rare motion picture footage of tax resistance actions of the past.
  • 19 April 2014: With its quotes and paraphrases of unnamed “officials” and its furious handwaving, this 1968 newspaper article on war tax resistance reads to me as a desperate attempt by the government to throw water on a spreading brushfire by means of a cooperative and sympathetic reporter.
  • 18 April 2014: A couple of my articles have been recently recirculated on blogs here and there, and one of them provoked a vigorous rebuttal of the sort I haven’t seen since fifth grade recess.
  • 17 April 2014: More “Tax Day” news from this year, featuring war tax resisters Lida Shao and Cindy Sheehan. Also: a look back at a “Tax Day” action from 1972.
  • 16 April 2014: Another curious (and humorous) connection between the Catholic anarchist tax resister Ammon Hennacy and the right-wing paleocon tax resister J. Bracken Lee.
  • 14 April 2014: American war tax resisters ride the Tax Day media wave, including Erica Weiland, Jack Payden-Travers, William Ruhaak, David Hartsough, Susan Quinlan, and Ruth Benn.
  • 13 April 2014: The latest tax resistance news from Austria, France, Italy, Jordan, and Spain… and another dispatch from the days of the Rebeccaite rebellion.
  • 12 April 2014: Anti-communist tax strikers in New York City in 1938 deposited their resisted taxes in escrow accounts to ward off reprisals and blunt criticism.
  • 9 April 2014: Spanish war tax resisters and activists from the 15-M, or indignados, movement (the Spanish version of “Occupy”) have joined forces to organize a sharing economy network and to nourish it with redirected taxes.
  • 8 April 2014: The Ground Zero newsletter reviews “99 Tactics of Successful Tax Resistance Campaigns.” Also: New Hampshire resident Amis Vautier spent some time in jail rather than pay income tax to the neighboring state of Massachusetts, reasoning that as he had no representation in that state, he ought not to be responsible for its taxation.
  • 6 April 2014: Erica Weiland summarizes her keynote address on Economic Disobedience and War Tax Resistance. Also: some more information from the Spanish economic disobedience movement. And: exploring the theory that the Rebeccaite tollbooth attacks were synchronized with moon phases.
  • 4 April 2014: It’s time for another ’round the world tax resistance round-up, with news fom Austria, Greece, Cyprus, Ireland, and the Venetian Republic.
  • 3 April 2014: Friends Journal reviews “American Quaker War Tax Resistance.” Also: current war tax resistance news, including mentions of American war tax resisters Susan Cundiff, Peg Morton, Joseph Olejak, and Erica Weiland.
  • 2 April 2014: Ready for a heaping helping of I.R.S. schadenfreude? All the news is bad news for the agency lately, which is good news for us.
  • 1 April 2014: A 1976 article by Libertarian Party founder and tax resister Karl J. Bray gives some insight into the early days of that party and of the Constitutionalist tax protester movement… and introduces me to Danish tax resister Mogens Gilstrup.
  • 31 March 2014: A new issue of NWTRCC’s newsletter is out. Also: the War Tax Resisters Penalty Fund mutual aid program, now under new management, has issued a new appeal. And: you can now view a recording of last week’s Google Hangout on war tax resistance.
  • 27 March 2014: There’s a “Google Hangout” about war tax resistance scheduled for today. Also: Ed Hedemann takes a second look at the War Resisters League’s federal budget pie chart. And: a flashback to this day in 1952 in an article about Marion C. Frenyear’s war tax resistance.
  • 25 March 2014: Ten years ago today, Albuquerque’s local newsweekly, the Alibi, published a feature by Singeli Agnew about war tax resisters. Here are a few excerpts.
  • 24 March 2014: Some war tax resistance news from here and there, and international tax resistance news from Italy, the Netherlands, Austria, Venezuela, and England.
  • 20 March 2014: There’s a “Google Hangout” about war tax resistance coming up next week. Also: the numbers have just come out about how many tax filers in 2012 were “lucky duckies” who owed no income taxes all year.
  • 19 March 2014: In my annual report I summarize my eleventh year of tax resistance and forecast the year ahead.
  • 15 March 2014: Actions are being planned for Tax Day in the U.S. this year (here are a couple of lists). And: the War Resisters League has released an updated version of their popular “pie chart” flyer which purports to show you how much of your income tax dollar is spent on the military.
  • 13 March 2014: War tax resisters in Britain protest the investment of their local taxes in the military industrial complex. And: A chronologically confusing article on the Rebecca Riots from the Monmouthshire Merlin. Also: a student in Spain redirects a cash reward from the government back into the war tax resistance movement.
  • 11 March 2014: War tax resistance news from the U.S., American tax law news, tax resistance news from Spain, France, Greece, the Dominican Republic, Argentina, and the Isle of Man, and a couple of looks back at the poll tax resistance campaign in Britain.
  • 8 March 2014: The conservative press in Britain in 1930 was first dismissive of Gandhi and his salt march, and did all it could to ridicule the independence movement… until it proved itself.
  • 1 March 2014: The I.R.S. sends me five very bland letters. Also: American “peace church” representatives confer about how to revitalize war tax resistance in their congregations.
  • 28 February 2014: Porkins Policy Radio interviews me about how war tax resistance works. Also: a thoughtful look at a war tax resistance workshop, more on the IRS-fueled and lucrative pasttime of identity theft, and the IRS gets caught cheating on its own taxes.
  • 25 February 2014: The tax wonks look at Bitcoin and think it is going to prove tough to tax. Also: a backgrounder on the Rebeccaite phenomenon, from the Monmouthshire Merlin on this date in 1843.
  • 23 February 2014: International tax resistance news from Italy, England, Greece, Brazil, and Catalonia.
  • 20 February 2014: A couple of early news accounts from the Rebecca Riots, one showing some of the risks of having an anonymous direct action group with no credible spokesperson or leader.
  • 18 February 2014: A letter from “Rebecka and childrens” outlining some of the grievances and demands of the Rebeccaites was published on this date in 1843 in the Cambrian.
  • 17 February 2014: Here’s how the press back home covered the Bambatha Rebellion. It’s mostly pretty ugly.
  • 13 February 2014: Rebeccaites destroyed the Trevaughan toll house and gates on this date in 1843. The government announced a reward for information, and as a result thought they might have caught some of the rebels… but their case wasn’t good enough to convince a jury.
  • 11 February 2014: The I.R.S. has been ramping up its use of criminal charges in tax cases. Also: a record number of people renounced their U.S. citizenship last year. And: another early account of the Rebeccaite movement.
  • 9 February 2014: Two Mennonites host an ask-me-anything on Reddit about the question of whether Christians ought to pay taxes for war. Also: when Canada tried to apply customs charges to Mohawks crossing the border in 1969, the Indians blockaded the bridge.
  • 5 February 2014: Tax resistance was an important tool of the movement to force the British government to finally enact the Reform Act of 1832. Here are some examples, from the archives of The Spectator, showing how that magazine covered the tax resistance angle of the campaign.
  • 4 February 2014: Some international tax resistance news, with notes from Ukraine, Spain, England, Brazil, and France.
  • 3 February 2014: A new issue of NWTRCC’s newsletter is out, with lots of news about war tax resisters and a review of “99 Tactics of Successful Tax Resistance Campaigns”.
  • 31 January 2014: So, what of these new “MyRA”s that Obama got so excited about in his State of the Union message? Also: another railroad bond swindle led to more tax resistance in New York in 1881.
  • 30 January 2014: Contemporary newspaper accounts of some of the early tollgate destructions of the Rebeccaite uprising of 1843.
  • 29 January 2014: Here are some excerpts from the archives of The Spectator that concern the Irish Tithe War of the 1830s.
  • 27 January 2014: Tax resistance news from Cyprus and Michoacán, a profile of long-time war tax resister Robin Harper, and some archives from the British poll tax rebellion of the Thatcher years.
  • 25 January 2014: A 1779 letter from Robert Pleasants to Thomas Nicholson tries to discourage defections from Quaker war tax resisters who were wavering about whether or not to pay a new tax.
  • 23 January 2014: You can now download from the I.R.S. the information it collects about you. Also: more tax resistance news from France and Argentina.
  • 20 January 2014: The I.R.S. budget gets another shave. also: The president of the Ivory Coast ungratefully turns on the tax resisters who helped him get into office.
  • 16 January 2014: The National Library of Wales has created an on-line archive of Welsh newspapers, which gives us the opportunity to read about the Rebecca Riots as they happened.
  • 11 January 2014: Tax resistance news from Mexico, France, Tunisia, and Greece. Also: how do tax resisters interact with the I.R.S.? And: are citizens of countries that commit war crimes legally obligated to stop paying taxes?
  • 10 January 2014: How the IRS’s use of property seizures, levies, and liens has changed over the last 20 years. Also: my new book gets some attention (and is now available for the Kindle too).
  • 9 January 2014: The National Taxpayer Advocate released its annual report today, pleading with Congress to stop cutting the I.R.S. budget.
  • 8 January 2014: My new book, “99 Tactics of Successful Tax Resistance Campaigns,” has just been published!
  • 2 January 2014: A few mentions of tax resistance from Russia to Palestine to New Amsterdam, from the Historical Jewish Press archives.
  • 1 January 2014: When government-run public transit fares leapt by 66% in Mexico City, commuters started to leap too in what has become a hopping mad protest movement. Also: the Bonnets Rouges continue to destroy traffic radar outposts in France — over 200 so far.

2013

  • 27 December 2013: Notes about the current tax resistance of Kenneth O’Keefe and Joseph Olejak, and about tax resistance as it was practiced in Britain’s American colonies.
  • 24 December 2013: Tax resistance was also used in the women’s suffrage struggle in Bermuda, which was still ongoing in 1934.
  • 22 December 2013: Tax resistance news from France, Italy, and Greece, including an amusing police raid against French tax agency workers holding a holiday party when their Santa hats were mistaken for the “bonnets rouges” of anti-tax protesters.
  • 21 December 2013: Václav Havel’s essay on “The Power of the Powerless” is a fascinating and surprising piece of work and I think it has useful lessons for us today.
  • 16 December 2013: Some preliminary observations on how Obamacare will affect low-income tax resisters like myself (so far the news looks good).
  • 14 December 2013: The 100th anniversary of the Turra Coo. Ruth Benn looks back on the life of New York war tax resister Sallie Marx. Erica Weiland gives some practical year-end war tax resistance advice. The I.R.S. struggles to bring its computer systems out of the punch-card era. And cable operators in India band together and go dark to protest a new entertainment tax.
  • 13 December 2013: Can the I.R.S. seize your bank account on a mere suspicion, and then force you to go to court without any money to hire a lawyer in order to prove yourself innocent and get your money back? Sure it can.
  • 12 December 2013: The Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends in Britain has recently released the fifth edition of its Quaker Faith and Practice book. Here’s what it has to say about taxes.
  • 10 December 2013: The archives of The Spectator give us a tory perspective on some of the tactics being put to use by the Irish Land League in the early 1880s.
  • 7 December 2013: I dig through the stacks of dusty Google Books scans to try to find information about the 1589 Revolt Against the Tribute in the Philippines.
  • 6 December 2013: Robin Hood and his Merry Men from Keene, New Hampshire, win a First Amendment case for their war on parking tickets. Also: you know who else is legally exempt from paying Social Security tax in the U.S.? Employees of subversive communist organizations.
  • 2 December 2013: A news dispatch from this date in 1903 prompts me to look through the archives for evidence of tax resistance in Korea.
  • 1 December 2013: A new edition of NWTRCC’s newsletter is out. Also: some more background on France’s interesting “bonnets rouges” tax resisters.
  • 30 November 2013: Tens of thousands of “bonnets rouges” demonstrated in France today against a so-called “eco-tax” — and reveled in highway blockades and tax portal destruction.
  • 27 November 2013: An alleged tax strike by impoverished farmers in the United States in 1922 leaves me skeptical.
  • 25 November 2013: Recent tax resistance news from France, Thailand, Tijuana, Tanzania, and Oregon.
  • 24 November 2013: Here’s the plan on how to take money from the government by gaming Obamacare. Also: a dispatch from the war tax resistance campaign in Nicaragua in 1909. And: I have some personal experience with today’s more-glacial-than-usual I.R.S. “customer” service.
  • 21 November 2013: Here’s a peek at some of the tax reform proposals percolating through Congress. They’re a long way from becoming law, but give us some idea of the new challenges we may be faced with before long.
  • 20 November 2013: The Internal Revenue Service Advisory Council released its annual report today, confirming that recent I.R.S. budget slashing “undermines the voluntary tax system, reduces government revenues, and promotes the underground economy.” Also: some news starts to trickle out from the NWTRCC national gathering earlier this month.
  • 17 November 2013: A rundown of recent tax resistance news: war tax resistance in the Friends Journal is all in the obituaries column these days; tax resistance news from Spain, Thailand, France, and Greece; I.R.S. ineptitude makes the news again; the impact of the shutdown on government revenue; and the rising trend of taxpatriatism in the (that is to say, out of the) U.S.
  • 10 November 2013: A short video about the successful Dublin water charge strike of the 1990s, some pictures from this month’s NWTRCC national gathering in New York City, and “Your Faith, Your Finance” tries to promote responsible economic stewardship among Christians in the U.K. — which includes some examination of their tax responsibility.
  • 9 November 2013: The “bonnets rouges” are taking a page out of the Rebeccaite handbook and have destroyed dozens of tollgates in Brittany.
  • 8 November 2013: James E. Whipple was imprisoned for his refusal to pay a military tax in 1870. He is mentioned in passing in some of the accounts of Zerah Whipple’s later imprisonment on similar charges, but doesn’t seem to have left as much of a trace himself. Here is some of what I was able to find.
  • 4 November 2013: On this date in 1853, Robert Purvis wrote to the tax collector in Philadelphia to explain why he would not be paying his taxes to fund a school system that was for white children only.
  • 3 November 2013: Tax resisters are rioting in Brittany, and forcing French president François Hollande to back down again and again on his plans to introduce new taxes.
  • 2 November 2013: Here’s an update on the ongoing “Δεν Πληρώνω” tax resistance movement in Greece.
  • 1 November 2013: Last month I kept track of every cent I spent, in an attempt to confirm that my low-income tax resistance strategy is financially sustainable. Here’s what I found.
  • 29 October 2013: Conservative tax resistance to protest against Obamacare. Cryptocurrencies as ideal tax havens. An I.R.S. enforcement shutdown. The war tax resistance of John Woolman. War tax resistance in a Jewish context. And French soccer goes on strike over a populist tax on million-euro salaries.
  • 18 October 2013: In October 1881 there was a flurry of articles in The Spectator about the Irish Land League and its rent strike. The Spectator’s archives have recently come on-line, so I can share some excerpts here.
  • 12 October 2013: Digging up the bones from a hard-won tax resistance battle in Dothan, Alabama, in 1889.
  • 7 October 2013: Uncovering an unsung (but successful) tax resistance campaign in Jamaica in 1848.
  • 5 October 2013: Why, I never saw anything in the Bible about a woman having to pay taxes. (Thus a tax resisting Mennonite sect in Pennsylvania in the 1930s.)
  • 2 October 2013: A new issue of NWTRCC’s newsletter is out. Also: an English-language documentary looks at the alternative economy projects surfacing in Spain today.
  • 1 October 2013: Bookmark roundup: the law of barter, swaps, gifts, and alternative currencies; a Twitter feed about tax resistance tactics; the I.R.S. floundering under budget cuts; the I.R.S. scandal that didn’t make the papers; Dublin water charge strikers fight back by pouring a little concrete; and war tax resister Ed Hedemann appears on the Breaking The Set show.
  • 30 September 2013: Yeah, yeah, yeah, sure: smash the State. But meanwhile, shouldn’t we tax the rich?
  • 29 September 2013: I wrap up my translation of the Spanish Handbook of Economic Disobedience with its conclusion which paints a vision of an economy radically transformed from the grassroots: a “comprehensive revolution.”
  • 28 September 2013: This translated excerpt from the Spanish Handbook of Economic Disobedience covers barter, alternative currencies, crowdfunding, and other counter-economy projects.
  • 27 September 2013: This translated excerpt from the Spanish Handbook of Economic Disobedience covers integrated cooperatives and networks of cooperatives that are operating with the goal of replacing the state capitalist system from the ground up.
  • 26 September 2013: When corporations rule the earth, the revolutionaries incorporate. This excerpt from the Spanish Handbook of Economic Disobedience covers the various forms of legal and quasi-legal incorporation and how activist groups and cooperatives can use them.
  • 25 September 2013: In this translated excerpt from the Spanish Handbook of Economic Disobedience, the authors recommend that people disengage from the banking system, and discuss some alternatives.
  • 24 September 2013: More translations from the Spanish Handbook of Economic Disobedience, covering bankruptcy as a tactic of fiscal disobedience.
  • 23 September 2013: Some more sections translated from the Spanish Handbook of Economic Disobedience, including a section about techniques for resisting the value-added tax.
  • 22 September 2013: What ever happened to Pierre Poujade? The Spectator caught up to him almost fifty years after he led his enormous tax revolt in France.
  • 21 September 2013: This new Spanish tax resistance movement is explicitly revolutionary — it wants people to shift their loyalties, as well as their tax dollars, from the Spanish government to an overlapping mosaic of grassroots projects and assemblies.
  • 20 September 2013: Here is another section from the Handbook of Economic Disobedience which represents some of the thinking in the hybrid war tax resistance / anti-capitalist movement in Spain today.
  • 19 September 2013: The Spectator covered the tax resistance of the French Breton Association in a couple of articles in 1829.
  • 18 September 2013: An interesting hybrid of war tax resisters and Occupy-style critics of state capitalism has developed in Spain in recent years: promoting the illegal redirection of taxes from the State to independently-managed grassroots projects. Here is a translation of some of their latest manifesto.
  • 17 September 2013: NWTRCC’s fall gathering announced; a report on the BerkShares alternative currency; Robert Fernandes pays his taxes in $1 bills as a protest; lucky duckies are becoming rarer and may have been overcounted in the first place; prohibitionists in Colorado are trying to use taxes to push marijuana back underground; Michael Izbicki shares his decision to begin resisting taxes; and another “suspicious white powder” incident at an IRS facility.
  • 16 September 2013: Some notes from a fuel tax protest in the U.K. in 2000 that featured blockades of refineries.
  • 12 September 2013: A newspaper article from this date in 1768 that covered incidents in the Regulator movement in the American colonies.
  • 9 September 2013: Some notes on the resistance to the “Constable Leahy Tax” in the wake of the Mitchelstown Massacre in Ireland in 1887.
  • 2 September 2013: An insider guide to I.R.S. processing codes. Some thirty-year-old punk rock aesthetic art about war taxes. Constitutionalist tax protesters spread to Canada. More tax resistance news from Greece. The I.R.S. throws in the towel on its frivolous filing penalty overreaching. Another government rigs traffic lights to make intersections more dangerous and more profitable. War tax resister media talking points. Ruth Benn reflects on the letters she gets from the I.R.S. And a 1967 wire service report quoting Joan Baez on her war tax resistance.
  • 1 September 2013: While I was busy going through Friends Journal back issues, I didn’t attend much to American tax resistance news in the here-and-now, so I’ll try to give a recap today of some of the interesting items that caught my notice over the last couple of months.
  • 31 August 2013: While I was busy going through Friends Journal back issues, I didn’t attend much to tax resistance news in the here-and-now, so I’ll try to give a recap today of some of the news about international tax resisters that caught my notice, from the U.K., Spain, Catalonia, Madagascar, Zimbabwe, Ghana, Italy, Greece, and Portugal
  • 30 August 2013: We’re finally at the present day, having reviewed the arc in which coverage of war tax resistance in the Friends Journal built from near-silence in the late 1950s to a near frenzy by the late 1960s only to fade back to a low simmer by the early 1990s and then to the frankly moribund state where it is today.
  • 29 August 2013: There were a few scattered mentions of war tax resistance in the Friends Journal in 2012, including mentions of resisters Ken Champney, Kyle Chandler-Isacksen, David & Jan Hartsough, and Merry Stanford.
  • 28 August 2013: In 2011, most of the mentions of war tax resistance in the Friends Journal were brief and retrospective. Among the resisters mentioned were Christopher Moore-Backman, Alfred Andersen, Stephen L. Angell, Robin Harper, and George & Lillian Willoughby.
  • 27 August 2013: The Friends Journal in 2009 included more indications of the different approaches to the war tax dilemma from Quakers in the New York Yearly Meeting and their counterparts in California, as well as an article from Harrison & Marilyn Roper about their experience with tax resistance.
  • 26 August 2013: There was a bit of an anti-war tax resistance backlash in the Friends Journal in 2009.
  • 25 August 2013: After noting several years of dwindling coverage of war tax resistance in the Friends Journal, it was a pleasant surprise to see that the magazine devoted its March 2008 issue to the topic.
  • 24 August 2013: The few mentions of war tax resistance in the Friends Journal in 2007 were mostly looks at war tax resisters from Quaker history, though there was some mention of Daniel Jenkins’s ongoing attempt to get the courts to discover a Constitutional right to conscientious objection to military taxation.
  • 23 August 2013: Quaker war tax resisters of the past and present made appearances in the Friends Journal in 2006.
  • 22 August 2013: In 2005, it became increasingly clear that the Iraq War was a catastrophe inflicted by madmen who would stoop to any lie to satisfy their bloodlust, and held no limits sacred — not even those on torture. How would those Quakers who were providing the funding for this disaster respond?
  • 21 August 2013: In 2004, Quaker Meetings were still wrestling with whether to go on the record in support of war tax resistance, and, if so, whether to do so in an explicit, uncompromising way, or one that played it safe and left a lot of wiggle room.
  • 20 August 2013: It is 2003. The insane bloodlust of the United States has led it to embark on the shameful and catastrophic Iraq War. Surely there is no time like the present for American Quakers to recall their proud tradition of war tax resistance and refuse to fund the madness. Let’s see if we can find any signs of this the Friends Journal.
  • 19 August 2013: In 2002 mentions of war tax resistance in the Friends Journal were few and far between, and included next to nothing about actual real-life American Quakers doing actual, honest-to-goodness war tax resistance.
  • 18 August 2013: A new millennium is upon us, full of hope and… whoops, there goes a terrorist attack and suddenly the U.S. adopts insanity as its national pastime. How did the Friends Journal’s coverage of war tax resistance reflect this slide from hope to nuts in 2001?
  • 17 August 2013: The 2000 issues of Friends Journal had a few mentions of war tax resistance and an extensive debate about the wisdom of supporting the Religious Freedom Peace Tax Fund act.
  • 16 August 2013: In 1999 long-time Friends Journal editor (and war tax resister) Vinton Deming stepped down. The amount of coverage of war tax resistance in the Journal had been declining throughout the decade, and 1999 was no exception to this trend.
  • 15 August 2013: War tax resistance was found largely in infrequent mentions in the back pages of the Friends Journal in 1998.
  • 14 August 2013: There was a resurgence of war tax resistance news in the Friends Journal in 1997, including an interesting series of articles on the voluntary simplicity / low income lifestyle as a tax resistance tactic, and the beginning chapters of the tale of Quaker war tax resister Priscilla Adams.
  • 13 August 2013: There was next to nothing in the Friends Journal in 1996 about war tax resistance, and what there was largely concerned the ongoing fools’ errand of trying to enact a “Peace Tax Fund” law.
  • 12 August 2013: There were scattered mentions of war tax resistance in the pages of the Friends Journal in 1995.
  • 11 August 2013: There were several mentions of war tax resistance in the Friends Journal in 1994, including an interesting interview with Paula Rogge, and contributions from resisters Vinton Deming, David Shen, and Perry Treadwell.
  • 10 August 2013: By 1993 the coverage of American Quaker war tax resistance in the Friends Journal makes it seem pretty weak — not a lot of activity at all, and what there is of it is half-hearted symbolic measures or pathetic attempts to get Congress to pass a “Peace Tax Fund” scheme. There was almost more news about war tax resistance in Canada than in the United States.
  • 9 August 2013: There was a great deal about war tax resistance in the Friends Journal in 1992, in part because of the occupation of the Randy Kehler/Betsy Corner home which the I.R.S. was trying to auction off, and in part because of the I.R.S. suit against the Journal to try to force it to pay its editor’s resisted taxes, and in part because of the Peace Tax Fund bill’s first congressional hearing.
  • 8 August 2013: War tax resistance had largely retreated into the back pages of the Friends Journal by 1991. Why this should be, I don’t know.
  • 7 August 2013: Mentions of war tax resistance in the Friends Journal in 1990 tended to look back at resisters of the past, or to look forward to a time when a magic peace tax fund law would make the dilemma go away.
  • 6 August 2013: There were many mentions of war tax resistance in the Friends Journal in 1989, though without much urgency or enthusiasm. Quakers were encouraged, however, by the prospect of nonviolent resistance held out by the Beit Sahour tax strike. Also: some references to the Poplar Rates Rebellion in the archives of The Spectator which recently came on-line.
  • 5 August 2013: The third of Friends Journal’s special issues on war tax resistance came in 1988, and the topic came up in several other issues besides.
  • 4 August 2013: The question of how Quaker meetings and other organizations ought to respond to the tug-of-war between the I.R.S. and their war tax resisting employees was among the major concerns of Quakers in 1987, as can be seen in the pages of the Friends Journal.
  • 3 August 2013: There was a noticeable lull in coverage of war tax resistance in the Friends Journal in 1986.
  • 2 August 2013: A vigorous debate about the wisdom of Peace Tax Fund legislation was one of the topics that played out in the 1985 issues of the Friends Journal.
  • 1 August 2013: The new issue of NWTRCC’s newsletter is out, including a debate on whether or not to pay the “social security tax.” Also: 1984 brought the Friends Journal’s second special issue on war taxes, at a time when even its critics acknowledged war tax resistance as a mainstream practice in the Society of Friends.
  • 31 July 2013: War tax resistance was a frequent topic of discussion in the pages of the Friends Journal in 1983, with an increasing emphasis on how Meetings as a body could engage in war tax resistance, and with at least one Meeting taking the step of recommending that all of its members begin resisting war taxes.
  • 30 July 2013: Is the dilemma facing pacifist Quakers who are asked to pay a war tax best resolved by conscientious objection and civil disobedience, or by lawsuits and lobbying? Both approaches could be found in the pages of the Friends Journal in 1982.
  • 29 July 2013: War tax resistance remained very much on the agenda at the Friends Journal at the beginning of the Reagan era of aggressive military build-up in 1981.
  • 28 July 2013: There was plenty about war tax resistance in the Friends Journal in 1980, but it seemed to involve tax resisting Mennonites as least as often as tax resisting Quakers.
  • 27 July 2013: War tax resistance was a frequent topic in the issues of Friends Journal in 1979, though there was still no consensus about how to go about it, and there was a lot of hesitance among Quaker institutions about how strongly to endorse it.
  • 26 July 2013: There was hardly an issue of the Friends Journal in 1978 that did not at least mention war tax resistance, and some issues covered the topic in depth.
  • 25 July 2013: War tax resistance kept charging on through the early 1977 issues of the Friends Journal, though there was some indication of post-Vietnam War war tax resister fatigue.
  • 24 July 2013: I was a little too young to be much of an observer of the political scene, but I remember 1976 as being something of an orgy of innocent patriotism. The Friends Journal wasn’t quite so willing to get with the star-spangled program. In particular, it intensified its coverage of war tax resistance during the bicentennial year.
  • 23 July 2013: By 1975 in the Friends Journal there is a lot less discussion of why people should resist war taxes, or whether war tax resistance is proper, and a lot more news about how war tax resistance is taking place, and what individual Quakers and Quaker Meetings are doing to resist or to support resisters.
  • 22 July 2013: There were a couple of heartfelt individual expressions of beginning war tax resistance in the pages of the Friends Journal in 1974. Also: members of the Seneca nation blockade a New York expressway in 1992 to protest the imposition of state taxes on Indians.
  • 21 July 2013: Quaker war tax resistance methods and theories diversified and became more developed, as can be seen in the pages of the Friends Journal of 1973.
  • 20 July 2013: In the 1972 issues of the Friends Journal, more attention is being given to the practical concerns of how to best go about war tax resistance in a way that is most effective and that most honors the Quaker way of going about things.
  • 19 July 2013: War tax resistance continued to come up frequently in the pages of the Friends Journal in 1971. One issue brings the first mention of the war tax resistance of Robin Harper, who will periodically appear in the context of war tax resistance in the magazine for the next forty years.
  • 18 July 2013: By 1970, references to war tax resistance in the Friends Journal had become more casual and matter-of-fact, but also less urgent and less thorough.
  • 17 July 2013: In 1968, the U.S. government added a surcharge to the income tax bill, designed to pay for the Vietnam War — the most explicit war tax the government had yet imposed. When Quakers began filling out their returns the following year, some felt that to pay this tax was a step they were not prepared to take.
  • 16 July 2013: The momentum of war tax resistance continued to build in the pages of the Friends Journal in 1968, amid increasing concern for how to maintain a nonviolent stance in a country where the status quo is so violent.
  • 15 July 2013: The American Friends Service Committee, since its founding in 1917, has been one of the most prominent ways modern American Quakers have tried to put their peace testimony into practice. But it could be a voice of relative hesitance and conservatism when many in the Society of Friends were adopting war tax resistance.
  • 14 July 2013: By 1967, though there was still no consensus in the Society of Friends about whether paying taxes was the right thing to do (and if not, how best to avoid it), the issue had become impossible to avoid. The issues of the Friends Journal published that year reflect this, with most of them including at least a mention of war tax resistance or of the dilemma for Quaker taxpayers.
  • 13 July 2013: On 2 November 1965, an American Quaker named Norman Morrison went out to the sidewalk in front of Robert McNamara’s office in the Pentagon and set himself on fire as a protest against the Vietnam War. His suicide stunned the Society of Friends and made urgent the questions about the moribund Quaker peace testimony. This is reflected by the increased attention given in the pages of Friends Journal in 1966 to the issue of war tax resistance.
  • 12 July 2013: Three people dominated the meager Friends Journal coverage of war tax resistance in 1965: Johan Eliot, Margaret Dungan, and Gordon Christiansen.
  • 11 July 2013: In 1964 the simmering issue of war tax resistance began to hit the boiling point in the pages of the Friends Journal.
  • 10 July 2013: Issues of the Friends Journal from 1963 show the beginnings of the reemergence of war tax resistance as a widespread practice in the Society of Friends… and also the first example of the backlash against it.
  • 9 July 2013: In 1962, a Friends Jounal article by Mildred Binns Young changed war tax resistance from an incidental curiosity of Quakers into an urgent question of Quaker practice.
  • 8 July 2013: On this date in 1996, National Public Radio’s Morning Edition did a story about the I.R.S. seizure of the home of war tax resisters Art Harvey & Elizabeth Gravalos. Here are some excerpts from the transcript.
  • 7 July 2013: By 1961, war tax resistance, or at least increased anxiety about paying war taxes, has surfaced in the Society of Friends, and we can see evidence of this in the pages of “Friends Journal” from that year.
  • 6 July 2013: In 1960, you can see evidence that the glacier that had covered Quaker war tax resistance since the American Civil War had begun to recede.
  • 5 July 2013: There are a few, revealing mentions of war tax resistance in the “Friends Journal” from its first five years of publication, 1955 to 1959.
  • 4 July 2013: A look through the back catalog of “Friends Journal” gives a perspective on the late 20th-century resurgence of war tax resistance in the American Society of Friends, which has only recently started to fade.
  • 1 July 2013: A Quaker war tax resister during the Vietnam War contrasted his conscientious objection with that of people who recommended tax resistance as a protest tactic with this analogy: “We refuse to steal not as a protest against burglary — with consideration of how ‘effective’ we may or may not be — but simply because for us stealing is wrong.”
  • 30 June 2013: On this date in 1873 a women’s suffrage meeting was held, shortly after Susan B. Anthony was convicted by an all-male jury of the crime of voting while female. Lillie Devereaux Blake addressed the assembly about the case, and added a note about some suffragist tax resisters in Worcester, Massachusetts. Hmmm… let’s investigate.
  • 29 June 2013: Some updates on tax resistance by Catalan separatists, and on the I.R.S. scandals.
  • 24 June 2013: War tax resister Vickie Aldrich wins her “frivolous filing penalty” battle with the I.R.S. Also: more juicy bits of schadenfreude about the I.R.S. scandal.
  • 17 June 2013: The Long Island Sunday Press reprinted some of the findings their sister paper, the Long Island Times, dug up some fifty years previously about the resistance by Quakers in Flushing to militia exemption taxes during the American Revolution.
  • 12 June 2013: IRS agents are going well beyond the law to police the attitudes and activities of groups applying for tax-exempt status, as recent cases involving anti-abortion groups show.
  • 9 June 2013: A strange “cult” devoted to L.B.J. sprung up on an island in New Guinea in 1964, refusing to pay taxes to the Australian government and dedicating the money instead to a fund for purchasing the American president.
  • 6 June 2013: Creative auction disruption from war tax resisters protesting the seizure of the Kehler/Corner home around 1990. Also: tax resistance by Chinese liberals in 1910.
  • 4 June 2013: Two statements from the Church of the Brethren on war tax resistance.
  • 3 June 2013: The tax resistance movement for Catalan independence grows. Also: The I.R.S. is becoming increasingly loathed. And: Learn about Offices of Economic Disobedience (if you understand Spanish). Also: I get another letter from the I.R.S.
  • 30 May 2013: A new issue of NWTRCC’s newsletter is out, with news about war tax resistance and the community of resisters in the United States.
  • 29 May 2013: There was also a kerfluffle about the Vicars’ Rate in Halifax, around 1875–6.
  • 28 May 2013: Some amusing tales from the 1892 Coventry anti-Vicars’ Rate campaign, starring greased pigs and rotten eggs.
  • 25 May 2013: The I.R.S. was having trouble figuring out how to respond to the increasing number of war tax resisters in the early 1970s, as the cases of Carole Nelson and Sally Buckley show.
  • 21 May 2013: It looks like the I.R.S. is backing down from its extralegal policy of hitting war tax resisters with $5,000 fines for including letters of protest along with their otherwise complete and accurate tax returns.
  • 19 May 2013: Robin Hoods taunt parking ticket personnel in Keene. The I.R.S. tea party scandal hits agency morale. How war tax resisters are taking the scandal news. That other I.R.S. scandal about reading our email without a warrant. A look at the inflation of the charges agains the Transform Now Plowshares. And: the crackdown on tax evasion in Greece turns out to be all for show.
  • 16 May 2013: The TEA Party tempest takes down the acting IRS chief, launches a criminal probe of I.R.S. employees, and accelerates the agency’s death spiral.
  • 15 May 2013: From the first draft of history comes a curious moment in the Dharasana Salt Raids in which the police used nonviolent satyagraha tactics to temporarily thwart the raiders.
  • 11 May 2013: The I.R.S. has been caught extra-legally harassing TEA Party groups in the run-up to the last presidential election, and the agency has been forced to walk back its earlier denial that it had done this.
  • 9 May 2013: Notes from the NWTRCC national conference earlier this month. Also: tax resisters versus the banks. And: profiles of the Transform Now Plowshares activists and of incorrigible moonshiner Popcorn Sutton.
  • 2 May 2013: Join in the fun of this weekend’s national war tax resistance gathering without leaving your couch. Also: war tax resister Karl Meyer explains radical nonviolence in 1975.
  • 28 April 2013: The necessity defense gets an airing in the trial of the Transform Now Plowshares. Also: more about Google’s aspirations to statehood. Also: Obama’s budget calls for a big boost in the federal excise tax on cigarettes.
  • 22 April 2013: War tax resisters David Waters and Juanita Nelson make the news. More on tax resistance in Catalonia. I.R.S. employee furloughs ahead. And: the movers and shakers at Google are ominously pitching their view of the future of the internet to the lords of war, international intrigue, and government intervention, who sound delighted by what they are hearing.
  • 21 April 2013: So what’s all this fuss about “bitcoin” anyway? A mutual-aid health organization has decided to abandon the taxed above-ground economy and conduct as much of its operations as possible in this new currency. Is this the future of tax resistance?
  • 19 April 2013: A new survey of “low-compliance” taxpayers reveals that they are more motivated by distrust of the government and dislike of the way it spends tax money than they are by self-interested economic concerns.
  • 18 April 2013: Video footage of Joan Baez addressing her tax resistance on this day in 1966. Also: Happy Tax Freedom Day, America.
  • 17 April 2013: Tax day aftermath, IRS heavy-handedness & blundering & budget cuts, Gambling on the Rapture, tax resistance in Argentina, and a long-term look at public opinion about taxes in the United States.
  • 16 April 2013: Updates on the various tax resistance campaigns in Spain. Also: some archival bits about American war tax resistance in the 1980s and 1990s.
  • 15 April 2013: Ed Hedemann is interviewed on Democracy Now today about war tax resistance as a form of protest. Also: examples of Tax Day coverage of war tax resisters in 1966 and 1968, including Irving Hogan, who redirected his taxes one dollar at a time to passers-by: “Here, go buy yourself a beer.”
  • 14 April 2013: Sally Buckley was arrested and charged with criminal tax fraud in 1970 for filing a W-4 claiming “the family of man” as her dependents. Clearly the government had gotten nervous about war tax resisters. She then tried to pay her taxes — with medical supplies instead of money.
  • 13 April 2013: A number of interesting behind-the-scenes artifacts about the Writers and Editors War Tax Protest of 1967–1968.
  • 12 April 2013: Former Catholic bishop Thomas Gumbleton talks war tax resistance on Democracy Now. Also: some elements of Obama’s latest budget proposal bear watching by those of us in the tax resister set.
  • 11 April 2013: NWTRCC announces the crop of Tax Day protest actions for this year. Also: Catholic war veterans launch a tax strike in New York City in 1938 to protest a Communist in the local government.
  • 10 April 2013: In 1901, 200 employees of the Dimmick Pipe Company walked off the job, furious at a poll tax that had been withheld from their paychecks. This is one example of a labor strike being used to amplify a tax resistance campaign.
  • 9 April 2013: Budget cut woes for the IRS. Also: the agency plans to use consumer-tracking databases, and to link those up to government databases, as a way of pinpointing tax evaders and finding their assets. And: a fed up farmer in Argentina fires 23 bullets into a car carrying tax inspectors, and the local prosecutor decides to let it slide. Also: a note about a planned tax strike in India in 1921.
  • 5 April 2013: By April, 1970, the American anti-war movement had really hit its stride, and war tax resistance had become a mainstream protest tactic.
  • 4 April 2013: What’s happening on Tax Day 2013. Mennonites contemplate war tax resistance. Data on the underground economy. French heterosexual supremacists contemplate tax resistance. Even if they’re caught, American tax fraudsters are incredibly unlikely to ever cough up their ill gotten gains. And: fifty years ago today, Barbara Deming lays out the case for war tax resistance.
  • 1 April 2013: War tax resister Andrea Ayvazian, in a column for The Progressive, wrote about what happens when she challenges our cultural taboos concerning money, particularly those that discourage women from taking the reins economically — and about the experiences of women who have taken the reins in a controversial and confrontational way by becoming war tax resisters.
  • 31 March 2013: A new issue of NWTRCC’s newsletter with information about regional, national, and international war tax resistance gatherings, and news and commentary about war tax resistance.
  • 29 March 2013: Notes about the organized tax resistance campaigns of white supremacists trying to regain political control in Reconstruction-era Louisiana and South Carolina.
  • 28 March 2013: Graphs that show how U.S. taxpayer noncompliance and I.R.S. enforcement efforts are changing over time. Also: Darian Worden on the political philosophy of Thoreau, David Hartsough on war tax resistance, and a look at the I.R.S.-produced Star Trek parody video.
  • 26 March 2013: The modern American war tax resistance movement was born around 1948. Here are a couple of newspaper articles from its earliest years.
  • 23 March 2013: Here’s a fun telling of the tale of how St. Clair County, Missouri resisted collecting taxes to pay off investors in fraudulently-issued railroad bonds.
  • 22 March 2013: Reading between the statistical lines to infer a growing underground economy; Congress continues to demonize the IRS for us; that agency is so afraid of bomb threats that it looks suspiciously even on boxes of tax forms; Cypriots are the latest to resist austerity taxes; and A.J. Muste loses a court case asserting constitutional protection for conscientious objection to military taxation in 1961.
  • 21 March 2013: Some examples of the rhetoric and demonstrations from when telephone excise tax resistance became a popular tactic in the movement opposing the U.S. war against Vietnam.
  • 19 March 2013: In my annual report I summarize my tenth year of tax resistance and forecast the year ahead.
  • 18 March 2013: News articles about Walter Gormly and other American war tax resisters of the early fifties.
  • 17 March 2013: The federal tax angle to legal marijuana sales in America. The trouble with tax-exempt politicized churches. How federal budget cuts are putting the squeeze on IRS employees. And: Vivien Kellems gathered a posse to challenge the self-employment tax in 1952.
  • 16 March 2013: Tracking down information about Sander Katz, Edith Aldis, and Gerhard Friesen, American war tax resisters of the 1940s and 1950s. Also: Cornelia Lehn’s successful quest to get her employer, the General Conference Mennonite Church, to support her war tax resistance.
  • 15 March 2013: Today, some clips from the morgue concerning “bond slackers” who refused to buy United States war bonds during World War Ⅰ, and the vigilantes who persecuted them.
  • 14 March 2013: I ordered my “tax account transcripts” from the I.R.S. Here is a walkthrough of one of them that shows some of the actions they have taken to try to collect my 2007 taxes. Also: Francis & Valerie Riggs were American war tax resisters in the 1940s.
  • 13 March 2013: Mary Stone McDowell is a rare — perhaps unique — example of someone who took a war tax resistance stand during World War Ⅰ and was also part of the post World War Ⅱ revival of war tax resistance in America.
  • 12 March 2013: Transit fare boycotts are being used today as a protest tactic in New York City and Egypt. Also: a news article about A.J. Muste and the Peacemakers from 1951.
  • 11 March 2013: The lesser-known of two large public rosters of war tax resisters during the Vietnam War, and some other artifacts from the American war tax resistance movement circa 1967.
  • 8 March 2013: The latest IRS statistics show how many million income tax filers were “luckie duckies” who paid no income tax in 2011. Also: do I really have to write something about this “sequester”? And, Jack Payden-Travers leads a war tax resistance workshop at the Dorothy Day Catholic Worker.
  • 7 March 2013: Some notes about one of the pioneers of the modern American war tax resistance movement: Marion Frenyear.
  • 6 March 2013: A blip of American war tax resistance history can be seen through the lens of a 1971 court decision on the limits of First Amendment rights. Here are some excerpts from People v. Kiger.
  • 4 March 2013: After a nearly nine-month drought, I got four letters from the I.R.S. today about the taxes they still hope I’ll pay.
  • 2 March 2013: International tax resistance news from Ireland, the United Kingdom, Spain, Catalonia, Chile, Italy, and Greece.
  • 1 March 2013: On this date in 1998, Peacework magazine covered the war tax resistance of Nancy Alach, who along with her employer, Cambridge Friends School, challenged the I.R.S.
  • 28 February 2013: Cindy Sheehan forces the I.R.S. to blink. A look inside NWTRCC’s latest newsletter. Yesterday’s “Pull the Pork (from the Pentagon)” protests. War tax resisters Francesc García Barberà and Amy Wachspress. And the I.R.S. use of civilian informers.
  • 27 February 2013: Some miscellaneous items of note from the 14th International Conference on War Tax Resistance and Peace Tax Campaigns in Bogotá.
  • 26 February 2013: The 14th International Conference on War Tax Resistance and Peace Tax Campaigns in Bogotá coincided with the biennial meeting of the general membership of Conscience & Peace Tax International.
  • 25 February 2013: The group Acción Colectiva de Objectoras y Objetores de Conciencia advanced its careful plan to improve the situation for draftees and conscientious objectors in Colombia as they hosted the 14th International Conference on War Tax Resistance and Peace Tax Campaigns in Bogotá.
  • 24 February 2013: At the 14th International Conference on War Tax Resistance and Peace Tax Campaigns in Bogotá I learned a lot about the state of militarism, conscription, conscientious objection, and nonviolent resistance there.
  • 23 February 2013: The 14th International Conference on War Tax Resistance and Peace Tax Campaigns gave conscientious objectors to military taxation from around the world a chance to compare notes on activities in their countries.
  • 22 February 2013: A brief summary of the 14th International Conference on War Tax Resistance and Peace Tax Campaigns.
  • 19 February 2013: Today, some notes about what happened when Catholic Archbishop Thomas Croke endorsed tax resistance in Ireland in 1887. Also: a note about Eroseanna Robinson’s prison stint for tax resistance.
  • 16 February 2013: “When a deputy sherif went to make seizures, the residents threatened to string him to the nearest tree. Finally, they compelled him to eat the writs he had, and then gave him a limited time to get out of the township.”
  • 14 February 2013: Today, some news about the Bambatha Rebellion in 1906, and a note about Gandhi’s ironic role in suppressing it.
  • 5 February 2013: Today, some news reports about the activities of the Pennsylvania group “Brandywine War Tax Resistance” during the 1970s — a predecessor to the present-day group “Brandywine Peace Community.”
  • 31 January 2013: “Resenting the petrol tax, taxicab and motor drivers were at a standstill from noon until 12:45 p.m., blocking all traffic in the Place de la Opera and jeering at the police efforts to remove the locked vehicles” on this date in 1934.
  • 30 January 2013: Seyfullah Pasha led troops into Lazarina, Greece in 1898 to crack down on tax resisters there. It didn’t go smoothly.
  • 26 January 2013: A note about the tax resistance campaign led by Mad Bear Anderson of the Tuscarora Nation in 1959.
  • 23 January 2013: What were American war tax resisters up to in early 1972, you ask? Let’s investigate. Here are four local news articles about resisters from that period: David Gracie and John Paul Malinowski in Philadelphia, and war tax resistance groups from Columbia, Missouri and Rochester, New York.
  • 21 January 2013: Tomorrow I leave for the 14th International Conference on War Tax Resistance and Peace Tax Campaigns in Bogotá, Colombia. Expect things to be a little quieter around here for the next month. Also: tax resistance in Catalonia, more on the War Resisters International war tax capitulation, and an update on prisoner tax fraud.
  • 20 January 2013: Americans who had set up shop in the Isle of Pines, south of the Cuban mainland, didn’t care to pay taxes to Cuba in 1903, and hoped they could enlist the support of the United States government in their tax refusal.
  • 18 January 2013: Muted reaction from American war tax resisters to my series of articles on tactics. Also: Eighty years ago, a taxpayers’ league in Elmira, New York, threatened a tax strike as a way of pressing for reduced rates.
  • 17 January 2013: War Resisters’ International reportedly throws in the towel and pays its war taxes. And: updates on tax resistance campaigns in Greece and Ireland. Also: The city treasurer in Sydney, Australia, had harsh words for corporate income tax resisters there in 1914.
  • 16 January 2013: During the acceleration of the arms race in the Reagan administration, several Lutherans signed a tax resistance pledge, and George Mummert & Susan Morse resisted as well.
  • 15 January 2013: Ruth Benn, Ed Hedemann, and Cindy Sheehan talk war tax resistance this evening. Also: income tax resistance in the campaign for expanded citizenship rights in the Northern Territory of Australia in 1919.
  • 13 January 2013: Bits and pieces: Organized value added tax resistance techniques. What does the recent tax legislation have in store for low-income tax resisters? How states are building an underground cigarette smuggling industry one tax at a time. The I.R.S. is enforcing innocent people into resentment and out of voluntary compliance. And the Early Retirement Extreme blog now has a wiki.
  • 12 January 2013: Here are some data points about tax resistance in Fiji in the 1920s.
  • 11 January 2013: Peter J. Reilly at his Forbes blog covers the Elizabeth Boardman challenge to I.R.S. “frivolous filing” penalties against war tax resisters. Also: updates on tax resistance in Greece. And: the National Taxpayer Advocate estimates that Americans spend over six billion hours each year just doing the record-keeping and form-filing involved in doing their taxes.
  • 10 January 2013: To find tactics that the American war tax resistance movement could unite around, we can start by using a process of elimination…
  • 9 January 2013: There are four fairly distinct varieties of tax resister. Most tax resistance campaigns are dominated by one variety or another, but the American war tax resistance movement is an amalgam of all four. This makes it difficult for that movement to decide on goals and tactics.
  • 8 January 2013: Here are a couple of examples of American social security tax resistance from the late 1930s to the early 1950s.
  • 7 January 2013: A 1987 media account of the Catholic Workers’ “Peter Maurin Farm,” which was organized in such a way as to help facilitate the war tax resistance of its volunteers.
  • 6 January 2013: Why have I bothered to catalog all of techniques of historical tax resistance campaigns? I hope to help future tax resistance campaigns be more successful. A successful tax resistance campaign doesn’t limit itself to tax resistance. It must also develop strategies to support and sustain resisters, recruit new resisters, deploy additional techniques of resistance, frustrate the government’s countermeasures, and amplify its effect with good publicity.
  • 5 January 2013: War tax resister Richard Catlett, one of the few American war tax resisters to do time behind bars for his resistance.
  • 4 January 2013: Over the past several months I’ve been compiling lists of examples of a variety of tactics that have been used by tax resisters and tax resistance campaigns — tactics in addition to tax resistance itself. Today I’ll give an overview of the whole series.
  • 3 January 2013: It is possible to have a quiet, leaderless tax strike that never forms an organization or runs a formal campaign but nonetheless is durable and successful.
  • 2 January 2013: Some notes about the mass, organized resistance to the income tax in Tasmania in early 1904.
  • 1 January 2013: One way to win a tax resistance campaign against a government that is stubbornly trying to squeeze money out of you is to appeal to an even bigger, badder government to take your side.

2012

  • 31 December 2012: One way a tax resistance campaign can claim victory is by convincing the government to either formally rescind the tax, or to recognize the legal validity of tax resistance. Here are some examples.
  • 30 December 2012: A brief note about Reagan-era war tax resister Katherine Kohrman. Also: reminiscences of the Beit Sahour tax strike, of war tax resister-sympathetic Bishop Walter Sullivan, and of the movement resisting Thatcher’s poll tax. And: Athens resisters battle police. Also: a classic satyagraha sci-fi story comes on-line.
  • 29 December 2012: Pickets and other such public demonstrations commonly accompany tax resistance campaigns. Here are some examples that caught my eye.
  • 28 December 2012: Some tax resistance campaigns have had their own anthems or fight songs.
  • 27 December 2012: A tax resistance campaign can benefit its recruiting efforts, engage public sympathy, and constrain the response of the government, by getting a good spin out in the media. Here are some examples.
  • 26 December 2012: A rarely used tactic in tax resistance campaigns has resisters turn themselves in for prosecution for having paid taxes (for instance under the theory that paying such taxes makes them guilty under the Nuremberg Principles). Also: observations about tax resistance from the pioneering nonviolent resistance historian Clarence Marsh Case.
  • 25 December 2012: Some tax resistance campaigns have encouraged people to pay their taxes into escrow accounts that they will surrender to the government only if the government meets their demands.
  • 24 December 2012: Some tax resistance campaigns have accompanied their resistance with petitions to the government asking it to change its policies or to rescind the tax. Here are some examples.
  • 23 December 2012: Tax resisters recognize the importance that taxes have for the functioning of the government, and how tax refusal can make change happen. But a government’s subjects also provide crucial support to a regime in other ways, and some tax resistance campaigns have attacked these as well.
  • 22 December 2012: When the authorities tried to take the shotguns away from Italian immigrants in Lanesboro, Pennsylvania, the immigrants responded with a tax strike.
  • 21 December 2012: I’ve heard of some tax resistance or tax resistance-like campaigns that have threatened to withhold certain non-governmental, voluntary payments as well.
  • 20 December 2012: About the tax resistance of German statesman Lothar Bucher: he didn’t fare so well in court as his more persuasive colleague Karl Marx.
  • 19 December 2012: A tactic that I’ve encountered on many occasions in my research into tax resistance campaigns is that of disrupting government auctions, particularly those of goods seized from tax resisters. Here are several examples that show the variety of ways campaigns have accomplished this.
  • 17 December 2012: Another way to withdraw funding from a government is to discourage other institutions from loaning money to it. One way to do this is to insist that you will repudiate such debts if you are able to overthrow the government. Here is an example from Reconstruction-era South Carolina.
  • 16 December 2012: Some people have tried to use alternative currencies (alternatives to official government-created legal tender, that is) to facilitate tax resistance. Here are some examples.
  • 15 December 2012: A government can fund itself by relying on its power to coin money, but this in turn relies on the willingness of people to accept the coin of the realm. Some tax resistance movements have adopted the tactic of refusing to use government money.
  • 14 December 2012: If the government degrades its currency, tax resisters can take advantage of this by paying their taxes with worthless notes. Here are some examples of tax resistance campaigns that took advantage of this.
  • 13 December 2012: Some tax resistance campaigns have supplemented their illegal tax resistance by helping people learn legal tax avoidance strategies. Here are some examples.
  • 12 December 2012: A video explains the emerging Spanish tax resistance movement. Also: war tax resistance among Italian Catholics. And: Artwork commemorating the Ipswich, Massachusetts tax rebellion in 1687. Also: celibate Catholics vow to defy a bachelor tax in Australia in 1917.
  • 11 December 2012: Author Kennett Love described the war tax resistance movement of the late 1960s, and his own modest participation in it, in a December 1969 article for the Washington Monthly.
  • 10 December 2012: The December, 1968 edition of The Buddhist Third Class Junkmail Oracle promoted phone tax resistance as a Vietnam War protest, and gives some interesting details about the government (and telephone monopoly) response.
  • 9 December 2012: In its December, 1843 edition, Blackwood’s Edinburgh Magazine gave Joseph Downes several pages to twist his panties to the ripping point over his visit to Wales during the Rebecca Riots.
  • 8 December 2012: This may seem a little out-there, but I’d like you to consider radical honesty as a tactic with potential to augment a tax resistance campaign.
  • 7 December 2012: In September I did my annual budget check and was a little alarmed at what I found. Now I’m living in a new home, in a new town, and last month I ran my budget check again. How did it turn out this time?
  • 6 December 2012: If you can convince an organization to endorse tax resistance, or to recommend it to its members, this can strengthen your campaign and bring in new resisters. Here are some examples.
  • 5 December 2012: There’s a new issue of NWTRCC’s newsletter out. Also: A contemporary news account of the tax resisting Associations that helped overthrow King Charles Ⅹ of France in 1829–30.
  • 4 December 2012: Tax resistance campaigns have sometimes tried to amplify their impact by encouraging bank runs — that is, asking people to withdraw all of their savings from banks, preferably in hard currency.
  • 3 December 2012: Tax resistance campaigns can sometimes get some mileage out of contrasting themselves with more fearsome or objectionable opposition groups.
  • 2 December 2012: Paying in cash is one way to keep transactions off of the government’s radar and make them more difficult to tax. You can take another step in the same direction by switching to barter.
  • 1 December 2012: Some documents from the New England regional war tax resistance gathering concerning whether war tax resistance is a politically potent action. Also: Welsh miners went on strike against the income tax in 1919.
  • 30 November 2012: Tax resisters and tax resistance campaigns have sometimes attempted to make tax enforcement costly for the government — for example by clogging the jails or the court system. Here are some examples.
  • 29 November 2012: In 1977, American Quaker war tax resister Robert Anthony was preparing his legal appeal, claiming that his Constitutionally-guaranteed freedom of religion was infringed by forcing him to financially contribute to war. Here’s how that went.
  • 28 November 2012: When the exiled Duma defied the Czar by convening in Finland to issue the Vyborg Manifesto that called on Russians to stop paying their taxes to the autocrat, there was already tax resistance in the air in Russia. Here are some hints.
  • 27 November 2012: It may sound like a long shot, but have you considered trying to make friends with the tax collector? It’s a strategy that’s so crazy it just might work! Here are some examples of where tax resisters or their allies have tried it.
  • 26 November 2012: A revolt of the Meo in Alwar, India, around 1932–1934 included blockades and violence directed at tax collectors.
  • 25 November 2012: If more people evade more taxes, even if they do so for non-idealistic reasons, this both takes resources away from the government and increases the number of targets the tax enforcers have to pursue, thereby taking some pressure off of the resisters. Here’s how to make that happen.
  • 24 November 2012: On this day in 1958 the government took (carried!) war tax resister Maurice McCrackin to court for his refusal to produce records for the I.R.S. Here’s a news photo of the event, and some other photos and mentions of McCrackin from around that time.
  • 23 November 2012: When trying to bring new tax resisters into a movement, sometimes there is no substitute for addressing potential resisters individually: whether that be through letters, petitions, face-to-face meetings, or cleverly creative modes of engagement.
  • 22 November 2012: By paying in cash, you can facilitate the tax evasion or resistance of others, and can deprive the government of more resources.
  • 21 November 2012: Ten things I think are probably true concerning ethics. Also: a round-up of recent international tax resistance news.
  • 20 November 2012: A very frequently-used tactic of tax resistance campaigns is to take public oaths or sign public pledges of resistance. This signals to potential resisters that they will not be alone, and is a show of defiance to the authorities. I’ve collected dozens of examples, which I’ll summarize today. Also: William S. Burroughs turns down Norman Mailer’s request that he join the ranks of tax resisters, on this date in 1967.
  • 19 November 2012: When tax resisters give away their resisted taxes to charitable causes, this defuses critics who claim they are selfish tax evaders, and also forms links between tax resisters and other activist groups.
  • 18 November 2012: Some tax resistance campaigns have tried to partially or completely secede from the government that is taxing them, or to set up alternative parallel governmental or quasi-governmental institutions to compete with or crowd out those of the established government.
  • 17 November 2012: Particularly in the modern American war tax resistance movement, demonstrations targeting taxpayers on “Tax Day” are popular ways of getting the tax resistance message out when taxpayers are most vulnerable to sympathizing with it.
  • 16 November 2012: Tax resistance campaigns have sometimes engaged in smuggling to get consumer goods to market while evading a tax or a government-enforced monopoly.
  • 15 November 2012: Tax resisters have sometimes augmented their campaigns by manufacturing and selling untaxed alternatives to taxed goods. Here are some examples.
  • 14 November 2012: Tax resisters and tax resistance campaigns have at times made use of barricades, blockades, and occupations to keep tax collectors at bay. Here are some examples.
  • 13 November 2012: Some tax resistance campaigns have used violent threats and other such forms of intimidation to try to force reluctant taxpayers to join the campaign. Here are some examples.
  • 12 November 2012: Social boycott can also be a potent tactic to use against tax collectors or collaborators with the tax collection process. Here are some examples.
  • 11 November 2012: A tax resistance campaign can increase participation by means of a social boycott practiced against non-resisting by-standers. Here are some examples of social boycotts of this sort.
  • 10 November 2012: Some video from the recent NWTRCC national conference. Also: Heinrich Böll refused to pay a tax to the Catholic Church in 1972 — a tax that is still causing controversy today, as the German Catholic Church has decided to effectively excommunicate Catholics who refuse to pay their government-mediated church tax. And: a couple of American war tax resisters ran for office — how’d they do?
  • 9 November 2012: Tax resisters, as well as people just disgruntled or disgusted with their taxes, will frequently stumble on the passive-aggressive tactic of paying their taxes, but in a way that is particularly inconvenient for the tax collector. Some times also, they will choose a mode of payment that is both unusual and that has some symbolic or propaganda value.
  • 8 November 2012: When you’re trying to expand the ranks of tax resisters in your campaign, you need good educational tools. If you can be clear, thorough, and credible in demonstrating how to resist and what the consequences are likely to be, you can eliminate the biggest obstacle to the growth of your campaign. Today I’ll give a few examples of how tax resistance campaigns have dispelled ignorance about tax resistance.
  • 7 November 2012: Another way people can assist and show solidarity with tax resisters is by coming to their assistance if their property is seized. Here are some examples.
  • 6 November 2012: Tax agencies live by bureaucracy and paperwork. Many of the earliest examples of writing in the worlds’ museums are tax records. But some mischevious tax resisters have discovered that this is a vulnerability that can be targeted.
  • 5 November 2012: One tactic tax resisters have used from time to time is to pack up and leave when the tax collector comes calling, or when arrest is imminent. Also: the tale of James F. Hathaway, who won tax concessions by threatening to go Galt in 1897.
  • 4 November 2012: Today I’m going to cover a specific variety of consumer strike undertaken in coordination with some tax resistance campaigns: a strike against goods sold by the government or by a government-protected monopoly, or goods that are subject to a particular tax.
  • 3 November 2012: Tax resistance movements have often coordinated with labor strikes, business shut-downs, or consumer strikes as a way of further restricting government resources, demonstrating solidarity, and freeing up the time of resisters to engage in more campaign-oriented activities. Here are several examples.
  • 2 November 2012: A variety of tactic that has occasionally accompanied tax resistance campaigns is the renouncing of government privileges and titles. Here are some examples.
  • 1 November 2012: An unusual method of tax resistance is to deliberately make yourself taxable in order to owe a tax that you can then resist, or, similarly, to defy some legal condition of your tax-exempt status. Here are some examples. Also: a convergence of conservative tax critics and anti-war tax resisters in 1970.
  • 31 October 2012: Tax resistance by Catalan separatists and by Italy’s Northern league, household tax resisters in Ireland and a council tax resister in England, the story of the Bardoli satyagraha, the I.R.S. seizes a bit of Cindy Sheehan’s rent money, an American alternative currency martyr is profiled, and I.R.S. employees seem to be in a rush to get delinquent accounts off their desks. Also: a few more glimpses at the tax strike of Beit Sahour during the first intifada in 1989.
  • 30 October 2012: One way tax resisters can foil the plans of the tax collectors is to send up the alarm when they’re on the way. Here are some examples.
  • 29 October 2012: Sometimes the decisive turn in a tax resistance campaign has come when the resisters have coalesced into a formal group with the authority to organize and coordinate resistance actions. Today I’ll give some examples of this.
  • 28 October 2012: One way to resist taxes — or to resist the sort of property seizure that governments sometimes inflict on tax resisters — is to hide assets so as to remove them from the reach of the tax collector or assessor. Here are a few examples.
  • 27 October 2012: One way that governments have tried to make taxes more palatable is to allow the citizens to elect their own local tax assessors and collectors. And one way citizens have responded to this gambit is by refusing to elect anyone at all.
  • 26 October 2012: One of Gandhi’s first experiments with satyagraha was a strike by Indian workers in South Africa to defeat a tax aimed at Indians there. Also: some conscientious objectors to military taxation gave their two cents to Congress in 1993 during hearings about taxpayer noncompliance.
  • 25 October 2012: Tax resistance campaigns have found it useful to identify resonances with popular myths, esteemed tax rebellions of yore, and semi-fictional heroes. Here are some examples.
  • 24 October 2012: Tax resistance campaigns sometimes choose a particular tax to resist, not because it is particularly offensive, but because it is easier to resist or the ramifications of resistance are less frightening. This is meant to encourage more people to begin resisting. Today I’ll give some examples.
  • 23 October 2012: Not everybody is able to be a tax resister, so it can be useful to inspire those who cannot resist to show solidarity with resisters in other ways, and it can be helpful for tax resistance movements to provide roles that non-resisting sympathizers can play in the campaign. Today I’ll mention some examples.
  • 22 October 2012: Individuals can demonstrate their support for tax resisters in various ways. Sometimes just dropping them a line can be a good pat-on-the-back. Here are some examples of ways in which people and groups have given their thumbs-ups to tax resisters.
  • 21 October 2012: Here are a couple of dispatches from the Catholic Herald covering the Poll Tax rebellion in Britain a few decades back.
  • 20 October 2012: Tax resistance groups have used surveys to gauge public support and to reassure resisters that they will not be alone. Some have also tried asking people to commit to resist if a certain critical mass of people also makes such a commitment. Today I’ll give some examples of these techniques.
  • 19 October 2012: If you don’t have any seizable property in your name, the government can’t seize it for back taxes. So holding resisters’ property in your name is a way non-resisters can help resisters resist. Here are some examples.
  • 18 October 2012: Finishing off violence week at The Picket Line, I give some otherwise-uncategorized examples, and consider cases of when violence has helped tax resistance campaigns succeed.
  • 17 October 2012: It’s violence week at The Picket Line. Today: some examples of violent attacks on police or soldiers who come to the assistance of tax collectors or who take reprisals against tax resisters.
  • 16 October 2012: It’s violence week at The Picket Line. Today: some examples of violent assaults and intimidation directed at collaborators with the tax system.
  • 15 October 2012: It’s violence week at The Picket Line. Today: some of the many examples of violent assaults and intimidation directed at individual tax collectors.
  • 14 October 2012: It’s violence week at The Picket Line. Today: some examples of attacks on the homes and property of tax collectors.
  • 13 October 2012: It’s violence week at The Picket Line. Today: some examples of humiliation attacks aimed at individual tax collectors, such as the classic “tar and feather” attacks by American revolutionaries.
  • 12 October 2012: It’s violence week at The Picket Line. Today: some examples of attacks on the apparatus of taxation — including the destruction of parking meters, speed cameras, toll booths, and tax records.
  • 11 October 2012: It’s violence week at The Picket Line. Today: some examples of attacks on tax offices, including bombings, bomb threats, and suspicious packages (and a few nonviolent blockades and occupations). Also: the German occupation government massacres thousands of tax resisters in German East Africa in 1900.
  • 10 October 2012: Many tax resistance campaigns have been challenged by divisions in the movement: either deliberate divide-and-conquer tactics by those who oppose the campaign, or inevitable fractures in an unstable coalition. Here are some examples of how a variety of tax resistance campaigns have met such challenges.
  • 9 October 2012: Other ways to support tax resisters as they go up against the legal system include triggering mass actions in response to arrests, honoring prisoners, issuing formal shows of support, and petitioning the government for leniency. Here are some examples of these tactics in action.
  • 8 October 2012: Another way to support tax resisters as they go up against the legal system is to pay their legal fees or their fines. But sometimes such an offer is an unwelcome gift, as the resisters are not facing jail for lack of money but for the sake of principle.
  • 7 October 2012: The 30th Anniversary special edition of NWTRCC’s newsletter is now on-line. Also: Some more details about the tax resistance of conservative Utah governor J. Bracken Lee, and some examples of when Lee crossed paths with Christian anarchist tax resister Ammon Hennacy while Hennacy was running the Catholic Worker hospitality house in Salt Lake City.
  • 6 October 2012: Another way to support tax resisters as they go up against the legal system is to disrupt their trials or even to break them out of prison. Today I’ll give some examples of these tactics.
  • 5 October 2012: Another way to support tax resisters as they go up against the legal system is to attend their trials. Today I’ll give some examples.
  • 4 October 2012: Other ways to show support for imprisoned resisters are to accompany them as they go to prison, to visit them while they are inside, and to be there to meet them when they are released. Today I’ll give some examples.
  • 3 October 2012: When people are arrested, tried, or imprisoned for tax resistance, their comrades have sometimes used this as an occasion to hold rallies or other demonstrations. This shows support for the people being persecuted, demonstrates determination in the face of government reprisals, and can be a good opportunity for propaganda. Here are some examples.
  • 2 October 2012: Last month I kept track of every cent I spent. I’ve done this one-month-accounting for nine years now, in an attempt to confirm that my low-income tax resistance strategy is sustainable. The trick is finding a “typical” month to use as a sample. Also: a tax strike by farmers in China in 1952.
  • 1 October 2012: Employers can help tax resisting employees by refusing to withhold taxes from their salaries and by refusing to cooperate with salary levies, but that’s not all. Today I’ll mention some other ways that employers have helped (or can help) tax resistance campaigns.
  • 30 September 2012: In addition to refusing to withhold taxes from the salaries of tax resisting employees, employers can also express their solidarity for such resisters by refusing to comply with salary levies. Here are some examples.
  • 29 September 2012: More details on tax resistance and tax enforcement in Greece. Also: seventy federal government agencies are delinquent on paying their federal taxes. And: India’s Moslem League refused to pay a collective punishment tax in 1946.
  • 28 September 2012: Income tax withholding or “pay as you earn” makes it difficult for people to resist paying income tax. Resisters need their employers to be willing to go out on a limb and resist alongside them. Here are some examples of employers who have done just that.
  • 27 September 2012: If a tax resistance campaign, or any civil disobedience campaign, anticipates that resisters may be imprisoned, it can give those resisters one less thing to worry about by organizing to help the families of those behind bars.
  • 26 September 2012: War tax resistance in the briefly-independent Philippines in 1898.
  • 25 September 2012: Tax resistance was threatened in the Cedar County Cow War of 1931, as 700 farmers met to tell the governor that he could expect no taxes unless he withdrew his troops from the county.
  • 24 September 2012: The successful tax resistance campaign of the Great Confederated Anti-Dray and Land Tax League of South Australia in 1850–1. Also: 150 years ago today the Philadelphia Inquirer tries to make the case that there was unanimous patriotic Civil War fervor in the North — even among the nominally pacifist Quakers.
  • 23 September 2012: From biblical times to the present, a census has often been the prelude to a tax. Wise tax resisters have known that resistance can start right away — by resisting the census itself.
  • 22 September 2012: Ruth Benn explains war tax resistance on David Swanson’s show. Also: speed camera destruction, paying a traffic ticket with origami, collecting blood in Greece, tax resistance in Indonesia, council tax resister June Farrow gets a finger-wagging, and the U.S. increases its lead as the biggest global arms race dealer.
  • 21 September 2012: Whenever the authorities arrested, prosecuted, imprisoned, or seized property from Quaker war tax resisters, whatever Meeting that Quaker belonged to was sure to make note of it in their book of “Sufferings.” Commemorating resisters who have “taken one for the team” can be a good way of encouraging resisters to persist.
  • 20 September 2012: One way a tax resistance campaign can get a leg up is through the acts of sympathizers within the tax collection bureaucracy itself. After all, they’re taxpayers too, and may feel more loyalty to their fellow-subjects than to the government they’re subjected to. Here are some examples. Also: a theater company’s clever response to a hike in the value-added tax on entertainment tickets.
  • 19 September 2012: In 1903, the San Francisco Call explored the tax resistance campaign waged by British nonconformists against taxes for the support of church schools — a “passive resistance” campaign that inspired British women’s suffragists and a certain lawyer in South Africa named Gandhi.
  • 18 September 2012: On the 100th anniversary of the imprisonment of Mark Wilks for failure to pay his wife’s income taxes, let’s look at how close attention to legal technicalities can help tax resisters find and exploit flaws that hold the tax system or its enforcement arm up to ridicule, make them unworkable, or make them vehicles for additional resistance or propaganda opportunities.
  • 17 September 2012: Refusal by juries to convict tax resisters or those associated with tax resistance movements can be a powerful check on government power. Today I will mention a small handful of such cases from tax resistance campaigns of the past.
  • 16 September 2012: A tax strike by residents of a Tasmania railway district in 1874 was successful at convincing the government to rescind the tax.
  • 14 September 2012: Some thoughts on reading the Dalai Lama’s book “Ethics for the New Millennium.”
  • 13 September 2012: Tax resistance campaigns can increase their visibility by adopting particular uniforms, badges, ribbons, or other emblems to identify resisters and those working in concert with the campaign. Today I will summarize some examples of this.
  • 12 September 2012: Tax resistance campaigns have occasionally utilized buycotts and boycotts to give businesses incentives to support tax resisters or withdraw support from tax collectors. Today I’ll summarize a handful of examples.
  • 11 September 2012: Tax resisters sometimes form cooperative housing or business relationships that help facilitate their resistance. Today I’ll summarize some examples of this that I have encountered in my research.
  • 10 September 2012: Today is going to be all about tax resistance in the women’s suffrage movement in the United States, with examples from 1852 to 1915.
  • 9 September 2012: People are less reluctant to risk tax resistance if they know other people are willing to share those risks by forming a mutual insurance arrangement. Today I’ll review some examples of how a variety of tax resistance campaigns have created mutual insurance plans to protect resisters.
  • 8 September 2012: A look behind the scenes at how the Writers & Editors War Tax Protest of 1967 came about.
  • 7 September 2012: D.C. war tax resisters rally around indicted resister Jim Shea in 1970. And the Railway Protection Movement in Szechuan, China, in 1911, uses active and passive tax resistance and paves the way for the Wuchang Uprising.
  • 6 September 2012: Diverse tactics and grassroots organizing were key to the success of the poll tax resistance movement in the United Kingdom twenty-some years ago.
  • 5 September 2012: Poll tax resistance by American socialists a century ago, and by Indian Bhats a century and a half ago.
  • 4 September 2012: A look at the campaign to legalize conscientious objection to military taxation in the U.K., and at tax resisters Arthur Windsor and Martin Philips.
  • 3 September 2012: When Nixon got caught using the IRS to go after his political enemies, one of the consequences was that the agency — though on the cusp of victory in its battle to seize the home of war tax resister Ernest Bromley — surrendered and returned the home to its rightful owners.
  • 2 September 2012: The tax resistance movement in Spain is branching out, counseling people on how to resist a larger variety of offensive government spending, and also on how to set up cooperatives and other self-managed businesses in the underground economy. Also: a writer compares hop-growing tithe resisters to Irish rent strikers in 1882, and contrasts the press coverage of each.
  • 30 August 2012: After decades of dormancy, the New York Yearly Meeting of Friends rediscovered the Quaker practice of war tax resistance during the Vietnam War and issued a statement encouraging members of the Meeting to consider resisting their taxes.
  • 26 August 2012: A right-wing French paper promotes tax resistance to protest anti-Catholic measures in 1902. Also: some examples of ways people around the world have protested dog taxes.
  • 24 August 2012: I wrestle with the I.R.S. telephone assistance line and come away reassured that the tax agency is as frustrating as ever. Also: Tax resistance stories from New York in 1908 and Argentina today.
  • 20 August 2012: Tax resistance stories from Australia in 1932, and Greece, Italy, and Ireland today.
  • 17 August 2012: Canada banned the pacifist Jehovah’s Witnesses sect during World War Ⅱ; here is the tale of one person convicted of being a Jehovah’s Witness who refused to pay his fine and went to jail. Also: updates on tax-related identity theft in Florida and the Household Tax strike in Ireland.
  • 16 August 2012: Today’s tax resistance news from Greece, Indonesia, and Spain.
  • 14 August 2012: An update on Vickie Aldrich’s “frivolous filing” case. Also: council tax rebels in Britain, including a group that stormed a tax bankruptcy trial and tried to arrest the judge. And: the I.R.S. facilitates the tax fraud industry by promiscuously distributing taxpayer ID numbers. Also: another “IRS building evacuated due to suspicious package” story.
  • 13 August 2012: If you want to be a tax resister, but you live under a government that funds itself through a value-added tax, is there any hope?
  • 9 August 2012: A United Press dispatch from this date in 1926 mentioned tax resistance as a tactic in the Cristero War.
  • 8 August 2012: On this date in 1816 Quaker William Evans wrote in his journal about war and those of his fellow Quakers who suffered for being unwilling to pay for it.
  • 7 August 2012: In 1868 a poll tax was snuck onto the residents of New Zealand. Some decided to put up a fight.
  • 6 August 2012: Three Plowshares activists shut down the main U.S. nuclear weapons fissionable material plant in a daring raid. The Pacific Yearly Meeting offers financial aid to Quaker war tax resisters. Ed Agro gives his two cents on the “one-man revolution.” Vickie Aldrich updates us on her battle with the I.R.S. And tax-scamming identity thieves are so unconcerned about law enforcement that in one case they filed for over 2,000 bogus refunds destined for the same residential address.
  • 1 August 2012: A new issue of NWTRCC’s newsletter is on-line. Also: the Women’s Tax Resistance League marches in the opening ceremony of the London Olympics.
  • 29 July 2012: There are dozens of tactics that historical tax resistance groups have used to augment and amplify their campaigns. I’m hoping to uncover the patterns in how these tactics have worked to help campaigns succeed, first for a talk I’ll be giving at the 14th International Conference on War Tax Resistance and Peace Tax Campaigns in Bogotá, Colombia in February, and then in book form.
  • 26 July 2012: Quaker legislators voted to fund the British conquest of Egypt in 1882, so an editorialist for The British Friend said it was up to Quaker taxpayers to show some spine. Also: a video of folks from the “Δεν Πληρώνω” (“Won’t Pay”) movement in Greece reconnecting the electricity at a home where it had been shut off for failure to pay the new taxes grafted on to the utility bills.
  • 25 July 2012: An update on the Irish household tax strike. Also: New Jersey residents refuse to pay taxes assessed by a Catholic in 1715. And: Dan Ariely takes note of research that shows that when you put people into more powerful political roles they shift themselves into more hypocritical mental modes.
  • 18 July 2012: News on the next NWTRCC national gathering, and some reports from the last one. Also: Fyke Farmer refused to pay for the “illegal” Korean War in 1953. And: it looks like most American households get more money from the government than they pay in taxes (even if you don’t count government employees or those who profit from government contracts).
  • 14 July 2012: A tantalizing hint about tax resistance amongst South Africa’s women’s suffragists in 1923. Also: coordination between the tax resistance movements in Spain and Greece, extra-legal government gambits against legal bridge toll resistance, a new Declaration of Independence, and our weird collective amnesia about the fact that a handful of nuclear-armed psychopaths are holding millions of lives in the balance.
  • 12 July 2012: War tax resistance in Shanghai in 1927, and more tax resistance from newly-enfranchised women in Pennsylvania in 1925–8.
  • 11 July 2012: In Pittsburgh in 2002, the government had a great idea of having homeowners pay into an insurance fund that would be used to guarantee the values of all homes in the area. Assessments could keep rising, and you can’t lose because the insurance will make up the difference if your home sells under-value. Good thing the unpopular and economically foolhardy program (which prompted tax resistance) was killed two years later before the real estate bubble really took off.
  • 10 July 2012: Manners as a libertarian-friendly spontaneous order, Wendy McElroy on frugality, libertarians squabbling over symbolic elements of ideological tribal belonging, and alternative currencies in the Eurozone.
  • 7 July 2012: How soon did war tax resistance become part of Quaker practice, and what were its earliest forms?
  • 6 July 2012: In 1971, Jerome Tuccille predicted that tax resistance would be a core part of an emerging libertarian revolutionary strategy.
  • 5 July 2012: Some back-and-forth about my “one man revolution” post from last week, and some bits of interest that didn’t make the final cut.
  • 4 July 2012: Is it possible for a passenger to refuse to pay the federal excise tax on air travel? It was at one time anyway. Also: consider putting your mind into a quantum superposition of conflicting hypotheses to avoid the perils of false precision in your thinking.
  • 3 July 2012: So Obamacare is constitutional, and the president recently signed a new transportation tax extender bill… what are the implications for tax resisters? Also: some new tax-resistance bloggery to appreciate.
  • 2 July 2012: Tales from the British Women’s Suffrage Movement, showing how tax resistance evolved as a tactic between 1884 and 1914.
  • 27 June 2012: The revolution starts now, and you are the revolutionary. You don’t need an organization, a movement, or a majority. Join the “one man revolution — the only revolution that is coming.”
  • 26 June 2012: More details on the back-and-forth between Internal Revenue and the social security tax resisting “Texas Housewives” in the early 1950s.
  • 25 June 2012: The 25 June 1973 Schenectady Gazette described the Vietnam War-era war tax resistance technique of claiming extra dependents on your tax return. But to be on the safe side, the newspaper printed what looks to be an I.R.S. press release verbatim as a sort of rebuttal/warning sidebar.
  • 23 June 2012: Dorothy DaPonte, Margaret Dungan, Kenneth Patton, Ned Richards, and George Yamada were among those in the first generation of modern American war tax resisters met by Ammon Hennacy in his travels. Also: a threatened tax strike in Cadillac, Michigan in 1961.
  • 22 June 2012: Frank Stephens, founder of the utopianist community of Arden, Delaware, was prosecuted under the Espionage Act in 1918 for refusing to buy Liberty Bonds.
  • 21 June 2012: Resistance to the Annuity Tax and other church rates in mid-19th century Scotland and England showcased a number of tactics from the organized resisters.
  • 20 June 2012: Albert Jay Nock, in his essay “On Doing the Right Thing,” meditates on propriety as a governor of behavior distinct from law and conscience and whim.
  • 19 June 2012: I got another letter from the I.R.S. Also, Hut Tax resistance in Swaziland in 1903–7, and social security tax resistance from an English Duchess in 1912.
  • 18 June 2012: The final segment of Susan Nieman’s “Evil in Modern Thought: An Alternative History of Philosophy” visualized as a modern social media discussion thread, featuring Krüger, Dostoyevsky, Hegel, Rousset, Agamben, Eichmann, Arendt, Camus, Rawls, Adorno, Freud, Schopenhauer, Améry, Mill, and Kant.
  • 17 June 2012: In the book “Share or Die!” members of the “get lost generation” talk about new models of innovation and collaboration in a time of economic crisis. Also: Protestants who were not members of England’s official church rebelled against taxes designed to fund sectarian education about a century ago.
  • 16 June 2012: Some articles from the Australian press about tax resistance agitation there between 1840 and 1921.
  • 15 June 2012: Hundreds of Australians in the Northern Territory, denied political representation, stopped paying taxes and openly dared the government to come after them in 1921.
  • 14 June 2012: Part three of Susan Nieman’s “Evil in Modern Thought: An Alternative History of Philosophy” visualized as a modern social media discussion thread, featuring Nietzsche, Freud, Sophocles, Liebniz, Voltaire, Kant, Hume, Schopenhauer, and Rousseau.
  • 13 June 2012: Susan Nieman’s “Evil in Modern Thought: An Alternative History of Philosophy,” visualized as a modern social media discussion thread featuring Augustine, Voltaire, Kant, Hume, Bayle, the Marquis de Sade, and Schopenhauer, chapter two.
  • 12 June 2012: The Yonkers Herald Statesman profiled war tax resister Connie Hogarth on this date in 1983. I’ve only found fragments of the article on-line, but here is a brief excerpt about her tax resistance.
  • 11 June 2012: Susan Nieman’s “Evil in Modern Thought: An Alternative History of Philosophy,” visualized as a modern social media discussion thread featuring Voltaire, Newton, Hegel, Liebniz, Rousseau, Descartes, Kant, Marx, and other such notables, chapter one.
  • 10 June 2012: Notes from the French wine-growers tax strike of 1907, and some of the economic background that led up to it. (50 years later, Poujadism would spring from this same region, for similar reasons.)
  • 9 June 2012: In 1781 “Political Heriticks” in Western New Hampshire “by their Instigations and artful insinuations Shook the Allegiancy” of the residents there and induced them to secede from the United States and join… Vermont. Also: mysterious tax resister G.A. Blarney of Massachusetts (circa 1877).
  • 8 June 2012: The Quaker-dominated Pennsylvania colonial Assembly would sometimes respond to requests for military funding and supplies by instead giving money to the crown generically — a sort of wink-and-nod way to stay within the letter of the law of their pacifist doctrine while at the same time not risking the wrath of the mother country.
  • 7 June 2012: The I.R.S. may be near “a breaking point” at which the moribund agency budget combined with Congress’s enthusiasm for loading up the tax code with greater complexity, leads to “serious problems” with “adverse national repercussions,” says the I.R.S. Oversight Board. Also, the New York Times looks at the trouble for tax collectors in Greece. And: an update on Vickie Aldrich’s frivolous filing case.
  • 4 June 2012: The new issue of NWTRCC’s newsletter is out, full of news about the Chicago conference, tax day actions, legal updates, international tax resistance news, and more.
  • 3 June 2012: For all of their grumbling about taxes, you don’t often hear calls for actual tax resistance from American libertarians these days. Mark Tier was an exception.
  • 2 June 2012: When Archbishop Raymond Hunthausen announced he would be refusing to pay half of his federal income tax to protest the development of first-strike nuclear weapons thirty years ago, war tax resistance became the talk of the op-ed pages. Here are some examples.
  • 1 June 2012: The Foreign Miners Tax of 1850 was designed to force Mexican and Chinese miners off of their claims in California, but the miners fought back (including, legendarily, one Joaquin Murieta). Also: putting some numbers on Joan Baez’s Vietnam-era tax resistance.
  • 30 May 2012: Two Quakers each refused to pay one and a half pence for the Egyptian War in 1883 (“It would be well if the whole Society had done so,” one Quaker remarks). Also: Oklahoma merchants rally to refuse to pay a tax imposed by the Creek Nation in 1907.
  • 29 May 2012: Quaker pacifist W.H.F. Alexander challenged the London Yearly Meeting to put their money where their peace testimony was in 1894… a suggestion that seems to have fallen with a thud.
  • 28 May 2012: Thousands of women in Pennsylvania refused to pay their taxes through much of the 1920s. It was one of the largest tax resistance campaigns in American history, but its bottom-up, leaderless, loosely-organized nature means it left only a diffuse record.
  • 26 May 2012: The I.R.S. notices that I neglected to write them a check last month. Also: some council tax rebels in England get organized and make demands.
  • 25 May 2012: The British Friend mulls over tax resistance 160 years ago today. Also: In 1950, Westbrook Pegler waxes furious and sarcastic about tax refusal and President Truman’s outrageous taxpayer-paid travel budget.
  • 24 May 2012: War tax resisters from around the country met in Chicago last weekend at the NWTRCC Spring gathering, which was timed to coincide with the NATO meeting protests. Among the things decided: guess who is going to Bogotá next year as NWTRCC’s representative to the international war tax resistance conference there?
  • 23 May 2012: Richard Fichter, one of those in the first generation of the modern American war tax resistance movement (and his raid on “The $64,000 Question”). Also: William Atzinger, an unusual tax resister for gender equality in Montana.
  • 22 May 2012: A good overview of the plusses and minuses of renouncing U.S. citizenship, from the Wall Street Journal. Also: how the London Yearly Meeting came to its conclusion about war tax resistance in 1987.
  • 21 May 2012: How far could you go in distancing yourself from government coercion? Would you stop participating in anything with the stamp of government on it, no matter the consequences? How far would be too far to push your quest for freedom from participation in government coercion? Beatrice and Cornelis Boeke aimed to find out (and they did).
  • 20 May 2012: William Mason and Horace Walpole debate the value of mass tax resistance in their 1780 correspondence. Also: a dispatch covering a tax resistance campaign from the Israeli independence movement in 1939.
  • 19 May 2012: A low-income war tax resister defends his technique against a skeptical compadre in 1982. Also: Philadelphia Yearly Meeting clerk Jonathan Evans tells the Pennsylvania constitutional convention why Quakers would be unable to pay a fine for their conscientious objection.
  • 18 May 2012: More news from the contemporary tax resistance movement in Spain.
  • 17 May 2012: Italy’s tax resisters turn to letter and petrol bombs directed at the quasi-privatized national tax agency. Also: a Facebook co-founder renounces his U.S. citizenship soon before the Facebook I.P.O. makes him filthy rich with what would have been taxable capital gains. He joins a rising number of Americans who have decided that U.S. citizenship isn’t worth it.
  • 16 May 2012: War tax resister Karl Meyer in 1960, and today. Also: a tribute to war tax resister Arthur Evans, who was jailed for his resistance in 1963.
  • 15 May 2012: Digging up some information on two lesser-known war tax resisters of yore: Richard Stenhouse (circa 1958) and Karel Botermans (circa 1963).
  • 14 May 2012: Catching up on what the war tax resistance movement in Spain is up to lately.
  • 13 May 2012: A number of governments have gone heavily into debt and defaulted, the central goverment (such as it is) is unwilling to act as a financial backstop, many citizens would rather repudiate the debt than raise taxes to pay off the bonds bought by foreign speculators… welcome to the United States in 1843.
  • 12 May 2012: Cosmas Raimondi was a war tax resisting catholic priest back in the 1980s. The I.R.S., acting with uncharacteristic speed (due no doubt to the publicity surrounding the case), seized his car.
  • 11 May 2012: Cindy Sheehan faces down I.R.S. interrogators. Also: A couple of notes from some of the war tax riots in Spain in 1900.
  • 10 May 2012: Among the Americans who started refusing to pay taxes during the Vietnam War was the wife of a United States Senator, who announced her action to the I.R.S. forty years ago today.
  • 9 May 2012: The U.S. financed its World War Ⅰ effort with ostensibly voluntary “Liberty Bond” sales. But war-fevered vigilante mobs made it dangerous not to contribute. Here is one eye witness account of a mob attack.
  • 8 May 2012: Hubertine Auclert, inventor of the word “féministe,” was resisting taxes to protest for women’s rights back in 1880. Also: how did the “won’t pay” party do in the Greek elections?
  • 7 May 2012: Some thoughts on reading Joan V. Bondurant’s “Conquest of Violence: The Gandhian Philosophy of Conflict.”
  • 6 May 2012: When the home and blueberry field of Art Harvey and Elizabeth Gravalos went on the auction block after they refused to pay war taxes. Also: an Iowa war tax resistance group put their redirected taxes to good use: funding college scholarships for students who had been denied federal aid for their refusal to register for the draft.
  • 5 May 2012: When women won the vote in Pennsylvania, they also won the tax, and some were none too happy about it. Here are the stories of a few who said “no.”
  • 4 May 2012: Carol Schwartz’s promised tax resistance for D.C. statehood turned out to be a dud, but here are some other examples going back as far as 1955. Also: a graphic from the just-launched tax resistance campaign in northern Italy.
  • 3 May 2012: Say you’re a pacifist Quaker who owns shares in a railroad and the railroad decides to give a 50% discount to transportation of military armaments. Should such a thing bother your conscience? Also: more crooked railroad bond tax resistance, this time in Steuben county, New York.
  • 30 April 2012: My Shareable article about my tax resistance is topic #1 on the Porc Therapy podcast. Mayors in Italy’s Northern League launch a tax strike. A Mennonite responds to the Lettermanesque 10 reasons Mennonites don’t resist taxes any more. A government-funded video game based on Thoreau’s “Walden” pegs the irony meters in the red. And: a photo of Ken Knudson burning his tax payment check in 1966.
  • 26 April 2012: A greatest hits video of Greek “Don’t Pay” movement direct action. Also: how the 1% get out of taxes. And: Maia Duerr starts resisting war taxes. Also: a photo from the archives of a 1971 war tax resistance picket.
  • 22 April 2012: Frida Berrigan writes up her impressions of the Tax Day protests in New York City. Also: as the baby boomers swell the ranks of the retired, the ranks of non-taxpaying “lucky duckies” will rise as well.
  • 21 April 2012: Cindy Sheehan tells us what happened when she went up against the I.R.S. in federal court.
  • 20 April 2012: Cindy Sheehan vs. the IRS in federal court: round one goes to Sheehan. Andy: The federal government spends more to pay fraudulent tax refunds to identity thieves than it spends on the I.R.S. budget. Also: more tax day war tax resistance action reports. And: the I.R.S. abuses its frivolous filing penalty authority, an authority that seems designed for abuse.
  • 19 April 2012: The Mennonite publication “PeaceSigns” focuses on war tax resistance. Also: the text of war tax resister Clare Hanrahan’s tax day speech that cast out the MoveOn liberal vampires.
  • 18 April 2012: The first reports from “tax day” actions are starting to trickle in. Here are some notes from Oakland, California; Asheville, North Carolina; and Portsmouth, New Hampshire.
  • 17 April 2012: The blog “Shareable” publishes some of my thoughts on tax resistance and the advantages of a lower-income lifestyle. Also: Spanish tax resisters hold a weekend conference. And: a clever new idea to take some of the money out of political campaigns.
  • 16 April 2012: I threw together some graphics that give a birds’-eye historical overview of the various war tax resistance movements and groups in America, the timespans they were active, and the wars that most concerned them.
  • 15 April 2012: A note on Walter Gormly’s tax resistance of the 1940s and 1950s, and a comparison of the practical solidarity of American war tax resisters with the toothless complaints of their TEA Party counterparts.
  • 14 April 2012: 350 people put their names on an ad that appeared in the Washington Post on this date in 1966 saying “We will refuse to pay our federal income taxes voluntarily” because of the war in Vietnam. Also: In These Times magazine looks at the war tax resisters of the early 1980s.
  • 12 April 2012: David Swanson on “feed the beast” liberals, Kyle Chandler-Isacksen on the anti-war taxpayer, Tamara Cushway on 11 ways to say no, and John V. Walsh on the personal income tax as the common enemy of progressives, libertarians, and paleocons.
  • 11 April 2012: Thomas Mann’s story “Mario and the Magician” is a parable about fascism that contains some insightful observations about the psychology of totalitarianism. And that reminds me a bit of what Arne Johan Vetlesen and Leo Tolstoy had to say about the intoxications of command and obedience.
  • 10 April 2012: War tax resisters are finding that it is no less of a delicate balancing act trying to merge their message with the left-wing Occupy movement than it was with the right-wing TEA Party. Also: area war tax resisters are supporting Cindy Sheehan in her struggle with the I.R.S.
  • 9 April 2012: English Quaker Charles Fox explains his war tax resistance around the beginning of the last century. Also: in 1872, white residents of Louisiana, angered by the black/carpetbagger state government that had been suppressing white supremacist rule, met to organize a tax strike. And: tax resistance becomes a labor strike in France in 1923.
  • 8 April 2012: Tax evasion could get you deported… or confined within the borders. Also: updating the war tax resistance bible. And: the rise of popular sociopathic protagonists. Also: Ed Agro on war tax resistance. And: updates on the Irish and Greek anti-austerity tax resistance movemements.
  • 7 April 2012: On this date in 1967, just a few days after Martin Luther King, Jr., delivered his powerful “Beyond Vietnam” speech, the Committee for Nonviolent Action wrote to to ask if King would publicly sign on to their war tax resistance campaign.
  • 6 April 2012: Ginny Schneider writes about navigating an IRS wage garnishment. And: Mother Jones magazine tries to guesstimate the size of the war tax resistance movement in 1987.
  • 5 April 2012: The Department of Justice loses 30% of its tax prosecutors. The federal government is bigger than you might think. Ed Agro on war tax resistance. And: a Mother Jones article from April 1989 on war tax resisters.
  • 4 April 2012: An article from an April 1974 D.C. Gazette gives a snapshot of the American war tax resistance movement of the mid-1970s.
  • 3 April 2012: The British empire in India: people with well-trimmed moustaches in white suits sitting straight in their wicker chairs over tea quietly discussing where to put the cricket field? Nope: massacres and brutality. It’s a myth that Gandhi’s methods only succeeded because his opponents were civilized.
  • 2 April 2012: Two skeptical looks at the Constitutionalist tax protest scene from the libertarian press in 1979 and 1981, and some research to bring it up to date.
  • 1 April 2012: On this date in 1885, The British Friend ran a letter from a Quaker putting forth the argument that Quakers should only resist explicit “war taxes” and not taxes like the income tax that just happen to go largely for war.
  • 31 March 2012: More news from the anti-austerity tax resistance campaigns sweeping Europe. The Greek government says it has lost €17 million just to the road toll resisters so far. Meanwhile an underground economy and alternative currency are making the Greek economy less taxable. And the soldiers marching in the Greek independence day parade had to be protected from spectators by lines of riot cops.
  • 30 March 2012: A new issue of NWTRCC’s newsletter is out, with news about the national (and international) war tax resistance movement. Also: Daniel Ellsberg said he would not have released the Pentagon Papers if it hadn’t been for the influence of war tax resister Randy Kehler. And: video of war tax resisters Jack Herbert and S. Brian Willson on the Veterans For Peace Forum.
  • 27 March 2012: Two magazine articles from 1985 focused on war tax resisters Larry Bassett and Karl Meyer.
  • 26 March 2012: The new I.R.S. Data Book is out, giving us a look at how their enforcement efforts (and taxpayer compliance) have changed over the past several years.
  • 25 March 2012: A few days from the deadline, fewer than 20% of Irish households have registered and paid the new tax. And the resistance campaign is starting to attract support from organized labor, including a civil servants’ union.
  • 23 March 2012: The I.R.S. takes war tax resister Cindy Sheehan to court. Also: notes from war tax resisters Ed Agro and Paul Leatherman. And: the I.R.S. shed 5,000 employees over the last year, mostly from their tax enforcement division.
  • 22 March 2012: Half a million copies of a radical tabloid called ¡Rebelaos! (“Revolt!”) have hit the streets across Spain, promoting mass tax resistance and redirection in the service of local self-government.
  • 21 March 2012: War tax resister Elizabeth Boardman has filed a Claim for Injunctive Relief against the I.R.S., saying the agency violates her freedom of religion by labeling her war tax resistance “frivolous” and failing to provide a taxpaying method that accomodates her sincerely-held beliefs.
  • 20 March 2012: Sign on to the Iran Pledge of Resistance and vow to do what it takes to prevent or halt a U.S. war against Iran. Also: tax resistance in Western Samoa in 1928.
  • 19 March 2012: In my annual report I summarize my ninth year of tax resistance and forecast the year ahead.
  • 18 March 2012: A quickly successful tax resistance campaign in Queensland, Australia, in 1927, over complaints that seem familiar today. Also: The Society of Friends had a rough go of it in France, in large part due to government persecution: “No Government regards principles more revolutionary than the refusal of military service and of the payment of taxes.”
  • 16 March 2012: Virginia Woolf wondered how women could compete on the same playing field as men without picking up their vices. She counseled cultivating poverty, chastity, derision, and freedom from unreal loyalties. By which she meant…
  • 15 March 2012: The Senate passes a bill that would revoke or deny passports of Americans who are $50,000 or more behind on their taxes. Also the “Potato Movement” joins up with the tax resisters in Greece.
  • 14 March 2012: On this date in 1948, Caroline Urie — “a white-haired widow of a career naval officer” — wrote to President Truman to say “I’ll never pay any more money for war.”
  • 12 March 2012: On this date in 1901, William Edgerton addressed a Quaker quarterly meeting about the decline of the peace testimony, and of war tax resistance, in the Society of Friends, and whether it was possible to go back to a firmer policy or whether it would be necessary to go forward to something different.
  • 11 March 2012: Cindy Sheehan hopes for a revitalized war tax resistance movement. Also: updates from war tax resisters Vickie Aldrich and Chris Gaunt, and a public forum on taxes and conscience in Pennsylvania featuring war tax resisters Pat Hostetter Martin and Shane Claiborne.
  • 10 March 2012: Tax resistance was a feature of the “Ruhrkampf” mass nonviolent resistance campaign in occupied German territory between the World Wars.
  • 8 March 2012: After the Boers started their war for independence against Britain with a tax resistance action, the Tswana in Bechuanaland decided they’d try the same trick against the Boers. It didn’t go so well.
  • 6 March 2012: The I.R.S. tallies up my interest and penalties for me and sends me three letters detailing the charges. Here is my summary of what they’re after me for and how well they’ve done at getting at it so far.
  • 5 March 2012: On this day in 1770, British parliamentarians were debating a certain tax on tea imported into the American colonies… while British troops in Boston were firing into a crowd of colonists.
  • 4 March 2012: Kathy Kelly writes of the diffuse responsibility for the ominous emergence of drone warfare, and our responsibility for stopping it. Also: the latest developments in the tax resistance campaigns in Ireland and Greece. And: Raoul Vaneigm takes the side of the Greek “We Won’t Pay” rebels.
  • 3 March 2012: Today, some news briefs from reporters covering the Russian Revolution of 1905, in which tax resistance played a role.
  • 2 March 2012: More than 40% of American households paid no federal income tax on any of the income they earned in 2010. Also: updates on current tax resistance movements in Greece and Ireland. And: the I.R.S. drags its heels on giving any payouts to informers who have ratted out their tax evading neighbors and employers.
  • 29 February 2012: Find out where federal government revenues come from. Also: Staughton Lynd gives the Occupy movement his two cents. And: anti-tax activism in Greece & Ireland. Also: Tim Huber on conscience and taxes. And: the I.R.S. offers early retirement packages to agents in its enforcement division.
  • 28 February 2012: The next NWTRCC national gathering will be in Chicago this May, coinciding with the NATO/G8 summit protests. Also: some facts and graphs about the 2012 U.S. military budget. And: the National Prison Divestment Campaign wants you to make sure your money isn’t invested in mass imprisonment. Also: the I.R.S. gets a turd in the mail.
  • 27 February 2012: Some thoughts on reading Michael S. Gazzaniga’s “Who’s in Charge? Free Will and the Science of the Brain.”
  • 26 February 2012: On this date in 1756, some non-pacifist inhabitants of the Pennsylvania colony petitioned their King to do something about that darned Quaker-dominated colonial assembly that kept refusing to raise money for a militia.
  • 23 February 2012: More and more Americans do not have to pay any federal income tax. You might think this would warm the cockles of the tiny hearts of the folks at the Heritage Foundation, but you’d be wrong. Also: Congress is thinking up some new ways to crack down on people behind on their taxes.
  • 22 February 2012: The IRS has asked a judge to compel Cindy Sheehan to provide them with detailed financial information. She previously declined to provide such information in response to an IRS “Collection Information Statement” summons. The agency hopes to find assets they can seize for back taxes.
  • 21 February 2012: In the village of Novotroitsky, county of Bakinsk, the peasants held a meeting and passed the following shortest resolution on record: “Taxes we will not pay and you can’t do anything to us.” (Tax resistance during the Russian Civil War.)
  • 19 February 2012: I dig through the archives to find out more about Bradford Lyttle, long-time pacifist direct action organizer and tax resistance promoter.
  • 18 February 2012: Catholic bishops get all bent about being forced to pay for contraceptive-coverage in the health insurance of their employees, and war tax resisters ask “hey, what about us?” Also: resistance to the “Household Tax” in Ireland, and to the many fee hikes in Greece. And: the I.R.S. is getting overwhelmed by a cottage industry of tax fraud via identity theft.
  • 12 February 2012: I summarize the Dalai Lama’s new book “Beyond Religion: Ethics for a Whole World”.
  • 11 February 2012: The documentary film “Contempt of Conscience” about Britain’s “Peace Tax Seven” is now on-line.
  • 9 February 2012: Can you found classical liberalism on Aristotle’s virtue ethics instead of on consequentialism, contractualism, or deontology?
  • 6 February 2012: What makes liberals so dangerous is that their passive-voice platitudes have to be enacted by flesh-and-blood people, and they lose track of this in their dreams of polishing their beloved collective. Also: Vickie Aldrich on civil disobedience or civil initiative. And: a good overview of the Rebecca Riots.
  • 3 February 2012: “American Quaker War Tax Resistance” is now available as a Kindle e-book. Also: Google Books now has searchable, limited-preview versions of my books on-line.
  • 2 February 2012: The latest edition of “More Than a Paycheck,” NWTRCC’s newsletter, is on-line. Also, in a new blog, Vickie Aldrich talks about her war tax resistance and her father’s experiences in a Civilian Public Service camp for drafted conscientious objectors during World War Two.
  • 1 February 2012: British war resisters are boycotting the national census being conducted by arms manufacturer Lockheed Martin. Also: the rise of the praetorian class in the United States.
  • 31 January 2012: An of impressionistic picture of the American war tax resistance movement of the early to mid 1970s, as found in some back-pages announcements in periodicals of the period.
  • 30 January 2012: Some excerpts from the writings of Dorothy Day in “The Catholic Worker” on the subject of war tax resistance and resisters.
  • 29 January 2012: A note from the Concord (Pennsylvania) Quarterly Meeting in 1918 is more evidence of the decay of Quaker war tax resistance around the turn of the century.
  • 28 January 2012: More fake Pentagon belt-tightening, a new estimate of the size of the U.S. underground economy, a legal victory for tax resisters in Greece, and a look at tax resistance in the anti-abortion movement.
  • 27 January 2012: Daniel Kahneman, in his book “Thinking, Fast and Slow,” has mapped out many of the cognitive illusions that interfere with our ability to properly understand and respond to the world around us.
  • 26 January 2012: More news from the war tax resistance movement in Spain, which is pointing out that the government’s response to the economic crisis has been austerity for the citizenry and warbucks for the military. Also: a picture of a goat.
  • 24 January 2012: During the Crimean War the British government hiked the income tax in order to raise funds to carry on the fight. British Quakers debated whether this income tax increase was a “war tax” that they should refuse to voluntarily pay.
  • 21 January 2012: The report of the official British commissioner investigating the Hut Tax War in the Sierra Leone protectorate blamed the ineptitude, clumsiness, brutality, and extralegal overreach of the colonial government. Which is not what his boss wanted to hear.
  • 20 January 2012: Thomas Scattergood, now remembered as a pioneering mental health reformer, traveled widely to Quaker meetings in Britain and America. Here are some of his thoughts on war tax resistance and on those who collect war taxes by force.
  • 19 January 2012: Mary S. Anthony (Susan B.’s sister) decided that the answer to taxation of women without representation was tax resistance, or at least paying under protest.
  • 18 January 2012: An update on Cindy Sheehan’s tax resistance and her fight with the I.R.S. Also: the Irish government is hiking utility fees to raise money for their bankster bailouts, but some folks are telling them to shove it.
  • 14 January 2012: Another brief look at the “tancament de caixes” — an event that has the same sort of rhetorical value in Catalonia today as the Boston Tea Party does in the U.S.
  • 13 January 2012: Greek economist Varufakis Yanis explains the recent outbreak of tax resistance in Greece.
  • 12 January 2012: A search through the archives for more information about war tax resisters Art Harvey and Elizabeth Gravalos.
  • 11 January 2012: Pedro Otaduy, one of the leading figures in the Spanish war tax resistance movement, died last Monday.
  • 10 January 2012: Some updated statistics on how many liens, levies, and seizures the I.R.S. used last year to try to get taxes people couldn’t or wouldn’t pay.
  • 9 January 2012: Wendy McElroy on the tax resisting life of Vivien Kellems. Also: tax evasion in Italy is widespread and sometimes aggressive. And: Nereus Mendenhall sets the record straight about Quaker war tax resistance in the Confederate states.
  • 6 January 2012: The I.R.S. releases the results of its first new estimate of the “tax gap” in years. Not much has changed, and the data is still of poor quality. The government really has no idea where the leaks are in its boat.
  • 5 January 2012: Please don’t vote. It’s worse than worthless. And don’t feel like you have to follow the election-season blathering either. You’ll be happier, more productive and helpful, and less of an annoyance to your friends and family.
  • 2 January 2012: In Germany and other parts of the continent, persecution of Quakers for their refusal to serve in the military or to pay war taxes caused the emigration of Quakers and led to the dwindling of the Society of Friends.
  • 1 January 2012: Translating an English-language article about Abbey Manse Tax resistance in Scotland in 1880 (what’s a “feuar,” what’s a “manse,” can you live in paisley without taking L.S.D.?). Also: Greek tax collectors go on strike, squeezing the government with tax resistance from both sides. Meanwhile, Greeks turn in their license plates rather than pay an increased tax on auto registration.

2011

  • 31 December 2011: In “Ordinary People and Extraordinary Evil: A Report on the Beguilings of Evil” Fred E. Katz tries to apply the techniques of sociology to the question of how ordinary people, without deliberate evil intent, commit horrendous deeds.
  • 30 December 2011: James C. Scott investigated peasant resistance to mandatory tithes in Malaysia after 1960, and at other undemonstrative but successful tax resistance (and other resistance) strategies in history.
  • 29 December 2011: Someone who chose voluntary poverty over paying for militarism, imperialism, and war writes about how that’s gone. The I.R.S. releases its guide for the coming tax filing season. Italy’s “Northern League” toys with tax resistance. And: war tax resistance from Quakers in Norway in the early 20th century.
  • 26 December 2011: In 1863, President Lincoln started the first federal military draft, and the pages of the “Friends’ Intelligencer” filled with debate over whether Quakers could pay the $300 commutation money to escape from bearing arms. Here are some excerpts.
  • 20 December 2011: Radical honesty has been recommended by a number of revolutionary thinkers. Lindsey Fox is going to give it a try. Also: take a look inside “American Quaker War Tax Resistance” at Amazon. And: an update on the Bradley Manning case.
  • 19 December 2011: White farmers in Rhodesia who exploited local laborers were arrested en masse during a tax resistance campaign in 1911 that forced the government to rescind the tax.
  • 18 December 2011: On this date in 1863, the Philadelphia Yearly Meeting counseled: “Friends cannot conscientiously and consistently pay money — however small or large the sum — levied solely for warlike purposes, or in lieu of military service; whether to hire a substitute to do that which we believe to be sinful, or as a tax for the exercise of the right of liberty of conscience.”
  • 17 December 2011: On this date in 1790, a group of Quakers attended a session of the U.S. House of Representatives, and explained to them that “our religious society have not only uniformly declined joining personally in war, but have also considered themselves conscientiously bound to refuse the payment of any sum required in lieu of such personal service… as it manifestly infringes on the rights of conscience.”
  • 16 December 2011: The International Monetary Fund backs down in the face of Greek tax resistance. Also: Kansas City peace workers reflect on the recent NWTRCC conference there. And: how the government buys the silence and compliance of tax-exempt non-profit groups (and how the progressive fad of calling for the end of constitutional protection of the rights of incorporated groups would make that worse).
  • 13 December 2011: I hunt through the Google news archives for bygone mentions of war tax resister Ammon Hennacy.
  • 12 December 2011: You can help keep an eye on the government revolving door. The opportunity costs of the warfare state. A Coherent Philosophy in verse. How the 1% got there. Developing derring-do. Greeks hang their unpaid tax bills on a Christmas tree. An Argentine Congresswoman leads a toll strike. A Catholic Worker in London refuses to pay his civil disobedience fine. And Carl Watner introduces the voluntaryist case against taxation.
  • 6 December 2011: A new issue of NWTRCC’s newsletter with news from the war tax resistance movement. Also, a call to war tax resistance from an anti-imperialist book from Britain a century ago wouldn’t sound out of place in the American empire today.
  • 5 December 2011: Tax resistance in occupied Mexican Texas in 1877. Also: Cindy sheehan on “frivolous” conscientious objection, more background on the Greek tax rebellion, and Indian farmers using the power of poisonous snakes against a corrupt tax office.
  • 4 December 2011: Jean-Paul Sartre on war and collaboration: “There are no innocent victims.” “We have the war we deserve.”
  • 3 December 2011: Dora Montefiore, in her book “From a Victorian to a Modern” told the story of her tax resistance and the “Siege of Montefiore.”
  • 2 December 2011: At some point, an American law enforcement agent, dressed like an imperial stormtrooper and with a death’s-head logo on his union badge, spraying a protesting citizen with poison gas or beating her with a club, may pause to ask: “wait a minute, are we the bad guys?” Also: a British Quaker counsels war tax resistance against the occupation of Afghanistan… in 1878.
  • 29 November 2011: George Orwell’s “The Road to Wigan Pier” takes a close look at the dismal condition of the poor workers who keep England going, or who would given half a chance, and wonders why such an obvious solution as centrally-planned global Socialism can’t seem to get any traction.
  • 28 November 2011: An overview and update on the Greek tax resistance movement from the New York Times. Also: Ed Hedemann and Ruth Benn talk war tax resistance on Cindy Sheehan’s radio show.
  • 27 November 2011: The Picket Line is now thoroughly chronologically indexed, and the Chronoscope time-based search engine is live. Give it a spin. See if you can find a good use for it. Also: the Nazarenes were another 19th Century Christian sect that apparently preached tax resistance.
  • 26 November 2011: In the Civil War, Ohio did not make allowance for Quakers in its military conscription law. The Ohio Yearly Meeting wrote to the Ohio legislature on this date in 1862, to explain why Quakers could not pay a militia exemption tax. Also: updates on the tax resistance actions in Greece.
  • 25 November 2011: White miners in Kimberly, Griqualand West (now South Africa), launched a tax strike on this date in 1874 that grew into an armed rebellion.
  • 22 November 2011: Dignified people power at U.C. Davis. A report from the Fall 2011 NWTRCC gathering. Remembering war tax resister Scott Kennedy. Roy Prockter takes his case for conscientious objeciton to military taxation to the European Court of Human Rights. Residents declare a property tax strike in Andino, Argentina. And Greek tax resisters introduce some new tactics.
  • 18 November 2011: A few more news briefs from the «δεν πληρώνω» (“won’t pay”) movement in Greece.
  • 17 November 2011: Some news from the NWTRCC meeting earlier this month. Also: you can test drive a prototype of the “chronoscope.” And: Benjamin Bates petitions the Virginia legislature on behalf of Quaker conscientious objectors in 1810.
  • 14 November 2011: I’m working on a new gadget for The Picket Line: a “chronoscope” — like a search engine, only it searches for time, not for text. Here’s a sneak preview.
  • 11 November 2011: The voluntaryist case against taxation. Greece erupts in a variety of tax resistance tactics. The I.R.S. hands Cindy Sheehan a summons. More private tax debt collection follies. To be free is not freedom from responsibility but freedom to take responsibility. Also: some background on the tax resistance campaign in Germany in 1848.
  • 10 November 2011: Whatever happens to Occupy Oakland itself, it is tremendously helpful and encouraging as a laboratory and training ground for experiments in grassroots organization and participatory decisionmaking. Here are some notes from last night’s general assembly.
  • 8 November 2011: The political unions that famously used tax resistance in their campaigns for the Reform Act of 1832 actually got their start a couple of years earlier to plan a tax resistance campaign they hoped would discourage the British government from going to war with Belgium.
  • 7 November 2011: Several war tax resisters were arrested in a symbolic civil disobedience action targeting the nation’s first new nuclear weapons manufacturing plant in decades, in Kansas City, where NWTRCC was holding its Fall 2011 national gathering. Also: the underground economy, a.k.a. System D, is growing in size and importance internationally.
  • 4 November 2011: On this date in 1654, an English merchant named George Cony refused to pay customs duties established by Oliver Cromwell’s government, and thereby called into question the legal underpinnings of the whole revolutionary regime.
  • 3 November 2011: A 2011 update supplement to the 2003 book on War Tax Resistance is available for free on-line. Also: on this date in 1862, Quakers from the confederacy met under the cloud of military conscription and militia exemption taxes.
  • 2 November 2011: A dispatch from today’s Occupy Oakland “general strike.”
  • 1 November 2011: The second edition of American Quaker War Tax Resistance is now available. Here are some PDF excerpts to give you an idea of what you’ll find inside.
  • 31 October 2011: Good and evil: are they just personal opinions, social conventions, or meaningless bugaboos? Russ Shafer-Landau thinks they’re real, objective facts that we can discover… and he thinks he can prove it.
  • 30 October 2011: If you thought Occupy Oakland got a little heated, you should have seen the tax riot last week in Zhili, China.
  • 29 October 2011: In 1969, The Massachusetts Review included the poem “On Income Tax Refusal” by William Whitman, which took the form of this letter to the I.R.S.
  • 28 October 2011: The governor of Pennsylvania in the late seventeenth century tried various strategems to wrest war money from the Quakers who controlled the Assembly.
  • 27 October 2011: The Marine Corps sells servility by calling it pride; tough economic times everywhere but D.C.; budget cuts at the I.R.S. are good news for us; and the million Americans who might be alive today if we’d spent the money on our wars-of-choice differently.
  • 26 October 2011: In 1754, English Quaker Samuel Fothergill visited the North American colonies and joined up with those Quakers like Mordecai Yarnall, John Churchman, John Woolman, Anthony Benezet, and John Pemberton, who were trying to put some teeth into the Quaker peace testimony and develop a policy on war tax resistance. When he returned to England, the Friends there weren’t all that pleased about it… at first, anyway.
  • 25 October 2011: You’ve heard about the famous tea party in Boston, but have you heard about the one in Edenton, North Carolina on this day in 1774? Here’s the scoop.
  • 24 October 2011: “War slaughters thousands and carries untold misery to desolated homes; but many professed peace men pay taxes which support it,” and otherwise explicitly or implicitly support the warfare state, mused “Z” in the Friends’ Review on this date in 1885. What to do?
  • 23 October 2011: There’s a new edition of “American Quaker War Tax Resistance” on the way — with twice as much material as edition one.
  • 22 October 2011: In 1852 Thomas Luscombe refused to let his cart be used to transport military baggage, was punished therefor, and so inspired a non-Quaker to take up his cause.
  • 21 October 2011: The Catholic Leader asks war tax resister Kathy Kelly if maybe she’s a little too radical. Also, on this date in 1899, a Friends’ Intelligencer reader writes in to advise Quakers on how they can best avoid the war tax on their estates.
  • 20 October 2011: On this date in 1900, the Friends’ Intelligencer published an article on “The Outlook for Peace” by Howard M. Jenkins, in which he chided Quakers for not living up to the promise of their peace testimony, for example, in the war taxes they paid.
  • 18 October 2011: Anthony Benezet worked for a few years on a justification of war tax resistance on biblical grounds, but his project never resulted in a publication, though he circulated drafts among friends. Here is one of those drafts, as retrieved from the Friends Historical Library at Swarthmore College.
  • 17 October 2011: Unstoppable grassroots tax fraud in Tampa. Tax collectors go on strike in Greece. Another of Tolstoy’s didactic dialogues. The true cost of commuting. An early retirement how-to wiki. How to succeed in business (it’s all about the lobbying). And: a couple of brief mentions of Quaker war tax resistance from days of yore.
  • 16 October 2011: The ethical escapologist wants to escape not just from the stultification of mainstream life, but from the moral burden of collaboration. Escapology is not evasion — not a denial of responsibility, but acceptance of it: both gratitude for the wider horizons of life it gives to us and acceptance of the project of living our values in the bounds of these new horizons.
  • 15 October 2011: A guest post from a war tax resister who participated in the Occupy Freedom Plaza event, and some additional comments about the Occupy Wall Street and related protests.
  • 14 October 2011: The Spanish poet and essayist Antonio Gala recounted his encounter with a war tax resister in 1992. “What a marvelous power of persuasion the truth has when it is expressed with conviction,” he concluded.
  • 13 October 2011: On this date in 1859, Joseph Metford wrote to the editors of The British Friend to complain of Quaker meetings investing in government war bonds.
  • 12 October 2011: Larry Rosenwald thinks that American war tax resistance could become a real movement, if only resisters would sign on to a more coherent program. His idea of which program that should be bears some resemblance to one published by some Spanish war tax resisters several years back.
  • 11 October 2011: On this day in 1989, the New York Times published a good article about the men and women in Beit Sahour who were using tax resistance as their intifada against the Israeli occupation.
  • 10 October 2011: Today, some excerpts from the press accounts and parliamentary debates concerning the tax resistance that was part of the populist push for the Reform Act of 1832.
  • 9 October 2011: Hundreds of American ministers delivered overt partisan political endorsements as part of their Sunday sermons earlier this month. The law says that tax exempt nonprofits cannot do that sort of thing, but the churches are challenging this law by means of civil disobedience and daring the I.R.S. to do something about it.
  • 8 October 2011: The other night I was in the kitchen, alone in the house, when a large rat tripped the trap in the laundry room. The trap seized around the rat’s neck without snapping it, and the rat thrashed around in agonized panic. So did I, in a manner of speaking. Also: a new issue of More Than a Paycheck is out.
  • 7 October 2011: Today, excerpts from a handful of news articles from 1955 about the federal income tax resistance of Utah governor J. Bracken Lee, who thought it was unconstitutional for the federal government to take money from American taxpayers and give it away in foreign aid.
  • 6 October 2011: Simone de Beauvoir on the unavoidable responsibility of existence, and Ross Kenyon on how this enters into the debate on the libertarian stance toward pollution and property rights and toward consumer activism and corporate social responsibility.
  • 5 October 2011: The I.R.S. is at its meanest, least competent, and worst when it deals with victims of identity theft. Also: tax resistance in Spain against a new constitution that was designed less for Spaniards and more for international creditors. And: Matt Yglesias speculates that rather than learning how to keep prisoners of war in a less medievally barbaric fashion, the U.S. has decided on a take-no-prisoners assassination policy.
  • 4 October 2011: Cindy Sheehan gives her take on tax resistance in her book “Myth America II: The Twenty Greatest Myths of the Robber Class and the Case for Revolution” (now freely available on-line).
  • 3 October 2011: The mysterious and perplexing story of the “White Quakers” of Ireland.
  • 2 October 2011: It took a committee from the New England Yearly Meeting to figure out what to do about Timothy Davis, who had started a renegade faction of Friends who were willing to pay war taxes to the Continental Congress. Also, in 1985, Shannon Stahmer explained why democracy sometimes means making a personal decision whether or not to pay for the government’s priorities.
  • 1 October 2011: Thomas Clarkson, though not a Quaker himself, studied the sect so closely that his writings on Quakerism were published in a long-running series in The British Friend. But on Quakers and war taxes, he missed the mark. Also, here’s what Isaac Zane and Anthony Benezet had to say about Quakers taking pledges of allegiance or paying fines for refusing.
  • 28 September 2011: Luke Howard was a member of the Royal Society, a pioneering meteorologist who gave the clouds their names — cumulus, cirrus, and so forth. On this date in 1798, he wrote to his father to explain why he would not be paying the English tax meant as “An aid and contribution for the prosecution of the War.”
  • 27 September 2011: Better taxpayer compliance through chemistry: how the government might squeeze a little oxytocin out of your glands to squeeze a few more dollars out of your wallet.
  • 25 September 2011: In 1993, Catholic Bishop Victor H. Balke, who had been a war tax resister during the Vietnam War, threatened to withhold his taxes again if the federal government began funding abortions. Also: in 1982 a group in Medicine Lodge, Kansas started refusing to pay any taxes above 10% of their income, saying that if a 10% tithe was good enough for God, it ought to be plenty for the government.
  • 24 September 2011: A German, upset that German taxpayers may be on the hook for the impending Euro bailout, starts a tax strike. Also: in the 1930s, Leslie W. Bailey declared he would pay no taxes while Roosevelt was in office.
  • 19 September 2011: On this day in 1967, conservative columnist William F. Buckley took potshots at the “writers and editors tax protest” — calling it a cheap and risk-free way to make “the hero page of the New York Times.”
  • 18 September 2011: A new, searchable database of global, historical examples of nonviolent action comes on-line. Also: a Ron Paul Republican decides to shrug. And: trying to put America’s cancerous military spending on the agenda of the defcit committee… and the climate change activist movement.
  • 16 September 2011: The New York Times celebrates the ruthless government censorship of competing propaganda outfits during World War One, including one radical paper that called for tax resistance.
  • 15 September 2011: A non-sectarian Christian peace movement started developing in the early nineteenth century in the United States, distinct from the traditional “peace churches.” Here are some excerpts from writings by Thomas C. Upham and Charles Whipple touching on war taxes and militia exemption fines.
  • 14 September 2011: I’ve got a guest post up at “Early Retirement Extreme” about how by living frugally, you can spend less on government and more on priorities that better match your values. Also: remembering Beit Sahour. And: voluntary pauperism; there’s a good way and a bad way. Also: tax fraud is so easy and lucrative that it’s keeping criminals off the streets and in front of their laptops.
  • 11 September 2011: Ten years ago, when Americans got hit good and hard with the sort of death and destruction they so enjoy being on the other end of, the United States became as noisy and menacing as a country-sized dropped beehive. Meanwhile, here’s what was going through my mind… and that of my imaginary friend Ishmael Gradsdovic.
  • 10 September 2011: We can increase the effectiveness of our activism, reduce the risk of discouragement and burnout, become more appealing and convincing to potential sympathizers, and contribute to a better world in the long run, by avoiding the temptation to petulance.
  • 9 September 2011: If you give a person power over other people, this may cause that person to judge other people more harshly and themselves more leniently, according to a new set of experiments. Also: 100 major U.S. companies vow to withhold campaign contributions. And: Peter J. Reilly revisits the legal tax resistance arguments of William Ruhaak. Also: A look at the history of war tax resistance internationally. And: Cindy Sheehan explains her tax resistance.
  • 8 September 2011: Dutch war tax resisters Beatrice and Cornelis Boeke and the early days of the movement that would become War Resisters International.
  • 7 September 2011: Kevin Kenny’s “Peaceable Kingdom Lost: The Paxton boys and the Destruction of William Penn’s Holy Experiment” gives some context to a period in pre-revolutionary Pennsylvania that was crucial to the development of American Quaker war tax resistance.
  • 6 September 2011: A new book tells the stories of America’s new military refuseniks — brave men and women in uniform who turned their backs on the wars and faced down the wrath of the military — in their own words.
  • 5 September 2011: I didn’t notice until recently, but back in 2007, a columnist named Steve Brenneman took issue with my war tax resistance in his exceptionally lazy newspaper column.
  • 4 September 2011: “Woman’s Duty of Rebellion” included the duty to refuse taxes, said Elizabeth Clarke Wolstenholme Elmy. Also: Harry Kelly in the American anarchist magazine “Mother Earth” looked at the suffragist tax resisters and the tax resisters who inspired them. And: Patrick Quinn goes to jail during a one-man, 63¢ tax strike in 1936, claiming the government cheated him… and it actually works.
  • 3 September 2011: The key to retiring early isn’t bringing in more income or picking crafty investments — it’s usually controlling expenses. If you really want out of the rat race in a hurry, try the Early Retirement Extreme plan. Also: conscientious objectors in Jersey in 1886 go to jail rather than pay fines for refusing military service.
  • 2 September 2011: A letter-to-the-editor and response from the editor in the September, 1900 edition of “The British Friend” concisely sums up one argument about war taxes and mixed taxes that came up frequently in debates about Quaker war tax resistance. Also: an update on Cindy Sheehan’s tax resistance.
  • 1 September 2011: A committee of Quakers addressed the 1837 Pennsylvania constitutional convention about the proposed section of the constitution that would mandate that conscientious objectors pay a money equivalent for military service.
  • 31 August 2011: Some articles critical of the enforcement of the Edinburgh annuity tax against Scottish dissenters (and those too poor to pay) in the mid-19th century.
  • 30 August 2011: The I.R.S. had a special unit devoted to investigating subversives (and people on Nixon’s “enemies list”). This was the group that targeted war tax resisters during the Vietnam War.
  • 28 August 2011: The eight-year-old municipal tax strike in Ondárroa ends (though the strikers insist they will not be paying their withheld back taxes) now that Basque nationalist parties have been allowed to field candidates, and now have a majority in the local government.
  • 27 August 2011: A book containing the handwritten minutes of the men’s portion of the Chesterfield Monthly Meeting from 1774 to 1786 is on-line, and contains a lot of good data about how meetings dealt with those members who weren’t going along with the official testimony against paying militia exemption fines.
  • 26 August 2011: Sign up to attend the NWTRCC National Gathering in Kansas City this November. And: Americans living and working overseas are renouncing their citizenship to get out of the grips of the I.R.S. Also: Robert Burrowes on war tax resistance in Australia. And: Anarchists and war tax resistance. Also: how the rich use government to get richer at your expense. And: contemporary council tax rebels in England… mostly just because they don’t think they’re getting their money’s worth.
  • 25 August 2011: Tax resistance in the fading months of the Somoza regime in Nicaragua. Also: Nathaniel Morgan unsuccessfully tries to get the London Yearly Meeting to endorse war tax resistance in the early 1800s.
  • 24 August 2011: I find more about Zerah C. Whipple in the peace movement literature of the last half of the nineteenth century. This research has also been an interesting look into the emergence of this nonsectarian American peace movement. It was then, much as it is today, a mix of pacifists, sentimentalists, advocates of stronger institutions of international law, feminists, anarchists, socialists, Christians, liberal reformers, and the occasional crackpot.
  • 23 August 2011: Zerah C. Whipple was an innovator in the teaching of the deaf whose school, the “Mystic Educational Center,” is still operating. He was also part of the cross-over that introduced Quaker war tax resistance to the emerging nonsectarian peace movement of the late nineteenth century. In 1874 he was imprisoned for refusing to pay a military tax.
  • 22 August 2011: The story behind the “charter oak” that appears on the back of the Connecticut state quarter is of a 1687 campaign to resist taxes being unilaterally imposed by Governor Edmund Andros in violation of the colonial charter.
  • 21 August 2011: Two pro-revolutionary dissident Quakers in 1782 complained that a meeting house was closed to Quakers of their persuasion who advocated paying taxes to the rebel government, but open to those who spoke out against the revolution.
  • 20 August 2011: Gideon Frost and Samuel Rhoads spar over the duties of Quaker conscientious objectors during the American Civil War.
  • 17 August 2011: Some tax resistance from the time of Montaigne, in Bordeaux in 1548.
  • 16 August 2011: Maurice McCrackin was a mover and shaker at the birth of the modern American war tax resistance movement. Here is some of what he had to say on the subject.
  • 15 August 2011: The New York Yearly Meeting of Friends rediscovered war tax resistance during the Vietnam War, and took strong stands both to resist as a body and to help individuals who were resisting. They still talk about conscientious objection to paying for war today, but in a much more vague and noncommittal way.
  • 14 August 2011: At his Forbes blog, Peter J. Reilly turns the page over to war tax resister Ed Agro to explain what this tax resistance business is all about. Also: When the government steals from you every day, theft can start to seem respectable. And: North Carolina seemed to have more tax rebellions than it had tax collectors during the first decades of the colony.
  • 13 August 2011: The journal of John Hunt describes several episodes in the debate over war tax resistance in the Society of Friends in the early United States. Also: an early example (mid-17th century) of Quaker war tax resistance in England, from the journal of Ambrose Rigge.
  • 12 August 2011: 17% of Americans think the U.S. government has the “consent of the governed.” Also: a follow-up on Steven Short’s radio show about Northern California War Tax Resistance. And: a video of Tony Serra’s keynote at the last NWTRCC national gathering. Also: Quakers were still notorious for war tax resistance at least as late as 1884…
  • 11 August 2011: I checked my credit report and there’s nothing on there about the $14,000 in back taxes the I.R.S. has told me they’re filing a lien about. Also: Revolutionary War-era war tax resister Hannah Lindley.
  • 10 August 2011: Around 1830 tax resistance featured in the struggles of the constitutionalists in France and the Reform Act agitators in Britain. (That’s also the time period of George Eliot’s “Middlemarch”, incidentally.)
  • 9 August 2011: Forbes tax blogger Peter J. Reilly gets inspired to write up his thoughts on war tax resistance. Also: the Tax Policy Center forecasts how the ranks of “lucky duckies” (American households that pay no federal income tax) will swell or shrink in the coming years under different policies.
  • 8 August 2011: As the arms race ramped up in the early 1980s, a group of religious leaders including Quakers, Bretheren, Mennonites, and a Catholic archbishop, called on Christians to refuse to pay taxes.
  • 7 August 2011: Last Tuesday, Steven Short aired a piece about Northern California War Tax Resistance on KALW News’s “Crosscurrents” program that featured brief interviews with Susan Quinlan, Kathy Labriola, and Erica Weiland.
  • 6 August 2011: Modern “tax revolts” in the United States are usually exercises in heated rhetoric, with the occasional ballot box primary upset or voter initiative. Every once in a while, though, actual tax resistance becomes a tactic, or at least a threat, as in Norwalk, Connecticut in 1972.
  • 5 August 2011: During the American Revolution, Quakers who conscientiously objected to participating in war clashed with patriots who were conscientiously pledging their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor in the cause of liberty.
  • 4 August 2011: A new issue of NWTRCC’s newsletter: Tony Serra on shit he will not eat, frivolous filing notices get out of hand, various resisters and resistance activities, and a penalty-sharing protester solidarity group in Iowa.
  • 3 August 2011: In the Civil War, the Spanish American War, and World War I, the United States raised money by requiring people to affix war tax “revenue stamps” to a variety of documents and goods. What did the Quakers do about that?
  • 2 August 2011: What happens when the tax collector gets between somebody and somebody’s dog (from New Zealand to New York).
  • 1 August 2011: In 1863, President Lincoln started the first federal military draft, and the pages of the “Friends’ Intelligencer” filled with debate over whether Quakers could pay the $300 commutation money to escape from bearing arms.
  • 30 July 2011: I made it to the maximum income I can make this year and still stay under the income tax line. That means I’m on sabbatical, and I’m spending some of my free time doing more research on the history of American Quaker War Tax Resistance. Here is some of what I’m finding along the way.
  • 29 July 2011: The lovable dolts who donate money to pay down the federal debt are, of course, getting conned. Also: the victims of the U.S. shadow war in Pakistan include health care workers and their patients. And: many federal excise taxes on air travel are temporarily suspended. Also: Fred reed on “domestic expatriation.”
  • 26 July 2011: During the American Revolution, independence-minded colonists began issuing their own paper money to finance their war. This put Quakers in a bind, as they had little precedent for opposing this kind of war tax. So conscientious Quakers like John Cowgill had to go it alone.
  • 24 July 2011: A brief note about Thomas Parvin, who refused to pay militia exemption fines in the early United States.
  • 23 July 2011: In 1732, when Quaker war tax resistance was already well-established in the American colonies, people in England on both sides of the debate over Quakerism took for granted that Quakers never resist war taxes.
  • 22 July 2011: War tax resisters on the “wtr-s” email list mull over the prospects for building a war tax resistance movement.
  • 21 July 2011: War tax resistance was rare in the earliest years of the Society of Friends, but tithe resistance was more frequent, and quite costly.
  • 19 July 2011: Activist S. Brian Willson was interviewed yesterday on KQED. Here is some of what he had to say about his tax resistance.
  • 18 July 2011: The tax resistance campaign for Catalan independence gets some support from rebellious city councils.
  • 14 July 2011: Catalan nationalists call for a nationwide tax resistance campaign to force fiscal independence from Spain.
  • 13 July 2011: Some excerpts from the “History of Woman Suffrage” concerning Lucretia Mott and the influence on her of Quaker reformer Elias Hicks.
  • 12 July 2011: A New York State Senate committee set up to investigate “seditious activities” in 1920 preserved the text of an anarchist handbill urging its readers to resist taxes.
  • 11 July 2011: News accounts of war tax resisters Juanita Nelson (1959) and Ken & Noreen Gingerich (2007).
  • 10 July 2011: Some thoughts on Adam Smith’s “The Theory of Moral Sentiments.”
  • 9 July 2011: The October 2011 launch of an anti-war direct action campaign and the Come Home, America coalition are two promising signs the American peace movement is shaking off its slumber.
  • 8 July 2011: Ken Knudson pioneered W-4 resistance against the Vietnam War. Here is the letter he sent to the I.R.S. and news reports from the Libertarian Forum and the Associated Press.
  • 7 July 2011: A tax revolt in Naples in 1647 turns into a violent uprising: the story of Masaniello.
  • 6 July 2011: Environmental activists and anti-militarists are teaming up for a war tax resistance campaign in Spain.
  • 5 July 2011: The Picket Line jumps on the HTML5 bandwagon. Also: doing damage to a new nuclear weapons factory in Kansas City, inviting LulzSec to do the same to the universally vulnerable I.R.S. databases, resisting taxes to protest U.S. funding for Bahrain’s government, and more tax fraud from behind bars.
  • 2 July 2011: New Zealand farmers threatened a campaign of tax resistance and civil disobedience in response to a threatened “flatulence tax.”
  • 1 July 2011: Anthony Benezet writes to Moses Brown in 1780 about Quaker war tax resistance.
  • 30 June 2011: There’s a myth about how Leon Czolgosz became an anarchist that goes like this…
  • 23 June 2011: What else are U.S. taxpayers buying? The majority of Afghanistan’s GDP for one thing, and subsidies for Brazilian cotton farmers for another. Also: a look at “America’s most regressive tax” — tariffs on imported goods.
  • 22 June 2011: In 1769, Massachusetts patriots organized to practice boycotts and swadeshi in a nonviolent battle against British taxes. Also: John Clifford, in America to work on anti-war causes in 1911, reflects on the tax resistance of nonconformists in Britain.
  • 20 June 2011: In two dead-game spinsters who wouldn’t be unfairly taxed, the men of Glastonbury met their match and the cause of feminism found a bovine cause célèbre. Also: a look at some of the right-wing American tax resisters of the 1950s: Vivien Kellems, Winifred Furrh, Mary D. Cain, and Lucille Miller.
  • 17 June 2011: Quaker war tax resister David Irish also boycotted slave-made products, made his own maple sugar rather than using cane sugar, and spun his own woolen clothing rather than use cotton. He would not vote, and his family maintained a station on the underground railroad.
  • 16 June 2011: The General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church met in 1987 and admitted they’d been mistaken in defrocking Maurice McCrackin because of his war tax resistance. Also: veteran Gordon Christiansen goes to the Pentagon in 1965 to withdraw his allegiance and announce his tax resistance.
  • 15 June 2011: In 1972, the Central Conference of American Rabbis voted to begin war tax resistance to protest the Vietnam War. Also: The number of people who are renouncing their U.S. citizenship or giving up on their long-term residency continues to rise, extending a trend that began last year.
  • 11 June 2011: NWTRCC has posted some more notes from last month’s National Gathering in Oakland/Berkeley.
  • 10 June 2011: War tax resisters in Biscay held a chorizo barbecue in front of the provincial council building this week to protest the “chorizada” (swindle) of military spending.
  • 9 June 2011: George Ought to Help, but when people call on governments to mandate contributions to otherwise charitable causes, they are using disreputable violent means to feel-good ends.
  • 7 June 2011: On this date in 1873, the authorities in Catalonia threatened people who refused to pay their war taxes (the next day the commander fled in the face of a mutiny). Also: an organized auto tax refusal campaign in 1933 in New York.
  • 6 June 2011: Jon Ronson on psychopaths, Joan Didion on the empirical, Graham Greene as Cassandra, and Hannah Arendt on the Pentagon Papers and on civil disobedience… some of what I’ve been reading lately.
  • 5 June 2011: A new edition of NWTRCC’s newsletter comes on-line. Also: conscientious tax resistance is mulled over in the Italian press.
  • 2 June 2011: In the midst of the Poll Tax rebellion in Britain, “Third Way” magazine looked back at the tax revolt of English nonconformists nearly a century before.
  • 1 June 2011: In April I kept track of every cent I spent and did an accounting to estimate my spending rate for the year. That was kind of a weird month though, so I decided to carry the tally on through May to see if the numbers came down to normal. Here’s what I found.
  • 30 May 2011: A couple of news reports from this day in 1959 cover the release from prison of war tax resister Maurice McCrackin.
  • 29 May 2011: An in-depth look at the birth of the modern American war tax resistance movement, and the divisions it caused among the American pacifists of the War Resisters League.
  • 27 May 2011: You’ve heard of the “Young Turks”? Their revolution in 1908 succeeded by riding a grassroots tax resistance uprising into power.
  • 26 May 2011: Shane Claiborne’s “The Irresistible Revolution: Living as an Ordinary Radical” tries to rediscover a revolutionary Christianity amongst the rubbish of the modern American church.
  • 25 May 2011: A Vietnam-era news article on war tax resisters uses a fishy lede.
  • 24 May 2011: A beginners’ guide to agorism, the I.R.S. guide to its collection process, and a 1952 story about the dismissal of war tax resisting Methodist minister Richard M. Fichter.
  • 23 May 2011: News from today’s war tax resistance action by a coalition of Spanish activist groups. Also: a young Karl Meyer goes to jail for handing out leaflets urging war tax resistance in 1960.
  • 22 May 2011: Notes from the Social Justice Networking panel at the NWTRCC conference earlier this month, resolving a tangle of taxpatriatism, and a look back at the conviction of war tax resister Ellis Rece in 1972.
  • 21 May 2011: A tax boycott was announced in Zimbabwe in 2000. Also, a dispatch from the 1898 Maori dog tax insurection.
  • 20 May 2011: In 1786 David Cooper reported on controversy within his Quarterly Meeting about whether or not war tax resistance was an essential part of the peace testimony. Some New England Quakers had by this time also started boycotting slave-produced goods.
  • 19 May 2011: Palestinian Jews declare a tax strike in 1939 to protest the British “White Paper” that restricted Jewish immigration… that and the bobbies who swaggered around Tel Aviv wearing swastikas and shouting “Heil Hitler!”
  • 18 May 2011: I review A.C. Grayling’s “Among the Dead Cities: The History and Moral Legacy of the World War II Bombing of Civilians in Germany and Japan.”
  • 17 May 2011: 50 years ago today, the news got out that war tax resister Maurice McCrackin had been defrocked by the United Presbyterian Church because of his stand. It wasn’t until 1987 that the church admitted they’d been in the wrong and reinstated him to the ministry.”
  • 16 May 2011: In 1901, Lydia Price pointed out the lapses in the Quaker testimony against paying war taxes at the Philadelphia Yearly Meeting. Also: war tax resistance in Germany with Brigitte Janus of “Netzwerk Friedenssteuer.”
  • 15 May 2011: A review of J. Glenn Gray’s “The Warriors: Reflections on Men in Battle.” Also: The Virginia Yearly Meeting of Quakers met in 1779 to discuss “a religious scruple [that] hath appeared & increases among Friends, against the payment of taxes… for the purposes of carrying on the present war.”
  • 14 May 2011: A mob attacks a group of women’s suffrage activists protesting at an auction of a tax resister’s seized property in 1913.
  • 13 May 2011: Job Scott writes about his decision to eschew the Continental Currency and the taxes designed to keep it above water, while on the other side of the pond John Payne chides Quakers who preach against war but who buy government bonds that pay for it.
  • 11 May 2011: Another day, another letter from the I.R.S. A new design and nicer font, but not much else has changed since my last “Notice of intent to levy” letter.
  • 10 May 2011: Michael Sonnleitner on how war tax resistance helps him get a good night’s sleep. Also: Robert Wood on the history and current state of U.S. law regarding “taxpatriatism” — people who renounce their U.S. citizenship and move overseas to avoid paying U.S. taxes.
  • 9 May 2011: Last weekend was the Spring 2001 national gathering of the National War Tax Resistance Coordinating Committee. The I.R.S. celebrated the occasion by sending me a couple of letters.
  • 7 May 2011: An editorial calls for restraint on the part of the government in responding to the Maori tax rebellion of 1898.
  • 6 May 2011: Another rare example of tax resistance from the American right-wing: this time from church leaders protesting the government’s mandate that church employees pay into the social security system.
  • 5 May 2011: “Consent Withdrawn” shares the story of how he refined his tax resistance techniques as he learned more about how better to harmonize his tactics with his goals and ethical stance. It’s also an interesting look at the often odd and arbitrary actions of the I.R.S. when it encounters a tax resister.
  • 3 May 2011: How the people of China used tax resistance instead of the ballot box to exercise some democratic control over their rulers. Also: I’m starting to create Kindle editions of some tax-resistance-related texts.
  • 1 May 2011: Last month I kept track of every cent I spent. I’ve done this one-month-accounting for eight years now in order to keep my finger on the pulse of my budget and keep my spending within the limits of my below-the-tax-line income. This year the needle is in the red, but it might be a fluke.
  • 30 April 2011: Every tax day, Steve Magin visits the I.R.S. offering to pay his taxes in full if they’ll assure him that none of the money will go to pay for war and armaments. Also: a “suspicious powder” incident shuts down the IRS office in Ogden, Utah. And: tobacco smuggling is skyrocketing along with tax rates (who saw that coming?) Also: another dispatch from the liquor tax showdown in Cincinnati in 1884.
  • 27 April 2011: China’s famous “one child policy” is enforced by a stiff tax. Last year Yang Zhizhu and his wife Chen Hong refused to pay.
  • 26 April 2011: The Spring 2011 NWTRCC national gathering is coming up in Berkeley/Oakland. Here’s some of what you can expect if you are able to attend.
  • 25 April 2011: Concluding our year-long review of tax resistance articles from “The Vote” with tales of distraint on a duchess, the official robbery of married women, and an array of tax auctions and seizures — all accompanied, naturally, by lively protest rallies.
  • 22 April 2011: Reviewing John J. Ansbro’s book “Martin Luther King, Jr.: Nonviolent Strategies and Tactics for Social Change.” Also: War tax resister Don Timmerman explains himself, cashew traders in Guinea Bissau go on strike over a new export tax, and A.J. Muste misunderstood on this date in 1966.
  • 21 April 2011: Greg Reagle touts tax resistance on Adam Kokesh’s show, Wendy McElroy ponders tax resistance in light of the Planned Parenthood funding debate, the I.R.S. is noticing more tax evasion and fraud this year, “Bushel Bob” shuts down his produce market to avoid paying war taxes, more Tax Day action reports, 10 reasons not to pay U.S. taxes, and the curious case of the Oath Keepers. Also: A Quaker in 1900 takes pains to avoid revenue stamps. And: a dispatch from the Hut Tax War of 1898.
  • 20 April 2011: Tax Day actions across the country; a new tax resistance campaign for D.C. statehood; attempting to make the coercion of taxation more explicit; the government considers refusing to issue passports to people unless they’ve paid all their taxes; the I.R.S. doesn’t get that budget boost they’d been hoping for; war tax resister Don Schrader profiled; and eleven tax resistance tactics for the rich.
  • 19 April 2011: The Protestant Democratic Unionist Party in Northern Ireland threatened tax resistance against a plan for power sharing with Catholic Ireland in 1986. The U.S. government contemplates its response to public war tax resistance in 1966. And: looking back at the tax resistance of suffrage activist Flora Annie Steel.
  • 18 April 2011: Tax resistance was part of a winning democratization campaign in Nepal in 2006. Also: the Federated Council of Suffrage Societies unanimously and enthusiastically endorsed tax resistance in 1913.
  • 17 April 2011: Tax auction, protest rally, tax auction, protest rally. The women’s suffrage movement in Britain knew how to make the most of government retaliation. Also, Joan Baez speaks out: “This country has gone mad. But I will not go mad with it. I will not pay for organized murder. I will not pay for the war in Vietnam.”
  • 16 April 2011: The number and percentage of “lucky duckies” who file tax returns showing that they owed no federal income tax all year jumped to nearly 42% in 2009, according to statistics released recently by the I.R.S. Also: “tax day” newspaper articles from years past cover the war tax resistance of Ed Hedemann, Jack O’Malley, Ralph Dull, Rita Snyder, Kathy Levine, Donald Ealy, Bill Ramsey, Jenny Truax, Rebekah Hassler, Tom & Suzanne Makarewicz, and Mary Loehr.
  • 15 April 2011: NWTRCC announces this year’s crop of “tax day” war tax resistance actions. Also: “tax day” newspaper articles from years past cover the war tax resistance of Max Sandin, Joan Baez, Irwin Hogenauer, Raymond Hunthausen, Clare Hanrahan, Susan Quinlan, Larry Harper, Bill Ramsey, Ruth Benn, Mary Ann C. Holtz, and Karl Meyer.
  • 14 April 2011: Tax resistance also took off in the French women’s suffrage movement. Also: “tax day” newspaper articles from years past cover the war tax resistance of Maurice McCrackin, Bill Strong, and Irwin Hogenauer.
  • 13 April 2011: Andrea Ayvazian looks back at three decades of war tax resistance. Also: the P.R.I. in Oaxaca tries to ride a populist tax resistance campaign back into power.
  • 12 April 2011: A feature on the Vietnam War-era war tax resistance movement does a better than usual job of capturing the history and breadth of the movement.
  • 11 April 2011: “We are not so much concerned about the pecuniary loss or sufferings likely to be sustained by our Society from this law, as we are that all our members should stand firm, and be faithful in bearing their testimony against war and military operations; taxes and fines appertaining thereunto, either directly or indirectly,” wrote the North Carolina Yearly Meeting in 1831. Also: suffragettes successfully convince an auction crowd not to bid on a wagon seized from a resister. And: in 1982, Ralph Dull tries to pay his tax bill in corn.
  • 10 April 2011: A Vietnam War-era tax strike gets the notice of the nation’s press. Also: a 1980 mention of war tax resisters Paul Monsky and Bruce Chrisman.
  • 9 April 2011: A near-twin of mine appears in an article on tax resistance. A CPA takes on tax-optimizing his life as a hobby. And an influential Catalan editor calls for a tax strike against the Spanish government.
  • 8 April 2011: An editorial in the 8 April 1911 issue of The Vote, 100 years ago today, reflected on the census boycott that the Women’s Freedom League had conducted. Also: war tax resisters Susan Quinlan and Elizabeth Boardman speak on Raising Sand radio.
  • 7 April 2011: Conservatives love to complain about the federal government wasting taxpayer money on boondoggles, but it’s rare for one to do what Julius W. Butler did — refuse to pay. Also: the new, onerous 1099 requirements that were tacked on to the Obama medical industry bill look like they’re on the way out.
  • 6 April 2011: I got a letter from the I.R.S. yesterday… seems they noticed I forgot to enclose a check with my return. Also: An overview of some of the late-Vietnam-era war tax resisters in the United States.
  • 5 April 2011: The U.S. anti-war movement is highlighting the connection between taxes and war (hopefully the connection between taxes and activism will follow soon after). Also: Bill Ramsey goes on the radio to talk war tax resistance. And: a newspaper story from this date in 1973 about Joan Baez’s tax resistance.
  • 4 April 2011: Suffragist tax resisters look back at the tax resistance of the Political Unions during the Reform Act struggle, and look forward to holding a rally at an auction of the distrained goods of a duchess.
  • 3 April 2011: War tax resister Francis Costello: “If I have any fear at all in my lifetime, it’s knowing exactly where my conscience is going to take me.” Also: the Women’s Freedom League expands their tax strike in 1914.
  • 2 April 2011: A new edition of NWTRCC’s newsletter is on-line. Also: bars in Lansing, Michigan fight back against a smoking ban with a tax resistance campaign; a profile of resister Martha Graber; and more “suspicious packages” force evacuations at I.R.S. processing centers.
  • 1 April 2011: The Peacemakers open their first annual conference on this date in 1949. Also: Josef Brinckmann and Ed Hedemann defend war tax resistance in the newspapers.
  • 31 March 2011: I reprint a poem to commemorate the 21st anniversary of the beginning of the British poll tax rebellion. Also: war tax resisters are giving away the money they’ve been withholding from the tax collector.
  • 30 March 2011: Ethel Ayers Purdie was an invaluable tax law expert for the women’s suffrage movement in England. When she hung out a shingle reading “Women Tax-Payers’ Agency” her landlords and fellow-tenants ran her out of the building… so she relocated to the Hampden house, named after famous English tax resister John Hampden.
  • 27 March 2011: A profile of Nashua-area war tax resisters Francine Wall and Ruth McKay. Also: “An act to compel the Quakers to perform military service, or to pay money in lieu thereof, might properly be entitled, ‘An act for the extinction of the Religious Society of Friends,’” wrote the Friends’ Review in 1869.
  • 25 March 2011: In pre-suffrage Britain, husbands were legally 100% on the hook for taxes owed by both halves of a married couple. So married women started taking legal action to prevent the tax collectors from touching their property.
  • 24 March 2011: Some updated statistics on how many people aren’t paying their taxes and what the I.R.S. is (and often, isn’t) doing about it.
  • 23 March 2011: The international history of tax resistance, the price of resisting the communist rebel war tax in the Phillipines, constitutionalist tax protesters in England storm a courtroom and arrest a judge, war tax resister Lamar Williamson, and some truth in recruiting for a change. Also: a suffragist redirects her investment tax money directly to the Women’s Freedom League.
  • 22 March 2011: Did you get me anything for “Support the Pentagon Day”? Also: the Irish resistance refuses to pay the “police tax” in 1884. And: the I.R.S. cracks down on phone tax resisters in 1968.
  • 20 March 2011: It can be hard to find a hero these days, but Bradley Manning fits the bill… and he did it while being a U.S. soldier, which is an especially hard trick these days.
  • 19 March 2011: In my annual report I summarize my eighth year of tax resistance and forecast the year ahead. Also: a 1913 tax auction segues into a suffrage rally.
  • 18 March 2011: Ten “non-Communist demonstrators” protested war taxes on this date in 1952, according to the New York Times. Also: from Abadam to Zangwill, the women of Britain were refusing to pay taxes to a government in which they were not represented.
  • 17 March 2011: I review “Twelve by Twelve: A One-Room Cabin Off the Grid and Beyond the American Dream” by William Powers. Also: tax resistance by inveterate confederates in Tennessee in the wake of the American Civil War.
  • 16 March 2011: Another tax auction becomes a suffrage rally in England in 1912, and in 1917 Winifred Patch makes her third court appearance in the same suffrage tax resistance fight.
  • 15 March 2011: On this day in 1950, war tax resister Katsuki James Otsuka casually climbed aboard an employee shuttle bus which unsuspectingly drove him right into the Oak Ridge nuclear weapons lab, where he proceeded to pass out war tax resistance literature until he was arrested. And: in the 1950s there were also conservative tax resisters protesting against big government, like Vivian Kellems and Mary Cain.
  • 14 March 2011: The New York Times covers the Peacemakers’ war tax resistance campaign on this date in 1949. Also: if I’m not enough of a “person” to vote, I’m not enough of a person to pay taxes either, said Janie Allan. And: the Duchess of Bedford starts resisting taxes for women’s suffrage in 1913.
  • 12 March 2011: A list of Tax Day war tax resistance actions nationwide this year. Also: the new War Resisters League federal budget pie chart is out. And: it is becoming more popular for Americans to taxpatriate. Also: the government publishes a guide on how to evade the tobacco tax. And: A 1949 New York Times piece on the war tax resistance of Caroline Urie.
  • 11 March 2011: Thatcher’s poll tax was very unpopular in Scotland, where organizers of the resistance against the tax planned to disrupt the government’s collection efforts by refusing to register in a straightforward way but instead returning their registration forms with a legal request for additional information.
  • 9 March 2011: The antics of suffragette tax resisters in 1912 as reported in the pages of The Vote.
  • 8 March 2011: The Xornal de Galicia reports on the current state of the Spanish tax resistance movements. Also: when police kickbacks got out of control in New York City in 1902, the government encouraged businesses to organize to resist the extortion.
  • 7 March 2011: Sarah E. Wall was one of the under-sung tax resisting heroines of the American women’s suffrage movement. Also: in 1863 a new military conscription law in the United States threatened the death penalty for Quakers who could neither serve nor pay a commutation tax.
  • 6 March 2011: If we did not have war, said William James, we would have to invent it, or something like it, because of its beneficial effect on our characters and communities.
  • 5 March 2011: A dispatch from the I.R.S. siege of the Kehler/Corner house in 1992, which became a rallying point for the peace and war tax resistance movements.
  • 4 March 2011: Economy in the toilet? Running out of money for teachers, roads, and so forth? Maybe you should think of all the cash you’re blowing up every day in the Middle East. And: an interview with nonviolent resistance scholar Gene Sharp. Also: the drug warriors claim they’re going to seize 103% of the cocaine on earth this year. And: government shutdown? we should be so lucky.
  • 3 March 2011: Helena Normanton gives a history of tax resistance in England from the time of King Cnut. Also: tax resistance in Beit Sahour continued beyond the famous 1988–9 tax strike.
  • 2 March 2011: Dr. Winifred Patch keeps fighting the Crown’s attempts to tax her during World War One, and has a crowd of well-wishers behind her.
  • 28 February 2011: Two dispatches from India on this date in 1931 highlight the tension between the untrained violent Indian resistance, and its more deliberate Gandhian nonviolent counterpart.
  • 27 February 2011: A pub owner figured it was his and his customers’ right to decide whether they wanted to be in an establishment that allowed smoking, so he refused to comply with prohibition laws or to pay fines for allowing smoking — so he went to prison. Then thousands of people around the world who were sympathetic to his cause raised the funds to get him out.
  • 26 February 2011: Homegrown tobacco? In Brooklyn? Taxes will make you do strange things. Also: the I.R.S. announces that it plans to ease up liens against people behind on their taxes. And: an early mention of women’s suffrage tax resistance workshops from The Vote.
  • 25 February 2011: Cognitive and ethical illusions are as inevitable and predictible as optical illusions — but we’ve only begun to take baby steps in a long-overdue process of designing defenses against them, and against those who would manipulate them to confuse us into acting against our values and interests. Also: when women won the vote, some of them were unhappy to discover that it came with a tax bill attached.
  • 24 February 2011: Today’s fascinating tax resistance history treasure hunt began with a photo of a curious plaque on the side of the Cass County, Missouri courthouse that was placed there in 1897 to commemorate five local judges who went to jail rather than impose a tax on the people of the county to pay for fraudulent railroad bonds. Also: suffragette Janet Legate Bunten is sentenced to prison for her tax resistance in 1912.
  • 23 February 2011: Lynn Johnston started as a Vietnam War phone tax refuser, but ended up adopting a more radical libertarian critique of taxes in general. Also: In 1981, 3,500 General Motors employees caught the “show me the law” bug and stopped paying their federal income tax. And: in 1756, a correspondent for a London paper complains that the pacifist war tax resistance of Pennsylvania Quakers is leaving their people wide open to attack from their enemies.
  • 22 February 2011: In 1965, Johan W. Eliot decided to stop paying for the bombardment of Vietnam… so someone else volunteered to pay his share for him.
  • 21 February 2011: In 1963, the Presbytery of Cincinnati defrocked Maurice McCrackin for his war tax resistance, and then it took them several years to repent.
  • 20 February 2011: Suffragists in France organize a campaign of tax resistance in 1931. Also: Gandhian taxpatriate Jeff Knaebel died from deliberate self-immolation in India last month.
  • 18 February 2011: The “people power” movements in Egypt, Tunisia, and elsewhere have been informed by scholars of nonviolent resistance like Gene Sharp. Also: a new tax break for self-employed seniors. And: Obama’s awful new budget. Also: Margaret Kineton Parks on the women’s suffrage tax resistance movement 100 years ago today. And: Montreal merchants refuse to pay their taxes in 1893.
  • 17 February 2011: Nonconformist taxresister Charles F. Aked brings his message to the United States (and provides one possible link between the nonconformist passive resisters of England and the American peace movement).
  • 16 February 2011: I get another letter from the I.R.S. Also: the NWTRCC-produced war tax resistance documentary “Death & Taxes” is now viewable on-line.
  • 15 February 2011: War tax resister Eroseanna Robinson went to jail for contempt of court in 1960 when she refused to provide her financial records to the I.R.S., and then went on a hunger strike behind bars.
  • 14 February 2011: The “half-breeds” and “savages” of Dakota take up arms against the tax collector in 1889. Also: a unanimous resolution calls on women to resist taxation until they get the vote, in 1913.
  • 12 February 2011: The IRS started seizing the paychecks of war tax resister Carolyn Stevens, so she quit her job and started resisting as a frugal, low-income tax resister.
  • 10 February 2011: Inspector Hunt of the Natal Mounted Police went to investigate a group of tax-resisting Zulus, and shot one dead. “Then ensued a melee,” says the news report.
  • 9 February 2011: A “socialist agitator” goes to jail in 1914 rather than pay his poll tax. Also: Winifred Patch decides on complete noncooperation with the court ruling on her tax case. And: A star roster of suffragist tax resisters speaks out for Dr. Patch.
  • 8 February 2011: The Philadelphia Yearly Meeting sent this letter concerning militia exemption fines to the New Jersey legislature on this date in 1833.
  • 4 February 2011: Figuring out the excise tax system is hard, but a new booklet makes it easier. Also: the best article on left-wing libertarianism you’ll read in The American Conservative this week. And: Sylvia Boyes goes to jail for refusing to pay her fine for anti-militarist civil disobedience.
  • 3 February 2011: A new issue of More Than a Paycheck, with news and updates about war tax resistance, laws relating to war tax resisters, the war tax resistance movement, and so forth.
  • 2 February 2011: Claire Wolfe on the dangers of lifestyle purity perfectionism, a new tax resistance campaign in the Ivory Coast, a writing competition on the theme of financial integrity, Fred Reed on America sticking its paws in the monkey trap, and Kevin Zeese on the courageous stand of Bradley Manning. Also: paleocon tax resister Irene Whetstone goes to jail in 1952.
  • 1 February 2011: William Matthews criticized his fellow-Quakers in England for their intolerance toward Friends who were willing to pay tithes (artificial rents historically assigned to the establishment church). After all, he wrote, if you are so opposed to tithes that you refuse to pay them, why on earth are you still paying your war taxes?
  • 31 January 2011: “Opening Mexico” tells the story of Mexico’s transformation from an impregnable one-party totalitarian state that controlled nearly every aspect of public life into a thriving, multi-party republic — a near-miracle that inexplicably went mostly unnoticed north of the border.
  • 30 January 2011: How to volunteer for the VITA program in your area and help people scrape some money back from the government. Also: tax resistance in the campaign for women’s suffrage in Bermuda. And: a tax resistance campaign among dockworkers in the state of Georgia in 1867.
  • 29 January 2011: Sinn Fein plans a tax resistance campaign in Ulster in 1921. Also: David Cooper writes about Quaker conscientious objectors imprisoned for refusing to pay militia exemption taxes in 1778.
  • 28 January 2011: You know about John Woolman’s tax resistance, but what about his brother Abner? Also: British suffragists look back at the history of tax resistance in England. And: a British Quaker explains why they pay some war taxes. And: a man was arrested this month for not taking off his hat in court, a bit like George Fox was some 450 years ago… why do Americans tolerate such arrogant pretentiousness from judges today?
  • 27 January 2011: In 1982, the Roman Catholic archbishop of Seattle, Ramond Hunthausen, declared that he would be refusing to pay a percentage of his taxes in protest against the United States’ contribution to the nuclear arms race.
  • 26 January 2011: American Quaker war tax resistance was still limping along in 1901. Also: David Cooper on war tax resistance during the American Revolution. And: long-time war tax resister Anna Aschenbach honored and mourned. Also: Quakers join the volunteer fire department as a way of getting out of militia exemption taxes.
  • 25 January 2011: A graph vividly shows the increasing government reliance on the payroll tax. Also: the vast majority of self-employed people declare very little income (or even a loss) on their tax forms. And: a folksy article about Pierre Poujade.
  • 24 January 2011: Juanita Nelson’s life and work, how much of your salary the I.R.S. will let you keep when it starts levying, an update on Spanish war tax resisters Jorge Güemes and Hugo Alcalde, and Roy Prockter gets a visit from a rude tax collector. Also: Anthony Benezet thought the Quaker conflict over paying war taxes might lead to a healthier attitude toward money and riches in the Society as well.
  • 23 January 2011: The Women’s Tax Resistance League debates a new social security law and continues to resist it. Also: Vivien Kellems gets a sympathetic jury in her tax resistance case. And: Phœbe W. Couzins suggests a “tea party” of unenfranchised women, with Julia and Abby Smith at their head, in her testimony to a Congressional committee.
  • 22 January 2011: Charles Stewart Parnell explains the theory behind the Irish Land League and its rent strike tactic. Also: a brief note about dog tax resistance in the Chatham Islands in 1891.
  • 21 January 2011: It took some guts to be a Japanese-American conscientious objector and tax resister in the years around World War II. Also: how the organized war tax resistance movement morphed in the time between the Cold War-era Peacemakers and the founding of NWTRCC in 1982.
  • 20 January 2011: “When I grow up, I’m going to refuse to pay that portion of my income tax that goes to subsidize spinach farming!” Also: Turning the tax resistance tables on the French aristocracy.
  • 19 January 2011: In war time, tax resistance is tantamount to treason, or so said Treasury Secretary Morgenthau when Vivien Kellems encouraged businesses to stop paying income tax in 1944. Also: tax resistance in the Dutch West Indies in 1921.
  • 18 January 2011: The Eclectic Review for December 1843 carried a review of two books about Robert Peel that digressed into a defense of conscientious tax resistance.
  • 17 January 2011: Excerpts from some of the recently-WikiLeaked U.S. diplomatic corps cables that concern the “addio pizzo” tax resistance movement in Sicily. also: we’re overdue for some more Vivien Kellems, I think.
  • 16 January 2011: Government Methods Applied to Business: Lady Customer: “I wish to see some dress materials to choose from.” Shopkeeper: “Excuse me, madam. We do not permit our lady customers to ‘choose.’ You pay the bill — we supply the goods we think best for you.”
  • 15 January 2011: American conservatives are losing patience with the Afghanistan war. Also: Susan B. Anthony endorses tax resistance in 1874. And: an article on the Chicago property tax strikes of the early 1930s.
  • 14 January 2011: Two dispatches from the early days of tax resistance in the English women’s suffrage movement. Also: what have we learned about authoritarian sociopathy since the sobering days of the Milgram and Stanford prison experiments?
  • 13 January 2011: A Canadian judge relies on an obsolete U.S. court ruling and a truncated aphorism of Jesus to convict a war tax resister in 1987.
  • 12 January 2011: A song from a tax resistance campaign against the British occupation of Ghana in 1854.
  • 11 January 2011: Every once in a while, a moral revolution takes place: a practice like Slavery that was once considered ordinary and honorable comes to be seen as reprehensible. How does this happen? Author Kwame Anthony Appiah thinks the key is “honor.”
  • 10 January 2011: Nicholas Waln carefully parses the law of Pennsylvania to distinguish war tax resistance from tax evasion, hoping to spare Quaker resisters from a four-fold penalty, on this date in 1780.
  • 9 January 2011: The National Taxpayer Advocate again chides the I.R.S. for abusing its power to file liens. Also: witches in Romania resist their taxes as only they know how. And: I try to volunteer to be a neighborhood disaster responder, but am told I have to sign a loyalty oath and pledge not to join subversive organizations first.
  • 8 January 2011: After Quaker war tax resistance had gone extinct in the United States, it survived in new Zealand. Also: Foes of Hugo Chavez tear up their tax forms and go on strike in Venezuela in 2003. And: The government goes after Women’s Freedom League secretary Florence Underwood for tax resistance in 1915. And: federal workers in Manitoba in 1934 refuse to pay a state wage tax.
  • 7 January 2011: Topianism is an anarchist philosophy, but not because it preaches that The State should be abolished, but because it asserts that The State, as an independent moral agent capable of making decisions and shouldering responsibility, does not exist. The attitude of a topian to The State is not like the attitude of an assassin to the Emperor but like the attitude of an athiest to God. Also: Lech Walesa calls for Poles to resist their taxes… in 1995.
  • 6 January 2011: Anarchism, properly understood, is not aiming at a social utopia but at an individual transformation of understanding and ethics; and, says Tolstoy, the same can be said for Christian Anarchism. Also: Jonathan Harris on the Quaker conscientious objectors taxed by the Confederacy.
  • 5 January 2011: How tax resistance helped the terrorists win… in 1877 in South Carolina.
  • 4 January 2011: NYC anarchists writing letters of support for Carlos Steward. And: Has filing for fraudulent U.S. tax refunds become an overseas growth industry? Also: war tax resisters Michael & Kristine Sonnleitner look at the new year. And: Ecologists in Action promotes war tax resistance in Spain. Also: Isaac Sharpless on Quaker war tax resistance during the American Revolution.
  • 3 January 2011: A list of some of the ways Quakers got in trouble with their Meetings around the time of the American Revolution for supporting or acquiescing in the support of one side or the other. Also: a good review of the Chicago property tax strike of the 1930s.
  • 2 January 2011: Suffragist tax resister Captain Gonne gets no respect from his government in 1914 and the Women’s Freedom League looks to sharpen its tax resistance militancy. Also: In 1718 Thomas Story reassures critics of Quakerism that although the Quakers themselves won’t fight, the government can always buy soldiers with the taxes from reliable Quaker taxpayers.
  • 1 January 2011: How can volunteering in an IRS-sponsored program and helping people file their tax returns be a useful thing for war tax resisters to consider? When those tax returns overwhelmingly result in refunds that take money back from the government and give it to lower-income people. Also: Kathy Kelly on tax resistance, activism, and courage.

2010

  • 31 December 2010: Would you believe there’s even a special federal excise tax on vaccines? Also: British nonconformists in the American colonies fight for the right not to be taxed to support an orthodox clergy.
  • 30 December 2010: The first mention of tax resistance in The Vote comes from this day in 1909. Meanwhile, on the other side of the pond, Anna Howard Shaw promotes tax resistance to American suffragists.
  • 29 December 2010: On this day in 1958, picketers protest the imprisonment of war tax resister Maurice McCrackin; and on this day in 1949, picketers welcome war tax resister Katsuki James Otsuka back from prison.
  • 28 December 2010: A whimsical story of suffragist tax resistance from the pen of Margaret Wynne Nevinson. “Nothing will induce me to pay a fresh tax levied on women without their consent. I will not lick stamps at the bidding of Mr. Lloyd George; I will go to gaol as a protest against such an unconstitutional Government.”
  • 27 December 2010: The federal excise tax on telephone service has been a frequent target of war tax resisters. Here is an overview of the tax and the resistance strategy. Also: on this date in 1958, war tax resister Maurice McCrackin told the press that his lawyers were defending him against his wishes: “I do not recognize any appeal on my behalf… This is a moral, not a legal, struggle.”
  • 26 December 2010: The government takes more money from people’s paychecks in withholding than they owe, then pays them back refunds in April. Seems like a wash? Not really; if the government had to borrow all that extra money it would cost them billions in interest. Also: when the tax collector seized goods from the store of Levi Oppenheimer in 1906, hundreds of Kentucky residents gathered to seize the goods back and return them to Oppenheimer.
  • 25 December 2010: How the U.S. Treasury is the biggest winner every time there is a state lottery. Also: some 18th century Quakers come to realize that because coercive government is necessarily violent, all taxes are war taxes and so should not be paid voluntarily.
  • 24 December 2010: What of the federal excise tax(es) on air travel? Especially in this travel-heavy holiday season, is there anything we can do to resist them? Also: a vintage war tax resistance poster, and a way the public can rate and view the ratings of I.R.S. personnel.
  • 23 December 2010: War tax resistance is usually a passive refusal to give in to government demands for support, but here are examples of ways some resisters at some times have chosen to actively deplete government resources that might otherwise be spent on war.
  • 22 December 2010: Maurice McCracken goes to prison for refusing to respond to an IRS summons on this day in 1958. Also, in 1905 the Dominican Republic tries to tax its sugar industry, but the industry’s mostly-foreign owners say “no way, José.”
  • 21 December 2010: How much do the feds get from the excise tax on alcoholic beverages, and what can you do about it? Also, in 1936 the merchants of Gadsden, Alabama unanimously decided to refuse to collect or remit the state sales or gross receipts tax.
  • 20 December 2010: Other than the federal income tax, where does the government get the money it uses to pay for its wars and what can war tax resisters do about it? Take the excise tax on tobacco, for instance.
  • 19 December 2010: 1913: Suffragists interrupt an unfriendly auctioneer at a tax sale, suffrage-sympathetic male tax striker Captain Gonne is arrested, Agnes Edith Metcalf refuses to pay her dog license, and Margaret Kineton Parkes gets a hearing for women’s tax resistance in Ireland.
  • 18 December 2010: You may have heard that big federal tax legislation just passed. Here are some details. Also: the story of the founding of Peacemakers, and with it the modern American war tax resistance movement, is told in Robert Cooney’s & Helen Michalowski’s “The Power of the People: Active Nonviolence in the United States.”
  • 17 December 2010: 220 years ago today, representatives of a Quaker Yearly Meeting addressed the U.S. House of Representatives to explain why they could neither serve in the military nor pay a tax or fine in lieu of service. Also: “Moorish Science” has yet to discover the universal solvent for taxation. And: American suffragists hold a tax resistance meeting in 1873 to commemorate the centennial of the Boston Tea Party.
  • 16 December 2010: The I.R.S. releases its new levies, liens, and seizures numbers; here’s how they compare to years past. Also: can you eliminate your tax debt by declaring bankruptcy? And: war tax resister Clare Hanrahan profiled. Also: a dispatch from the Tithe War. And: a 1969 tax strike in Papua New Guinea.
  • 15 December 2010: Civil War-era conscientious objector, Garrisonian pacifist, and (apparently) tax resister John Wesley Pratt: what’s his story?
  • 14 December 2010: Tax resisters Kathy Kelly and Karl Meyer as they were profiled fifteen years ago today. Also: Lively protests accompanied the government’s actions against suffragist tax resister Kate Harvey in 1912.
  • 13 December 2010: Prison slave laborers are now on strike in Georgia; seigniorage doesn’t work as well as it used to; did you help the government profit off of its investment in General Motors?; the cyberwar against the enemies of Wikileaks; and defending against “a surge of hostility towards the federal government” from irate taxpayers becomes the I.R.S.’s new top priority. Also: Maurice McCracken goes face-to-face with a cranky judge who called him a “pacifist agitator” and a “pious traitor” in his 1958 war tax resistance case.
  • 12 December 2010: More fallout from the imprisonment and attempted sale of the seized goods of suffragist Kate Harvey in 1913.
  • 11 December 2010: Tax resistance by the Mau movement in Samoa in 1928. Also: more on Maurice McCrackin’s war tax resistance and the government’s response to it.
  • 10 December 2010: Maurice McCrackin fasts while in jail for war tax resistance in 1958. Also: some notes on phone tax resistance from this date in 2005 and 1998.
  • 9 December 2010: In which I save John Brown Smith, “a harmless fanatic on the subject of self-sovereignty” and an eccentric, utopianist, voluntaryist tax resister from the 19th century, from being completely buried by the sands of time.
  • 8 December 2010: How to use the Freedom of Information Act to see what the I.R.S. has on you, the experience of war tax resisters in federal prison camps, more on Evan Reeves’s protest, NWTRCC business here and there, war tax resister Patricia Tompkins, an update on Jorge Güemes, the government seems unable to stop rampant tax fraud conducted by people already behind bars, and more on the work of WikiLeaks and its allies.
  • 7 December 2010: Auctions of distrained goods, public meetings, marches and processions, court hearings… all opportunities for suffragist tax resisters to get their rally on.
  • 6 December 2010: After the defeat of the Nazi Reich, Hans Joachim Rehse, who had signed 231 death sentences for Hitler’s regime, was acquitted of any wrongdoing. Jonas Rosenzweig, who suffered whipping, starvation down to a weight of 70 pounds, his jaw smashed in by an SS (elite guard) sentry wielding a pick-axe, and the loss of 52 of his closest relatives in concentration camps, got $2,250 in compensation from the government — equivalent to $1.25 for each day of his torture and slavery. Screw that, he said, and stopped paying his taxes to the Nazi-coddling new regime.
  • 5 December 2010: Several years before Beit Sahour there was another Palestianian tax strike, this one involving the doctors of Gaza City. Also: the tax authorities used a battering ram to break Kate Harvey’s barricade and seize her goods for taxes. A hell of a lot of good that did them when the suffragists turned the auction into a mass rally.
  • 4 December 2010: WikiLeaks is the real thing, folks. It is taking bold, dangerous, big, deliberate steps to strike at the root of the warfare state. And it needs your help. Finally citizens and refuseniks have struck a major blow against the empire. You’re going to want to look back at this moment and remember being on the right side.
  • 3 December 2010: A brief note from John Clifford’s tax resistance plans a hundred and some years ago.
  • 2 December 2010: Jorge Güemes petitions the Superior Court in Valencia to acknowledge his right to conscientious objection to military taxation.
  • 1 December 2010: Enjoying the sight of Hillary Clinton whining and the various Shiekhs and diplomats of the world cringing in the face of the ongoing Wikileaks disclosures? Now it’s time to do your part. Also: a report on Vyborg Manifesto-era tax resistance in Russia.
  • 30 November 2010: 76,000 poll tax resisters in Lothian, Scotland, threw the system into chaos in 1989. Also: the conclusion to Ethel Ayres Purdie’s “Red Tape Comedy.”
  • 29 November 2010: More tales of tax resistance in (then) German Samoa in 1887.
  • 28 November 2010: It took a battering ram to break the blockade of Kate Harvey’s Brakenhill home at Bromley when the tax collectors came to seize her goods. Also: speakers promote tax resistance among the English suffragists in 1913.
  • 27 November 2010: An Argentinian legislator proposes a broad guarantee of the right of conscientious objection… except, of course, any objection to paying your taxes. Also: Alasdair MacIntyre gives a virtue ethics perspective on money, economy, and business.
  • 25 November 2010: At the end of the 19th Century, Tolstoy gave a heartbreakingly accurate prophecy about the 20th: “Suppose a problem in psychology was set: What can be done to persuade the men of our time — Christians, humanitarians or, simply, kindhearted people — into committing the most abominable crimes with no feeling of guilt?”
  • 24 November 2010: Maurice McCrackin, one of the movers-and-shakers of the early days of the modern American war tax resistance movement.
  • 23 November 2010: Part two of Ethel Ayers Purdie’s “Red Tape Comedy” about her victory against Inland Revenue in 1912.
  • 22 November 2010: Tolstoy gives a shout-out to Thoreau, mid-way into his novel “Resurrection.”
  • 20 November 2010: Read the minutes of the Boston NWTRCC national gathering. Also: war tax resistance leading up to the collapse of the Zelaya regime in Nicaragua in 1909.
  • 19 November 2010: Ten years ago today, the New York Times looked at some of the more prominent “show me the law” Constitutionalist tax protesters, and complained that they seemed to be getting away with it. Where are they now? Also: Marie Lawson on tax resistance for women’s suffrage during World War I.
  • 18 November 2010: Evan Reeves paid his federal income tax by writing 5,574 different checks, each one inscribed with the name of a different U.S. soldier killed in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.
  • 17 November 2010: A Daily Kos blogger meets Robin Harper, who has been a war tax resister for more than 50 years, and shares his impressions. Also: the government cuts off water to 120 municipal tax strikers in Ondarroa, Spain.
  • 16 November 2010: “If anyone fears that he has not courage to go to prison he will soon find, when he is inside, that one of its peculiar characteristics is to produce a determination and courage undreamed of to resist, not its discipline, which is a farce, but its tyranny, which oppresses the weak, and vanishes like the mist before the strong.” — women’s suffrage tax resister Mark Wilks
  • 15 November 2010: Some highlights from the coverage of the “grey martyrs” — pensioners who resisted the British council tax, some all the way to jail, in 2003–7.
  • 14 November 2010: The Samoans also organized tax resistance when they were occupied by the Germans (this example comes from 1887). Also: when Ulster Unionists threaten a tax resistance campaign in 1913, the Women’s Tax Resistance League wonders why they can’t get the same respect.
  • 13 November 2010: Eight Catalonian war tax resisters are acquitted of vandalism. Also: The myth and the reality of Gandhi’s satyagraha campaign. And: the lie that military spending is a boost to the economy.
  • 12 November 2010: So perhaps you’ve heard of Obama’s deficit/tax reform commission. Here’s the real story of what’s going on.
  • 11 November 2010: More meetings and auction protests by the Women’s Tax Resistance League in 1911.
  • 10 November 2010: More on Katherine Fisher’s tax resistance, an obit for War Tax Resisters Penalty Fund founder Ken Brown, and how you can use charitable giving to lower your income below the tax line… in Canada anyway.
  • 9 November 2010: A mention of Arthur Evans’s release from prison after refusing to disclose financial information to the I.R.S., in 1963. Also: the Women’s Tax Resistance League kicks into high gear in 1912.
  • 8 November 2010: Brief notes from the business meeting of the National War Tax Resistance Coordinating Committee. Also: another data point on the mystery of how American Quaker war tax resistance died out in the late 19th century.
  • 7 November 2010: Reporting from the first full (very full!) day of the joint National War Tax Resistance Coordinating Committee Fall gathering / 25th annual New England Gathering of War Tax Resisters and Supporters.
  • 6 November 2010: More than fifty war tax resisters from across the country (and a few WTR-curious from the Boston area and elsewhere) gathered at the Cambridge Friends Meeting house last night at the opening session of the joint National War Tax Resistance Coordinating Meeting Fall gathering / 25th annual New England Gathering of War Tax Resisters and Supporters.
  • 5 November 2010: On this date in 1773, the town of Boston voted to resist English tea taxes. And on this date in 2010, also in Boston, the national NWTRCC gathering and annual New England WTR Gathering starts. Also: Mary McLeod Cleeves’s dog cart is auctioned in 1910. And: the difficulties faced by Ulster unionists considering a tax strike in 1913.
  • 4 November 2010: Election didn’t work out they way you liked? Try some non-political strategies. Also: Bill McKibben on alternative currencies. And: suffragists use the scissors of two contradictory laws on married women’s property to slice the government’s tax enforcement mechanism to ribbons in 1911.
  • 3 November 2010: Is it really war tax resistance if you’re pretty sure the IRS is just going to lift the money (with penalties & interest) from your bank account anyway? Is the point of our resistance to register our disapproval strongly with the government, or to actually withhold funds from the war machine? Highlights from a recent mailing-list back-and-forth. Also: in 1978 the I.R.S. sent agents to tax protester seminars to jot down names and take notes. Suppose they still do?
  • 2 November 2010: Steve Ratzlaff on how some people suffer from irrationally exaggerated risk aversion that keeps them from aligning their lives with their values and adopting war tax resistance. Also: the press in New Zealand and England cover suffragette tax resistance in 1912.
  • 1 November 2010: A news dispatch from the end of the tax strike of Beit Sahour in 1989.
  • 31 October 2010: Some words of wisdom from Albert Camus. Also: I’ve long been neglecting to cover here one of the largest and most effective tax resistance campaigns of modern times: the poll tax rebellion in Thatcher’s Britain in the late 1980s and early 1990s. It’s about time I start correcting this.
  • 29 October 2010: They say Mussolini made the trains run on time, and the chairman of the League of Nations’ Permanent Mandates Commission thought he could also teach New Zealand a thing or two about forcing the Samoan natives to pay their taxes to their occupiers. Also: the Women’s Tax Resistance League gets up a head of steam in 1910.
  • 27 October 2010: News accounts of organized tax strikes in Austria in 1931 and in Ontario in 1981.
  • 26 October 2010: Mark Wilks and Elizabeth Knight go to the mat with their tax resistance for women’s suffrage in 1912.
  • 24 October 2010: So remember that Bezuidenhout character whose tax resistance started the First Boer War. Turns out that was no accident, but the culmination of a deliberate tax resistance campaign.
  • 23 October 2010: What’s with Wat Tyler? His name frequently comes up when mention is made of English tax resisters of yore, but his 1379 revolt seems to have been more complicated than simple tax resistance.
  • 22 October 2010: In 1910, the Women’s Freedom League reviewed the history of tax resistance in the British women’s suffrage movement up to that point, and started on a new, organized, and precise tax resistance campaign.
  • 21 October 2010: Excerpts from the appeal Charles Purvis filed to contest his war tax resistance conviction on Nuremberg Principles and international law grounds.
  • 20 October 2010: Thirty years ago today, the courts ruled on Charles Purvis’s war tax resistance challenge on Nuremberg Principles and international law grounds.
  • 19 October 2010: Joseph Maizlish of Southern California War Tax Resistance is interviewed on the Spirit In Action radio show. Also: more reports of tax resistance in the British women’s suffrage movement. And: Vivien Kellems strikes again, in 1971, at age 75.
  • 18 October 2010: The War Tax Resisters Penalty Fund takes the financial risk out of war tax resistance and helps people who are unable to resist themselves to participate in the resistance of others. Here’s how you can participate.
  • 17 October 2010: An existentialist look at “The Trolley Problem.” Also: American boat owners rebelled against a thinly-disguised tax in 1991.
  • 16 October 2010: Hazel Barnes’s “An Existentialist Ethics” defends an ethics derived from humanistic, atheistic existentialism against critics who claim existentialism must be ethically agnostic or nihilistic.
  • 15 October 2010: From the 15 October 1910 issue of “The Vote” come these reports of speeches given at a mass suffrage meeting in Trafalgar Square.
  • 14 October 2010: Ah… good ol’ J. Bracken Lee (with a cameo from Vivien Kellems). Also: Suffragists celebrate Clemence Housman’s release from gaol in 1911.
  • 12 October 2010: The government throws in the towel and without explanation releases Mark Wilks, who had been imprisoned for refusing to pay his wife’s taxes, in 1912. Also: Ethel Ayres Purdie on the plight of women whose incomes were legally the property of their husbands.
  • 10 October 2010: Kate Harvey’s treatment behind bars outraged her suffragist supporters, as reported on this date in 1913.
  • 9 October 2010: In 1978, American Quakers, Brethren, and Mennonites got together in a “New Call to Peacemaking” and vowed to support and encourage war tax resistance. Here’s a report on the results of that meeting.
  • 8 October 2010: How to resist the federal excise tax on your Verizon phone bill. Also: signs of moral engagement and disengagement, and how to encourage the former. And: Uri, Switzerland tried to tax “bobbed hair” in 1929, but women laughed it off.
  • 7 October 2010: Carrie Klauber invents a new method of tax resistance to get the attention of an unresponsive school board: keeping her kids home from school on the “Count Days” that determine how much funding the district will get from the state.
  • 6 October 2010: A new issue of “More Than a Paycheck,” NWTRCC’s newsletter, is on-line, including news about penny polls, “settle with the IRS for pennies on the dollar” companies, “frivolous filing” overreach from the IRS, Karl Meyer on what makes war tax resisters more vulnerable to criminal prosecution, Ed Hedemann on the history of the U.S. government’s use of property seizures and criminal cases as tools against war tax resisters in the post-World War II era, and more.
  • 5 October 2010: When Mark Wilks was imprisoned for not paying his wife’s taxes, George Bernard Shaw remarked: “If my wife did that to me, the very moment I came out of prison I would get another wife. It is indefensible.”
  • 3 October 2010: Kate Harvey’s treatment behind bars outraged her suffragist supporters, as reported on this date in 1913.
  • 2 October 2010: A group of Quakers from the Pacific Yearly Meeting is trying to reinvigorate the tradition of Quaker war tax resistance… pretty weak sauce, but maybe it’s a start. Also: a look at the underground tobacco industry in Canada.
  • 29 September 2010: I’m not the only one on a Tolstoy binge as we approach the centennial of his death: HistoryToday looks at the various “Tolstoyan” groups that tried to put his ideals into practice. Also: a brief mention of a successful “Axe the Tax” resistance campaign by businesses in Coventry, and a note on early constitutionalist tax protester A.J. Porth.
  • 28 September 2010: In 1912, suffragists backed the British government into a corner and put it in the weird position of imprisoning Mark Wilks because his wife refused to pay taxes on her income.
  • 27 September 2010: Yesterday, on “Freedom Sunday,” dozens of American preachers risked their churches’ tax exempt status by making explicit political endorsements from the pulpit.
  • 26 September 2010: Don’t look now, but Congress passed another bill. This one has some good news for this tax resister, and maybe for you too. Also: Kate Harvey’s imprisonment for tax resistance led to a flurry of protests in 1913.
  • 25 September 2010: Leo Tolstoy’s “War and Peace” is legendarily grand in scope, so it’s no big surprise to find hints of his emerging philosophies of Christian anarchism and pacifism on the occasional page. I’ve found some interesting examples.
  • 24 September 2010: Juliana Tutt summarizes her study on the use of the “No Taxation Without Representation” argument in the American women’s suffrage movement. Also: Some early mentions of tax resistance from “The Vote” include a call to resist the Land Tax from Teresa Billington-Greig and an early announcement of what would become Mark Wilks’ tax resistance.
  • 23 September 2010: In 1978, American Quakers, Bretheren, and Mennonites got together in a “New Call to Peacemaking” — a campaign that continues today under the banner of “Every Church a Peace Church.”
  • 21 September 2010: Kate Harvey gets some inspiring verse while under siege, Mark Wilks faces arrest for failing to pay his wife’s taxes, and Marie Lawson petitions His Majesty the King. Another week in the British women’s suffrage movement.
  • 20 September 2010: Ed Hedemann of the National War Tax Resistance Coordinating Committee has put together some interesting charts and tables showing all known prosecutions and property seizures against U.S. war tax resisters since the 1940s.
  • 19 September 2010: In September 1913, there was a large women’s suffrage protest rally held in Trafalgar Square. Tax resistance was on the agenda, especially with the recent imprisonment of resister Kate Harvey. And an editorial in the suffrage newspaper “The Vote” criticized government and taxation at a more radical level than the basic no-taxation-without-representation argument common to women’s suffrage tax resistance.
  • 15 September 2010: In 1970 Jerome Tuccille joined the libertarian exodus from Young Americans for Freedom and, along with other disaffected libertarians like Karl Hess and Murray Rothbard, tried for a time to find common ground with the radical left. He also tried to get libertarians to take up direct action civil disobedience such as tax resistance. Also: Long-time war tax resister Cynthia White Johnson dies at age 95.
  • 14 September 2010: A letter from the I.R.S. and another from imprisoned war tax resister Frank Donnelly. Also: Inland Revenue is threatening to seize assets from War Resisters International in response to that organization’s policy of tax resistance.
  • 13 September 2010: Gandhi said it overwhelmed him; Ammon Hennacy said it had the answer to all of his questions; now here’s your opportunity to read Tolstoy’s “The Kingdom of God Is Within You.”
  • 12 September 2010: A pistol and a hammer: two little articles you’ll find come in handy when the tax collector calls, according to a suffragette verse. Kate Harvey’s imprisonment further radicalizes the suffragists in 1913.
  • 11 September 2010: In 1948, Walter and Emily Longstreth pointed to the Nuremberg Principles to explain their war tax resistance. Also: the Doukhobors, in exile in Canada, refused to pay education taxes there. And: a letter to “The Vote” urges women to maintain their tax resistance during World War One.
  • 10 September 2010: A World War I U.S. war tax on soft drinks must have been pretty unpopular, as customers were risking the wrath of their soda jerks (and a $10,000 fine) by refusing to pay. Also Winifred Patch writes to “The Vote” for advice on how to force the government to imprison her rather than allowing them to seize taxes and penalties for refusal to pay.
  • 9 September 2010: When Kate Raleigh had her goods auctioned off for failure to pay taxes, a sympathetic auctioneer took on a dual role as the chairman of a suffragist rally.
  • 8 September 2010: When you’ve taken over a country and are imposing arbitrary taxes on its unfortunative native population, do you have the right to bombard them from airplanes if they refuse to pay? Another episode from the Difficult Questions in International Law series here at The Picket Line. Also: Lucy Stone addresses the Woman’s Rights Convention in Syracuse on this date in 1852.
  • 7 September 2010: The National War Tax Resistance Coordinating Committee have put together a new study kit, designed for educators, on Thoreau’s “Civil Disobedience” and those who have taken it to heart.
  • 6 September 2010: On this date in 1892, the people of Guerrero, having refused to pay oppressive state taxes, defeated federal troops sent down to stop the revolt — and took a General prisoner. On this date in 1852, Elizabeth Cady Stanton recommends tax resistance to the Woman’s Rights Convention in Syracuse.
  • 5 September 2010: “A good part of our constitutional history may be said to have been written in the terms of tax-resistance, and it is largely by such means that some of our greatest reforms have been won.” Kate Harvey goes to “gaol” for tax resistance in 1913.
  • 4 September 2010: The old pay-your-tax-bill-in-pennies trick strikes again. Freelancers in Budapest and public transit operators in Venezuela launch tax strikes. A look at Americans who are comfortable on lower incomes. And: in 1914 suffragette Matilda Cubley refused to pay her dog license tax.
  • 31 August 2010: In 2009, activists broke in to the offices of an arms manufacturer and destroyed equipment, they were arrested and charged with criminal conspiracy, but they raise a “necessity defense” that they were acting to prevent war crimes by the arms purchasers — this year a jury acquitted them, unanimously. Meet the “decommissioners.” Also: the Women’s Freedom League hijacks a tax auction and turns it into a suffrage rally.
  • 30 August 2010: Oh how far the Quakers have fallen since the days when they were notorious for their refusal to participate in war! Also: Three more Leo Tolstoy essays on the Christian duty of noncooperation with evil, of which he says tax resistance plays a vital role.
  • 29 August 2010: Two Leo Tolstoy essays on taxes, war & peace. Also: the British government hints at prosecuting the Women’s Freedom League itself for its non-participation in mandatory government employee contributions, to which the W.F.L. responds: oh, we double dog dare you to try!
  • 28 August 2010: My sweetie and I spent most of July in Mexico. Here are some of my impressions of the small-government, free-market paradise (sort-of maybe) south of the border. Oh yeah, and also a guide to their microbrews.
  • 27 August 2010: The Revolution Will Not Be a Complex Compound Sentence in the Passive Voice! Some remarks concerning the style and substance of Juan Carlos Rois’s “War Tax Resistance as a Human Right.”
  • 26 August 2010: “War Tax Resistance as a Human Right,” by Juan Carlos Rois, here ineptly translated into English for the first time.
  • 25 August 2010: In the course of the victory of the women’s suffrage movement in the United States, a new set of tax resisters emerged: women who hadn’t been required to pay taxes before but who were now considered to be enfranchised taxpayers and who were none too happy about it.
  • 24 August 2010: On 24 August 1849 a meeting of the Second General Peace Congress was held in Paris, presided over by Victor Hugo, at which a proposal concerning war taxes and loans was debated.
  • 23 August 2010: The fascistesque Blue Shirts of Ireland launched a tax strike to protest Irish trade policy in 1934. A riot broke out when the government tried to seize and auction property of the strikers, and one striker was shot to death by police.
  • 22 August 2010: The law treated ordinary (male) tax resisters much more leniently than (female) suffragists who withheld their taxes in protest against having no say in government. Here is one example.
  • 21 August 2010: In a 1988 paper, Juan Carlos Rois gave an in-depth critique of the struggle to enshrine conscientious objection to military taxation as an internationally-recognized human right. Here is my translation of the outline of that paper.
  • 20 August 2010: An article from Insumissia last April discussed the war tax resistance movement in Spain and the debate over the war tax resistance campaign there.
  • 19 August 2010: More details on the joint National War Tax Resistance Coordinating Committee National Gathering / 25th Annual New England Gathering of War Tax Resisters and Supporters coming up this November in Boston. Also: echoes of the great Chicago property tax strikes of the 1930s sounded in 1977.
  • 18 August 2010: A note on Howard Zinn’s tax resistance, from his recently-released F.B.I. files. Also: An account of the pacifist crisis of conscience of John Lowell Heywood over military commutation fines during the American Civil War, from the Autobiography of Adin Ballou. Ballou counseled Heywood to pay the fines under protest rather than submit to imprisonment, but he later had second thoughts about this.
  • 17 August 2010: On 17 August 1971, Nat Hentoff’s column in The Village Voice carried a story of a post office employee and union organizer who was interrogated at length by postal inspectors about, among other things, his war tax resistance.
  • 16 August 2010: Arnold Cuba, an undergrad at the University of Texas, started resisting the federal telephone service excise tax during the Vietnam War, and in 1972 had his VW seized by the I.R.S. to be auctioned off to cover $2.44 in resisted taxes. Also: the greatest value of Wikileaks may be measured not in any specific piece of leaked information, but in the disproportionate damage that leakage in general induces unjust, secretive conspiracies to inflict upon themselves.
  • 15 August 2010: An guest essay of mine on the topic of war tax resistance was featured on “Living Nonviolence” yesterday.
  • 14 August 2010: The Greek immigrant community of Lewiston, Maine, banded together and went on a tax strike in 1907.
  • 13 August 2010: Conscience Studio is a Quaker-oriented group that focuses on living life conscientiously. They have a service program centered on development and human rights issues in Indonesia, and a strong war tax resistance focus.
  • 12 August 2010: Tax resistance news from Germany, Venezuela, and Sicily. Also, a profile of J. Tony Serra, a free guide to nonviolent resistance, and an anarchist lemonade-in. And, 1911: a suffragist tax resister has her property taken by the government and auctioned off, and the auction turns into a suffrage rally.
  • 10 August 2010: Samuel Adams on tax resistance in the American Revolution, and his account of the Boston Tea Party.
  • 9 August 2010: Some meditations on obedience, consent, and support in the light of the Wikileaks / Bradley Manning saga, and how you can help support Bradley Manning, who took a hell of a risk in a good cause.
  • 8 August 2010: Addresses where you can send mail to war tax resisters Carlos Steward and Frank Donnelly, who are doing time in the federal prison system for their stands.
  • 7 August 2010: A new issue of NWTRCC’s newsletter is on-line. Also: Bomb-throwing anarchists, mutinies, and revolutionary agitators on the march, in the wake of the Viborg Manifesto, which called on Russians to refuse to pay taxes to the Czar.
  • 6 August 2010: Charlotte Despard and Laurence Housman speak out for tax resistance in the suffrage movement as Winifred Patch’s property is sold for back taxes in 1910.
  • 5 August 2010: Gertrude Eaton’s and Marion McKenzie’s property is auctioned off for back taxes, giving suffragists opportunities for two more rallies, in 1911.
  • 4 August 2010: Occasionally, tax resistance takes the form of opposition so widespread and mainstream that it wins at the ballot box. Such was the case in Castine, Maine, where residents voted to illegally refuse, as a town, to pay a state school tax, 35 years ago today.
  • 3 August 2010: Between 9/11 and the beginning of the Iraq War, the New York Times covered the American war tax resistance and peace tax fund movements.
  • 2 August 2010: Evan Reeves decides to become a war tax resister, and has an innovative protest idea. Also: A Quebec man tries to pay his taxes with 200,000 pennies. And: Americans renouncing their citizenship to avoid U.S. taxes. Also: Alcohol, tobacco, ammunition, and firearms federal excise tax receipts are way up. And: how the U.S. judiciary supplements the legislature’s revenue raising prerogatives in times of war.
  • 1 August 2010: War tax resisters George Monk and Molly Schaffnit went off-the-grid and back-to-the-land to stop funding the military. Also: Patrick O’Neill on the sentencing of war tax resister Frank Donnelly. And: Murry Rothbard on the 17th century French tax rebellion of the Croquants. Also: the latest news on I.R.S. enforcement efforts. And: The “contumacious” Kate Harvey refuses to pay her taxes or her fines, and other suffragists refuse to license their dogs, in 1913.
  • 31 July 2010: I got a letter from the I.R.S. while I was away. Also: John O’Hagan went to jail indefinitely rather than pay a $1 poll tax he felt was unconstitutional, in New Jersey in 1907.
  • 30 July 2010: We wrap up our Mexico vacation today, NWTRCC’s website gets a facelift, and Clare Hanrahan reminds us of our responsibilities in the face of the ongoing U.S. torture policy. Also: Winifred Patch has her silver seized and sold to pay her resisted taxes, and protesters outside the auction address the crowd on women’s suffrage.
  • 29 July 2010: Cloise W. Noggle stubbornly refused to pay taxes because he “did not like the way votes are counted or taxes administered” so, in 1949, he went to jail.
  • 27 July 2010: Suffragist Evelyn Sharp tries to get her day in court for her tax resistance, but the government seems happy to maintain a campaign of harassment instead.
  • 26 July 2010: In 2003 the I.R.S. sued the Philadelphia Yearly Meeting for refusing to garnish the wages of Priscilla Adams, one of its war tax resisting employees. (The Meeting is still holding out.)
  • 25 July 2010: Kate Harvey’s trial for tax resistance in 1913. “I am not resisting the Act as an Act. If it had come straight down from heaven I should resist it just the same. I am doing what every business man throughout the country does as a matter of course — I refuse to pay for goods which I cannot choose.”
  • 23 July 2010: Tax resistance in Shanghai in the wake of the massacre of 1927. Also: the government seizes all the sheep on the Crow reservation in Montana in 1899 for refused taxes.
  • 20 July 2010: Barricades, property seizures, and shady auctions: another week of action for the Women’s Tax Resistance League.
  • 19 July 2010: The Women’s Tax Resistance League announces that they’re closing up shop in 1918 in the wake of a partial victory for women’s suffrage.
  • 18 July 2010: In 1884, almost all of the saloon keepers in Cincinnati refused to pay the liquor tax on beer and saloons. What does this have to do with marijuana in California today?
  • 17 July 2010: The official Women’s Freedom League policy on tax resistance.
  • 16 July 2010: In 1983, the New York Times covered the war tax resistance of Carl Lundborg, and printed some statistics the I.R.S. had been collecting about war tax resisters.
  • 15 July 2010: New Zealanders send manure to cabinet ministers to protest against a “flatulence tax” on greenhouse-gas-emitting livestock. Also: auctions of property seized from tax resisters become opportunities for suffrage rallies and parades in 1911.
  • 14 July 2010: Anna Howard Shaw’s car is seized for back taxes in 1915, increasing its value as a symbol for the U.S. Women’s Suffrage Movement. Shaw’s tax resistance was inspired in part by the tradition of Quaker war tax resistance. Also: the tax resistance of early American suffragist Lucy Stone. Stone’s house, which was sold for back taxes in 1858, became a suffrage shrine (that Shaw visited in her newly-famous car).
  • 13 July 2010: Kate Harvey continues to barricade her house against the tax collector, and the Women’s Tax Resistance League makes every auction of seized goods an opportunity for a rally.
  • 12 July 2010: Syndicalists defy the income tax in France in 1922 and defend resisters against property seizures.
  • 11 July 2010: Mayor Hervé Ferland of Verdun, Montreal leads a tax resistance campaign in 1935.
  • 8 July 2010: Frank Sproson reflects on Emma Sproson’s tax resistance. Also: suffragists interrogate Winston Churchill about Emma Sproson’s imprisonment.
  • 6 July 2010: The Women’s Tax Resistance League produced a series of posters to propagandize their cause. They also came out in force at the unveiling of a new statue of John Hampden at Aylesbury.
  • 4 July 2010: Want to renounce your citizenship? The government taxes that too. And: the war tax resistance movement in the Canary Islands, Joan Baez sings of whiskey rebels and moonshiners, and announcing the November NWTRCC national in Boston in conjunction with the 25th Annual New England Gathering of War Tax Resisters and Supporters this November. Also: see you in August — we’re off to Mexico!
  • 3 July 2010: A rare example of conscientious war tax resistance from Australia in 1959: Ian Henry Leys. “The Commonwealth has no moral right to levy taxes for war purposes, and therefore no legal right,” Leys told the court.
  • 2 July 2010: So the I.R.S. got audited the other day… Also: Suffragists in Britain prepare to rally to support a tax resisting comrade whose goods are to be seized and sold at auction.
  • 1 July 2010: Workers in Florida refuse to pay a war tax to the government of Cuba in 1897. Also: merchants in Arkansas unite to defy a state sales tax in 1935.
  • 28 June 2010: Some news from the war tax resistance movement in Spain. Also, the former president of Catalonia says legal channels for improving the political status of Catalonia are a waste of time, so it’s time for a mass tax resistance campaign.
  • 27 June 2010: The announcement of the publication of “The Tax Resistance Movement in Great Britain” in 1919, and excerpts from Laurence Housman’s “The Duty of Tax Resistance.”
  • 25 June 2010: More information about how to renounce your citizenship and get out of Dodge. Also: Larry Dansinger on the Frank Donnelly case, Carl Kline on war tax resistance as an antidepressant for frustrated activists, and 1,295 prisoners got the first-time homebuyer tax credit during their stay in the big house. And: I get another letter from the I.R.S.
  • 24 June 2010: Why did American Quaker war tax resistance evaporate in the decades after the American Civil War? Here’s another clue to the mystery. Also: the government threatens to go after the husbands of suffragette tax resisters for “aiding and abetting.”
  • 23 June 2010: Julia Butterfly Hill addressed her war tax resistance to an audience in New York in April. A video of her presentation has turned up on YouTube. Here it is.
  • 22 June 2010: A practical guide to a very effective, if somewhat daunting, method of tax resistance: expatriate and renounce your citizenship.
  • 21 June 2010: How does a tax resistance campaign by Italy’s Northern League sound? Also: Joan Baez, the Peacemakers, Roy C. Kepler, and Edmund Wilson are profiled in a 1964 article on the war tax resistance movement. And: Evelyn Sharp ends her tax resistance when women win the vote.
  • 20 June 2010: The feds say they can seize Thrift Savings Plan money to settle tax debts, they plan to relax the new 1099 requirements a bit, and they are going to pressure recipients of government checks to switch to direct deposit. Also: arrests, trials, property seizures and auctions… just another week in the British women’s suffrage movement.
  • 19 June 2010: Elizabeth Knight is imprisoned for her tax resistance, as reported on this date in 1914.
  • 18 June 2010: The Raj goes on the offensive against Gandhi’s tax resisters, 80 years ago today. Also: George Bernard Shaw prepares to become an unwitting tax resistance martyr for women’s rights.
  • 17 June 2010: Kate Harvey writes of “a limit to a woman’s patience. The limit is reached when they talk of compelling us to contribute towards the salaries of the men who slam the door in our faces! Resistance is our most effective weapon.”
  • 16 June 2010: When the tax collectors came for LaSaunders Hudson, he ordered them at gunpoint to strip naked and turned them back out into the street, to the delight of his neighbors.
  • 15 June 2010: War tax resister Frank Donnelly was sentenced to a year in prison yesterday. Also: notes on Vivien Kellems’s tax resistance strategy. And: women’s suffragists rally around the new John Hampden statue at Aylesbury.
  • 12 June 2010: An Amish bishop explains his church’s position on refusing to buy war bonds. Also: Elizabeth Knight and Emma Sproson call the tax authorities’ bluff.
  • 9 June 2010: A new issue of NWTRCC’s newsletter is out, with an update from Julia Butterfly Hill on her resistance, and reports from the Arizona national gathering and from this year’s tax day actions, among other things. Also, a member of the Women’s Tax Resistance League wrote a history of that movement shortly after it succeeded in winning the vote for women. Unfortunately the only copy I’ve been able to locate is one continent and one ocean away.
  • 7 June 2010: I got an “Urgent!!,” certified letter from the I.R.S. today. If it’s anything like the first “Urgent!!” letter they sent me, I’ve got about 15 months to think about it before they make their next move.
  • 6 June 2010: The campaign of the Women’s Tax Resistance League kicks into high gear, as reported on this date in 1913.
  • 3 June 2010: Tax auctions, imprisonments, and releases from prison: all opportunities for the Women’s Tax Resistance League to rally supporters.
  • 2 June 2010: Randy Kehler and Juanita Nelson address the Conflict Transformation Across Cultures program in Brattelboro, Vermont tonight. Also: a showing of “Death and Taxes” coming up at the Ventura Film Festival.
  • 31 May 2010: Kathy Kelly on discerning ourselves from the drones. War Resisters International on war tax resistance in Spain, and an opportunity for resistance-through-overcompliance in the new health care law. Also: supporters of war tax resister Frank Donnelly plan to rally at his sentencing on June 14.
  • 30 May 2010: Some few data points about a tax rebellion in York County, Pennsylvania in 1786, around the same time as Shays’ Rebellion in Massachusetts.
  • 29 May 2010: On this date in 1959: Maurice McCrackin released from jail after his five-month term for tax resistance.
  • 28 May 2010: “All the world is queer save thee and me, and even thou art a little queer.” An episode from the life of “one man revolution” Ammon Hennacy.
  • 27 May 2010: British suffragettes are imprisoned and their goods are seized and auctioned off, but their tax resistance continues undaunted.
  • 26 May 2010: Organized resistance against the “Nanny Tax” in the United States in the 1950s.
  • 25 May 2010: Edward Koryto protested his increased property tax assessment by razing the home it took him seven years to build from scrap lumber. Also: more tales of suffragettes being harassed by the tax collector.
  • 24 May 2010: The latest Stanford Law Review includes an article about tax resistance and “No Taxation Without Representation” rhetoric in the U.S. women’s suffrage movement. Also: notes about the tax resistance of Lou J.C. Daniels and Ellen Clark Sargent, from “The History of Woman Suffrage.”
  • 23 May 2010: Kate Harvey and Mary Anderson barricade their homes against tax collectors, protesters at a tax auction face off with local hooligans, and a chapter from Flora Annie Steel’s new novel is auctioned off for her tax debts: just a typical week in the 1913-era British women’s suffrage movement.
  • 22 May 2010: In 1903, women in Wisconsin plotted a tax strike for suffrage. And: the war tax resistance of Aleck Dodd in 1949 put him at odds with the Toledo Council of Churches, of which he was the head.
  • 21 May 2010: Joan Baez founded the Institute for the Study of Nonviolence as an outgrowth of her war tax resistance in the Vietnam War period.
  • 20 May 2010: Derek Brett of Conscience and Peace Tax International explains how their campaign grew out of the international movement to recognize conscientious objection to military conscription, and how he sees the movement’s goals. And has the “starve the beast” hypothesis been refuted by experiment?
  • 18 May 2010: From the 18 May 1872 Nelson Evening Mail, a remarkable declaration of fed-up tax resistance that, with the updating of a few details, would look good in tomorrow’s daily.
  • 17 May 2010: War tax resister Martha Tranquilli, who spent seven and a half months in prison for her stand, was profiled in the Lakeland Ledger on this date in 1973.
  • 14 May 2010: 100 years ago today, United Press covered the tax resistance campaign of English nonconformists: Government of England is Alarmed — Many “Dissenters” Getting Into Jail for Refusing to Contribute to Support of Church of England — Boycott of Offensive Tax is Widespread.
  • 12 May 2010: Spanish antimilitarists give out “bad milk” to protest war taxes. Also: a provision snuck in to the new health care industry legislation requires businesses to file millions more 1099 forms to report their payments to people and businesses.
  • 11 May 2010: In the Spring of 1912, there were many auctions of goods seized from women’s suffrage activists by tax enforcers. The movement turned each auction into a rally for the cause.
  • 10 May 2010: A tax strike by the titans of industry — a la “Atlas Shrugged” — is mostly a thing of fiction, but there have been some exceptions. Here’s an example from 1924.
  • 9 May 2010: Reports and photos from the opening days of the Spring 2010 NWTRCC national gathering in Tucson, Arizona.
  • 8 May 2010: The government moves against suffragette tax resisters in 1914, and one puts her letter from Internal Revenue up for auction to raise money for the cause.
  • 7 May 2010: I’m in Tucson for the NWTRCC National Gathering which starts today. Some links: Medea Benjamin on a TEA Party split over militarism, war tax resister Dana Visalli on what he learned in Afghanistan about the United States, and a new “Death & Taxes” Poster. Also: I review Lee Harris’s new book: “The Next American Civil War: The Populist Revolt Against the Liberal Elite.”
  • 6 May 2010: More suffragette protesters argue with the authorities in the pages of The Vote.
  • 5 May 2010: During World War I in the U.S., an ostensibly voluntary war funding drive in which people were encouraged to buy “Liberty Bonds” was made effectively mandatory by a vigilante enforcement system that was even more ruthless than the government’s.
  • 4 May 2010: I got my first letter from the I.R.S. this year… and a second letter the same day. One was surprising. Also: Ralph Shinaberry said if the government thinks it can tell him what and how much to grow on his farm, they might as well be the owners, and they can pay their own damn taxes. So the government auctioned off 1/264th of it.
  • 3 May 2010: A 1964 article about the Amish resistance to the Social Security taxes in the United States, and a couple other data points about the campaign. They were eventually successful in gaining a partial exemption from those taxes for the Amish, but it took over a decade.
  • 2 May 2010: An analysis of the strategy of war tax resistance in Spain, ideas for making it more successful, and some answers to criticisms of the tactic.
  • 1 May 2010: Tax resisting suffragettes see their goods seized and auctioned off, and the movement turns the auctions into protest rallies..
  • 30 April 2010: El País covers the Spanish war tax resistance movement and the philosophy of tax resistance. Also: a tax strike among Puerto Rican merchants in 1932.
  • 27 April 2010: Kate Lelacheur’s tax resisting cow. Also: suffragists turn tax auctions of property seized from tax resisters and court cases against them into opportunities for organizing and protest.
  • 25 April 2010: A 1972 Catholic-led tax strike against government tax preferences for secular public education in Cleveland, Ohio. And: the war tax resistance of Vinton Deming and his employer, the Friends Journal, twenty years back or so.
  • 24 April 2010: John Hampden was adopted as a sort of patron saint of the Women’s Tax Resistance League and other suffragist groups who used or defended the tactic of tax resistance. Other tax resisters from Gandhi to Karl Marx to Benjamin Ricketson Tucker also looked to the example of Hampden. Here’s why.
  • 23 April 2010: Several examples of organized war tax resistance and redirection among Philadelphia Yearly Meeting Quakers in the early 1980s.
  • 22 April 2010: A wealth of information about tax resistance in the British women’s suffrage movement comes on-line. Also: it’s time for a new Boston Tea Party, says Huey Long, seventy-five years ago today.
  • 21 April 2010: A closer look at the next U.S. military budget. Also: a campaign to shine a brighter light on businesses that profit from contributing to war and violent conflict. And: Greek kiosk owners strike to protest a tax hike.
  • 20 April 2010: The documentary film “Path of Greatest Resistance” about war tax resisters in Western Massachusetts in the early 1990s, is now on-line. Also: war tax resisters Larry Dansinger and Bill Ramsey meet the press on Tax Day.
  • 18 April 2010: Decades of opinion polls about taxation collected in one place. Building liberty from the ground up. Libertarianism, thick & thin. A heartwarming cartoon. And a 1939 tax strike in Pennsylvania puts pressure on the local coal lords.
  • 17 April 2010: More “Tax Day” recaps. Also: war tax resister Allen Cooper gets fired by his jingoistic cocaine snorting boss. And: a flashback to Utah Governor J. Bracken Lee’s quixotic tax protest in 1956.
  • 16 April 2010: “Tax Day” has come and gone; here is some of the news from around the country.
  • 15 April 2010: It’s “tax day” in the U.S. and there’s plenty going on, including war tax resisters in my area redirecting $20,000 to charity. Also: The last tax resistance crusade of Vivien Kellems.
  • 14 April 2010: Announcing the publication of “Rebecca Riots!: True Stories of the Transvestite Terrorists who Vexed Victoria.” Also: TEA Partiers and war tax resisters make their plans for tax day.
  • 13 April 2010: On this date in 1968, Joan Baez explains why she prefers to have the tax collector seize her money to paying it voluntarily.
  • 12 April 2010: The “Cabbage Patch” tax resistance of Karl Meyer, and Meyer disciple P.A. Trisha.
  • 11 April 2010: War tax resisters Randy Kehler and Betsy Corner briefly lost their home to the I.R.S. in 1989, in what became a cause célèbre. Also: Philadelphia Quakers resisted tax withholding.
  • 10 April 2010: Frank Massey’s great-great-grandfather was a war tax resister too. Also: Canadian anti-abortion tax resister David Little is jailed this month for refusing to pay. And: tax resistance leads to a violent revolt in Malaga, Spain in 1911.
  • 9 April 2010: How I learned to stop worrying and love the national debt (it might be what finally reins in military spending). Also: a report of tax resistance in Germany between the wars.
  • 8 April 2010: Taxpatriatism on the rise, says the Wall Street Journal. Also: details on the upcoming NWTRCC National Gathering, libertarian war tax resister Jose Roldan explains himself, tax resistance for animal welfare in Spain, and Cindy Sheehan reminds anti-war taxpayers that you get what you pay for.
  • 7 April 2010: A profile of war tax resister Larry Bassett. Also: Leftist scholar Noam Chomsky and right-wing low-tax advocates came together as the National Taxpayers’ Union in 1971 to protest against the bloated military budget.
  • 3 April 2010: A new issue of “More Than a Paycheck” with news and updates, a preview of Tax Day actions this year, Chris Moore-Backman on his legal case, and a profile of Liz Scranton (which reminds me of a produce-addled wild-eyed hairy mountain man). Also: tax resistance against inadqueate police protection in London and for animal protection in Spain.
  • 2 April 2010: On this date: 1888, Thomas Condon, an Irish member of parliament, promotes tax resistance in a speech that would lead to his arrest and imprisonment. 1970, an ad in the Village Voice urges tax resistance against the Vietnam War. 1975: the papers report on the I.R.S. seizure of the home of war tax resisters Paul & Addie Snyder.
  • 1 April 2010: Raytheon retreats from Derry after anti-war saboteurs and a sympathetic jury yank away the welcome mat. Also: a new supplement updates the war tax resister’s bible. And: an interview with Spanish war tax resister Joan Surroca. Also: a news report of a war tax resistance press conference from 1971.
  • 31 March 2010: When Vivien Kellems resisted the federal income tax withholding system, she was subjected to an unusually intense smear campaign, which included the government intercepting her private mail and leaking it to the press.
  • 30 March 2010: Quaker war tax resister Chris Moore-Backman is trying to get the Ninth Circuit court of appeals to recognize a statutory right to conscientious objection to military taxation, and is also trying to reinvigorate the tradition of Quaker war tax resistance.
  • 29 March 2010: News from a war tax resistance and redirection campaign in Spain. Also: American progressives show that they can play the dissent=treason game too.
  • 28 March 2010: Captured by North Vietnam during the Tet Offensive in 1968 and held for over two months, Dr. Marjorie Nelson came home to be a war tax resister.
  • 27 March 2010: Graft, corruption, tax resistance, and peculiar parliamentary procedure in Arkansas in 1921.
  • 25 March 2010: The latest issue of New Escapologist carries an article I wrote to introduce the practical technique of tax resistance. Also: John K. Stoner tries to get American Mennonites excited about a new war tax resistance protest campaign. And: would you be surprised to learn the I.R.S. issues more press releases about tax-related prosecutions in the weeks leading up to April 15?
  • 23 March 2010: The new health-care industry law includes concessions to the conscientious objection of the Amish and of people who oppose abortion. Meanwhile conscientious objectors to military taxation still don’t get no respect.
  • 22 March 2010: The new health-care industry legislation has a number of provisions that may be of interest to tax resisters.
  • 20 March 2010: My turn to play “list the ten books that have most influenced you.” Also: Obama signs another bill into law — any implications for tax resisters?
  • 19 March 2010: In my annual report I summarize my seventh year of tax resistance and forecast the year ahead.
  • 18 March 2010: Tax Day actions around the country this year, Clare Hanrahan addresses the crowd in a video from the C-SPAN archives, and another look at the “Render Unto Caesar” koan.
  • 17 March 2010: Kat Kanning discusses her arrest and jail time after her I.R.S. office civil disobedience action, Conscience Canada issues its 2009 tax year “Peace Tax Return,” and Noam Chomsky discusses his war tax resistance during the Vietnam War. Also: tax resistance was one of the tactics used by groups agitating for the Reform Act of 1832.
  • 16 March 2010: Two hunks of The Picket Line have been published in hardcopy form by an independent market-anarchist press. Also: the tax resistance of Barbara and Saunders Dixon.
  • 15 March 2010: Caroline Urie, one of the founders of the modern American war tax resistance movement.
  • 14 March 2010: If your progressive friends aren’t war tax resisters yet, this Daily Kos post and Chris Hedges column might push them over the edge. Also: the Mennonite Central Committee sets up a fund for people who want to redirect their tax dollars toward undoing some of the harm in Afghanistan. And: another flashback to the beginnings of the modern American war tax resistance movement.
  • 13 March 2010: Tax resistance on-this-day flashbacks: The Peace Investors of Eugene in 1972, “attractive woman newspaper editor” Mary Cain in 1952, and the Peacemakers A.J. Muste and Caroline Urie in 1949.
  • 12 March 2010: Maybe it was the British cops painting swastikas on their helmets and marching through Tel Aviv shouting “Heil Hitler,” but many Jews decided they would rather not pay taxes to the British administration of Palestine. Decades later, the Palestinians feel much the same about the new boss.
  • 11 March 2010: Some updated statistics on how many people aren’t paying their taxes and what the I.R.S. is doing about it.
  • 10 March 2010: Come Home, America: the new left/right/libertarian antimilitarist coalition has a homepage. Also: Vaclav Havel on coerced consent, the National Treasury Employees Union and the Internal Revenue Service quake in fear at the prospect of taxpayer retaliation, and more productive prisoner tax fraud: “I’m through with the street crime. I’m strictly white collar from now on. I love the I.R.S.”
  • 7 March 2010: I’ve got an article in this month’s Simple Living News on your favorite topic and mine. Also: two articles in the latest Rojo y Negro on war tax resistance in Spain.
  • 6 March 2010: David R. Henderson reports on the recent left/right/libertarian anti-war confab. Also: a huge spike in expatriates renouncing their U.S. citizenship (it’s because of taxes). And: about the Possibility Alliance community in Missouri.
  • 4 March 2010: Irwin Hogenauer was one of the pacifist conscientious objectors from World War II who turned his backs on the civilian labor camps and helped to found the modern American war tax resistance movement. Here are some pieces from the archvies about Hogenauer’s resistance.
  • 3 March 2010: A populist movement to get people to move their money out of banks and into credit unions has tax resistance implications. Also: I.R.S. workers discover they are very unpopular, cannot show their faces in polite society, and have to be paranoid of every envelope they open.
  • 2 March 2010: The numbers are out on Lucky Duckies in tax year 2008: more than a third of tax-filing households paid no federal income tax that year (and 2009 promises to be even better). Also: mothers resist a ridiculous baby carriage tax in Paris in 1913.
  • 1 March 2010: A flashback to the war tax resistance of Francis and Valerie Riggs, some sixty years ago. Valerie was, I believe, one of the founding members of Peacemakers, the group that launched the modern American war tax resistance movement.
  • 28 February 2010: War tax resisters Frank Donnelly, Larry Dansinger, and Dan Jenkins on the radio (here’s a podcast). Also: Villa Nueva, Argentina is blanketed with tax resistance pamphlets, and everyone is dodging blame. And: the I.R.S. begs Congress for more money so it can answer its tax assistance phone line 71% of the time after an average 698-second hold (seriously, those are the agency’s goals for this year if it gets more funding).
  • 26 February 2010: California, under a federal court order to bring prisoner healthcare up to the barest minimum of constitutional standards, cuts 40% from its prison health care budget. Meanwhile, state liquor license regulators raid San Francisco bars looking for bootleg herb-, fruit-, or pepper- infused vodka.
  • 25 February 2010: You’re invited to the May NWTRCC national gathering in Tucson. Also: Rebecca and Her Daughters reemerge in Arizona. And: a neighborhood in Argentina opts out of the municipal tax system. Also: inmates in Florida swipe $100,000 from the I.R.S. while still behind bars.
  • 24 February 2010: Anti-war conservatives shake things up at the Conservative Political Action Conference, and meet with their libertarian and progressive counterparts to plan an antimilitarist alliance. Also: in 1922, the residents of Guntur jumped the gun, and, disregarding Gandhi’s pleas to wait, launched a tax resistance campaign on their own.
  • 23 February 2010: Some dispatches from a mass tax-strike and municipal government shutdown in the south of France in 1907.
  • 22 February 2010: So, don’t you want to know what I think of that guy who flew a plane into the I.R.S. building?
  • 21 February 2010: How to brew your own hard cider: a photographic walk-through from my kitchen.
  • 20 February 2010: Here’s a hand-crafted, semantic XHTML version of Henry Tobit Evans’s 1910 book “Rebecca and Her Daughters: Being a History of the Agrarian Disturbances in Wales Known as ‘The Rebecca Riots’.”
  • 19 February 2010: Two reports of the tollbooth-destroying Jack-a-Lents from 1735, who, like the Rebeccaites a century later, donned women’s clothing and blackface. Also: a political cartoon compares the Rebeccaites with Irish independence advocates.
  • 18 February 2010: Some additional data points concerning the Rebecca Riots of the 1840s.
  • 17 February 2010: Today, a look at the wacky, cross-dressing, Welsh tax resisters of the 1840s who called themselves “Rebecca and her daughters.”
  • 16 February 2010: A review of William Wollaston’s “The Religion of Nature Delineated” (1722).
  • 13 February 2010: A review of the new war tax resistance video, a look at how the war tax resistance testimony fares in modern Quaker Meetings, the Alliance of the Libertarian Left registers as a subversive organization and refuses to pay its filing fee, Steuern zu zahlen ist keine Bürgertugend, Wendy McElroy on the philosophy of William Wollaston, and American prison slave labor’s link to war materiel.
  • 12 February 2010: Thoreau challenged the pacifists of his time to make sure their non-resistance was not a disguised collaboration with violence, and also to make their action effective so that it would most quickly succeed to end injustice.
  • 10 February 2010: A new video about government spending priorities and war tax resistance, put out by the Mennonite Central Committee. Also: seven million American children went missing in 1986, thanks to a change in the tax laws. And: Nepalese doctors stage a tax strike.
  • 7 February 2010: A new issue of NWTRCC’s newsletter, “More Than a Paycheck” with news about last month’s Southeast War Tax Resistance gathering and the criminal case against war tax resister Frank Donnelly. Also: more tax resistance talk in Argentina, and Greek tax collectors go on strike.
  • 6 February 2010: Tax resistance in Palestine in 1988–9: an excerpt from Andrew Rigby’s 1991 book “Living the Intifada.”
  • 5 February 2010: The “Taxed Enough Already” crowd in 1950s France was a lot like their counterparts in today’s United States, except that they actually put their money where their mouths were.
  • 4 February 2010: How to brew your own beer: a photographic walk-through from my kitchen.
  • 3 February 2010: Billy Bragg goes to Hyde Park’s “Speaker’s Corner” to talk up his tax resistance campaign. Also: Vivien Kellems’s 1948 American payroll tax resistance is reenacted this year in Italy. And: a New York assemblyman asks his constituents to resist their taxes.
  • 2 February 2010: A call for more aggressive tax resistance in the women’s suffrage movement, 99 years ago today. Also: don’t forget to let NWTRCC know about your Tax Day plans this year.
  • 1 February 2010: A special Picket Line treat: the complete text of William Davis’s “The Fries Rebellion,” lovingly reformatted in semantic HTML.
  • 31 January 2010: Ghis (Ghislaine Lanctôt) writes of her time behind bars for tax resistance in Canada in her new book “Escape in Prison.”
  • 30 January 2010: Thomas Cogswell Upham, who was born 211 years ago today, wrote about the possibilities and promise of pacifism, and suggested that the reason why a Christian peace had not yet pervaded the globe was that Christians did not take their testimony seriously enough.
  • 25 January 2010: Taxpatriate satyagrahi Jeff Knaebel has a new quest and a new website. Also: Washington wants you to invest your 401(k)s and IRAs in government bonds and has begun floating ideas on how to force you to do so. And: An obituary for long-time war tax resister George Willoughby. Also: another tax resistance campaign in Argentina.
  • 24 January 2010: A 1712 debate between Samuel Bownas and William Ray about tithe and war tax resistance.
  • 22 January 2010: War tax resister Patrick Keaney takes his case to the top, Billy Bragg says he’ll refuse to pay taxes that pay for outrageous bonuses of executives of taxpayer-bailed-out banks, the U.S. changes policies on tax-delinquent federal contractors and charitable donations to Haiti relief, and one frustrated taxpayer starts a tax resistance campaign against the corrupt government of Luzerne County, Pennsylvania. Also: the trailer to the new war tax resistance promotional film “Death and Taxes.”
  • 21 January 2010: On this date in 1854, Thoreau wrote to a friend about the conflict between the superficial clothes of our roles and the sentences we pronounce from a more universal perspective.
  • 13 January 2010: A day in the life of David Gross, tax resister.
  • 8 January 2010: A review of Helen and Scott Nearing’s “Living the Good Life: How to Live Sanely and Simply in a Troubled World.”
  • 7 January 2010: We know what happened during the Whiskey Rebellion in Pennsylvania, but at least as interesting, though less bombastic, is what happened during the Whiskey Rebellion in Kentucky.
  • 6 January 2010: Notes from the National Taxpayer Advocate’s Annual Report about social security levies, haphazard collection processes, rampant taxpatriatism, the undermining of the offer-in-compromise program, and increasing taxpayer noncompliance.
  • 5 January 2010: 98 years ago today, the Toronto World covered the Women’s Tax Resistance League and compared it to other tax resistance campaigns.
  • 4 January 2010: There’s a federal excise tax on all air travel in the United States. Here are the details. Also: the monthly-spending accounting I did a couple of days back had some errors in it; here’s a correction. And: a profile of war tax resister Frances Crowe.
  • 3 January 2010: Here’s a classy, well-made video short promoting war tax resistance. Also: registration information and more details about The 13th International Conference on War Tax Resistance and Peace Tax Campaigns coming up in Norway this July. And: an update on duelling tax resistance campaigns in Chascomús (last time it was the secessionists from Lezama who were resisting; this time its the unionist Chascomunenses).
  • 2 January 2010: Last month I kept track of every cent I spent. I’ve done this one-month-accounting for seven years now in order to keep my finger on the pulse of my budget and keep my spending within the limits of my below-the-tax-line income.
  • 1 January 2010: Some excerpts from a new year’s day letter from Thoreau in which he dishes on politics and liberal reformers.

2009

  • 30 December 2009: A look at Herman Melville’s “Billy Budd” and the dangers of putting institutional loyalty above personal morality.
  • 27 December 2009: A few more data points from the house tax hartal in Benares in 1810–11.
  • 24 December 2009: A report of a mass tax-resistance strike, or hartal, that started 199 years ago this week in Benares.
  • 23 December 2009: I.R.S. enforcement numbers, updated for fiscal year 2009. Also: an woman in Britain tries, with some success, to convince her employer that it and its employees may be legally liable if it continues to pay taxes to a government that is engaged in illegal wars of aggression and other violations of international law.
  • 22 December 2009: Terry Gilliam tells how he renounced his American citizenship and became a taxpatriate because he “got tired of my taxes paying for exciting little wars around the world.” Also: is a tax resistance movement brewing among the American religious right? A look at the Manhattan Declaration leads me to conclude: who knows?
  • 19 December 2009: Thoreau marvels that we devote so much attention to foreign wars when the war within each of us rages. Also: war tax resistance in Canada, the I.R.S. plays the moustache-twiddling melodrama villain, remembering Marian Franz, an underground economy taxi service in Baltimore, the government returned half a billion dollars in incorrect education tax credits to 372,000 taxpayers, and a report on the Second Maine Militia. And: look for some changes in the comments system at The Picket Line in the coming weeks.
  • 14 December 2009: I ponder virtue ethics, and wonder whether it has really saved us from the incoherent morality of other philosophical systems or whether it is just another variety of arbitary and indefensible moral values.
  • 13 December 2009: What if all of our contemporary moral discourse were a kind of cargo cult of preposterous constructions using fragments from a long lost, once-coherent moral philosophy? In “After Virtue,” Alasdair MacIntyre says that we are living in the wake of just such a catastrophe, and it will take hard work to recover from it.
  • 12 December 2009: More reports from the Tithe War in 1830s Ireland show just how successful the tax resistance campaign was and just how frightened it made the government.
  • 11 December 2009: Under threat of home rule in 1892, Irish protestants showed that they too could organize tax resistance.
  • 10 December 2009: A successful, massive, country-wide, multi-year tax strike in Ireland in the 1830s led bishop James Warren Doyle to develop aspects of the theory of nonviolent resistance that would later be used by Gandhi and King.
  • 8 December 2009: I summarize the second of Aristotle’s two books on friendship, and conclude our examination of The Nicomachean Ethics.
  • 7 December 2009: If it seems like Aristotle has developed an ethics best suited for isolated individuals, that’s only because we haven’t looked at either of his two books on Friendship yet. Here’s the first.
  • 6 December 2009: A new edition of NWTRCC’s newsletter includes items on relationships where one person is a tax resister and the other one is not, news on a new war tax resistance film, upcoming and recent war tax resistance actions, and more. Also: Mexican vendors sell tax evasion paraphernalia, making the income tax there nearly a joke.
  • 5 December 2009: In the final section of the final book of The Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle says that if philosophy were sufficient, he would have found the key to happiness for all mankind. But philosophy is not sufficient. Aristotle says we also need a system of education and one of punishment, which means we need politics and good legislation, which means you need to read my sequel.
  • 4 December 2009: Aristotle begins to wrap up his argument about ethics, concluding that he has discovered what life is for (so now all we have to do is start arranging things so we can live that way). Also: notes on the upcoming South-East War Tax Resistance Gathering, some Thoreauvian observations on personal responsibility from Wendy McElroy, Fafblog digests our Peace Prize Laureate’s latest speech, some good news from a successful left-libertarian anti-war alliance in Monterey County, and some press on the expanding barter economy.
  • 3 December 2009: Aristotle says that the life of philosophical contemplation is the best possible life for people, which probably explains his career choice. Also: the imprisonment of Clemence Housman in 1911 for refusing to pay her taxes until women could win the right to vote.
  • 2 December 2009: Aristotle begins to sum up The Nichomachean Ethics by bringing us back to the question of the ultimate end of human activity. Also: a report of a tax resistance campaign in occupied Germany in 1920.
  • 1 December 2009: Aristotle concludes his examination of pleasure. is. Also: the victorious resistance campaign against mandatory tithing to the establishment church (or to whomever the church had sold the privilege to) by Irish Catholics in the 1830s.
  • 30 November 2009: Having criticized some ideas about pleasure, Aristotle settles in and tries to define what it is. Also: two brief news reports about tax resistance by a Catholic priest in Ireland in 1855.
  • 29 November 2009: A look at the Annuity Tax resistance movement in Edinburgh in 1833, including some interesting details about the use of boycotts, social boycotts, rallies, disruption of auctions, and other tactics by the resisters and their supporters. When the tax authorities go after a magazine editor, there’s bound to be a story in it.
  • 28 November 2009: Aristotle criticizes several arguments against the idea that pleasure is good, then puts forth a few of his own arguing that pleasure must not be the ultimate good.
  • 26 November 2009: Today I’m thankful for Fafblog, The Joy of Curmudgeonry, and A Tiny Revolution. (Includes observations from Thomas Carlyle and John Adams.)
  • 25 November 2009: After a long period of quiet, I get another letter from the I.R.S. Also: To what extent do we need to respect common sense popular views about things in order to conduct good philosophy? Are pleasure and pain like opposing vices, with a virtuous state somewhere between? Or are the hedonists right after all?
  • 24 November 2009: Aristotle takes a fresh look at pleasure, and explains why the study of pleasure and pain is important to the ethicist, as he opens book ten of The Nicomachean Ethics. Also, is it worthwhile to teach things you don’t actually believe are true in the hopes that this will influence your students to do the right thing?
  • 23 November 2009: Minutes from NWTRCC’s recent national gathering. Also: the feds hint that they may suspend the statute of limitations for tax crimes because the nation is at war. And: hundreds of thousands of Americans game the education tax credit system. Also: how to keep your inheritance free from the estate tax. And: how come people opposed to abortion can get Congress to keep their tax dollars untainted, but people opposed to war cannot? Also: the IRS may get overtasked becoming the nation’s health care administrator. And: another variety of tax protest for same-sex marriage rights.
  • 22 November 2009: In the conclusion to book seven of The Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle imagines the sort of single divine pleasure that might be pursued by God, and explains why such simple pleasures are not available to us.
  • 21 November 2009: Was Aristotle a hedonist? And would you plug into a machine that thoroughly simulates reality for you in such a convincing way that you cannot help but believe that it is reality, and that you can program ahead of time to maximize your pleasure beyond anything possible in real life?
  • 20 November 2009: Prominent Democratic lawmakers float the idea of an Afghanistan War surtax. Also: Aristotle begins to addresss the arguments against the idea that pleasure is a, or the, Good.
  • 19 November 2009: Aristotle presents three arguments “some people” make in opposition to the idea that pleasure is a, or the, Good.
  • 18 November 2009: Aristotle launches the first of two in-depth looks at pleasure and pain (but first let’s review what he’s said on the subject so far). Also: Norman Mailer on the “Writers and Editors War Tax Protest” of 1967.
  • 17 November 2009: I’m going to try to sum up what Aristotle had to say about self-control.
  • 16 November 2009: Aristotle wraps up his investigation of self-control and hearkens back to his earlier discussions of practical wisdom. Also: thanks to perverse combinations of taxes and phased-out benefits, a poor single parent can double her salary and still end up financially worse-off. And: the low-down on tax benefits for energy-efficient home improvements.
  • 15 November 2009: Self-control is a sort of sticktoitiveness, but then again, so is stubbornness. Aristotle says the difference is that the person with self-control makes a deliberate choice of behavior with a good aim in mind, and sticks to that good aim; the stubborn person just makes a decision and sticks to it, caring only for appearing decisive, not for having made a good choice.
  • 14 November 2009: Thoreau writes to Emerson about the peace movement of his day. Also: an envelope full of foot powder, sent to an I.R.S. processing facility from a prison zip code, evacuates the building for the afternoon. And: The Nicomachean Ethics shows the seams from where it has been stitched together from older sources.
  • 13 November 2009: The person who loves sex, and the sex-starved person: each is susceptible to losing self-control for the sake of lust, but one to gratify it and the other to quench the thirst that comes from it. These are subtly different. Aristotle continues to refine his model of continence and temperance.
  • 12 November 2009: Protesters against the impending health industry legislation demonstrate that a more sophisticated understanding of the history and practice of tax resistance is beginning to percolate through the American right wing. Also: Aristotle looks at the loss of self-control that is prompted by anger and finds it less-blameworthy than that prompted by the temptation of desire or by aversion to pain.
  • 11 November 2009: How do we bridge the generation gap among activists in general, and war tax resisters in particular? Here’s some advice from a couple of young activists. Also: Aristotle looks at lack of self-control among the crazy, diseased, or traumatized. How do psychopaths, people with uncontrollable phobias and obsessions, pedophiles, and the like fit into his ethical scheme?
  • 10 November 2009: The heartwarming glow from a good NWTRCC National Gathering follows me home to my email inbox. Also: Aristotle distinguishes general and specific lack of self-control, and compares it to intemperance, which has much the same subject matter.
  • 9 November 2009: Some notes from the last day of the NWTRCC National Gathering in Cleveland, Ohio. Also: Aristotle tries to figure out what happens when self-control fails. Do facts get lost when universal premises collide and the promise of sensual pleasure takes advantage of the confusion?
  • 8 November 2009: Some notes and photos from the first full day of the NWTRCC National Gathering in Cleveland, Ohio. Also: Aristotle continues to try to understand self-control and its absence, and contrasts his view with that of Socrates. Does this have anything to do with hypocrisy?
  • 7 November 2009: Some photos from the opening day of the NWTRCC National Gathering in Cleveland, Ohio. Also: how do people come to behave badly even when they know better? Aristotle addresses the problem of self-control.
  • 6 November 2009: We’ve reached the end of book six of The Nicomachean Ethics and its examination of the intellectual virtues. Today I’ll try to sum up what we learned in this book.
  • 5 November 2009: I’m off to the NWTRCC national gathering in Cleveland, Ohio. Also: Aristotle addresses some objections to his scheme of intellectual virtues: what good are philosophy and practical wisdom anyway?
  • 4 November 2009: There’s no good word in English for γνώμη, nor for νοῦς. So it’s going to take several, and a few words of advice from William S. Burroughs to boot.
  • 3 November 2009: Like good deliberation, Understanding is an important component of practical wisdom, and allows us to draw conclusions about matters in the domain of practical wisdom even if they do not concern us directly.
  • 2 November 2009: Good deliberation is the characteristic quality of the person with practical wisdom. Here are nine things good deliberation isn’t.
  • 1 November 2009: Taking a closer look at practical wisdom, or prudence, with Aristotle.
  • 31 October 2009: Karl Hess on libertarian tax resistance, Ed Hedemann on war tax resistance, and “Bob” on pro-life tax resistance. Also: Aristotle looks at the most noble (and yet least useful) of the capacities for discerning truth: Philosophy.
  • 30 October 2009: Science proceeds by applying logical rules to known facts in order to generate new conclusions. But where do the first facts come from that bootstrap this process? Aristotle says that’s where Intuition comes in.
  • 29 October 2009: Wisdom is the ability to deliberate well about what to do in order to live an excellent life, which ought to come in handy just about any time.
  • 28 October 2009: In a 1971 article for The Progressive, Milton Mayer asks anti-war liberals why they’re still buying My Lai. Also: Aristotle discusses Art as a method for discerning a variety of truth via creation.
  • 27 October 2009: There are five ways people can come upon the truth: art, science, wisdom, philosophy, and intuition. Or so says Aristotle. First, let’s take a look at science.
  • 26 October 2009: War tax resisters Pam Beziat, Kathy Kelly, Clare Hanrahan, and Judy Scheckel held a panel discussion about “The Power of the Purse: Women and War Tax Resistance” at the 2009 Gandhi-King Conference on Peacemaking last Saturday. Also: how do people make choices? Aristotle says these originate when desire and reason combine.
  • 25 October 2009: Today, it’s almost embarrassing how little attention the government pays to war tax resisters. Things were much different in 1971, when the government might send out a team of threatening agents to collect a $5.50 tax debt. Also: Aristotle begins to discuss the intellectual virtues, which might help him next time he goes out for breakfast.
  • 24 October 2009: Tricking the I.R.S. into issuing you a big refund by overpaying your taxes with a bad check — it happened 15,000 times last year, to the tune of $20 million. Also: if you’re a tax resister can you still sponsor someone for citizenship? And: what’s with these “Oath Keepers”? Also: is the I.R.S. about to crack down on sole proprietors? And: you can download improved P.D.F.s of Google Books scans of books about the Nicomachean Ethics.
  • 23 October 2009: Summing up Aristotle’s book on Justice, book five of The Nicomachean Ethics.
  • 22 October 2009: “What the law does not command, it forbids.” How’s that again, Aristotle? “If you kill yourself, you’re being unjust… to the state!” You don’t say. A close look at the weird concluding section of book five of the Nicomachean Ethics.
  • 21 October 2009: Aristotle kicks the wheels of his model of justice: Can you be unjust to yourself? Who is unjust: the person who does the dirty deed, or the one who profits from it? If you suffer unjustice, does that necessarily mean you have been treated unjustly? Can you willingly be treated unjustly?
  • 20 October 2009: Explicit codes of justice are all well and good, but what happens when their black-and-white certainty meets the gray muddle of real life? This is where “equity” comes in — a correction to justice (or its culminating excellence, depending on how you look at it). You know, like the rules of Wikipedia editing for instance.
  • 19 October 2009: Cindy Sheehan tells a San Francisco peace rally to get real. Also: Is something unjust or just? was it done justly or unjustly? was it done voluntarily or involuntarily? was it done knowingly, or from ignorance, or in ignorance? was it done deliberately or from sudden passionate impulse? There are a lot of things to consider before you know whether an act was an accident, a mistake, an injustice, or the result of someone acting unjustly, and whether or not it is forgivable.
  • 18 October 2009: Is justice invented, or discovered? Do we attempt to codify an approximation of a preexisting ideal justice, or are these codes all there is and justice is conventional only? Aristotle says there’s something to be said for both points of view.
  • 17 October 2009: Aristotle covers a lot of territory in a few dense paragraphs, in his discussion of political/legal justice in the sixth section of the fifth book of the Nicomachean Ethics. Let’s try to unravel the tangle.
  • 16 October 2009: Aristotle gives his theory of just exchange, introduces his understanding of the purpose of money, and (maybe) anticipates the classical economic theory of supply-and-demand.
  • 15 October 2009: Rectifactory justice tries to fix the balance when two people have some sort of transaction and one of them ends up with a suspiciously small slice of the pie. What would Aristotle say about free trade?
  • 14 October 2009: How do you divvy up goods that are the property of or the invention of the polis as a whole? This is the subject of “distributive justice” as Aristotle described it (and it’s also the specialty of this week’s Nobel Economics Prize recipient Elinor Ostrom).
  • 13 October 2009: Scott Frisby drops his subscription to crappy government services, the Indianapolis Baptist Temple loses a 16-year court battle defending religious tax resistance, War Resisters International releases a free handbook for nonviolent campaigns, automatic ticket-issuing red-light and speed cameras become targets for populist tax revolt, NTodd Pritsky shares some meditations on civil disobedience, and a government watchdog suspects that I.R.S. employees are issuing huge fraudulent refunds under the cover of bureaucratic confusion. Also: Aristotle looks at the “fairness” component of justice.
  • 12 October 2009: When people talk ethical philosophy today, they’re mostly talking about Justice in the abstract. To Aristotle, Justice was only one part of the subject of ethics, and it wasn’t a matter of abstract knowledge but of concrete action and character.
  • 11 October 2009: Aristotle discusses the “quasi-virtue” of shame. It’s a vice not to have any, or to have too much, but even having just the right amount of shame can’t really be a virtue since it signifies that you’ve done something wrong.
  • 10 October 2009: The virtuous person is “a law unto himself,” at least when there’s no other law around to rely on (says Aristotle, and the apostle Paul too). Which reminds me of several things Thoreau had to say about the tension between law and conscience, law and freedom, and even conscience and freedom.
  • 9 October 2009: Aristotle looks at the golden mean between being all hat and no cattle on the one hand and failing to toot your own horn on the other — the virtue of a straight shooter who knows his or her own worth.
  • 8 October 2009: A new issue of NWTRCC’s newsletter is out. Here’s the scoop on what you’ll find inside. Also: the virtue of amiability looks at first like a sort of kindergarten virtue, but finding the right balance is a hard skill for grown-ups too.
  • 7 October 2009: What happened when a left-right-libertarian Tea Party alliance was attempted in Monterey, California. Also: Aristotle on the virtue that governs our response to anger. Contra Aristotle, I think these days people don’t get angry nearly enough.
  • 6 October 2009: Impatient to advance the cause of freedom? Here’s a list of things you can do starting today. Also: remembering Quaker war tax resister Gordon Browne. And: Aristotle on ambition.
  • 5 October 2009: The crown of the virtues is great-souledness. The great-souled man has all of the other virtues, and boy does he know it. It makes him kind of a jerk, actually.
  • 4 October 2009: “The magnificent man is like an artist,” says Aristotle, “for he can see what is fitting and spend large sums tastefully.” To be magnificent requires a very public-spirited generosity, good sense and fine aesthetic taste, and lots and lots of money.
  • 3 October 2009: Aristotle’s virtues concerning money obviously have potental relevance to the issue of tax paying and tax resistance. If this section can’t tell you whether or not tax resistance is a virtuous activity, it may be able to tell you that there’s a virtuous and non-virtuous way to go about it.
  • 2 October 2009: With all of the gluttony and unrelenting shallow commercial sexual titillation in America today, you’d think that there would be something in Aristotle’s discussion of temperance that would jump out as insightful and valuable and applicable to our place and time.
  • 1 October 2009: Author Deborah Eisenberg highlights how people who have accepted the logic behind conscientious tax resistance use exaggerated fears of its consequences to justify failing to take action. Also: Aristotle says courage is especially challenging because the more courageous you are, the more valuable your life becomes, and so the more you have to lose by confronting danger.
  • 30 September 2009: Joel Taunton, in a 1985 issue of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, writes what could be a proto-Picket Line post about tax resistance and individual responsibility. Also: Aristotle describes five varieties of counterfeit courage.
  • 29 September 2009: “τέλος δὲ πάσης ἐνεργείας ἐστὶ τὸ κατὰ τὴν ἕξιν.” What the hell does that mean? A dozen translations later, I’m still not sure. It’s all Greek to me.
  • 28 September 2009: Aristotle starts to examine the virtue of Courage.
  • 27 September 2009: Aristotle, Hannah Arendt, Maggie Gyllenhaal? Is being an ethical person like having a private sadomasochistic domination & submission game going on in your own head?
  • 26 September 2009: If you’re going to ask soldiers to take a risk by refusing to deploy, it helps your credibility if you’re willing to take some risks of your own by refusing to fund the deployment. Also: excerpts from a letter from H.D. Thoreau on the purpose of simple living. And: if we use choice to pick the means, how do we pick the ends? Aristotle says “wish” fits the bill. Also: how much it costs the I.R.S. to process an average tax return.
  • 25 September 2009: Deliberation is an algorithmic process by which we take our desired end and break it down into the means that would accomplish it, then, treating these means as ends, we decompose them into their constituent means in turn until we find one we can accomplish, whereupon we choose it and act it out. Thusly, Aristotle reverse-engineers human decisionmaking.
  • 24 September 2009: Sometimes tax resisters defy the tax collector right up to the line where things start to get ugly, and then back down. One tells his story. Also: Aristotle refines his definition of voluntary acts (some of these are chosen, others are not).
  • 23 September 2009: Is taxpaying voluntary, involuntary, or non-voluntary? Who knew there were three options? (Aristotle, for one.) It makes all the difference in deciding whether paying taxes makes you complicit in what the government does with the money, and therefore blameworthy.
  • 22 September 2009: Wrapping up book two of the Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle gives some rules of thumb that can help you find the narrow golden mean of virtue between the broad twin vices of excess and deficiency.
  • 21 September 2009: Tax resisters successfully deter bidders at an auction of goods seized by the government (in Birmingham on this date in 1833). Also: Aristotle refines his Goldilocksian theory of virtue (but I’m still not convinced).
  • 20 September 2009: Arcadi Oliveres promotes war tax resistance in an interview with La Voz de Galicia. Also: there are three things in the soul, and virtue is one of them (did you guess which one?)
  • 19 September 2009: Remixing the data from Robert McGee’s surveys reveals surprising pockets of sympathy for war tax resistance in China and Iran. Also: Can you become virtuous through practicing virtuous actions, or do you already have to be virtuous to behave virtuously?
  • 18 September 2009: Most people surveyed seem to believe that Jews in Nazi Germany were morally obligated to pay taxes to the government that was trying to exterminate them. Also: being virtuous doesn’t mean doing the right thing even though you’d rather do something else; it means you’d rather do the right thing. At least that’s what Aristotle thought.
  • 17 September 2009: TEA Party tax protesters seem to be mostly hot air at this stage, but there’s potential for tax resistance under the surface. Also: the final draft of the International People’s Declaration of Peace waters down its war tax resistance plank to the point of meaninglessness. And: Aristotle uses the Goldilocks Principle to sample virtues and find them all “just right.”
  • 16 September 2009: The World Council of Churches issues a statement on war tax resistance and conscientious objection. Also: Aristotle’s game plan for becoming more virtuous (and how it compares to mine).
  • 15 September 2009: Cindy Sheehan tells the peace movement to stop begging the Robber Class for change, but to start making the change it demands. Also: Summing up book one of Aristotle’s “Nicomachean Ethics” and preparing for an in-depth look at the virtues.
  • 14 September 2009: Emily Greene Balch and Pierre-Joseph Proudhon on tax resistance. Also: is “eudaimonia” to be praised, or to be prized?
  • 13 September 2009: You might think deserting from the Nazi military and being convicted for treason would make you a hero in post-war Germany; actually it just means you have to fight sixty plus years for a pardon. Also: new education-related tax credits and deductions. And: fiscal conservatives promote tax resistance in Britain. Also: Is virtue its own reward? Aristotle says yes, with reservations, but Job came to disagree.
  • 12 September 2009: Make your own moonshine and keep that $2.14 per bottle the government takes from you for the store-bought stuff. Also: If “eudaimonia” is so vulnerable to arbitrary changes of fortune, is it really a proper foundation for ethics?
  • 11 September 2009: Learn about “The Power of the Purse: Women and War Tax Resistance” at the 2009 Gandhi-King Conference on Peacemaking this October in Memphis, Tennessee. Also: Aristotle comes to the conclusion that “eudaimonia” is the ultimate goal of human striving.
  • 10 September 2009: The War Tax Resisters Penalty Fund takes the financial risk out of war tax resistance and helps people who are unable to resist themselves to participate in the resistance of others (and they just cut me a check!). Also: Aristotle wonders whether humans have a function (perhaps we were put on this planet to cook).
  • 9 September 2009: A new “International People’s Declaration of Peace” being developed by Cindy Sheehan and other members of an anti-war coalition includes a pledge not to “allow the fruits of our labor to be used by our governments to finance wars.” Also: Aristotle is skeptical that there is such a thing as a Platonic Good.
  • 8 September 2009: In the “Nicomachean Ethics,” Aristotle explains why he believes neither pleasure and enjoyment nor honor and virtue are sufficient to be the ultimate good.
  • 7 September 2009: In the “Nicomachean Ethics,” Aristotle begins to refine his concept of “εὐδαιμονία” (eudaimonia), possibly the ultimate good worth striving for (but why don’t we have a word for it?).
  • 6 September 2009: In the “Nicomachean Ethics,” Aristotle warns us not to expect mathematical precision in an accurate and useful description of human values and motives.
  • 5 September 2009: An video interview with new tax resister Michele Seven. Also: In the “Nicomachean Ethics,” Aristotle wonders what the ultimate end of human action and aspiration is (or ought to be). Might it be politics, he wonders?
  • 4 September 2009: In the opening section of the “Nicomachean Ethics,” Aristotle asks what we mean by “good,” and wonders if there’s some ultimate Good the other goods are subordinate to.
  • 3 September 2009: I begin a slow meander through Aristotle’s “Nicomachean Ethics.” What if life came with an instruction manual. What would it say?
  • 2 September 2009: I can’t help but think that giving 10% of Americans drugs that suppress their ability to boost their analytical, introspective problem-solving in times of distress, and that promote callous, uncaring, anti-social behavior, has been a dangerous experiment.
  • 1 September 2009: Excerpts from Duncan MacLaren’s “History of the Resistance to the Annuity Tax” (1836), showing how as the title of “official” state church of Scotland changed hands, those who promoted and denounced resistance to taxes to prop up the state church flip-flopped right along.
  • 31 August 2009: In addition to the NWTRCC national coming up in November, there’s a New England regional gathering in October and a south-east gathering in January. Also: one war tax resister decides to move on to other tactics, while another activist takes his place as a new resister and war tax resistance organizer.
  • 29 August 2009: A paraphrased summary of Alexander Shields’s “The Sufferings of many, for Refuſing to pay the wicked Exactions of the Ceſs, Locality, Fynes &c. Vindicated” (1687), with some biographical and historical context.
  • 28 August 2009: “The Sufferings of many, for Refuſing to pay the wicked Exactions of the Ceſs, Locality, Fynes &c. Vindicated.” Also: details and registration info about the upcoming NWTRCC national conference. And: A C.I.A. torture manual excerpt. Also: more details about the grow-your-own tobacco movement. And: lets say you get caught mailing fake anthrax to the I.R.S... how much time are you gonna do for that?
  • 27 August 2009: A new, affordable volume of classic Quaker arguments in favor of war tax refusal.
  • 26 August 2009: The tax collector’s bowels were trod out by a horse, and other tales of 17th century Scottish presbyterian tax resistance.
  • 24 August 2009: David Little, trying to get the courts of Canada to accept his conscientious objection to tax-funded abortion, loses in the court of appeal. Also: The Poplar Rates Rebellion of 1921.
  • 22 August 2009: In part two of John Brown’s “The Law of Christ Respecting Civil Obedience, Especially in the Payment of Tribute” (1839), he writes about when a Christian must pay taxes, and when he must not.
  • 21 August 2009: I begin to summarize and review John Brown’s “The Law of Christ Respecting Civil Obedience, Especially in the Payment of Tribute” (1839).
  • 20 August 2009: Tax resistance emerges as a tactic in a municipal secessionist campaign in Lezama, Argentina.
  • 10 August 2009: The D.C. District Court says: “the I.R.S. unlawfully expropriated billions of dollars from taxpayers, conceded the illegitimacy of its actions, and developed a mandatory process as the sole avenue by which the agency would consider refunding its ill-gotten gains.”
  • 5 August 2009: NWTRCC’s newsletter is out: DeCourecy Squires’s story of four decades of tax resistance, the Philadelphia Yearly Meeting decides to defy an I.R.S. levy, and news about upcoming war tax resistance gatherings, outreach opportunities, tax policy updates, new on-line resources, and a book review.
  • 3 August 2009: This year the federal government has seen the sharpest drop in tax revenue since the depth of the Great Depression. Also: more talk of a possible tax revolt for gay rights in the U.S.
  • 2 August 2009: The English peasant’s revolt, increased I.R.S. enforcement budget, a crackdown on “hobby losses,” denying business licenses to people behind on their taxes, a visualization of world military expenditures, and more about John Patric a.k.a. Hugo N. Frye. Also: voodoo dolls as a tax resistance tactic.
  • 1 August 2009: The lawyers of Delhi go on strike to protest a threatened tax on lawyering, bringing the local legal system to a standstill. Also: Guy Hands becomes a taxpatriate.
  • 31 July 2009: Murray Rothbard covers the property tax strikes of the 1970s, in the Libertarian Review.
  • 30 July 2009: Some more details on the tax resistance of Rose Wilder Lane and about her motives, in her own words, from the April 1978 issue of Libertarian Review.
  • 29 July 2009: Randall Terry says that Catholics should feel they have the Pope’s permission to refuse to pay taxes that might pay for abortions. Also: Carlos S. Olmo Bau on tax resistance as civil disobedience or conscientious objection.
  • 28 July 2009: J. Bracken Lee, governor of Utah some 50 years ago, seems to have been the Ron Paul of his day: a lonely libertarian office holder trying to keep the torch lit. While still governor, he decided to stop paying federal income tax in protest against federal spending that he felt went beyond what the Constitution authorized.
  • 27 July 2009: Crispin Sartwell reviews “The Price of Freedom.” Also: Don Carey is going to grow, cure, and smoke his own tobacco rather than pay extortionate taxes (and he wants to teach you how to do it too).
  • 26 July 2009: A portrait of John Patric, a sort of paleocon Ammon Hennacy, who stopped earning taxable income in the mid-1950s out of disgust for how the federal government was spending the money, and who supported himself by vagabonding around selling his self-published book.
  • 4 July 2009: Want to save the environment? Fight militarism. Also: Operation Dep 9, the latest feint towards tax resistance from American fiscal conservatives. And: a theoretical model of tax resister insurance. Also: protecting trust funds from federal tax liens. And: barter networks, alternative currencies, and the counter-economy. Also: IRS agents are slacking when it comes to tax enforcement. And: tax resisters in Nankang, China gather in the thousands, block highways, overturn police cars, and force the government to rescind its tax enforcement plan.
  • 29 June 2009: War tax resisters in the Basque country pay their fines… in the form of 20,000 pennies.
  • 26 June 2009: Details on the upcoming NWTRCC Fall national gathering in Ohio. Also: Ken Knudson on anarchist theory and tactics. And: an update on James Stinson’s council tax resistance.
  • 25 June 2009: Small contributions to evil and small contributions to good rarely seem to add up to anything, least of all responsibility. And that’s a problem. A character in Dostoevsky’s “The Idiot” had a thing or two to say about this.
  • 24 June 2009: Remember that “Lease-In/Lease-Out” corporate tax dodge? It may have killed nine people this week.
  • 22 June 2009: The debate continues: Ricardo Rodríguez responds to Pablo San José’s rejoinder to Rodríguez’s critique of tax resistance, in Rebelión.
  • 21 June 2009: An update on the number of “lucky duckies” who pay no federal income tax — this year it’s projected to be fully 46.9% of American households. Also: Pablo San José publishes a rejoinder to Ricardo Rodríguez’s critique of tax resistance in Rebelión.
  • 20 June 2009: Ricardo Rodríguez of Rebelión critiques left-wing Spanish tax resistance from the left.
  • 19 June 2009: While stimulus-critics on this side of the Atlantic are content to throw tea parties and hint at drastic action on television talk shows, in Spain they’re putting their money where their mouths are, in the first tax resistance campaign anywhere (that I know of) that has an explicitly environmentalist focus.
  • 18 June 2009: More on the IRS software modernization fiasco. Also: waste and fraud in military spending boondoggles: it’s not a bug, it’s a feature. And: some excerpts from Clarence Lee Swartz’s “What is Mutualism?” (1927). Also: more details about that federal grand jury subpoena for personal details about everyone who commented at a newspaper’s website about an ongoing tax protester trial. And: a letter you can send to politicians to tell them why, after Proposition 8, you’re not paying your California state taxes anymore.
  • 16 June 2009: “The Price of Freedom” is “classic Thoreau presented in a thorough, illuminating volume,” says Kirkus Discoveries. “Though more than a century has passed since Thoreau set these thoughts to paper, Gross reminds readers of the man’s continued relevance.”
  • 15 June 2009: Eight ways you can personally help to smash the state, from Francois Tremblay. Also: a grand jury subpoenas a newspaper for identifying information about everyone who left comments on their web site about a recent tax protester trial. And: the war tax resistance movement in Spain is very familiar, with arguments on both sides of the issue seeming to be Spanish translations of the same arguments you hear in the U.S.
  • 11 June 2009: The IRS doesn’t follow the rules when it seizes property, says the Treasury Department Inspector General. Also: a once-jailed bin tax protester wins Dublin’s seat in the recent European elections. And: Craig T. Nelson and Fox News continue to try to whip up a conservative tax resistance campaign without being willing to commit to it themselves.
  • 8 June 2009: With income-, business-, property-, and sales taxes falling in the recession, governments are boosting fines, fees, fares, tickets, tolls, tuition, and access charges to compensate. Also: Dissident Veteran for Peace reacts to the Peace Tax Fund debate. And: Time magazine discovers the Carrotmob. Also: another tale of taxpayer money wasted in Iraq.
  • 6 June 2009: A new issue of NWTRCC’s newsletter is out. Also: an update on the I.R.S.’s software modernization efforts — after years of missing deadlines and blowing budgets, it looks like they’re throwing in the towel.
  • 5 June 2009: Results from a survey of war tax resisters. Also: My tax resistance how-to guide sees print publication (to my surprise). And: an 88-year-old sermon on why everyone ought to pay their taxes no matter what ’cuz God says so.
  • 4 June 2009: Ginny Schneider promotes war tax resistance to libertarians on the Ridley Report. Also: the War Tax Resisters Penalty Fund gets a mention in the Chicago News Examiner. And: the stages of conscientious objection to military taxes for members of the traditional peace churches.
  • 1 June 2009: Cindy Sheehan promotes a new plan to free America’s “Robbed Class” from its robbers. Also: Glenn Beck interviews former I.R.S. chief Mark Everson about the consequences of tax resistance.
  • 31 May 2009: Glenn Beck, right-wing Fox News host, namechecks Gandhi on the way to promoting mass tax resistance as a way of overthrowing the United States government.
  • 30 May 2009: Don Woodside tells us of Canada’s war tax resistance movement, and Mike Palecek gives an update on his war tax resistance in the United States.
  • 29 May 2009: The numbers are out on Lucky Duckies in tax year 2007. Also: actor Craig T. Nelson, a guest on Glenn Beck’s Fox News show, talks up tax resistance among the sick-and-tired conservative set.
  • 28 May 2009: Sometimes you see tax resistance from someone who just gets fed up with paying too much for too little. There’s no grand ideological or conscientious stand involved, just a tax payer getting sick and tired of it. Also: notes on the underground economy in San Antonio and war tax resistance in Spain.
  • 27 May 2009: When people get arrested at protests just as a sort of exclamation-mark, without much regard for what law they’re breaking or why, does it confuse people about the value of real civil disobedience? Also: barter takes off in the down economy.
  • 25 May 2009: War tax resistance in Spain, and excerpts from an interview with pioneering Spanish conscientious objector Pepe Beúnza.
  • 21 May 2009: Obama’s tax proposals include a new felony failure-to-file crime that could potentially ensnare tax resisters. Also: Glynn Wilson writes about his Thoreau-inspired tax resistance.
  • 16 May 2009: A call for war tax resistance from Colombia. Also: a libertarian peacenik tries to bridge the peace movement / tea party divide. And: the I.R.S. again levies a bank account I closed a long time ago.
  • 13 May 2009: More reports from the national NWTRCC gathering earlier this month. Also: a report on the barter economy, the federal government’s vast borrowing, an update on Charles Merrill’s tax resistance court battle for same-sex marriage rights, and the civil rights movement seen as a successful (nonviolent) revolutionary insurgency.
  • 8 May 2009: A whole buncha links: updates on the Peace Tax Seven, the U.S. torture policy, San Francisco’s Tea Party, E.I.T.C. fraud, the upcoming military budget, tax resistance during the Great Depression, underground economy as tax resistance, war tax resistance in the Basque country, getting creative with traditional-to-Roth IRA transfers, and when it comes to war crimes saying you were just following orders is no excuse (says Dubya).
  • 5 May 2009: The most contentious item on the agenda at the NWTRCC Spring national gathering was our organization’s relationship with the Religious Freedom Peace Tax Fund Act and with the National Campaign for a Peace Tax Fund, a long-time affiliate of NWTRCC, which promotes the act.
  • 4 May 2009: I report back from the Spring NWTRCC national gathering in Virginia.
  • 29 April 2009: Tomorrow I leave for the Spring NWTRCC national gathering in Virginia. Also: a new war tax resistance movement in Spain’s Basque country. And: a new IRS strategy booklet full of bureaucracisms and silly pictures.
  • 26 April 2009: Mary Theroux cuts off the government for breach of contract. Also: Charles Madigan throws down the gauntlet to the Tea Party protesters. And: news about the next international war tax resistance conference, eating sustainably and ethically on a food-stamp budget, and how thinking you’re a good person can be a substitute for being one.
  • 25 April 2009: A good Frontline/World episode about the AddioPizzo grassroots tax resistance movement in Palermo, Italy can be viewed on-line.
  • 24 April 2009: I have a flashback to my mental state as an anxious, unsure youth, and think about what a relief it is to have developed confidence in my own judgement, and how institutions like the public schools seem designed to keep people in an insecure state of stunted ethical immaturity. Also: another I.R.S. levy.
  • 22 April 2009: Arrests, pepper spray, and more tension than typical at the Tax Day anti-war protest at the I.R.S. office in Rochester, New York. Also: a tax professor weighs in on the ambiguous tax law surrounding alternative currencies.
  • 21 April 2009: It’s Spring and everything is coming up, and the garlic are so vigorous they look almost like cornstalks, and on two occasions I lifted border-bricks and found clutches of wriggling baby salamanders, and Jay Bybee sits on the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. “My thoughts are murder to the State; I endeavor in vain to observe nature….”
  • 20 April 2009: More tax day action reflections from the media and from participants. Also: was Jesus joking when he said “Render unto Cæsar”? And: how much does it cost the I.R.S. to pursue a criminal tax case?
  • 18 April 2009: The percentage of Americans who will be “lucky duckies” is likely to jump this year. A projected 43.4% of non-dependent Americans will owe no federal income tax at all.
  • 17 April 2009: A Tax Day round-up: penny polls and other war tax resistance actions, interviews and profiles of war tax resisters, reactions to the “Tea Party” phenomenon, gay and lesbian tax resistance, a conservative call for an anti-war/anti-tax convergence, a columnist notes how easy it is to get away with not filing your taxes, I.R.S. employees pissed off that their boss got away with the sort of tax evasion that would get them fired, contractors in the I.R.S. mail room caught stealing the government’s stolen money, and Joe the Plumber’s 1-900 fair tax trainwreck.
  • 16 April 2009: Some photos and impressions of the “Tea Party” in San Francisco yesterday.
  • 15 April 2009: Some early photos from Tax Day actions in San Francisco.
  • 14 April 2009: Just how non-partisan are these “tea party” protests? Also: a review of the documentary “Garbage Warrior.” And: a flashback to the imperial media belittling of Gandhi’s civil disobedience campaigns.
  • 13 April 2009: This tax day, along with the war tax resisters and tea baggers, there’ll be folks protesting that gays and lesbians are still paying for a first-class ticket with their taxes but getting a second-class citizenship in return. Also: the torture of tens of thousands with long-term solitary confinement, arguments for tax resistance, liberals deprecating dissent, students playing Bartleby on standardized tests, and more about this year’s tax day protests.
  • 12 April 2009: A review of Kevin Carson’s “Studies in Mutualist Political Economy.” Also: another bar-chart visualization of federal discretionary budget priorities. And: Julia & Abby Smith’s house still stands (and is a national historic landmark).
  • 11 April 2009: Yesterday I was interviewed on and I answered some call-in questions for Brian Bahouth’s evening news show on KVMR. (You can hear the show on-line.)
  • 10 April 2009: Father Louis Vitale resists criminal fines and Tim DeChristopher disrupts a government auction — two unusual ways of getting between the government and its revenue. Also: another graphical representation of federal discretionary spending priorities. And: putting the “Tea Party” tax day protests in historical context.
  • 9 April 2009: Help me to prepare a budget-priorities bar chart for Tax Day. Also: an anonymous war tax resister tells of her twenty years of staying one step ahead of the I.R.S.
  • 8 April 2009: NWTRCC’s Ed Hedemann talks about war tax resistance and redirection on GRITtv with Laura Flanders. Also: the joy of teabagging your Congressional representatives. And: tax preparation tips from The Onion.
  • 7 April 2009: U.S. military spending has about doubled in real terms over the last ten years. Obama’s budget calls for even more military spending — the highest Pentagon price tag yet. So, of course, the American Friends Service Committee and other liberal groups are all for it.
  • 5 April 2009: The I.R.S. made three corrections to my tax return this year. All of them were in my favor. Two baffle me, and one embarrasses me. Tax returns are difficult. Also: the skinny on this year’s upcoming “Tax Day” actions.
  • 4 April 2009: The recession means fewer taxes to collect and more people moving into the underground economy. Also: a history of tax rebellion. And: what’s wrong with constitutionalist tax protesters. Also: Geov Parrish updates his anti-tax boilerplate, and gets a tongue-in-cheek counterpoint for his troubles. And: someone blows Lenin’s ass to bits with a bomb, and a bunch of someones destroy £250,000 worth of equipment at an armaments factory in England.
  • 3 April 2009: Nicholas Ayers, who was featured in an article on the tactical innovations of junior officers in Iraq that I quoted from back in 2004, writes in with some clarifications.
  • 2 April 2009: A new issue of NWTRCC’s newsletter, More Than a Paycheck, is out. This issue includes a debate about whether or not NWTRCC should endorse the Religious Freedom Peace Tax Fund bill
  • 1 April 2009: The American anti-war movement reminds people that if they aren’t part of the problem, they’re part of the problem. Also: smokers are paying Congress a buck a pack now.
  • 31 March 2009: Not all tax resistance is nonviolent. There are also plenty of examples in which people have taken up arms against the taxing authority, have violently destroyed the apparatus of tax collecting, or have used threats of violence to intimidate or inhibit tax collectors.
  • 30 March 2009: When Solzhenitsyn returned to Russia after the collapse of the Soviet Union, people told him the new boss was just as rotten as the old boss, so Solzhenitsyn gave them some good advice — advice that we all might well take to heart.
  • 29 March 2009: The pro-British press ridiculed Gandhi’s attack on the salt tax as trifling over pennies, but he knew the symbolic value of his salt march and the authorities did too — the government employed hundreds of people to destroy naturally-occurring salt deposits rather than allow the marchers to harvest them. Also: back to the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program.
  • 28 March 2009: The War Tax Resisters Penalty Fund — a mutual aid “tax resister insurance” project — has just sent out a new appeal to subscribers, its 42nd in 23 years.
  • 27 March 2009: Today is the 100th anniversary of the birth of Wallace Floyd “Wally” Nelson. He lived as Thoreau advised: “If you would convince a man that he does wrong, do right. But do not care to convince him. Men will believe what they see. Let them see.”
  • 26 March 2009: I think Solzhenitsyn’s editors have read him carelessly, and have convicted him of a superficial and satanic defense of war and government that he was mocking in the mouth of one of his characters. Also: the I.R.S. tries another levy on me.
  • 25 March 2009: Solzhenitsyn on the futility of revolution and the location of evil. Also: Arthur Evans, one of the few Americans to spend any time behind bars for war tax resistance, died this month at age 89.
  • 24 March 2009: Strikes and highway blockades spring up as drought-stricken Argentine farmers protest high export taxes. Also: Matt Taibbi lays down some high dudgeon about the brazen robbery that is U.S. economic policy.
  • 21 March 2009: I helped our local tax resistance group run an info booth at today’s ANSWER-sponsored rally. Damn I hate those things. This one was the last straw.
  • 20 March 2009: Anti-war actions in the San Francisco area to commemorate the beginning of the seventh year of the Iraq War. Also: collecting rainwater that falls on your own roof may be illegal, an envelope of suspicious powder shuts down an I.R.S. mailroom, the Peace Tax Seven suffer a legal setback, and refuting “the free rider fallacy.”
  • 19 March 2009: In my annual report I summarize my sixth year of tax resistance and forecast the year ahead.
  • 16 March 2009: Before Catholic Archbishop Raymond Hunthausen decided to begin resisting taxes himself in protest against U.S. nuclear weapons policy, he delivered a speech in which he foreshadowed his decision. Here it is, for the first time on-line.
  • 15 March 2009: Perhaps I was too hasty in calling the bluff of the conservatives who are threatening to “go Galt” to protest Obamanomics.
  • 14 March 2009: Some excerpts from a 50-year-old pamphlet put out by The Catholic Worker concerning the tax refusal of Ammon Hennacy.
  • 13 March 2009: Some updated statistics on how many people aren’t paying their taxes and what the I.R.S. is doing about it. Also: you’re invited to free introductory workshops on war tax resistance this weekend in San Francisco.
  • 11 March 2009: Yet another organized tax resistance campaign in Argentina. Also: Martin Kelly wonders whether Quaker war tax resisters ought to start getting more confrontational with their own congregations. And: a new magazine dedicated to alternative & local currencies.
  • 9 March 2009: Are American conservatives ready to “go Galt” rather than pay taxes to the Obama administration? Also: the Pentagon uses tax dollars to lobby Congress to fund porkish weapons programs. And: when war tax resistance comes up at a Quaker Meeting, one attendee decides that maybe it’s time to make it happen in a big way.
  • 6 March 2009: The I.R.S. abandons its experiment in outsourcing cases to private debt collection agencies. Also: more signs of a tax revolt against the sub-equal legal treatment of same-sex marriages.
  • 4 March 2009: Through “Simple Living News” I spread the gospel of low-income tax resistance. Also: a new volutaryist on-line community. And: an interesting experiment in building self-sufficient communities begins in Guatemala, inspired by Galt’s Gulch.
  • 2 March 2009: Alexandr Solzhenitsyn on how collectively-maintained dishonesty props up the state. Also: about the “common security club” model.
  • 27 February 2009: Mennonite war tax resisters today, a “Tax Tea Party Revolt” for legal same-sex marriage recognition in April, and weighing the pros-and-cons of simultaneous war tax resistance against federal and state taxes.
  • 24 February 2009: The Pentagon spends billions on propaganda and other attempts to manipulate public opinion, and inevitably this warps the understanding of the public, the politicians, and even the military itself. Also: Dubya finally gets his monument in Iraq.
  • 23 February 2009: A translation of an article on tax resistance in Mexico by Roberto Salinas Leon from El Economista.
  • 20 February 2009: A former member of the Weather Underground reassesses the role of that violent insurgency. Also: tax revolt in Argentina moves from the countryside to the city.
  • 19 February 2009: A review of “Standing Up to the Madness” by Amy Goodman and David Goodman. Also: states issuing I.O.U.s instead of tax refunds (and making taxpayers angry), a prisoner serving a life sentence successfully files for millions of dollars in federal tax refunds (and the feds decline to prosecute!), a taxpayer pays his whole bill in coins, the agrarian tax revolt buzz in Argentina, a 35-year-old service gift economy, a water tax strike in Northern Ireland, and a way to make a buck or two from unused storage space in your home.
  • 17 February 2009: The American anti-war movement points out how bloated military spending is hobbling the economy. Also: how do depictions of war tax resisters in the media resemble the real-life experiences of resisters?
  • 16 February 2009: So what if everything really is going to hell in a handbasket… does your community have the chops to make it through to the other side? Where I come from there’s a thriving renaissance of thinking about economic alternatives and initiatives for small-scale economic resiliency.
  • 15 February 2009: A review of Jonathan Schell’s “The Unconquerable World: Power, Nonviolence, and the Will of the People.”
  • 13 February 2009: Tax resisters may find some of the provisions of the current stimulus boondoggle to be useful. Here’s a list.
  • 12 February 2009: The conspiracy to discredit war tax resister Archbishop Raymond Hunthausen, a property tax strike in Chicago in 1977, information about Australian war tax resister Robert Burrowes, memories of Mennonite war tax resister Benny Bargen, and Jeff Knaebel on war and taxes. Also: Was Saint Hugh of Lincoln a 12th century conscientious war tax resister?
  • 10 February 2009: The I.R.S. sends me a notice of levy telling me that it plans to seize every cent from a bank account I closed in 2007.
  • 9 February 2009: Clare Hanrahan, who has been resisting taxes for nearly thirty years as part of a life of activism for peace and justice, has just released a new book of speeches she has delivered over the course of her activist career.
  • 8 February 2009: The next NWTRCC national gathering will be in early May in Harrisonburg, Virginia. Also: time to start planning your “Tax Day” actions. And: three months ago the I.R.S. sent me a “final notice of intent to levy” letter. Since then, nothing. What gives?
  • 7 February 2009: While the IRS tries to convince the public that taxpaying is normal, expected behavior, the public notices that people in high places seem to think it’s quite optional. Also: Thoreau counsels a volunteer for the Crimean War.
  • 6 February 2009: The government relies on borrowed funds as much as on taxpayer dollars, so make sure you aren’t inadvertantly loaning Congress your hard-earned lucre. Also: I seem to have become an inspiring life.
  • 5 February 2009: From the latest issue of NWTRCC’s newsletter: updates on tax policy and the international conscientious objection movements, news and updates about war tax resisters and the war tax resistance movment, a story of how even a first-time token resister might come face to face with the capricious jaws of the I.R.S., and announcing a new speaker’s bureau. That and a great review of “We Won’t Pay!”
  • 2 February 2009: The I.R.S. Oversight Board tries to create consensus public opinion with a manipulative poll and the lazy news media goes along with it.
  • 1 February 2009: If you tap on the core of central authority it sounds hollow, brittle, and rotten, like the stalk of a cattail just before the seeds are ready to disperse. Also: a video of David Schenck giving a talk about war tax resistance last month. And: Gerald DePyper tries to light a tax-resistance fire under the American anti-abortion movement.
  • 30 January 2009: Henry David Thoreau, on the recent financial turmoil.
  • 29 January 2009: The Argentine government is feeling the heat from the tax resistance threat of drought-stricken farmers. Also: ostentatious individual action as a form of activism, a rent strike in government housing, and how to qualify to head up the Oakland police department’s Internal Affairs division (get caught beating a suspect to death and then ordering your subordinates to lie about it).
  • 26 January 2009: Lillian Willoughby was a tireless activist and practitioner of direct action on many fronts. She was almost ninety years old the last time she was imprisoned for civil disobedience. She was also a long-time tax resister who frustrated the government’s attempts to seize money from her.
  • 22 January 2009: Juanita Nelson shrugs off the inaugural hoopla and says she doesn’t go in for elections. “I vote with what I do or don’t do,” she says. Also: Did you pay enough in taxes last year to pay for the $46,790 portrait of Donald Rumsfeld the Pentagon commissioned? The nation thanks you for your sacrifice. And: farmers in Argentina organize and plan a tax strike for next month.
  • 21 January 2009: The people have spoken. If the people had any sense of shame or any self-awareness, they’d shut the fuck up. They’ve been speaking for a long time now and casting terrible, hateful imprecations that have called forth demons that they refuse to accept responsibility for or attempt to control. Also: Cindy Sheehan on the relation between dissident protest and mainstream political power.
  • 18 January 2009: On this day in 1932, the papers reported the arrest of Mohandas Gandhi’s wife, Kasturbhai, for inciting Indians to refuse to pay their taxes.
  • 17 January 2009: Today is the 250th anniversary of the birth of the remarkable Paul Cuffee, who led a tax resistance campaign for the civil rights of black Americans shortly after the American Revolution.
  • 15 January 2009: Today is the 150th anniversary of the birth of the drafter of the Viborg Manifesto. Also: urban foragers in Chicago, voluntary simplicity gets trendy, and counter-recruitment as a strategy to counteract the coming Democrat-led growth in the size of the U.S. military.
  • 14 January 2009: In 1891 “An Agnostic” wrote a book on the first of the Gospels and tried to wrestle with the “Render unto Caesar” koan. Is there any point in trying to resolve modern debates over political philosophy by reference to the teachings of a man who thought the kingdoms of the earth were in their last days?
  • 13 January 2009: Obama’s Treasury Secretary nominee, though hoping to be the next boss of the I.R.S., didn’t pay his self-employment taxes for several years, and then got off without any penalties when he got caught. Also: is the I.R.S. really going to try to tax the play money used in on-line role-playing games?
  • 12 January 2009: I’m being very urban homesteader, Francois Tremblay is examining taxpayer complicity, Steven Schallert is exploring war tax resistance, Murray Rothbard writes about nonviolent resistance and the insights of Étienne de La Boétie, Carl Watner reexamines the Whiskey Rebellion, two Cato Institute scholars worry that we might be the U.S. military’s next target, the Church of the Brethren remembers war tax resisters Phil & Louise Rieman, the Taxpayer Advocate says it costs Americans $200 billion just to do their taxes (not including what it costs to pay them), the local paper notices that it’s way way cheaper to take the bus than to drive, alternative currencies enjoy some limelight, Europeans reject military spending, but the U.S. spends upwards of $50 billion a year just on its nuclear weapons program. Whew.
  • 9 January 2009: The I.R.S. is systematically miscalculating its “failure to pay” penalty, and only calculates interest correctly about two times out of three, according to the National Taxpayer Advocate.
  • 8 January 2009: If you’re interested in starting a regular regional gathering of war tax resisters in your area, NWTRCC is eager to help, and can help you both with expertise and with seed money.
  • 5 January 2009: An upcoming gathering of war tax resisters in New Hampshire. Also: when one woman in England refused to pay her taxes to protest for women’s suffrage, the government arrested her husband!
  • 4 January 2009: Tax resistance on Facebook, U.S. leads the world in arms exports, the coming expansion of the U.S military, the celebrity endorsement of the guy who threw his shoe at Dubya, a disturbing new look at “Deep Throat”, the rise of the informal economy, alternative currencies in Argentina, and the five developmental stages on the way to a life of Active Peace.
  • 3 January 2009: Just what is this counter-economy anyway? Could it be that we are already participants?

2008

  • 31 December 2008: When it comes to agorism, the perfect is the enemy of the good: don’t wait for the theoretically ideal counter-economy to spring to life before you begin to look for alternatives. Also: more state interference with people trying to practice environmentally-sustainable lives.
  • 30 December 2008: A war tax boycott participant tells how when their mother reacted in horror to their resistance, this became a good opportunity to teach her grandchildren about the importance of standing up for your beliefs. Also: I.R.S. enforcement numbers have dropped: less collections, fewer audits, and fewer enforcement personnel.
  • 22 December 2008: If you liked the 2008 War Tax Boycott, you’ll probably like it again in 2009, so now would be a good time to sign up again.
  • 21 December 2008: Wendy McElroy discusses how her techniques of frugality, self-sufficiency, and agorism mesh with her activism. Also, Charles Hugh Smith makes some recommendations for how to survive the economic collapse.
  • 20 December 2008: David Beito is interviewed on Lew Rockwell’s show about tax resistance in the United States during the Great Depression. Also: on-line resources for people interested in the Your Money Or Your Life program of financial responsibility.
  • 19 December 2008: NWTRCC has added some “Readings on Money” to their website, including discussions of the ethics of interest, the management of inheritances, a look at how money comes into being, the dilemma of tax-exempt status for nonprofit organizations, and hints on how to run a penny poll.
  • 18 December 2008: Activists in a recent workshop see the current economic meltdown as an opportunity for bottom-up innovation of new styles of economic organization, comparing the present calamity to past economic crises that had given birth to inspiring radical social movements and experiments, and seeing the potential for more of this today. Also: a thriving agorist-compatible alternative banking system that’s older and better-established than the mainstream banking system — hawala.
  • 17 December 2008: Cat Chapin-Bishop at “Quaker Pagan Reflections” calls American Quaker War Tax Resistance “a wonderful resource.”
  • 16 December 2008: From Australian newspaper archives come tales of tax resistance in the radical unions and democratic reform activists in the Northern Territory and Papua. Also: a variety of other tax resistance campaigns and actions as they were viewed in the last century’s Australian press.
  • 14 December 2008: There seems to be an unconscious current sending the suddenly unmoored pro-life movement in the direction of the rocky isle of tax resistance. Also: beat the Winter chill with a timely NWTRCC fleece scarf.
  • 12 December 2008: Before communism, Leo Tolstoy helped the pacifist Doukhobors flee the Czar’s persecution. Before communism’s demise, the Doukhobors helped the future father of glasnost find a model for a thriving, non-authoritarian Russia. Also: what the next vice president, Joe Biden, said when he urged his colleagues to authorize the Iraq War. Comedy gold, people.
  • 11 December 2008: The federal government will spend $1 of every $4 that is spent in the United States next year. Any free market institutions remaining here are like those earliest shrew-like mammals: tiny things, scurrying around trying not to get stepped on by some ginormous reptile.
  • 10 December 2008: Hollywood makes tax resistance sexy in “Stranger Than Fiction.” Also: how will taxpayers feel if they find out one of the things they’re bailing out is a corporate tax dodge? And: Kat Kanning on the single steps that begin a journey of a thousand miles. Also: an old silent film comedy short pits the revenooers against the moonshiners, with a bumbling umbrella salesman caught in the middle.
  • 8 December 2008: Tax resisters fight same-sex marriage discrimination, a reality show targets ordinary police corruption, Wendy McElroy chronicles a year of frugality, I.R.S. Offers in Compromise might be worse than nothing, Kristen McKee resolves to take command of her taxes, Francois Tremblay pulls aside the curtain of political power, and Milwaukee introduces a community currency.
  • 5 December 2008: The rules of taxpatriatism have changed (here are the details). Also: the news media were used by the military-industrial complex (wait… aren’t they part of the military-industrial complex?). And: yep, the Pentagon is wasting tons of your money. Also: Bureaucrash sponsors a Stop Wars project that’d be perfect for young war tax resister provocateurs. And: a new alternative currency system sprouts up, a sort of technologically-advanced Time Dollar.
  • 4 December 2008: NWTRCC’s December newsletter is out, with notes about frivolous filing penalties, the Eugene meeting, the Peace Tax Seven cases, and the experiences of long-time resister Becky Pierce, among other things. Also: what happened when Karl Meyer put the I.R.S. to the test by filing a tax return every day in 1984.
  • 3 December 2008: In 1956 the governor of Utah, J. Bracken Lee, became a federal income tax resister. Here’s his story.
  • 2 December 2008: A collection of tax-resistance-related pamphlets and other writing from the “one man revolution” of Ammon Hennacy.
  • 1 December 2008: My neighbors learn how to brew their own hard cider (it’s easy — the yeast do all the heavy lifting).
  • 30 November 2008: An excerpt from John Beverley Robinson’s “The Economics of Liberty” (1916) on the subject of taxation.
  • 28 November 2008: Ellen C. Sargent kept up a tax protest for women’s suffrage in California until her death (and her victory) in 1911.
  • 25 November 2008: Some historical documents about the Whiskey Rebellion, including a resolution from the rebels, a threatening letter from “Tom the Tinker,” and a report from Alexander Hamilton to George Washington.
  • 24 November 2008: The Prelinger Archives release on-line an old silent film docudrama short about the Whiskey Rebellion.
  • 23 November 2008: Maybe the best thing the government could do to protect the environment would be to stop doing anything. Here are some recent examples where the government worked to impede people who were trying to do the green thing.
  • 22 November 2008: A graphic promoting tax resistance: “Because… there are better things to spend my money on than bank bailouts & bunker busters — I’m a tax resister.”
  • 21 November 2008: A special delivery to you from F.T.D. Also: a right-wing researcher discovers Code Pink’s secret covert insurgency manual: it’s The Picket Line’s topic index.
  • 20 November 2008: Ruth Benn shares her notes from the recent NWTRCC national gathering. Also: more people pile on the gay rights tax resistance bandwagon. And: Ron Paul salutes tax resisters from within the bowels of the House of Representatives.
  • 18 November 2008: Updates on Melissa Etheridge and Charles Merrill — two tax resisters fighting for legal recognition of same-sex marriage. Also: in these troubled economic times, barter is making a come-back (and the internet is helping). And: ever wonder what happens when the I.R.S. gets audited?
  • 14 November 2008: Two “frivolous filing” fine victims get a break from the I.R.S. Also: wartime pro-tax government propaganda helped insinuate the income tax in the U.S. And: one former war tax resister goes back to taxpaying now that Obama has won. Also: the more, the merrier — tax resistance starts to spread in the gay rights and pro-life movements.
  • 12 November 2008: Another “final notice of intent to levy” from the I.R.S. Also: a self-loathing tax resister grovels at veterans for Armistice Day. And: a Defense Department panel presses for big cuts in military spending (uh, wha?!). Also: with the Democrats taking over, the pro-lifers are contemplating tax resistance.
  • 10 November 2008: I report back from the NWTRCC conference in Eugene, Oregon. Lots of news about frivolous filing penalties, the Religious Freedom Peace Tax Fund Act debate, the aftermath of the recent election, the future of the War Tax Boycott, and much more.
  • 7 November 2008: A brief report from the NWTRCC conference in Eugene, Oregon. Also: Melissa Etheridge joins the emerging tax resistance movement to protest government discrimination against same-sex marriage.
  • 5 November 2008: A look back at the Milgram Experiment, including interviews with some of its unwitting subjects. Also: Fred Reed worries that the U.S. military is becoming more insulated from mainstream America at the same time as it is becoming more powerful and more independent.
  • 4 November 2008: You’d be surprised how easy it is to rake in hundreds of thousands of dollars simply by making up the numbers on your tax return. The government may very well send you a huge “refund” and never miss the money. Also: Governments are already starting to tax virtual play money in video game universes. And: A new tool enables people to barter expertise and trade tutoring.
  • 3 November 2008: Fifty years ago today, Time magazine published an article about Amish resistance to the social security tax in the United States — a civil disobedience campaign that eventually succeeded in forcing concessions from the government.
  • 31 October 2008: Anarchism is qualitatively different from other, utopianist, political philosophies, and if you try to judge it by the same rules you’ll just end up confused. Now if only I can convince the anarchists of this…
  • 29 October 2008: Some news from the courtroom fights of Charles Merrill, who is resisting taxes to protest government discrimination against same-sex marriage, and of David Little, who is resisting taxes in conscientious objection against government funding of abortion.
  • 28 October 2008: Dissident American soldiers are telling a relentlessly awful story about a degrading, cruel establishment that lies to them, betrays them, and makes covering the asses of the chain of command a higher priority than their lives, their families, or any of the noble stories about their mission that you hear from the politicians and propagandists. Also: reviews of “Sir! No Sir!” and “Standard Operating Procedure.”
  • 23 October 2008: Is tax resistance incompatible with relationships and families? Also: the government is big, but what you see may just be the tip of the iceberg. And: more on anti-abortion tax resister David Little. Also: the wealthy evade more of their taxes than the rest of us (big surprise). And: so you didn’t file your taxes for the last several years? Maybe you have “non-filers syndrome.”
  • 20 October 2008: An on-line movie celebrating the life and works of Ammon Hennacy and covering 20th century American anarcho-pacifism. Also: Utah Phillips on Ammon Hennacy.
  • 19 October 2008: From the 19 October 1903 edition of the San Francisco Chronicle comes a demonstration of some of the creative tactics of nonconformist tax resisters in Great Britain a century and change ago.
  • 18 October 2008: Tax resisters Karl Hess and Ed Hedemann are interviewed in the documentary “Anarchism in America” which you can view on-line.
  • 15 October 2008: A conservative Catholic thinker tells readers of Newsweek that if an Obama administration starts providing taxpayer dollars for abortion, Catholic taxpayers may have to ask if this constitutes moral complicity in an “intrinsic evil”. Also: the I.R.S. continues to struggle with software modernization — their latest project has numerous severe security holes.
  • 14 October 2008: The government responds to a would-be tax resister by auditing her and then giving her a refund. Also: more on long-term tax resisting dentist Thomas Wilson. And: tax provisions of note in the recent bailout bill. Also: anti-war port blockaders in Olympia, Washington avoid prosecution but might get hit by SLAPP suits. And: a widespread tax strike hits Tehran’s bazaar. Also: taxpatriate Jeff Knaebel meditates on political freedom and satyagraha.
  • 10 October 2008: Why are so many war tax resisters also fans of the Religious Freedom Peace Tax Fund Act? Part of the reason is that some of the Act’s worst flaws only showed up in recent versions of the legislation and came in under the radar. Also: some responses to my series on the Act.
  • 9 October 2008: Okay, so you believe me that the Religious Freedom Peace Tax Fund Act is a rotten idea. But do I have any better ideas? Yes indeed; here are three. Also: highlights from the new issue of NWTRCC’s newsletter, including reviews of “We Won’t Pay” and “American Quaker War Tax Resistance.”
  • 8 October 2008: The Religious Freedom Peace Tax Fund Act would increase taxpayer support of the military and would be a terrible blow to American conscientious objectors to military taxation — why do so many war tax resisters support it? Also: another letter from the I.R.S.
  • 7 October 2008: Not only would the Religious Freedom Peace Tax Fund Act fail to lower the military budget, but every dollar paid into its “peace tax fund” would actually increase taxpayer spending on the military.
  • 6 October 2008: If 93% of American taxpayers declared themselves to be pacifists and paid their taxes into the Peace Tax Fund set up by the Religious Freedom Peace Tax Fund Act, Congress would be forced to react. Also: Christopher Ketcham fantasizes about letting the streets run red with the blood of the criminal oligarchy and then comes back down to earth and suggests tax resistance as a more sensible response.
  • 3 October 2008: Milton Mayer was a tax resister, and wrote about how he justified partial resistance while at the same time having a liberal’s respect for the institution of taxation.
  • 2 October 2008: Political philosophy is to ethical philosophy as chemistry is to physics. Discuss.
  • 30 September 2008: A review of Milton Mayer’s “On Liberty: Man v. The State.” And: More about Mike Palecek’s “frivolous” protest (and a note on the history of protest frivolity). Also: is there such a thing as a war tax resistance “movement” in the United States, and, if so, who qualifies as a member?
  • 29 September 2008: Cindy Sheehan renews her call for mass tax resistance.
  • 28 September 2008: An American libertarian-oriented tax resistance campaign that calls itself the “Slave Uprising” gets ready to launch. Also: more impressions of the recent international conference on war tax resistance and peace tax campaigns, highlighting the differences between the United States and European countries. And: the Wall Street Journal profiles Gene Sharp, wrist-slaps for murderous soldiers, and the release of the Peace Tax Seven movie.
  • 26 September 2008: On this day in 1820, according to legend, Robert Gibbon Johnson publicly ate a bunch of tomatoes to prove they were not poisonous. Several years later, he wrote up a history of Salem, West Jersey in which he gave his impressions of Quaker war tax resistance during the American Revolution.
  • 23 September 2008: As an enterprising do-it-yourselfer, you can best respond to the current economic crisis by printing your own money, says Douglas Rushkoff. Sunni Maravillosa thinks economic secession is an even better answer.
  • 22 September 2008: Okay, really now: in what ways does the government get its hands on our cash, and in what ways can we interfere? Let’s look at the federal budget as a first stab at answering the first part of the question.
  • 21 September 2008: They’re already plotting the great switcheroo in which people who put money in Roth IRAs are gonna get taxed twice. Do you expect them to resist with all these wars, bailouts, benefit programs, and so forth that they keep putting on the credit card?
  • 19 September 2008: Right now about a third of American households don’t pay any federal income tax at all. How would this change if Obama’s or McCain’s current tax plans were enacted?
  • 18 September 2008: If you refuse to pay the I.R.S., or refuse to file a return, that’s one thing. But if you tell the I.R.S. why you’re refusing, that may cost you $5,000. The agency seems to be getting more aggressive in sending out “frivolous filing” warning letters.
  • 17 September 2008: John Bisceglia discusses his tax resistance campaign for same-sex marriage legal recognition on Strictly Confidential radio. Also: Jeff Knaebel writes about resisting taxes on the way toward a society of love and reason.
  • 16 September 2008: Ruth Benn tells us more about the 12th International Conference on War Tax Resistance and Peace Tax Campaigns, and I reflect on whether war tax resisters have much in common with peace tax fund scheme promoters, or whether we’d be better off doing some outreach to other varieties of tax resister instead.
  • 15 September 2008: Ruth Benn reports back from the 12th International Conference on War Tax Resistance and Peace Tax Campaigns in Manchester, England.
  • 14 September 2008: The government is more in debt than ever, is running a huge deficit this year, and yet the politicians in charge are falling over each other to spend more money. Is the amount of government income any restraint at all on government spending? If not, why not? And does this mean the hopes of some tax resisters are in vain?
  • 12 September 2008: “I think of Thoreau in his cell, that hero sheriffs could not swerve, and feel the heart within me swell, with admiration for his nerve. They tax us more each passing year, and waste the coin on useless trash, and we are all such slaves of fear, we meekly pay our hard-earned cash. In public prints we make a wail, for sympathy we make a bid, but no one dares to go to jail, as Henry David Thoreau did.” Also: America’s commercial tax preparers prepare returns inaccurately most of the time, according to an audit.
  • 11 September 2008: A report back from the 12th International Conference on War Tax Resistance and Peace Tax Campaigns in Manchester, England. Also: how the I.R.S. reacts if your employer under-withholds from your paycheck (not very effectively, it turns out).
  • 10 September 2008: So what about that tax resistance campaign in Reconstruction-era Louisiana? (The short version: sometimes the terrorists win.)
  • 9 September 2008: This November, don’t celebrate or weep along with candidate A or candidate B, but instead come to Eugene, Oregon, and participate in the next National War Tax Resistance Coordinating Committee national conference.
  • 8 September 2008: Google has added more text-searchable newspaper archives to the Web, and I go hunting for more information on the history of tax resistance.
  • 5 September 2008: The I.R.S. tells me they’ve finally processed my amended tax return from last April to uncorrect the mistaken “correction” they made to the 1040 I originally filed.
  • 4 September 2008: Some quotes that caught my eye from links I followed while clearing out my backlog of unread “wood s lot” posts.
  • 3 September 2008: A Burning Man festival art installation links taxpaying and torture in “The American Dream.”
  • 2 September 2008: A death-and-taxes comic. Also: allegedly the “International Day of War Tax Resistance” came and went, and nobody even sent me a card.
  • 1 September 2008: Last month I kept track of every cent I spent. I’ve done this one-month-accounting for six years now. It confirms that my income tax resistance strategy is sustainable and it also keeps my finger on the pulse of my economic well-being.
  • 31 August 2008: Ethical illusions can be a lot like optical illusions, and, after reading a collection of ethical philosophy, I wonder why — now that we’re learning so much more than ever before about ethical illusions and blind spots — no discipline of self-defense has developed, but instead we’re allowing this new wealth of knowledge to be used mostly by people who want to manipulate us into betraying our own interests and values.
  • 30 August 2008: Matt Yglesias wonders at the blinders politicians put on when they speak their platitudes about Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • 29 August 2008: Last time the Democratic Party circus was in town, nobody mentioned the U.S. torture policy (even though Abu Ghraib was fresh in the news). Has anything changed this time around? Is there an anti-torture voting bloc worth reaching out to in this country?
  • 26 August 2008: Cashing in your retirement accounts early and stashing the cash is a risky, high-commitment tax resistance tactic. Here’s the story of one blogger who’s started down that path.
  • 22 August 2008: A Permanent Tourist, only Passing Through or Parked Temporarily, can become a Prior Taxpayer. Also: news from War Resisters International about its tax resistance and an upcoming international war tax resistance conference. And: more about John Buscaglia’s tax resistance in favor of legal recognition for same-sex marriages.
  • 20 August 2008: Dana Visalli shares his experiences with tax resistance and I.R.S. enforcement efforts. Also: a look at which households will be paying no federal income tax this year.
  • 18 August 2008: So how did that I.R.S. levy go? Pretty painlessly, really. Also: a bunch of mini book reviews.
  • 17 August 2008: American Quakers didn’t stop debating war tax resistance in the 19th century. Some reports from the last New England Yearly Meeting show that the issue is still challenging Quakers today. Also, some brief notes on tax whistleblower payoffs, the authorship of “Discourse on Voluntary Servitude”, and lying Army recruiters.
  • 14 August 2008: “American Quaker War Tax Resistance” is published and available for order. Here’s a description of what you’ll find inside.
  • 13 August 2008: Ohio farmer Bob Williams is fed up with the government taking his money so that it can buy more “bombs and bullets.” He’d rather give his produce away than make a profit Washington can leech. So that’s what he’s going to do. Also: a profile of war tax resisters Ethan and Rima Vesely-Flad.
  • 12 August 2008: Tax resister Cindy Sheehan has qualified for the ballot and will challenge House Speaker Nancy Pelosi this fall. I may vote after all. Also: a tax resistance group on Facebook.
  • 7 August 2008: If providing material support to terrorism (e.g. “an act that evinces a wanton disregard for human life”) is a war crime, should taxpayers start getting good lawyers? Also: John Bisceglia is overwhelmed by positive feedback to his press release about his tax resistance campaign for same-sex marriage.
  • 6 August 2008: Some quotes from Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s “Gulag Archipelago.” Also: A press release from John Bisceglia about his tax resistance in favor of legal recognition of same-sex marriage.
  • 4 August 2008: NWTRCC’s newsletter is out with lots of news and views of interest to war tax resisters. Also: Indymedia NewsReal broadcasts the trailer to Steev Hise’s “Death and Taxes.” And: Mary King on nonviolent struggle for regime change.
  • 30 July 2008: I get my first look at a proof copy of “American Quaker War Tax Resistance.” Also: a closer look at the tax provisions of the “housing” bill Dubya just signed.
  • 26 July 2008: Congress has increased the reporting requirements for people who accept credit cards or PayPal-like services. This will unearth some of the underground economy and provide the I.R.S. with additional lien targets.
  • 22 July 2008: I get another notice of levy, and pause to try and come up with the lessons learned so far from my experience with the levy process. Also: new tax resistance rumblings from Malaysia.
  • 21 July 2008: Is the end of the I.R.S. private debt collection program at hand? Also: The Picket Line is plugged on Soul-N-Black blog talk radio. And: a new Gay Tax Protest website.
  • 19 July 2008: An update on Charles Merrill’s tax resistance to support government recognition of same-sex marriages (in which he’s buried $2 million of gold in the desert). Also: Ron Paul supporters aren’t giving up yet. And: yes, there are war tax resisters in Canada.
  • 18 July 2008: I’m getting close to the finish line on my “American Quaker War Tax Resistance” book project. Here’s a sneak preview of the index.
  • 17 July 2008: On “The Ridley Report” Dave Ridley files a Peace Tax Return instead of a 1040. Also: a new G.A.O. report on the I.R.S. collection process contains a few bits of interest.
  • 14 July 2008: Have you got any good video footage of war tax resistance related protests, marches, or other actions? There’s an upcoming documentary that needs it.
  • 13 July 2008: They’re still refining and learning from the Milgram Experiment. Also: untangling “obedience” from “support.” And: a year’s worth of writing on simplified, deliberate, meaningful, abundant living, summarized in a single blog post. Also: what would a society based on love look like, and how do we get from here to there?
  • 9 July 2008: Excerpts from Ernst von Salomon’s “Fragebogen” concerning a peasant tax strike in Germany in the late 1920s.
  • 8 July 2008: Some highlights from the just-released National Taxpayer Advocate’s Report to Congress that may be of interest to tax resisters.
  • 7 July 2008: The discussion about how best to promote freedom continues here and there. Also: whether you have to pay self-employment tax as a self-employed person can depend on in what form you organize your business (wanna know the details?). And: the pleasures (and bargains) of the underground economy.
  • 6 July 2008: The rhetoric of Quaker war tax resistance was based on that of the earlier Quaker struggle against paying mandatory tithes to the establishment church in England.
  • 5 July 2008: Aristotle said ethics wasn’t about finding out what was good, but finding out how to be good — where is that ethics today? Also: I join in the debate about the place of agorism and tax resistance in the life of a freedom-lover.
  • 3 July 2008: Some war tax resisters hold back a percentage of their income tax, equivalent to the percentage of income tax revenue the government spends on war. This is a variety of protest, but does it count as a variety of conscientious objection?
  • 29 June 2008: Is there a name for the art of ethical development? Is there a Third Amendment argument against paying war taxes? Is agorism the solution to promoting freedom? Will the peace movement ever get its act together? Can the I.R.S. liquidate your retirement account?
  • 28 June 2008: A multi-page blowout Picket Line special edition all about the thrilling Pennsylvania Constitutional Convention of 1837. Don’t miss it.
  • 27 June 2008: The personal is political, but the devil is in the details. Also: my list of 22 ways to show solidarity with tax resisters is wikified. And: Why am I spending so much time and effort on old arguments about Quaker war tax resistance? Also: a number of American churches are planning a civil disobedience campaign to protest the fact that their tax-exempt status comes only at the cost of silencing their voice in political matters. And: a summary of those laws regulating I.R.S. seizure powers.
  • 26 June 2008: Recovered from deepest, darkest microfiche: Isaac Grey’s “A Serious Address to Such of the People called Quakers, on the Continent of North-America, as profess Scruples relative to the present Government: Exhibiting the ancient real Testimony of that People, concerning Obedience to Civil Authority. Written Before the Departure of the British Army from Philadelphia, 1778, by A Native of Pennsylvania,” or parts of it anyway
  • 25 June 2008: If you didn’t love that whole prebate “economic stimulus” vote buying fiasco before, you may love it when you read what it’s costing the government. Also: One of the more in-depth explanations of the Quaker position against paying commutation, bounty, or militia exemption fines, came from the Meeting for Sufferings of the Philadelphia Yearly Meeting in 1865.
  • 24 June 2008: There’s a new trailer on-line for Steev Hise’s upcoming documentary film about war tax resisters. Also: After Timothy Davis was disowned by his Meeting for urging Quakers to pay taxes to the Continental Congress, his splinter group published a defense of Davis that included a defense of his tax-promoting heresy.
  • 23 June 2008: “The Haydocks’ Testimony” is a fictionalized account of Quaker conscientious objection (and refusal to pay militia exemption taxes) in the Confederacy during the American Civil War.
  • 22 June 2008: At a time when American Quaker meetings were splintering into irreconcilable factions, Joshua Maule tried to write a convincing call for wavering Friends to stop paying war taxes.
  • 21 June 2008: I speak to the “Abundance League” on the pleasures of tax resistance and simple living. Also: The Westbury, New York Monthly Meeting of the Society of Friends reported on what happened to one New York Quaker who refused to submit to the draft or to militia exemption fines.
  • 20 June 2008: Streaming audio from several radio shows about tax resistance. Also: Some of the global tension concerning high food and fuel prices has taken the form of organized tax protests. And: The American Peace Society suggested that the Quaker refusal to pay militia exemption fines either went too far or not far enough.
  • 19 June 2008: Charles Merrill, who stopped filing taxes because the I.R.S. would not recognize his (gay) marriage, announces that he’s being prosecuted. Also: On this date, 36 years ago, Time magazine decided it was time to say something about “The War Tax Protesters.” And: a defender of puritanism researches Quaker “sufferings” at puritan hands, and uncovers some persecution for war tax refusal.
  • 18 June 2008: You’ve heard that the I.R.S. has outsourced some of its delinquent tax collection, but it’s also outsourced some of their hunting down of tax delinquents and tax evaders by paying off snitches with a percentage of the take. Also: An 1864 debate in the U.S. Senate about Quaker resistance to militia exemption fines, and to what extent the law should respect it.
  • 17 June 2008: Am I “obsessing” about Quaker tax resistance from centuries past? There’s a good reason. Also: Quakers plead the case of conscientious objectors to Lincoln’s war cabinet. And: the story of Cyrus G. Pringle.
  • 16 June 2008: Selections from Nathan F. Spencer’s “An Account of the Sufferings of Friends of North Carolina Yearly Meeting in Support of Their Testimony Against War from 1861 to 1865” concerning what happened to Friends who refused to pay the militia exemption fees.
  • 15 June 2008: The tax resistance of American Civil War-era resister Ann Branson, as told in her own words and in the reflections of Joshua Maule.
  • 14 June 2008: Employees of War Resisters’ International in London tell Inland Revenue why they’re not getting those war taxes. Also: Selections from Fernando Gale Cartland’ 1895 book “Southern Heroes: The Friends in War Time” that tell how Quakers in the Confederate states coped with the military draft, exemption fees, and war taxes; including writings of conscientious objector Himelius M. Hockett, and a letter from C.S. Venable concerning conscientious objector Tilghman Vestal.
  • 13 June 2008: Excerpts from Stephen B. Weeks’s “Southern Quakers and Slavery” concerning Quaker tax resistance during the American Civil War.
  • 12 June 2008: “Human Smoke” questions the conventional wisdom about World War II. Also: Aristides Monteiro paints what he considered a comic picture of patient Confederate bandit guerrillas trying to steal requisitions from a furious Virginia Quaker family, in his 1890 book “War Reminiscences by the Surgeon of [John Singleton] Moseby’s Command.”
  • 11 June 2008: In a pamphlet titled “Views of the Society of Friends in Relation to Civil Government” (1840), the New England Yearly Meeting set down its idea of the sort of relationship a Christian ought to have with Cæsar, particularly regarding war and war taxes.
  • 10 June 2008: In 1835 a Quaker writer with the pen name “Pacificus” presaged Thoreau’s argument that civil disobedience, and tax resistance in particular, could reform a nation.
  • 9 June 2008: A review of Tom Hodgkinson’s “The Freedom Manifesto.” Also: Samuel Hanson Cox wrote a condemnation the Quaker policy on militia fines in the course of a general denunciation of Quakerism. It’s a good example of a typical knee-jerk opposition to the Quaker peace testimony and its tax-resistance ramifications.
  • 8 June 2008: Enoch Lewis threw everything he had, rhetorically, at the Pennsylvania militia system in his 1831 booklet “Some Observations on the Militia System, Addressed to the Serious Consideration of the Citizens of Pennsylvania” — including arguments against having to pay for it.
  • 7 June 2008: Voluntary simplicity as a way of building freedom. Also: In Benjamin Hallowell’s Autobiography (1883), he tells of his refusal to pay militia exemption fines, and how he felt doubts about whether this Quaker practice was correct.
  • 6 June 2008: On this date in 1930, the Pittsburgh Sentinel told its readers “Salt Raiding in India to be Ended: Far More Serious Menace Now — Tax Resistance.” Also: War and Taxes at the Volokh Conspiracy.
  • 5 June 2008: Bartering is on the rise. Also: New York Quakers sent a message to the 1821 New York state constitutional convention asserting their rights to conscientious objection to military service or equivalent payments. One delegate complained “how are we to expect our governor to withstand these quakers” — and sure enough, the governor soon took their side.
  • 4 June 2008: The new NWTRCC newsletter is out. Also: In 1815, Ephraim Wood spied hypocrisy in Quaker war tax resistance, but, as with so many of the old criticisms and reductiones ad absurdum, this one seems to me to be making some good arguments in favor of tax resistance while trying to invent and discredit bad ones.
  • 3 June 2008: Excerpts from Stephen B. Weeks’s “Southern Quakers and Slavery” concerning Quaker tax resistance in the post-Revolutionary period. And: excerpts from a letter from Benjamin Bates to the Virginia Legislature, explaining why Quakers felt they could not pay militia exemption fines — which makes me wonder if the passion for resistance is getting out ahead of the reasoning at this point.
  • 2 June 2008: How to throw the tax system into turmoil. Also: A critique of “peace tax fund” legislation. Also: when Maine was forming its first state Constitution in 1819, the delegates debated to what extent the law should honor Quaker scruples about paying militia fines.
  • 1 June 2008: Elias Hicks, who prompted the schism that split American Quakers into “Hicksite” and “Orthodox” branches, had a thing or two to say about war tax resistance. Also: Elias’s cousin Edward Hicks also wrote about tax resistance in his memoirs.
  • 31 May 2008: Gouverneur Morris, among other things one of the major authors of the United States Constitution, was very critical of the United States’ pursuit of the War of 1812. He wrote a defense of war tax resistance that extends the Quaker argument against providing funding for war in general into an argument for withholding funding from specific, unjust wars.
  • 30 May 2008: In Lillian Schlissel’s book “Conscience in America” is an excerpt from a letter to the Pennsylvania Assembly from 1795 that I haven’t been able to find elsewhere, and the author of which remains unknown to me, but that attempts to explain the Quaker refusal to pay militia exemption fines. Also: some advice from taxpatriate satyagrahi Jeff Knaebel.
  • 29 May 2008: If you couldn’t make it to the NWTRCC conference in Birmingham, you can find the next best thing on-line. Also: Another notice from the I.R.S. (ho hum). And: James Bowden and Isaac Zane complained that during the American Revolution, Quakers got it from both sides — the British and the rebels — due to their refusal to support the militaries. Also: the story of John Cowgill, who was paraded through town with a sign on his back and subjected to other reprisals after he refused to use the Continental currency.
  • 28 May 2008: I’ve been helping low-income people apply for the Earned Income Tax Credit in the hopes that this would in some small way take money away from government. Have I been tricked into complicity with the machine? Also: letters from Anthony Benezet and Moses Brown hint at a major Quaker defense of tax resistance that so far has eluded my sleuthing.
  • 27 May 2008: Wendy McElroy and Anthony Benezet on the joys of voluntary simplicity. Also: In 1781, representatives from the Philadelphia Yearly Meeting addressed a “memorial” to the Pennsylvania General Assembly pleading for relief from property seizures that war tax resisting Quakers were being victimized by.
  • 26 May 2008: From time to time, individual Quakers or Quaker delegations would meet with the people involved in tax collection, distraints, or auctions of distrained goods to try to persuade them that such courses of action were wrong. Also: Thomas Watson is nearly executed for refusing to accept the Continental currency. And: Bob Meola reminds us that conscientious objection is a choice for everone.
  • 25 May 2008: Records of some of the confessions made by Quakers from the Nottingham Meeting during the American Revolution concerning individual failures to abide strictly by the peace testimony.
  • 24 May 2008: I try to call the I.R.S. again to ask about my suspicion that someone, somewhere has invalidly claimed me as a dependent on their tax return. After 30 minutes of “please press such-and-such” and the Nutcracker Suite and reminders of how important my call is, the helpful agent doesn’t know how many exemptions I have in my current tax record, doesn’t know why their on-line service thinks someone else claims me as a dependent, and doesn’t know if my 1040x has been received and processed.
  • 23 May 2008: The stories of “College Tom” Hazard and Elizabeth Drinker show the nitty-gritty of Quaker war tax resistance and the government’s response: seizing and selling goods to make up the tax.
  • 22 May 2008: A rare, 1776 pamphlet from a Massachusetts Quaker who urged his fellow-Friends to pay their taxes to the rebel Continental Congress. He was disowned, which led to a “Free Quaker” split in his Meeting.
  • 21 May 2008: Gérard de Reyneval worked as a diplomatic intermediary between the Continental Congress and the French government, which was delighting in the colonial rebellion within its European rival. In an intelligence report he sent back to France in 1778, he painted an unflattering picture of Quaker war tax resistance.
  • 20 May 2008: A snafu by the California Franchise Tax Board has exposed a vulnerability that tax resisters may be able to exploit.
  • 19 May 2008: Karl Hess’s tax resistance in Time magazine, Ruth Benn interviewed on Australian radio, and a remarkable proposal from Cato Unbound.
  • 18 May 2008: A postscript to Philalethes’s “Tribute Unto Cæsar” tract tells the stories of some early Quaker war tax resisters, and concludes his argument.
  • 16 May 2008: Tribute to Cæsar, How paid by the Beſt Chriſtians, And to what Purpoſe. With Some Remarks on the late vigorous Expedition againſt Canada. Of Civil Government, How Inconſiſtent it is with the Government of Chriſt in his Church. Compared with the Ancient Juſt and Righteous Principles of the Quakers, and their Modern Practice and Doctrine.
  • 15 May 2008: A guest article I wrote for the “Frugal For Life” blog about Frugal Living as a Form of Tax Resistance.
  • 14 May 2008: Quaker meetings would occasionally distill their discussions over war taxes and the payment of militia exemption fines into a consensus statement, which they would publish as a record of the current understanding of the Meeting. Here are some examples.
  • 13 May 2008: During the American Revolution and its aftermath, Quakers in America were in a tight spot, with their principled war tax resistance often interpreted as cryptoToryism.
  • 12 May 2008: Joshua Evans left a record in his journal of his decades of war tax resistance around the time of the American Revolution, which led him eventually to avoid all imported goods so as not to pay an excise tax which would go to military spending and to paying off war debts.
  • 11 May 2008: In another episode from John Woolman’s journal, he gives a strong answer to the criticism of tax resistance that sees it as a violation of a social contract. Also: the source of Woolman’s plea that “we look upon our Treasures, and the furniture of our Houses, and the Garments in which we array ourselves, and try whether the seeds of war have any nourishment in these our possessions.”
  • 10 May 2008: Wilson Armistead, who edited an edition of the Memoirs of James Logan, relates an interesting example of Quaker tax resistance that features kidnapping on the high seas.
  • 9 May 2008: Redirection — it’s about more than tax dollars. Clare Hanrahan writes, “I redirect each time I give my time and energy in support of good work within my community.”
  • 8 May 2008: Go on a $3 trillion shopping spree, read another report from the NWTRCC conference, learn about tax-spawned cigarette smuggling, don’t rely on the Taxpayer Advocate Service if you’re poor, see what happens when the I.R.S. cheats in Tax Court, find out who’s really getting the windfall profits in the oil industry, welcome Mimi Copp to the tax resistance fold, join with ineffective anti-war protesters to spend untold energy planning another ineffective parade, and more about war & taxes.
  • 7 May 2008: In the eighteenth century, John Woolman noted that war tax resistance was a hard sell even among Quakers, Samuel Fothergill hoped that the difficult question of war tax resistance would help separate the wheat from the chaff in Quaker Meetings, and James Pemberton noted sadly that for the first time the persecutors of conscientious Quakers were tax collectors and law enforcement officers who were also Quakers.
  • 6 May 2008: I report back from NWTRCC’s Spring Conference in Birmingham, Alabama, and from the 2008 War Tax Boycott redirection ceremony.
  • 5 May 2008: John Churchman was among the American Quakers who tried to persuade the Pennsylvania Assembly not to tread on the consciences of those Friends who did not want to pay to engage in the French and Indian War.
  • 4 May 2008: The American Quaker attitude to war taxes was discussed by William Mavor in his 1797 book “Historical Account of the Most Celebrated Voyages, Travels, and Discoveries from the Time of Columbus to the Present Period.”
  • 3 May 2008: The governors of New England colonies had a devil of a time trying to get Quaker legislators to cough up any tax money for military purposes.
  • 2 May 2008: Stephen B. Weeks, in “Southern Quakers and Slavery: A Study in Institutional History,” tells how Quaker war tax resistance developed in the southern colonies of North America before the American Revolution.
  • 1 May 2008: James Logan was a close associate of William Penn who had many roles in the government of Pennsylvania, was a successful businessman and negotiator, published scientific papers on various subjects, and mentored Benjamin Franklin in philosophy and science. He wrote a powerful critique of Quaker pacifism in the hopes of getting the Philadelphia Yearly Meeting to revisit its discipline in this regard, but the Meeting more or less completely blew him off.
  • 30 April 2008: John Richardson was an English Quaker who visited America at the beginning of the eighteenth century. While there, he was asked for advice by American Quakers as to how Friends in the home country handled the question of war taxes. Here’s how he answered them.
  • 29 April 2008: The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration analyzes the I.R.S. enforcement numbers over the last ten years. Also: If you want a picture of the future, imagine an I.R.S. Behavioral Science Unit stomping on a human face forever. And: how “framing” tax issues in different ways can make the same people take opposite positions.
  • 28 April 2008: Thomas Story, an English Quaker convert who lived in America from 1698 to 1714, left an account of Quaker conscientious objection to conscription and military fines in America at that time.
  • 27 April 2008: Some of the earliest records of Quaker war tax resistance in America that I have been able to get my hands on come from, of all places, Jamaica.
  • 26 April 2008: Benjamin Franklin, in his autobiography, related some stories about the Quaker peace testimony — and Quaker resistance to pay for military expenditures — as he saw it (as a non-pacifist) in colonial Pennsylvania.
  • 25 April 2008: Examples of twenty-two ways tax resisters and their sympathizers have organized to support tax resisters and tax resistance campaigns.
  • 24 April 2008: Isaac Sharpless tells the story of Quaker war tax resistance in the colony of Pennsylvania, and gives us the context of Benjamin Franklin’s quote: “Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.”
  • 22 April 2008: Another letter from the I.R.S., and it’s a weird one. For some reason, they seem to have decided that I don’t qualify for the $3,400 personal exemption that everybody else (except dependents) qualifies for. As far as I can tell this is just some arbitrary glitch and won’t end up meaning anything, but I’m having a hard time getting any answers from the agency. Also: I’m going to the NWTRCC national in Birmingham next month.
  • 21 April 2008: Labor unions strike against unjust wars in Zimbabwe and Iraq. Also: David O’Brien and Kathy Kelly on citizen collaboration in what we like to call “Bush’s War.” And: more Tax Day Action reports.
  • 17 April 2008: Even more Tax Day aftermath, with reports from Eugene, Oregon; Berkeley, California; Rockland, New York; Glynn County, Georgia; Austin, Texas; New York City; and Manchester, New Hampshire.
  • 16 April 2008: In the aftermath of Tax Day, tax resisters are all over the media and the web. Here are reports from Keene, New Hampshire; Brattleboro, Vermont; New York City; Nashua, New Hampshire; Los Alamos, New Mexico; Bangor, Maine; central New Jersey; Portsmouth, New Hampshire; Berkeley, California; Washington D.C.; and all across the blogosphere.
  • 15 April 2008: War tax resisters bask in the news media spotlight on Tax Day, including coverage from Portland, Oregon; Berkeley, California; the Lower Hudson Valley of New York; Vermont; and St. Louis, Missouri.
  • 14 April 2008: The People’s Life Fund redirects $10,000 of war tax resisters’ money from the federal government to local charities. Also: the I.R.S. oversight board thinks the agency should use a M.A.D.D. or M.P.A.A.-like propaganda campaign to get people to comply with taxation. And Jeff Knaebel suggests tax resistance as a way of reclaiming your right to pursue an ethical life.
  • 13 April 2008: Beware the Ides of April, learn about the Noble American Tradition of Tax Resistance, read along as Bronwyn Shiffer tells the I.R.S. why she’s not paying, and see the Picket Line picked apart at the Guide to Reality.
  • 11 April 2008: Ben Metcalf’s provocative Harper’s essay “Why I pay my taxes” is now on-line. Also: Roderick T. Long touches on taxpayer complicity in his paper “On Making Small Contributions to Evil.” And: Laura Baran decides to resist. Also: Randal Bentz throws a Thoreauvian challenge at the Marine Corps-hostile city of Berkeley.
  • 8 April 2008: The U.S. Department of Justice [sic] rolls out its new “National Tax Defier Initiative” (or “TAXDEF” if you’re nasty). Is there any beef amongst the bullet points? Also: a war tax resistance podcast, a look at the accounting chicanery hiding the cost of war from the taxpayers, a call for tax resistance from an anti-abortion activist, and the I.R.S. gets audited over its lien procedures (and flunks).
  • 6 April 2008: Is advocating war tax resistance the same as “promoting tax evasion schemes” and if so, could the government shut down organizations that promote war tax resistance and seize their membership rolls? What about tax resisters’ “alternative funds”? Are they a variety of “warehouse bank” vulnerable to wholesale seizure by the government?
  • 4 April 2008: Announcing the publication of “We Won’t Pay!: A Tax Resistance Reader” — the stories of hundreds of years of tax resisters from around the world, told in their own words.
  • 3 April 2008: Tax resisters across the country are planning actions for Tax Day in the United States. Also: a profile of Vermont war tax resisters Janet Hicks, Robert Riversong, and Bob Bady.
  • 2 April 2008: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid explains to an interviewer that, despite appearances to the contrary, the U.S. Government doesn’t forcibly take money from people, but only accepts voluntary donations.
  • 30 March 2008: Creative people-powered solutions that use cooperation and free market incentives rather than coercion and big government to help solve environmental problems and encourage more efficient use of resources — that’s the Carrotmob. Also: checking in on this year’s three big war tax resistance campaigns. And: the I.R.S. wastes our money but wins a lawsuit. Also: take a page from Dubya’s playbook and add a “signing statement” to your tax return.
  • 29 March 2008: Does a taxpayer enter into a criminal conspiracy with the government, with the risk of being prosecuted under the Nuremberg Principles? If you pay taxes under duress or under protest, do you not have to worry about the ethical consequences? How was Chiquita (the banana company) convicted for paying taxes? Can Caesar take your blame away? Is paying taxes obligatory, like paying your debts, regardless of the consequences? Have people really been arguing about this stuff for centuries now?
  • 28 March 2008: To what extent does paying taxes to the government make you responsible for what the government does? That turns out to be a very hard question. Also: The Money Magazine article I’m in is finally on-line. And: Ruth Benn eulogizes Ralph DiGia. Also: is war tax resistance futile, or scrappy? And: United for Peace & Justice breaks my heart.
  • 25 March 2008: The war tax resisters from the Restored Israel of Yahweh are resentenced. Also: is war tax resistance “purely symbolic” or is it tactically useful?
  • 23 March 2008: Frida Berrigan reports on the I.R.S. headquarters blockade. Also: David Beito tells the story of the man who, in the 1930s, “led probably the largest tax strike in the United States since the Era of the American Revolution.” And: Jim Henley tells us how he knew the Iraq War was a bad idea all along, and how, in a parallel universe, this matters.
  • 22 March 2008: A taxpatriate, who fled overseas rather than continue to support and be embarrassed by the U.S. government, tells her story. Also: frugalista living tips from Wendy McElroy. And: a new sales pitch for war tax resistance — of the effective things you could be doing, it’s one of the easiest.
  • 21 March 2008: The I.R.S. releases statistics on how many taxpayers are being disobedient, and what they’ve been doing about it. Also: the I.R.S. is a bit trigger-happy in sending out “frivolous filing” warnings to conscientious objectors to military taxation. And: Abbie Hofmann’s “Steal This Book” is brought into the modern, wiki-age. Also: Caleb Johnson lays down the old-school rhetoric for anarchism.
  • 20 March 2008: The story of my tax resistance hits the pages of Money Magazine, tempting the haves with the zero-tax methods of the have-lesses. Also: more than thirty protesters were arrested trying to blockade the entrance to the I.R.S. headquarters in Washington, D.C. yesterday.
  • 19 March 2008: In my annual report I summarize my fifth year of tax resistance and forecast the year ahead.
  • 17 March 2008: A military intelligence captain writes to tell me that my article about civilian casualties and human shields in Iraq gives the wrong impression. Also: Ben Metcalf pens a satirical thank you letter from the U.S. government to a dear taxpayer.
  • 16 March 2008: Another day working with the volunteer income tax assistance program — and I have mixed feelings about it. Also: the War Resisters League issues their annual federal spending pie chart. You probably won’t be surprised to note that military spending is up. And it won’t be going down any time soon, since the costs of the Iraq War will keep piling up for years to come.
  • 14 March 2008: The preliminary numbers are out for the 2006 tax year, and once again about a third of American households who filed their taxes paid no federal income tax at all that year. Also: The anti-war coalition group United for Peace & Justice encourages its members to “to nonviolently take matters into our own hands and encourage taxpayers to directly refuse to pay for the war.” And: More on Daniel Jenkins’s campaign for legal conscientious objection to military taxation. Also: How a frugalista philosophy allows you to work for your priorities instead of Uncle Sam’s. And: Sure enough, the I.R.S.’s private debt collection outsourcing program has been an expensive boondoggle.
  • 13 March 2008: Jeff Knaebel examines the sort of relationship an ethical person should have with a government, using the framework of Thich Nhat Hahn’s socially engaged Buddhism. Also: libertarians debate civil disobedience and the possibility of geographically diffuse, agorist splinter economies that compete with the State without confronting it directly. And: anti-war activists may be having more success than they know. Also: Wendy McElroy shares her “frugalista” philosophy. And: Vermonters are encouraged to seceed from the Union before Vermont does. Also: corruption and graft in wanton disregard for the safety of U.S. troops amongst American war profiteers? Who’d have guessed?
  • 12 March 2008: I got another letter from the I.R.S. — in this one they surprise me with the news that I “overpaid” my taxes for 2005 and so they’re issuing me a refund and then snatching it back to pay my unpaid 2006 taxes. I think this just demonstrates how kludgy their software is. Also: the U.S. Supreme Court reaffirms that “the legal right of a taxpayer to decrease the amount of what otherwise would be his taxes, or altogether avoid them, by means which the law permits, cannot be doubted.”
  • 11 March 2008: While I was away: next week’s blockade of the I.R.S. headquarters, the anti-pizzo movement in Palermo, the death of long-time war tax resister Joanna Karl, tax resistance in Tanzania and in Maine, what the new economic stimulus plan means to low-income tax resisters in the U.S., a new war tax resistance poster, an argument that tax resistance may be a legal obligation in the U.S., war tax resistance as part of Christian conscientious objection, and how to be a foodie without breaking the bank.
  • 22 February 2008: Remember when torture was so obviously morally wrong that you could use that conclusion as an example of something that “can be derived within any moral or religious system as well as through the use of common sense”? Also: experimental evidence that people actively avoid learning facts that might convince them to sacrifice for the sake of others.
  • 20 February 2008: Charles Kanjama urges the Kenyan opposition to launch a nonviolent resistance campaign focusing on tax resistance. Also: how to inflate the military budget without inflating the military budget. And: looking back at the beginning of the last century of the United States torturing its prisoners of war.
  • 17 February 2008: I saw evidence of fervent interest in tax resistance yesterday at a workshop in San Francisco, and was interviewed for an upcoming war tax resistance documentary. Also: Colorado Springs war tax resisters are in the news again. And: People are more likely to behave unethically if you tell them that they don’t have free will. Also: About the cooperative, bottom-up, long-distance money exchange method called Hawala. And: the entourage of our pampered god-emperor.
  • 15 February 2008: Just how much of a premium are we paying when we buy produce through a Community Supported Agriculture program instead of just going to the corner market? There’s one way to find out: collect the figures and do the math.
  • 14 February 2008: Don Schrader lives simply (and strangely) in pursuit of ethical living (and generates plenty of interest); war tax resisters in Colorado Springs make the news; the I.R.S. refuses to cough up its audit statistics despite a court order; expatriate tax resister Jeff Knaebel speaks at the Gandhi Sixtieth Memorial in Pune; and Larry Rosenwald wonders if the emphasis on voluntary simplicity means that tax resisters with voluntarily complex lifestyles aren’t welcome in the clubhouse.
  • 11 February 2008: A coalition of Christian peace groups asks its members to take a tax resistance pledge. Also: the “Don’t Buy Bush’s War” campaign continues to sign up tax resisters. And: a new resource for people and groups working to build and strengthen the “solidarity economy.”
  • 9 February 2008: Today I put on my Robin Hood cap & feather and worked my first day at the VITA program this season — taking $5,744 from the government to give back to low-income households. Also: more on the tax resistance writer who became a Holocaust denier, Bradley R. Smith.
  • 8 February 2008: A new edition of NWTRCC’s newsletter features an article I wrote on how to craft a persuasive and motivating tax resistance message, updates on Daniel Jenkins’s legal battles for conscientious objection to military taxation, notes from the New England war tax resistance gathering, and more. Also: the “economic stimulus” package — what will it mean for tax resisters like me?
  • 5 February 2008: Help blockade the I.R.S. headquarters in Washington on March 19th. Also: the IRS went for a high-profile tax season tax conviction, rolled the dice, and it came up snake-eyes. And: Wendy McElroy sees frugality as a blood sport. Also: NTodd sees tax resistance as the least we can do. And: taking a closer look at the latest U.S. military budget.
  • 4 February 2008: Ralph DiGia, old-school anti-war activist who persuaded the War Resisters League to support the war tax resistance of its employees, dead at 93. Also: some notes from expatriate renunciate satyagrahi Jeff Knaebel.
  • 3 February 2008: 26 years ago today, the papers announced that Catholic Archbishop Raymond Hunthausen of Seattle, Washington would be refusing to pay half of his federal income taxes to protest the nuclear arms race.
  • 1 February 2008: The Ruckus Society signs on to the “Don’t Buy Bush’s War” tax resistance campaign. And the War Resisters League attacks the pillars of support for the war, including one pillar at the I.R.S. headquarters in Washington.
  • 31 January 2008: When the I.R.S. seized the home of tax resisters Ernest & Marion Bromley and sold it at auction, the pacifists and their friends unleashed guerrilla street theater and clowns on the hapless agency, insisting on their human rights without deigning to invoke legal rights — and they won! The I.R.S. backed down and gave them their house back.
  • 29 January 2008: Countereconomics Lite, the Boston Tea Party, and Code Pink picks up a well-known name or two for their tax resistance campaign.
  • 27 January 2008: War tax resistance was a much stranger game in the United States during World War I. Resisters risked vigilante mob violence in trying to resist what was, nominally, a volunteer fund-raising drive.
  • 25 January 2008: The “stimulus plan” that’s all the rage in Washington these days may end up changing the game for those of us doing low-income tax resistance — for the better. Also: a new quote that threatens to knock “we had to destroy the village in order to save it” off the top of the charts.
  • 23 January 2008: The “Don’t Buy Bush’s War” tax resistance campaign picks up more endorsers and pledgers as a press release goes out on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.
  • 22 January 2008: Fine tuning the war tax resistance message: since we have the facts on our side when it comes to the risk of jail time, why risk credibility over dubious factoids? Also: over two hundred people signed up for the “Don’t Buy Bush’s War” tax resistance pledge on-line yesterday.
  • 21 January 2008: Code Pink announced its “Don’t Buy Bush’s War” campaign to its mailing list this morning. Six hours later, over a hundred new people have taken the tax resistance pledge, and they’re still flooding in.
  • 20 January 2008: An Oakland, California hardware store owner refuses to collect or remit sales tax in protest against the government’s failure to protect his community against violent crime. Also: a look at the I.R.S. enforcement numbers for last year. And: the “Death and Taxes” poster illustrating the 2008 U.S. Federal Budget is released.
  • 19 January 2008: American anarchist Lysander Spooner was born 200 years ago today. Here are a few words he wrote on the subject of taxation.
  • 16 January 2008: Can we leave the philosophical quagmires behind and investigate ethics scientifically?
  • 15 January 2008: Code Pink talks up tax resistance on KPFA. Also: Curses! Levied again! (And this time it’s for realsies.) And: Quaker tax resistance during the American Revolution.
  • 14 January 2008: War tax reluctance by the Quaker assembly of Pennsylvania in 1693. Also: the Regulator movement — an organized tax resistance movement in pre-Revolutinary North Carolina. And: Bradley R. Smith tells how he came to write his tax resistance play.
  • 11 January 2008: Today we add a rap track to the tax resistance audio library. Also: Oregon Public Broadcasting reports on war tax resister Pam Allee. And: a look back at the influence of the war tax resistance advocacy of Archbishop Raymond Hunthausen in the 1980s.
  • 9 January 2008: The National Taxpayer Advocate issues its annual report, including withering criticism of the I.R.S.’s use of private debt collection agencies. Also: Dennis Kucinich joins Ron Paul in giving shout-outs to tax resisters from the campaign trail.
  • 8 January 2008: The Greenfield, Massachusetts Recorder profiles Juanita Nelson, who hasn’t paid federal income tax for sixty years. Also: is it worth the cost to shift my support away from government-subsidized industrial corn chow agriculture?
  • 7 January 2008: A new video from Conscience Canada promotes conscientious objection to military taxation. Also: as I walk down the path of tax resistance, I notice I’ve been bothered by the same stone in my shoe as those in whose footsteps I’m walking.
  • 4 January 2008: Tipping Pete Seeger’s seesaw with a teaspoon, the Asch Conformity Experiment, The Emperor’s New Clothes, the banality of evil, the Sepoy Mutiny, Benjamin Ricketson Tucker’s book, and a Last Minute Tax Guide & Civil Disobedience Primer from The Beast.
  • 2 January 2008: A graceful, strange, dream-worldish play about war tax resistance that, unfortunately, was written by a crackpot Holocaust denier. Also: the I.R.S. flunks a computer security audit (next time your “identity” is stolen, you’ll know who to thank).

2007

  • 30 December 2007: Tools for frugal (and rent-free) living, detailed tracking of Congressional spending, mulling over Code Pink’s tax resistance campaign, and a report on the Peace Tax Seven.
  • 29 December 2007: The Nation publishes some letters it received in response to Chris Hedges’s war tax resistance article (including a letter from me). Also: more people pledge to begin resisting taxes, and tell us why.
  • 24 December 2007: A hundred years ago today: the members of the Duma who signed the Viborg Manifesto (urging Russians to stop paying taxes to the Czar) go on trial. Also: The Russian Orthodox Church engages in some dirty tricks to try to foil the Viborg Manifesto signers.
  • 21 December 2007: The I.R.S. will, at its own expense, train you to help low-income people file for tax refunds that take, on average, more than $1,000 each from the U.S. treasury. Also: the “Don’t Buy Bush’s War” tax resistance pledges keep pouring in.
  • 19 December 2007: One more way you can nickle-and-dime the I.R.S. while reducing the efficency of its enforcement arm is to file paper tax returns rather than filing electronically. Also: the minimum failure-to-file penalty may be going up. And: more from the “Don’t Buy Bush’s War” pledgers.
  • 17 December 2007: The editor of “The Nation” spills some lukewarm praise on Code Pink’s war tax resistance campaign. Also: how not to get caught with a sucker’s refund when you file your taxes this year.
  • 16 December 2007: Sing along if you know the lyrics: “There must be fifteen ways to stop paying for the war.” Also: hearing from more signers of the “Don’t Buy Bush’s War” pledge.
  • 15 December 2007: Anti-war activists across the country join Code Pink’s tax resistance campaign with cheers of enthusiasm in its opening weekend.
  • 14 December 2007: The anti-war activist group “Code Pink” is launching a massive nationwide war tax resistance campaign that aims to get 100,000 people to pledge to cut off their funding for U.S. wars.
  • 13 December 2007: How’s the 2008 War Tax Boycott coming along? Also: more discussion of tax resister insurance. And: my bank charged me $106.50 for their trouble when the I.R.S. levied $5.16 from my account.
  • 12 December 2007: A new edition of NWTRCC’s newsletter is out. Also: Chris Hedges expands on last month’s tax resistance pledge.
  • 11 December 2007: More observations about the economic irrationality of tax compliance, and a call for a tax resisters’ mutual aid and insurance program. Also: audioblogging the New England war tax resisters’ conference.
  • 10 December 2007: Kropotkin also had a thing or two to say about tax resistance during the French Revolution. Also: Ron Paul calls tax resisters “pretty heroic” for their stand against “supporting evil in the world.”
  • 9 December 2007: War tax resisters are having a conference in New England this weekend. Also: Once tax resistance got going during the French Revolution, it just kept going, long after the Assembly took power from the Church and the Crown.
  • 8 December 2007: If you challenge the government’s authority, it has to fall back on some combination of persuasion and coercion. This can be a valuable thing even if you can’t get much further.
  • 7 December 2007: From here, my experiment in tax resistance could go in several directions. What would you do if you were in my shoes?
  • 5 December 2007: A reader points out that my methods for avoiding the federal income tax and the self-employment tax are incompatible and suggests that I either go “all in” and become a fully-outlaw tax evader or I come up with a plan to live off of untaxed capital — a good job if you can get it!
  • 4 December 2007: What would a formal cost-benefit analysis of illegal tax refusal look like? Can the costs and benefits be precisely quantified ahead of time, or even in retrospect?
  • 3 December 2007: The I.R.S. sends me a “Copy of Notice of Levy” indicating that they’ve demanded that Wells Fargo hand over everything I have in my bank account. But the joke’s on them.
  • 1 December 2007: Why do people pay their taxes when the penalties for not doing so are not likely enough or severe enough to make taxpaying economically rational?
  • 30 November 2007: The I.R.S. sends me their first quasi-personal bit of mail, but it turns out to be a strange data dump that leaves me scratching my head.
  • 29 November 2007: The responses to Chris Hedges’s tax resistance article show us many examples of commonly-expressed objections to tax resistance. By examining these with an eye toward preparing persuasive answers, tax resisters can become more effective at influencing people to resist.
  • 26 November 2007: Journalist and author Chris Hedges tells his readers that if the U.S. attacks Iran, he’s going to stop paying his taxes.
  • 21 November 2007: Among history’s tax resisters is one Karl Marx, who was tried (and acquitted) for promoting tax resistance in Germany in 1848.
  • 20 November 2007: Pitching war tax resistance effectively requires understanding the needs, fears, and values of frustrated anti-war activists.
  • 16 November 2007: Two war tax resistance films — “Paying for Peace” and “An Act of Conscience” — are released on-line. Also: the story of The Bezuidenoudt Affair, an act of tax resistance that triggered the first Boer War.
  • 15 November 2007: Reviewing Scott Ritter’s “Waging Peace: The Art of War for the Antiwar Movement” — a challenge to the anti-war movement to move on from ineffectiveness.
  • 14 November 2007: In 1948, Vivien Kellems announced that she would no longer withhold income tax from her employees’ paychecks. Here’s the transcript of the speech with which she helped to launch the American Constitutionalist tax protester movement.
  • 12 November 2007: David Little, a rare example of an anti-abortion tax resister, is sentenced for refusing to pay his taxes. I speculate as to why there aren’t more examples of tax resistance from the pro life movement, and wonder how war tax resisters might respond to the rhetorical challenge it represents.
  • 10 November 2007: Another letter from the I.R.S. breaks the previous desperation-to-information ratio record. Also: protesters from the Erie Peace Initiative are imprisoned for refusing to pay their fines. And: Abbie Coburn discusses war tax resistance as engaged Christianity.
  • 8 November 2007: A “people power” movement in the United Kingdom, in which tax resistance played a large role, was responsible for the eventual success of the Reform Act of 1832 over the opposition of the House of Lords.
  • 7 November 2007: When Charles X of France tried to bypass the legislature and tax by decree in 1829, the Breton Association spearheaded a tax resistance campaign that included a fund that participants paid into to defray the legal costs of any resisters who might be prosecuted.
  • 6 November 2007: Lunatic jingo Michelle Malkin mocks the chickendoves who say they’re against the war while they continue to pay for it. And: most of the convictions against the war tax resisters from the Restored Israel of Yahweh are overturned on appeal.
  • 5 November 2007: War tax resistance is the talk of the top-tier liberal blog Daily Kos, thanks to a contributor whose family has stopped paying war taxes. Also: war tax resister Larry Dansinger is profiled in the Boston Phoenix.
  • 3 November 2007: Samuel Allinson’s 1780 argument against paying war taxes never saw print, and (until now) was difficult to find anywhere. Now it’s on The Picket Line.
  • 1 November 2007: Remember Julia & Abby Smith and their cows “Votey” and “Taxey”? Here’s the story in their own words.
  • 31 October 2007: The Agape Community, a group of radically nonviolent, tax resisting Catholics in Massachusetts that was founded in 1982. Also: Eric Volpe explains why he became a war tax resister. And: will tax resisters get hassled when they try to cross the border?.
  • 30 October 2007: Tracing Leo Tolstoy’s Christian anarchism and nonviolent noncooperation theories from such sources as Étienne de la Boétie, Henry David Thoreau, and William Lloyd Garrison.
  • 29 October 2007: Sometimes tax resisters can learn their creed best from the criticisms of those who oppose them. Case in point: Edward Swaine’s careful and deliberate argument in “Law and Conscience.”
  • 28 October 2007: War Tax Resisters march in yesterday’s peace parades to recruit people for the 2008 War Tax Boycott. Also: listeners are still arguing about tax resistance after Susan Quinlan & I talked it up on KPFA earlier this month.
  • 27 October 2007: Your favorite revolutionary war sucks, says Charles Whipple, in an ahead-of-its-time pamphlet on nonviolent resistance and “people power.”
  • 26 October 2007: Tax resistance was used by American revolutionaries against Britain, but also members of pacifist sects who opposed participation in the Revolutionary War defied the rebel tax collector.
  • 25 October 2007: Wear homespun cloth, and boycott taxed British imports in favor of locally-produced goods — two revolutionary tactics Gandhi borrowed from the American patriots of the late 18th Century.
  • 24 October 2007: For the first time, I respond to one of the I.R.S.’s “so when you gonna cough up the money” letters… and in return, I get a form letter.
  • 23 October 2007: More from the pen of Joshua Maule, who advocated war tax resistance among Quakers in the United States during the Civil War.
  • 22 October 2007: Joshua Maule left us a very good account of the debate among Quakers in the United States during the Civil War about paying war taxes and “mixed” taxes.
  • 21 October 2007: In 1881, the Irish Land League called for a nationwide rent strike against the English landlords.
  • 20 October 2007: Tax resistance in the American women’s suffrage movement: notes from Annie Shaw, Lucy Stone, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, and Julia and Abby Smith (and their cows “Votey” and “Taxey”).
  • 19 October 2007: In July of 1906, after the Russian Czar dissolved Russia’s first popularly-elected legislature, it reconvened illegally in Finland and called on the Russian people to refuse to pay taxes to the Czar’s government.
  • 18 October 2007: More from the journals of the American Quaker John Woolman, as I continue to research the history of tax resistance.
  • 14 October 2007: A profile of Albuquerque tax resister Don Schrader. Also, guess what? “a significant amount of the telephone excise tax overcollected from individual taxpayers may never be refunded.”
  • 11 October 2007: Discussing the 2008 War Tax Boycott on KPFA. Also: welcome to war tax resistance, Carolyn K. Ziffer. And: children overlearn obedience to the arbitrary commands of authority, leading to awful and dangerous results.
  • 6 October 2007: Alex Raskolnikov has imagined a picture of the future, and it’s a tax collector stomping on a handshake forever. Also: Ed and Elaine Brown get a good look at The Law.
  • 2 October 2007: The Supreme Court declines to hear Daniel Jenkins’s appeal in which he asserted a Constitutional right to conscientious objection to military taxation. Also: the I.R.S. refunded only $3.8 billion of the $40 billion in long distance telephone excise tax they’d illegally collected. That’s what we get for letting them devise their own refund plan.
  • 1 October 2007: A new edition of More Than a Paycheck is out, with lots of info from the up-and-coming generation of tax resisters. Also: the I.R.S. announces a major overhaul in how they calculate how much they let you keep to live on while they’re seizing your assets and your paycheck — it’s good news for some of us, not-so-good for others.
  • 27 September 2007: The opportunity costs of the warfare state, taxpayers who write off their hobbies as money-losing businesses, part three of Dave Ridley’s jail memoirs, and an upcoming feature-length documentary about the “Peace Tax Seven.”
  • 20 September 2007: Some aphorisms of Pierre Ceresole, a thoughtful Swiss conscientious objector and tax resister through two World Wars, who spent time with Gandhi in India and founded Service Civil International.
  • 19 September 2007: Let’s step into the Wayback Machine to learn how the tax resistance campaign of British Nonconformists was covered in the press a century ago.
  • 18 September 2007: The I.R.S. finally sends me their “Final Notice of Intent to Levy” — for what that’s worth. Also: Happy 25th Birthday to the National War Tax Resistance Coordinating Committee.
  • 17 September 2007: Forty years ago today, the New York Times reported on the hundreds of American literary figures who were publicly resisting their taxes to protest against the Vietnam War.
  • 14 September 2007: The Iraq Moratorium crowd is the political activism equivalent of the people who recommend prayer and crystals to patients with malignant tumors. Shun them, run from them, do not turn around until they are far from sight.
  • 12 September 2007: The ethics of tax resistance became a topic of scholarly debate a century ago, when British nonconformists launched a mass tax resistance campaign to protest against government funding of establishment religious instruction.
  • 11 September 2007: The surge has had more than enough time to prove itself, and yet the dismal political situation is if anything worse than before and Iraq is still a slaughterhouse. Yet we continue to hear calls for patience, and indeed are told that only by increasing the surge of Democrats into office do we have hope of ending the war. But some folks are finally getting skeptical.
  • 10 September 2007: So you filed a new W-4 and reduced (or eliminated) your income tax withholding. Is the I.R.S. gonna let you get away with that? Also: Among the entities who aren’t paying the taxes the federal government says they owe to the federal government is… wait for it… the federal government. And: The Pope comes out against people who use tax havens to evade taxes, and some people begin to wonder about a tax haven called The Vatican.
  • 8 September 2007: If you’re thinking of joining the 2008 War Tax Boycott, you need to start preparing now. Here’s how to adjust your tax withholding so that you’ll have something to resist next April. Also: a Tolstoyan tax resister commune from a century ago.
  • 7 September 2007: Announcing the 2008 War Tax Boycott campaign — organizing thousands of first-time war tax resisters to register, refuse, and redirect.
  • 5 September 2007: Cutting off the force that gives us meaning, going to Kansas for a tax resister meeting, and when interest-free saving is what you’re needing… in today’s Picket Line shorts.
  • 1 September 2007: Last month I kept track of every cent I spent. I’ve done this one-month-accounting for five years now. It confirms that my tax resistance strategy is sustainable and it also keeps my finger on the pulse of my economic well-being. Also: the government shuts down a tax protester web site… I wonder when they’ll get around to me.
  • 25 August 2007: A review of Michael N. Nagler’s book: “Is There No Other Way? The Search for a Nonviolent Future”
  • 23 August 2007: Dubya says the Iraq War is like the Vietnam War, and the Democrats respond in their best Daffy Duck. Also: James Kilpatrick yawns-in an op-ed on Daniel Jenkins’ Supreme Court appeal. And: even if you don’t use your employer’s health plan, you can now pay for your health insurance with pre-tax dollars. Also: eight million Americans who are not legally obligated to pay federal income tax or file income tax returns do it anyway. And: 61% of sole proprietors in the U.S. underreport their income.
  • 19 August 2007: A review of Bill McKibben’s new book: “Deep Economy.” The global economic growth boom of the last centuries is going the way of the dinosaurs (that is, the way of fossil fuels). What’s next, and how might it be better than what we’ve got now?
  • 16 August 2007: In part two of Dave Ridley’s civil disobedience adventures, he chooses his battles while trying to maintain a nonviolent noncooperative stance in jail. Also: a review of “Ragnar’s Guide to the Underground Economy.” And: the Pope plans to condemn tax evasion.
  • 9 August 2007: The I.R.S. reveals that a third of those Americans who filed tax returns in 2006 owed no federal income tax at all during the previous year. Also: a timeline of the pundits and politicians who have been sharing that light at the end of the tunnel hallucination for the last four years.
  • 6 August 2007: Two certified letters from the I.R.S. arrived today, spelling out how much they want from me, so I tally up the interest and penalties.
  • 5 August 2007: Sunday browsing bits & pieces: Opting out of the money economy, leaving the sinking ship of a nation-state, and giving an red-white-and-blue homecoming to a war hero.
  • 2 August 2007: A profile of J. Tony Serra and an update on Bill Ramsey’s mass war tax resistance proposal, in the latest NWTRCC newsletter. Also: the I.R.S. releases a new report on the “tax gap.”
  • 1 August 2007: The cost of the latest war hits the trillion dollar mark, and the American Friends Service Committee reminds America what they could have bought instead. Also: what does the U.S. mean when it says it does everything it can to avoid civilian casualties?
  • 26 July 2007: Dave Ridley tells (the first installment of) the story of his adventures with civil disobedience at the New Hampshire I.R.S. building.
  • 24 July 2007: Calculate how much you’re paying for the Iraq War. Read (and watch) how the New Hampshire anti-torture-tax activists do their thing. Wonder if Congress will kill the I.R.S. private debt collector scheme. Bask in schadenfreude as you contemplate the I.R.S.’s paleolithic database technology.
  • 22 July 2007: Taxpatriate satyagrahi Jeff Knaebel has a book out, and a website that he hopes will help like-minded folks join together as they walk in the footsteps of Gandhi, Tolstoy, and Thoreau.
  • 20 July 2007: Undeterred by Dave Ridley’s jail sentence, two members of the New Hampshire Underground are arrested for taking their protest into the Keene, New Hampshire I.R.S. office.
  • 18 July 2007: Dave Ross recycles bits of my appearance on his radio show for a commentary that has the Freepers screaming. Also: here’s the audio from Ruth Benn’s appearance on the Marc Germain show.
  • 17 July 2007: Dave Ridley, cited for distributing handbills in an I.R.S. office, has his contempt of court officially acknowledged. Also: more details emerge about the I.R.S.’s new W-4 policy.
  • 16 July 2007: Rushworth Kidder tries to define and develop moral courage in his book on the subject, but a whiff of sycophancy comes off the pages and spoils the project. Also: some advice on what to do if the I.R.S.’s private tax collection contractors come calling.
  • 14 July 2007: Ed Hedemann of NWTRCC is grilled by Fox News business anchor Neil Cavuto. Also: J.D. Tuccille pokes a hole in the “tax resisters are taking money from the rest of us” rhetoric balloon.
  • 12 July 2007: A profile on Ken and Noreen Gingerich, who have been war tax resisters for 40 years. Also: when people argue against tax resistance, what do they say, and what do they mean? You’d better find out the difference before you start to argue back.
  • 11 July 2007: Last night I fielded questions on Alan Colmes’s national radio show. Also: the A.P. article that started this whole media cyclone gets translated into Spanish and French.
  • 10 July 2007: Here’s the audio file of my appearance on the Dave Ross show last week. Also: answering the question “What can I do (that’s easy, safe, quick, and makes me feel all special without committing me to anything)?” And: American paleocon tax resister Rose Wilder Lane’s “The Discovery of Freedom” released on-line. Also: War tax resister Cindy Sheehan to challenge U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in the 2008 elections.
  • 9 July 2007: Ah… newspaper editorial boards: self-important judas goats, putting a bullhorn before the semi-articulate bleating of Babbitt’s collective subconscious, as challenging as a beauty pageant speech. Also: it’s not just the troops who are surging, but tax dollars as well. And: if the I.R.S. collects from you, be sure to get a receipt.
  • 8 July 2007: “Collection Due Process” resembles an appeals process but behaves like a rubber stamp. Also: if this doesn’t convince the show-me-the-law set that their Constitutionalist tax protester arguments are full of baloney, nothing will. And: right-wing blogs continue to go off half-cocked on war tax resisters.
  • 7 July 2007: Tax resisters take over the airwaves during the “Tax Day in July” media blitz. Also: If the I.R.S. takes additional penalties and interest from tax resisters, don’t the resisters end up supporting the government even more in the end? What would Gandhi say?
  • 6 July 2007: The blizzard of reaction to the war tax resistance article that went out on the A.P. wire continues, in blogs and over the radio.
  • 5 July 2007: A war tax resistance article goes out over the Associated Press wire from coast-to-coast, and the Internet erupts in debate. It looks to be an interesting day.
  • 2 July 2007: I got another letter from the I.R.S. today asking for that money I refused to give them last April. Also: another “mysterious white powder” incident shuts down an I.R.S. mailroom.
  • 30 June 2007: There have been many attempts to get U.S. courts to recognize a constitutional or implied statutory right to conscientious objection to military taxation, without success. Daniel Jenkins is trying again, with a new set of arguments.
  • 26 June 2007: 286 war tax resisters are surveyed about their attitudes and their demographics. Meet your typical war tax resister: she’s middle-aged, white, single, childless, non-Christian, with a graduate degree, has been resisting for over a decade, and redirects the money she would have given to the I.R.S. to a charitable cause.
  • 25 June 2007: Surveying people who used to be war tax resisters: why did they stop? would they be willing to start up again if they were among thousands of others engaging in an anti-war tax strike?
  • 24 June 2007: A survey of anti-war activists reveals a surprising ignorance about war tax resistance, but an encouraging willingness to give it a try. A one-year, large-scale, organized tax strike may be in the cards.
  • 20 June 2007: Two months ago, a non-inflationary, value-backed currency was issued nationwide. Why haven’t I heard cheers of victory from the gold-bug crowd? Also: new research into the neuropsychology of taxpaying. And: a couple of humorous links.
  • 13 June 2007: A new report on I.R.S. criminal enforcement trends shows what a premium the agency puts on publicity. Also: conscientious tax objection is all well and good, but it’s by no means Constitutionally protected, says Stephen Douglas Smith.
  • 7 June 2007: Tax-advantaged retirement plans for the self-employed, driving a stake through the heart of Slobodan Milosevic’s corpse (literally), the I.R.S. substitutes racial profiling for terrorist hunting, kickbacks and bribes connect the neocon war profiteers and the Saudi royal family, U.S. aerial bombardment of Iraq kicks into high gear, and leading Democrats pledge to further bloat the gigantic blood-filled tick that is the U.S. military.
  • 4 June 2007: People who support war tax resisters but who aren’t ready to resist themselves can show their solidarity by joining the War Tax Resisters Penalty Fund and treating “an [I.R.S.] assault on one as an assault upon all.”
  • 31 May 2007: My first letter from the I.R.S. since last Fall lets me know how the interest and penalties are accumulating. Also: I conclude my review of Arne Johan Vetlesen’s “Evil and Human Agency” as he examines bystanders and third parties and I wonder why I don’t care about the people being massacred in Darfur.
  • 30 May 2007: Jerry DePyper is a rare example of a right-wing conscientious tax resister, on strike against a government that funds abortion and tolerates gay marriage. Also: a profile of Ithica War Tax Resisters, and a new edition of “More Than a Paycheck.”
  • 24 May 2007: My war tax resistance speech from last month is reprinted in (and recorded for) Peacework Magazine. Also: Michael McCarthy, Eric Stoner, and Bryan Farrell promote war tax resistance. And: another set of defendants are acquitted for sabotaging U.S. military equipment after raising the defense that they were acting to prevent acts of criminal war.
  • 23 May 2007: My review of Arne Johan Vetlesen’s “Evil and Human Agency” continues: the Yugoslav genocide didn’t follow the script predicted by those who analyzed the Holocaust; can modern genocide be best described not as a pathology of technological, bureaucratic modernity but as a ritual sacrifice aimed at strengthening a tribal identity?
  • 21 May 2007: My review of Arne Johan Vetlesen’s “Evil and Human Agency” continues: what is the psychology of evil, how are evil people made, and why can’t we trust our emotional reactions to guide our response to large-scale massacre or tragedy?
  • 18 May 2007: A review of 40% of Arne Johan Vetlesen’s “Evil and Human Agency.” Also: Karl Jaspers in U.S.A. Today? And: is it possible to eat conscientiously, healthily, AND frugally?
  • 16 May 2007: Years of Republican rule have led to record-setting tax receipts and government spending; a new Democratic Congress is passing the most bloated military budget ever. Pretty much what you expected?
  • 9 May 2007: An update on John & Pat Schwiebert’s attempt to get the United Methodist Church to live up to their “deeply held principles of faith.” Also: a profile of war tax resister Paul Hood. And: there are plenty of tax delinquents in the Pentagon.
  • 8 May 2007: War tax resisters John Grueschow, Anne Huntwork, and Pam Allee discuss Portland, Oregon tax resistance on local cable access, and John Chisholm is profiled in a Missouri paper. Why do so many war tax resisters still say they love taxes?
  • 5 May 2007: A review of “Off the Books: The Underground Economy of the Urban Poor” by Sudhir Alladi Venkatesh.
  • 4 May 2007: Tom the Dancing Bug catches taxpayers paying “war offsets.” And reporter Philip Fairbanks publishes an in-depth look at war tax resistance.
  • 30 April 2007: War tax resisters in Canada. Also: No Impact Man and the 100 Mile Diet show us people who are walking the low-impact talk. And: more ill-advised refutations of senseless tax protester arguments.
  • 26 April 2007: Ed and Elaine Brown gear up to martyr themselves for fatuous tax protester claptrap. Also: it costs about 26 cents for the I.R.S. enforcers to collect $1, and every year they lose $20 billion in unpaid taxes to the statute of limitations. And: Cindy Sheehan continues to beat the tax resistance drum.
  • 23 April 2007: War tax resisters Ed Hedemann, Robin Harper, and Karl Meyer profiled in the Brooklyn Eagle. Also: reports on Tax Day actions from South Bend, Portland, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, and Chicago.
  • 20 April 2007: War tax resistance on a video blog, military spending as corporate welfare, another take on the Render Unto Caesar koan, stealing stolen money from the I.R.S., and a radical Muslim cleric preaches tax resistance. Also: a review of Crispin Sartwell’s book “Extreme Virtue: Truth and Leadership in Five Great American Lives.”
  • 19 April 2007: Reports back from Tax Day protests in Georgia and New Hampshire. Also: Who Is IOZ examines the weird pride some liberals feel about being taxed. And: a Christian ruminates over Jesus’s “Render unto Caesar” koan.
  • 18 April 2007: I’ve published two collections of Thoreau’s political philosophy as good, old-fashioned, dead tree style books. You can order “The Price of Freedom” and “My Thoughts are Murder to the State” on-line.
  • 17 April 2007: War tax resisters Janine & Ben Martin Horst, Bryan Nelson and Ed Hedemann in the news. Also: a report on Dan Jenkins’s attempt to get the courts to recognize conscientious objection to military taxation. And: more than half of Americans receive significant income from government programs, and one-in-five work at a government job. Also: the People’s Life Fund of Northern California redirects thousands of federal tax dollars to community and activist organizations.
  • 15 April 2007: In the newspapers and on the radio, tax resisters Daniel Sicken, Ellen Kaye, Lou Waronker, and Jon Marley. Also: author Marcy Sheiner tells us why it’s much too scary to be a tax resister, which, as far as I can tell, is the typical last step before becoming a tax resister.
  • 14 April 2007: War tax resisters John & Pat Schwiebert, Rod Nippert, Ed Hedemann, and Marjoire Nelson are in the papers. Also: today was my last day as a volunteer income tax preparer (how much did I cost the government this year?). And: Jim Bouman discusses war tax resistance with his skeptical son. Also: download a Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings concert video of “What If We All Stopped Paying Taxes.”
  • 13 April 2007: War tax resister Ed Hedemann on WMNF in Tampa Bay, Florida. Also: the Tax Foundation asks Americans how much taxes they ought to be paying (see how many say “zero”).
  • 12 April 2007: War tax resisters hit the radio waves and the newspapers across America as “Tax Day” approaches. Also: the adolescent sophistry of the tax protester set hits The Picket Line’s comment section. And: a review of “Off the Books.”
  • 11 April 2007: War tax resisters Anna Aschenbach and Joanne Sheehan in the news. Also: Northern California war tax resisters redirect money from the Pentagon to community needs. And: Lawrence Rosenwald on unsentimental pacifism, tax resistance, and the seeds of war.
  • 8 April 2007: A new issue of More Than a Paycheck is out, and war tax resister Bryan Nelson gets some press for the cause. Also: increased IRS enforcement effort only looks impressive on a short time scale.
  • 7 April 2007: Another day of VITA and the Treasury is a little poorer. Also: personal tax earmarking… it’s an idea.
  • 6 April 2007: 1980’s Oscar-winning documentary on Karl Hess (Barry Goldwater’s speechwriter, Students for a Democratic Society radical, small-scale “appropriate technology” advocate, and tax resister) hits YouTube. Also: Jason Laning tells us how he unintentionally bombed a village.
  • 5 April 2007: I deliver some tax resistance fire-and-brimstone to participants of a “die-in” at the federal building. Also: The latest New Yorker cover makes the connection between taxes and armaments.
  • 4 April 2007: More war tax resisters in the news: Scott Kennedy, Mary “Irv” Irvine, Ann Wilson (and the Raging Grannies of Massachusetts), and Peg McIntyre.
  • 3 April 2007: The San Francisco Chronicle splashes war tax resisters on the front page of the business section, and as the lead article on their web site. Also: Raising Sand Radio and Justice Talking radio compete to cover the war tax resistance beat.
  • 2 April 2007: An on-line game currency crosses over into Chinese meatspace. Also: the Vermont Republic and the Free State of New Hampshire vie for first state out of the Union honors. And: another “mysterious powder in envelope shuts down I.R.S. processing center” story.
  • 30 March 2007: War tax resisters Sue Barnhart and Scott Schumacher write about their experiences. Also: if Nancy Pelosi refuses to cut off funding for the Iraq War, she’s only following the lead of her constituents.
  • 29 March 2007: Can self-employed people avoid self-employment tax by paying themselves in dividends rather than in salary? It appears so. Also: the IRS deceives a disabled veteran into signing his rights away. And: The Tax Foundation ignores its own advice and tells us our “Tax Freedom Day” this year will come on April 30.
  • 28 March 2007: I seem to have struck a nerve with my criticism of the recent Tax Foundation study on the redistributive effects of government tax and spending policy.
  • 27 March 2007: Choose your favorite among the finalists in NWTRCC’s video contest. Also: Dave Keniston writes about his tax resistance, and Ticia at T.P.M. Cafe thinks about getting her toes wet. And: the American public begins to suspect that they’re overspending on the military.
  • 26 March 2007: The Tax Foundation says that 60% of Americans take more from the government in benefits than they give to it in taxes. And if you believe that, here’s a list of other absurd things you might believe.
  • 23 March 2007: SmartMoney covers the war tax resistance beat. And: Cindy Sheehan is urging Americans to resist their taxes. Also: I fill my home for free, and some people fill their bellies much the same way. And: if it oinks like a pig and it wallows like a pig it’s probably the latest Iraq War emergency supplemental funding legislation.
  • 22 March 2007: A reader asks how I can comfortably accept and conform to the demands of the State by seeking tax deductions and credits and filing my tax return, while at the same time I decry its actions and claim to oppose it.
  • 21 March 2007: The I.R.S. Data Book gives a hint at how their collections efforts are going. Also: direct action against war material shipments, construction recycling, the down side to tax efficiency, an increased I.R.S. enforcement budget, a new war tax resistance blog, Iraq War supplemental funding pork, and more leisure for the poor.
  • 20 March 2007: San Francisco peaceniks throw a “Stop Funding the War in Iraq” rally. Local war tax resisters show up and say “to stop funding the war sounds like a great idea — when do you plan to get around to it?”
  • 19 March 2007: In my annual report I summarize my fourth year of tax resistance and forecast the year ahead.
  • 18 March 2007: Nazi-occupied Denmark is a favorite case study to advocates of nonviolent resistance theory, but one group of resisters in Denmark read Thoreau, turned their backs on nonviolence, and began bombing railroads, bridges and factories. Also: another day of VITA and the government is a little poorer.
  • 17 March 2007: I’m going to be at the “Stop Funding the War in Iraq” demonstration on Monday, trying to convince the demonstrators to stop funding the war in Iraq. I’ll have some help, and a sign or two. Also: Benjamin R. Tucker gave up on tax resistance (and caught a little hell for it).
  • 16 March 2007: As a citizen, haven’t you entered into an implicit contract with your fellow-citizens to support and obey the State, and aren’t you wrongly violating that contract if you resist your taxes? “Balderdash” says Benjamin Ricketson Tucker.
  • 15 March 2007: How not to get hit with a $5,000 “frivolous filing penalty” while resisting your taxes or resisting I.R.S. collection efforts.
  • 14 March 2007: Benjamin Ricketson Tucker addresses tax resistance, and gets me thinking about rent strikes. Also: an update on the Dave Ridley case and the tax resister / tax protester hybrids in the New Hampshire Underground.
  • 13 March 2007: Who visits The Picket Line, how do they get here, and why do they come? The available evidence is fragmentary, but I’ll investigate…
  • 11 March 2007: In the 1860s, the New England Non-Resistance Society debated tax resistance, a debate they were unable to resolve and one that we still wrestle with today.
  • 9 March 2007: A new edition of NWTRCC’s guide to low-income war tax resistance can help you get under the tax line.
  • 8 March 2007: An update on Dave Ridley’s case. Also: summing up Thoreau’s program for principled living. And: another low-income tax resistance website, a freecycle with a flashy user interface, and a closer look at the latest military budget.
  • 6 March 2007: By privatizing government agencies, Congress can fund the very companies that turn around and donate to their campaigns. Pretty slick. Also: just how desperate is the military for recruits? Radar magazine finds out (and posts the phone transcripts).
  • 4 March 2007: Yesterday was my first day as a VITA volunteer this tax season, and the government is $2,314 poorer. Also: a heaping helping of miscellany, including grass roots action against domestic torture enablers, Democratic plans to increase military spending, Homeland Security pork, Possum living, attacks on tax collectors, the Coalition to Get the Stop Funding the War Coalition to Stop Funding the War, federal employees who moonlight as tax evaders, and tax policy by merry men in tights.
  • 3 March 2007: The first war tax resistance article of the 2007 tax season hits the wires. Also: why can the dwindling pro-war base motivate their representatives to take stands, and the growing anti-war base cannot? And: a letter to the “Won’t Somebody Else Please Stop Funding The War in Iraq” coalition.
  • 1 March 2007: Thoreau looks to Thomas Carlyle to help him find a hero. Also: would you believe your federal tax rate is 40%?
  • 27 February 2007: Thoreau looks for a hero in Sir Walter Raleigh (of all people) and ends up creating a hero template that John Brown would fit into years later. Also: Raleigh on the consciencelessness of groups.
  • 26 February 2007: How can you be a pacifist and a liberal at the same time? Also: a detour into Thoreau’s juvenilia shows him rehearsing themes that would come out in “Resistance to Civil Government” twelve years later.
  • 25 February 2007: I’m thinking of picketing the “Stop Funding the War in Iraq” protest rally, at which local peace activists will plead with Nancy Pelosi to stop funding the war, without showing any willingness to stop funding it themselves. Can you help me with some picket sign suggestions?
  • 23 February 2007: A documentary about a war tax resistance civil disobedience stand-off may be coming to a television near you. Also: Thoreau’s fellow-citizens buy new locks for their doors, for their protectors are coming.
  • 22 February 2007: What did Thoreau think of the other lecturers who roamed New England with their prescriptions for societal reform? “Reform and the Reformers” and “Wendell Phillips Before Concord Lyceum” tell what he considered worthwhile.
  • 21 February 2007: Why do people report and pay their taxes? Someone surveyed a bunch of them with four hypothetical answers. Also: Untangling the obscurities in Thoreau’s “Herald of Freedom”
  • 20 February 2007: Some obsessive-compulsive analysis of the journal entries Thoreau used as source material when composing “A Plea for Captain John Brown”
  • 17 February 2007: A monument to the unknown tax resister in Utah? Also: being poor as a “useful life skill.” And: a mural featuring pagan gods and George Washington being brought into heaven as a deity somehow slipped past the religious right to take a place of honor in the Capitol Dome.
  • 16 February 2007: Do as the Dubya do: add a “signing statement” to your tax return this year in lieu of a check. Also, a short film explains the duties of citizenship: We’re the Government, and You’re Not.
  • 15 February 2007: If the ghost of Mormon prophet Joseph Smith had not possessed a cow in order to drown John Etzler’s lead engineer, we might all be living in paradise now.
  • 14 February 2007: The War Resisters League’s annual “pie chart” shows you where your income tax money really goes. Also: Ruth Benn of NWTRCC explains war tax resistance on Ashland, Oregon’s KSKQ.
  • 11 February 2007: Ehren Watada challenges his civilian counterparts to follow his example and refuse to participate in the war on Iraq. Also: Cynthia Foster was stil resisting taxes when she died at 99. And: A columnist for M.S.N. Money experiments with semi-poverty and writes a “poor like me” column. And: did any of that 363 tonnes of shrink-wrapped $100 bills Washington shipped to Iraq and tossed around like so much confetti once belong to you?
  • 10 February 2007: When the I.R.S. headquarters was submerged in a flood last year, and its employees scattered to temporary offices, there was “no measurable impact on taxpayers and tax administration,” according to an audit. Also: San Francisco makes two contradictory gestures about the war, one of which was effective.
  • 9 February 2007: I explore Thoreau’s admiration for war and soldiers, as expressed in his journals and in “The Service.”
  • 5 February 2007: A bipartisan consensus builds to squeeze a few more drops from the tax gap. Also: Claire Wolfe begins a new fiction series about the antics of a guerrilla trickster.
  • 3 February 2007: A Daily Kos contributor reminds liberals that the “power of the purse” doesn’t begin and end with Congress, but with them. Also: Ruth Benn of NWTRCC advises activists who want to take a step beyond marching with signs and lobbying politicians.
  • 2 February 2007: The I.R.S. will train you in the art of taking money from the government and giving it to poor families — for free. Also: maybe you heard about ExxonMobil’s record-breaking profits last year, but did you hear who really made out like a bandit?
  • 31 January 2007: Thoreau wanted most of all to forget all about politics and society, but he wouldn’t allow society to force him to be an agent of injustice, and he finally determined: “we must fight.”
  • 27 January 2007: Thoreau used his journal as a place to write his rough drafts for “Slavery in Massachusetts” — which remind me of poor Constitutionalist tax protester Ed Brown.
  • 25 January 2007: New reports from the I.R.S. Oversight Board and the G.A.O. try to wring more recommendations out of stale “tax gap” data.
  • 24 January 2007: An update on the Schwieberts attempt to persuade the United Methodist Church to help them resist an I.R.S. levy. Also: tax resister Jeff Knaebel addresses an International Conference on Global Conflicts and Terrorism in Pune, India.
  • 22 January 2007: A letter from imprisoned tax resister J. Tony Serra. Also: blegging advice on how to publish Thoreau’s political writing.
  • 21 January 2007: Thoreau himself wondered whether his journal would be best read as the smorgasbord of ideas it is, or if organized more thematically.
  • 20 January 2007: I continue to add to my collection of excerpts from Thoreau’s journals in which he most directly confronts the themes of law, government, man in society, war, economics, duty, and conscience. Also: excerpts from an interview with Susan Quinlan of Northern California War Tax Resistance.
  • 17 January 2007: I add Thoreau’s writings on John Brown to The Picket Line’s collection of Thoreau’s political philosophy.
  • 16 January 2007: I expand The Picket Line’s collection of Thoreau’s writing on political philosophy with excerpts from his journals and from “A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers”. Also: a tax resister looks forward to filing his return.
  • 15 January 2007: War tax resisters John and Pat Schwiebert have taken a vow of poverty and are living in “an intentional Christian servant community” — but that hasn’t stopped the I.R.S. from trying to seize back taxes from them. They’re asking their church to help them continue to resist.
  • 11 January 2007: I’ve written an article promoting tax resistance for the latest issue of Simple Living News. Also: the National Taxpayer Advocate releases its report to Congress. And: a new website aims to keep a close eye on the I.R.S.
  • 8 January 2007: I try to find the real America amongst the curmudgeonly lovable losers in Bill Kauffman’s “Look Homeward, America: In Search of Reactionary Radicals and Front-Porch Anarchists”
  • 6 January 2007: Happy New Year… must be about time to get those tax forms in the mail — unfortunately this year they’re already out-of-date (here’s what to do about it). Also, war tax resister Barb Kass has her tax debt paid off by her father in an agonizingly inappropriate Christmas gesture (it may turn out okay in the end).

2006

  • 20 December 2006: The I.R.S. is doing more auditing, more liens, more levying, and bringing in more money by doing so… at least if you believe its press releases. It doesn’t like it when people want to look too closely at the underlying data. Also: one taxpayer calls the I.R.S. bluff and prevails in tax court.
  • 19 December 2006: War tax resistance among American Mennonites during the Revolutionary War. Also: tax resistance during the British women’s suffrage movement, and a political cartoon from the Spanish-American War shows what happens when a jingo meets the “war tacks”. It must be history day at The Picket Line.
  • 18 December 2006: Help lay the groundwork for a “People Power”-style freedom movement in the U.S. by adding to the project’s strategic estimate. Also: Americans renouncing their citizenship to become “taxpatriates”, waste and pork in the military budget, and upscale dumpster-diving in Berkeley.
  • 13 December 2006: If you want to change government behavior by asserting your own power, don’t do the same ineffective things over and over, and don’t throw up your hands and say “impossible!” — R.T.F.M.!
  • 9 December 2006: At the last minute, Congress has approved a bill that extends certain tax provisions and makes other tax law modifications. Here are the parts of particular interest to the low-income tax resister set.
  • 8 December 2006: Is your congressperson willing to sign a pledge to cut off funding for the war on Iraq? Are you? Also: useful and interesting web tidbits on the underground economy, tax credits for energy-efficient home improvements, and how to get the most tax advantage out of home office expenses.
  • 5 December 2006: How to start your tax resistance by filing a new W-4. Dave Ridley reports on the aftermath of his I.R.S. protest in Nashua. And: The I.R.S. says it’s never going to retrieve $200 million in fraudulent refunds it gave out last year because its software was hopelessly broken.
  • 4 December 2006: Why do military recruiters have to be sneaky, pretending that there isn’t a war on, or pretending that they’re not recruiting at all? Could it have something to do with running out of Americans who think Iraq is worth risking their own neck over? Also: two teenagers fight back against sneaky recruiters at their high school.
  • 1 December 2006: An “emergency” supplemental appropriations bill to pay for the war on Iraq — the biggest so far — is going to hit the new Congress early next year. Think the Democrats in Congress will say no? Not until the anti-war liberals outside Congress do.
  • 29 November 2006: Can you work without using a social security number? (Yes, if you know what you’re doing.) When you withdraw from those tax-deferred retirement accounts can you avoid the tax hit? (Yes, at least for the time being.) The free market — the really free market — the market where everything’s free… is it an anarchist plot to unloose chaos and destruction on the polis? (No: but call out the national guard anyway.)
  • 28 November 2006: The I.R.S. Oversight Board conducts a survey that shows us which taxpayer segment may be most receptive to arguments for tax resistance.
  • 27 November 2006: NWTRCC’s video contest begins. Also: Albert Jay Nock on anarchist ethics. And: war tax resisters find a receptive audience at the School of the Americas Watch protest in Georgia earlier this month.
  • 16 November 2006: If you’re in financial hardship, the I.R.S. won’t try to collect unpaid taxes from you. The Government Accountability Office notes that the I.R.S. may consider you to be in “financial hardship” if you’re only making $84,000 a year.
  • 15 November 2006: See the letter Allen Ginsberg wrote in 1969 to explain his tax refusal to the Secretary of the Treasury. Also: Congratulations to the San Franciscans who kicked J.R.O.T.C. out of the public schools.
  • 14 November 2006: The I.R.S. considers “collectible” only about 8.5% of what people don’t cough up voluntarily. Also: when can you convert a traditional IRA to a Roth IRA, and when should you?
  • 13 November 2006: What tax law changes might we expect from a Democratic congress? Also: I join up with a new tax blogger group blog.
  • 11 November 2006: Eight-tenths of a percent of Italians’ income tax is supposed to be spent on “humanitarian and cultural” projects — you know, like the war in Iraq (at least that’s how Italy’s government categorized its participation in the Coalition of the Willing). Also: you won’t find some familiar deductions — like the “tuition and fees” deduction — on this year’s 1040 form.
  • 10 November 2006: The American Bar Association Journal summarizes the consequences of failing to file your tax return, or of failing to pay. Also: The I.R.S. adjusts for inflation several of the items that will be on your tax forms in the 2007 tax year filing season.
  • 9 November 2006: A look at the underground economy in Chicago’s South Side. Also: artists create a complementary currency. And: a libertarian conference on nonviolent resistance.
  • 8 November 2006: From the cutting-room floor: How the Government Gets Your Money (and how the Amish fought back).
  • 7 November 2006: More news from NWTRCC’s national meeting in Las Vegas last weekend. Also: Dave Ridley gets cited for “Distribution of Handbills” after leafletting the I.R.S. office in Nashua, New Hampshire.
  • 6 November 2006: I report back from NWTRCC’s national meeting in Las Vegas, where the first topic on the agenda, appropriately enough, was Money. Also: a new edition of Donald Kaufman’s “The Tax Dilemma” has been published.
  • 31 October 2006: More details about how the I.R.S. is using private collection agencies. Also: just how big is the “defense” budget? And: how Popular Science reported the roll-out of the I.R.S.’s newfangled data processing system (the one they’re still using today) when it first came on-line in the early 1960s.
  • 28 October 2006: Can homebrewed beer save the world? I’m willing to try and find out!
  • 26 October 2006: Robert McGee surveys business students in Germany and America about when tax evasion might be ethical. Also: the Mises Institute puts on-line an excerpt from Rose Wilder Lane’s “The Discovery of Freedom” and the Albert Einstein Institution puts on-line a video of Gene Sharp talking about “The Power and Potential of Nonviolent Struggle.”
  • 20 October 2006: Billmon, of the Whiskey Bar, finds himself haunted by Thoreau’s ghost.
  • 17 October 2006: Christian anarchists say you should pay your taxes to Caesar, or so says Thomas Bushnell. Also: European juries are refusing to convict people who vandalize U.S. military equipment in an attempt to stop U.S. crimes.
  • 14 October 2006: Is your business or non-profit burdened by taxes and regulations? God can help. Also: NWTRCC is holding its semi-annual gathering in Las Vegas next month.
  • 13 October 2006: Robert McGee releases the results of another survey on attitudes about tax evasion, this time of American Mormons.
  • 4 October 2006: I hope the war tax resistance movement will eventually come to see “peace tax fund” promoters in much the same way that they currently see constitutionalist tax protesters — as people who have some overlapping interests, and who travel in similar circles, but who really aren’t fighting the same battle. Also: Donald Duck urges Americans to pay their taxes for guns, guns, and more guns.
  • 30 September 2006: The new NWTRCC newsletter features articles about Brian Willson, Russell Kanning, and the dilemma for activist nonprofits who have to decide whether to be tax-exempt and put up with the additional government restrictions that entails. Also: a look at the new generation of nonviolent revolution think-tanks. And: the military and its wars are costing more this year than at the peak of the Vietnam war (and hundreds of billions of that spending are being “borrowed,” quietly, from the Social Security trust fund).
  • 26 September 2006: The growing respectability of torture leads me to consult Hannah Arendt’s “Responsibility and Judgment” and to ask myself if we can get out of this mess by thinking.
  • 19 September 2006: The Picket Line interviews Russell Kanning about how he resists taxes and the state, and why he wears overalls and a straw hat and holds a pitchfork while he’s doing it.
  • 18 September 2006: Dave Ridley recounts his protest at the I.R.S. office in Nashua, New Hampshire. Also: the 2007 “Death and Taxes” chart, which graphically shows where your taxes go, has just been released. And: the Eleventh International Conference on War Tax Resistance and Peace Tax Campaigns is coming up in Woltersdorf, Germany.
  • 15 September 2006: VITA volunteers aren’t any better at preparing correct tax forms than are I.R.S. employees. Also: 107 Orthodox Jews are asked if it would have been unethical to evade Nazi taxes. And: U.S.A. Today reports that offshore tax shelters aren’t just for the rich any more. Also: Dave Ridley follows in Russell Kanning’s footsteps — asking I.R.S. employees in Nashua to ask themselves if they’re in a decent line of work.
  • 12 September 2006: Another month, another notice from the I.R.S. — this time sent certified mail, with signature required upon delivery, and featuring boldface, underlining and multiple exclamation points.
  • 11 September 2006: The Picket Line commemorates an important anniversary with some vintage rhetoric and a bunch of links.
  • 8 September 2006: Three news articles about tax resistance from the 1970s show us tax resisting Nobel laureates, a Senator’s wife, and Barry Goldwater’s speechwriter. Also: bribing the U.N. security council — your tax dollars at work.
  • 6 September 2006: 103 years ago today, the New York Times covered a tax resistance campaign by British Nonconformists protesting against the state subsidy of Anglican schools.
  • 3 September 2006: A peek at the early days of the movement to legalize conscientious objection to military taxation in Britain. Also: a British anti-war group calls for a tax strike. And: kicking the I.R.S. while it’s down.
  • 1 September 2006: Last month I kept track of every cent I spent. I’ve done this one-month-accounting for four years now. It confirms that my tax resistance strategy is sustainable and it also keeps my finger on the pulse of my economic well-being. Also: the I.R.S. reveals how much they think you should get as a refund for that federal excise tax on long distance phone service that they misapplied for years.
  • 28 August 2006: A profile of imprisoned war tax resisters Kevin McKee, Joseph Donato and Inge Donato. Also: the Kannings continue to harass the I.R.S. in Keene, New Hampshire. And: the top ten advantages of low-rent living.
  • 23 August 2006: A new ruling from the D.C. District Court of Appeals ought to reinvigorate the constitutionalist tax protester subculture. Also: protesters plan to return to the Keene, New Hampshire I.R.S. office now that Russell Kanning is free. And: looking past the myths and iconography of Gandhi to see what we can learn from him.
  • 21 August 2006: Donald Hughes proposes an interesting strategy for Canadian tax resisters — get a tax credit for being a gadfly candidate. Also: the government is going to lose a bunch of money by turning its tax collecting over to private companies, but the rules Congress uses to do its accounting provide bizarre incentives for doing it anyway.
  • 17 August 2006: Russell Kanning was sentenced today to time served, with no probation and no fine. Also: The Washington Post discovers dumpster diving. And: debating the merits of the Religious Freedom Peace Tax Fund Act.
  • 16 August 2006: More details on the I.R.S. plan to use private debt collection agencies, including what these bounty hunters can and cannot do. Also: some practical tips from free range activists.
  • 15 August 2006: Russell Kanning sends out a report from his “palatial 7'×13' maximum security state room”. Also, Lieutenant Ehren Watada pleads with Americans to stand in solidarity with other members of the military who are refusing to fight in Iraq.
  • 11 August 2006: Are we trying to stop the war or running a special olympics for protesters? We won’t stop the war if we won’t be honest with ourselves and if we keep making the same mistakes over and over again, congratulating ourselves all the while and pretending that our failures are successes. But, to paraphrase Donald Rumsfeld: you try to stop a war with the peace movement you have, not the peace movement you wish you had.
  • 10 August 2006: The I.R.S. may start turning over some of its delinquent accounts to private debt collection agencies as early as this month. Also: Russell Kanning’s sentencing hearing is moved up to next week. And: what effect does socially-responsible stock picking actually have on the world outside of the stock exchange?
  • 9 August 2006: A review of today’s civil disobedience action at Bechtel headquarters in San Francisco: the action was flawed and not very successful, but we can learn from this. Also: In spite of my professed lack of faith in democracy, I’m unable to keep myself from celebrating over Lieberman’s primary loss.
  • 8 August 2006: The retirement savings tax credit — that miracle Form 8880 that I rely on to stay under the tax line — has been extended indefinitely by Congress (whew! it was due to expire this year). Also: I report back from a San Francisco spokescouncil that is planning civil disobedience at Bechtel’s headquarters tomorrow. And: another month, another notice from the I.R.S., this time with boldface.
  • 7 August 2006: Supporters rally to protest the jailing of war tax resister Russell Kanning. Also: how can someone who doesn’t file a 1040 apply for a refund of those illegally-collected telephone taxes? And: new editions of the newsletters of NWTRCC and the War Resisters League. Also: a new section on war tax resistance from the Mennonite Central Committee web site.
  • 2 August 2006: War tax resister Russell Kanning was arrested at his home Monday morning for refusing to appear in court last Friday on charges of trying to distribute leaflets to employees of the I.R.S. office in Keene, New Hampshire that encourage those employees to quit their jobs. It’s pretty much proceeding as Thoreau scripted it some hundred and fifty years ago.
  • 31 July 2006: Russell Kanning, fresh from getting arrested for trying to convince I.R.S. employees to quit, is planning to try it again. Also: the Dervaes family turns a home on fifth of an acre in Pasadena into an experiment in sustainable living that it calls “a homegrown revolution.” And: a profile of The Emma Goldman Finishing School — a decade-old anarchist commune in Seattle.
  • 28 July 2006: War tax resister Russell Kanning was arrested yesterday for trying to hand out leaflets to employees at the I.R.S. office in Keene, New Hampshire.
  • 26 July 2006: A 1944 New York Times article gives us a glimpse of Rose Wilder Lane’s tax resistance, a rare example of conscientious tax resistance from the American libertarian / paleoconservative tradition.
  • 25 July 2006: The “Pitstop Ploughshares” — a group of five peace activists from the Catholic Worker movement who broke into Shannon airport in Ireland and disabled a U.S. Navy supply plane with hammers and a pickaxe the month before the invasion of Iraq began — have been found not guilty by a Dublin jury. Also: an on-line recording of a talk by Juanita Nelson leads me to wonder about the return-on-investment of shock-and-awe.
  • 17 July 2006: The I.R.S. continues to rely on a software contractor who has failed them time and time again — so, to no surprise, their electronic fraud detection system wasn’t ready in time to handle last year’s tax forms (and still isn’t ready) and so the I.R.S. has only examined a third of their normal volume of returns — which is costing the government hundreds of millions of dollars.
  • 14 July 2006: NWTRCC launches a survey to try to figure out who is resisting taxes, who used to be, and who is thinking about it. Here’s how to participate. Also: the I.R.S. sends me another nag letter about what I haven’t paid and how much interest & penalties they’re adding.
  • 11 July 2006: When the I.R.S. threw in the towel and decided to stop trying to collect the federal excise tax on long distance service and to issue some refunds, one group cried foul and wondered why the I.R.S. was deciding its own remedy and not the courts. Also: the storm that took out the I.R.S. headquarters in Washington did a better job than first reported. And: the Declaration of Peace campaign gets more specific about its demands and its plans. Also: when clowns attack the Military, part two.
  • 7 July 2006: I’m revising the NWTRCC pamphlet on low income / simple living as tax resistance — any advice? Also: Hannah Arendt on moral responsibility under totalitarian dictatorships: “though there may be many people who don’t live with themselves — and that means who, strictly speaking, have no conscience — for me life would not be worth living if I lost myself.”
  • 6 July 2006: A provocative interview with Robert McGee, who has spent the last decade researching international beliefs about the ethics of tax evasion and tax resistance. “Personally, I believe that anyone who thinks there is an ethical obligation for Jews to pay taxes to Hitler is nuts, but the surveys have found that the vast majority of respondents disagree with me on this point.”
  • 5 July 2006: War tax resister and Vietnam vet Mike Ferner was arrested while having coffee at a Veterans Administration facility. His crime: wearing a Veterans For Peace T-shirt. Also: pictures and video from the Declaration of Peace press conference.
  • 3 July 2006: The I.R.S. headquarters in Washington was flooded in recent storms. They are closing shop for at least a month while they sort out the millions of dollars of damages, including the destruction of 95% of the building’s electrical and computer equipment. Also: NWTRCC publishes a new pamphlet designed to help older tax resisters.
  • 29 June 2006: The Bay Area chapter of Declaration of Peace held a press conference this morning at the San Francisco Federal Building to launch their campaign. I looked for signs of new tactics and determination.
  • 23 June 2006: Instead of going into debt and taxing its citizens, what’s keeping the government from just printing money to pay all its bills? Also: as libertarians flee the stench on the right, what can we hope for if they cross-pollenate with the left? And: Matthew Yglesias says that if we’re willing to spend a million dollars a day for the next three-thousand, four-hundred and seventy-nine years, we can keep plodding deeper into the Big Muddy like Andrew Sullivan tells us we should.
  • 20 June 2006: We seem to be stuck — the more you try to get out of the government’s clutches, the more tightly it squeezes. If you cooperate, even only when it demands at gunpoint, you make the leviathan stronger. The libertarian utopias and strategies of aloofness are chimerical. The only choice seems to be to plod ahead in the mud of this real world, choosing to side with the angels or the devils and making your decisions accordingly. Also: an update on the I.R.S. plan to use private debt collection agencies. And: eating healthily on a small budget.
  • 13 June 2006: Charles Merrill and Kevin Boyl ramp up their tax resistance campaign in support of gay marriage rights. Also: dropping a note in the I.R.S. suggestion box with Form 13285-A.
  • 12 June 2006: Your representatives will claim they all voted against it, your president says it’s the furthest thing from his mind, but your tax dollars are buying Permanent Bases in Iraq. Also: a response to criticisms of the Peace Tax Fund advocates. And: updates on new resistance strategies and the clowns who shut down the Army recruitment center in Oakland — I’d recommend staying away from the “asymmetrical warfare” techniques, however.
  • 7 June 2006: The Declaration of Peace is coordinating large-scale nonviolent civil disobedience that should be hitting its stride in September in Washington D.C. (Cindy Sheehan will be in town, too, trying to set up Camp Casey on the Ellipse). If Washington in September isn’t your game, you can make something happen closer to home, or you can try a certain variety of daily nonviolent direct action I’m fond of recommending.
  • 6 June 2006: Damn near everything I read even on the good blogs is someone’s more-or-less thoughtful, well-composed answer to a question that ought to have been ignored. What does it mean any more to demonstrate decisively that something Dubya said yesterday was hypocritical or incorrect? Take a deep breath and focus on the things close to home that you can change.
  • 2 June 2006: Kathy Kelly asks us to stand up and resist now, while the risks are still low. Also: The tax resistance movement adds a folk song alongside its funk anthem.
  • 31 May 2006: Christian attitudes about torture — maybe it’s those crosses they wear… Also: hidden government spending may have put your family half a million dollars in debt. And: more details about the death of the phone tax. Also: What would Jesus tax? And: Is the internet the opiate of the activists? What tactics are activists in meatspace coming up with? Also: a new look at the Whiskey Rebellion.
  • 30 May 2006: I got a letter from the I.R.S., so it’s time to look at the interest and penalties and do some math.
  • 25 May 2006: Ding, dong, the tax is dead! Which old tax? The federal excise tax on long distance phone service. Ding, dong this excise tax is dead! Also: Karl Jaspers worries about the rise of a Hitler in America.
  • 24 May 2006: I review “The Question of German Guilt” by Karl Jaspers.
  • 22 May 2006: NWTRCC Spring Conference meeting minutes, Christian criticism of the Religious Freedom Peace Tax Fund lobby, what the I.R.S.’s new private debt collection squads can’t do, and an important caveat about the retirement savings tax credit.
  • 19 May 2006: I write to the Declaration of Peace campaign: “Conscientious objection is a choice for the taxpayer just as it is for the draftee or the soldier, and it is time that we exercise that choice.”
  • 17 May 2006: The technology of cashless barter and trade continues to improve, now with a site called Swaptree that helps people organize free, multi-person trades that give everyone what they want without paying a dime.
  • 15 May 2006: It’s International Conscientious Objector Day. In Oakland there was a little rally and some folks plastered up a recruiting center. Also: I review the Declaration of Peace.
  • 10 May 2006: How do these tax resister escrow/trust funds work? And what does the I.R.S. think of them? Also: an illustrated guide to brewing your first batch of homebrew (and avoiding the federal excise tax on beer).
  • 7 May 2006: The collected works of Gandhi — 98 volumes worth — are now available free-of-charge on-line. Also: two peeks behind the curtain at the I.R.S. bureaucracy, one amusing, the other giving us some hints of how much “token” tax resistance hurts the government in enforcement-related costs.
  • 3 May 2006: “A Global Call” advocates tax resistance. Also: a flashback to a tax resistance episode from the British women’s suffrage movement in 1913, and its “men’s branch.”
  • 30 April 2006: How did Israel “normalize” their nation of tax evaders? Also: A thousand I.R.S. managers are surveyed about how much a problem they see from tax resisters. And: a group of 100 shopkeepers joins forces to resist paying the Mafia in Palermo, Sicily.
  • 28 April 2006: A wonderful how-to and why-to book on “Possum Living” by a 19-year-old who lives on the cheap with her father. Also: a letter from the Women’s Tax Resistance League of 1913.
  • 27 April 2006: Most people who are asking “but what can I do?” seem to me to really be abbreviating a longer question: “what can I do that doesn’t involve personal risk or inconvenience and that puts the burden of behaving justly on someone else’s shoulders?” And the answer to that question is: “keep dithering and parading and petitioning!” For the few people who mean something more than this, my answer begins, “first, read Thoreau…”
  • 24 April 2006: Sam Vimes won’t pay another dime in federal taxes until Dubya’s gone, because he knows the lesson of the lesbian sheep. Also: Ask the web where your tax dollars went (if you don’t count the wars anyway).
  • 20 April 2006: The S.F. Weekly does a write-up on the tax resistance of yours truly. Also: it looks like the government is finally surrendering on the phone tax — they look to be dropping the tax on long-distance and cellular phone service, and they may even be planning to send out refunds. If I were you, though, I wouldn’t wait.
  • 19 April 2006: Taxes are just the dues we pay to belong to a civilized society. And if you believe that, you’ll buy just about anything — just watch the news. Also: the early history of taxation in America. And: David B. Berrian ain’t buyin’ it no more.
  • 18 April 2006: Tax Day has come and gone, and all over the country war tax resisters decided to send their money to charity rather than give it to the government.
  • 16 April 2006: Attention podcast people: war tax resistance on internet radio, including a report on a protest in New Hampshire and Geov Parrish asking “Why Pay Taxes?” Also: One taxpayer looks at her taxes, adds up that this is 33 hours the government wanted her to work last year for the military, and decides to tell them to go stuff it. And: Upcoming tax day protests in Vermont, Washington D.C. and elsewhere.
  • 15 April 2006: War tax resisters Charley Hurst and Maria Smith are profiled in the Cleveland Plain Dealer. Also: The Quaker New York Yearly Meeting reaffirms its opposition to paying taxes for war. And: A new anti-war group that’s sharply-focused and explicitly friendly to non-leftists.
  • 14 April 2006: War tax resisters Ruth Benn, Jim Allen, Becky Pierce, Jim Stockwell, Peter Smith, Ellyn Stecker, and Susan Quinlan are profiled in newspaper articles about tax resistance.
  • 13 April 2006: A profile of tax resister Ruth Clark highlights the need for tax resisters to take the long-term view. Also: an instructor of military officers gets into a debate about personal and group responsibility with his students.
  • 10 April 2006: It’s tax resister season in the press as the federal income tax filing deadline approaches. Today, the Portland State University Vanguard almost stumbles on my pet peeve about press coverage of low-income tax resistance, but digs a little deeper and gets it right after all.
  • 9 April 2006: War tax resisters will be demonstrating from coast-to-coast as the federal income tax deadline approaches. NWTRCC has a list so you can find the protest near you.
  • 8 April 2006: I’ve decided to stop paying my self-employment tax. So in addition to legally avoiding my income tax, I will be illegally withholding payment of SECA. Let’s see how this plays out. Also: one tax resister says she’s been getting stern letters from I.R.S. computers since 2002 and isn’t frightened any more. And Jonathan Meier writes that if we want to change the world, we have to stop holding protests and rallies behind and instead do the unexpected over and over again.
  • 6 April 2006: A journalist asks me about my “poverty” method of tax resistance, and I try to set the record straight. If this is poverty, poverty is very underrated. And Claire Wolfe notes that prosperity is pretty overrated — if it’s measured in trinkets and baubles and McMansions made of debt instead of things of real value.
  • 4 April 2006: Robin Brookes paid his taxes and made his point at the same time. Also: The Ripple Project goes live — is this the alternative currency we’ve been waiting for? And: Scott Ritter’s tough-love message for the anti-war movement.
  • 3 April 2006: The Tax Foundation crunches the numbers on the 40% of Americans who live under the income tax line. And another bell tolls for the excise tax on long-distance phone service.
  • 2 April 2006: Geov Parrish reminds taxpayers that they’re volunteering to buy the bullets for their own firing squads. Also: 48 kind-hearted dopes voluntarily sent in more money than the I.R.S. said they owed last year, just because they felt bad about the national debt.
  • 29 March 2006: The I.R.S. is going to use private collection agencies to go after people who owe taxes. But these collection agencies will pocket 22–24% of what they collect. Maybe that’s better than letting Congress have it.
  • 28 March 2006: The I.R.S. brags that it is auditing more people this year than before, but a look at the numbers shows that most of this increase comes from small businesses and people making under $25,000 a year — millionaires seem nigh invulnerable. Also: war tax resistance propaganda posters hit the streets of San Francisco.
  • 25 March 2006: Jim Macdonald has some constructive criticism for the organizers of civil disobedience actions.
  • 24 March 2006: If you expect a tax refund this year, that means you gave an interest-free loan to the U.S. government last year. Here’s what to do about it. Also: The I.R.S. wants you to join its Taxpayer Advocacy Panel. And: Wafaa’ Al-Natheema is boycotting all American companies, and she’s doing it while living in the United States.
  • 20 March 2006: Tamiko Beyer writes her friends about her tax resistance. Also, Ancient Chinese Secret: might government be becoming awful and tyrannical in a reverse psychology ploy to nurture its own obsolescence?
  • 19 March 2006: My annual report summarizes my third year of tax resistance and forecasts the year ahead.
  • 17 March 2006: Serious tax code geekery ahead: Can you take the ½ self-employment tax deduction on line 27 of your 1040 if you refuse to pay your self-employment tax?
  • 16 March 2006: Enough pork to spackle an ox. Also: U.S. airstrikes in Iraq are up 50% from this time last year. And: The T.V. show “Boston Legal” features a stirring defense of tax resistance.
  • 15 March 2006: What to do about the payroll tax… I suppose I could just stop paying it. But maybe it’s what happens next that makes a difference.
  • 14 March 2006: The Dubya Squad went from the attacks on 9/11 to capitalizing on them by bringing the government and the media and the people on-board with their Iraq War agenda in a year and a half flat. Three years after that, the anti-war movement is still gathering massive committees to draft statements of purpose and plan more meetings to consider proposals.
  • 6 March 2006: To fight the government, stop feeding it — but stop letting it feed you, too! Also: your tax dollars may have been part of the $7 billion the U.S. government gave to the dictators of Sudan, North Korea, Belarus, Ethiopia, Swaziland, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan, among others.
  • 4 March 2006: Cindy Sheehan and Sam Bostaph join hands across the liberal/libertarian divide in order to fight aginst the war. And: Samuel Edward Konkin III says that counter-economics may be the best sabotage where sabotage is most needed: against the war machine. Also: Frustrated that you can’t resist U.S. federal income tax because you don’t live in the States and don’t owe anything to the I.R.S.? Try a consumer boycott.
  • 3 March 2006: K.W. writes a letter home to explain why she “will continue to struggle to find the courage to be a tax resister.” Also: the financial health of the federal government takes another hit, but we all know that war is the real health of the state.
  • 28 February 2006: A number of prominent names in the international anti-war movement (including American war tax resisters Kathy Kelly, Susan Crane and Cindy Sheehan) have signed on to “A Global Call for Non-Violent Civil Resistance to End the U.S.-led Occupation of Iraq.”
  • 27 February 2006: The War Resisters League releases their fiscal year 2007 U.S. budget pie chart. Also: Mark Engler looks back at how the Vietnam war unraveled and speculates that if the U.S. is forced to leave Iraq, it will have more to do with money than with casualties.
  • 22 February 2006: The I.R.S. publishes details about the new tax credits for energy-efficient and solar home improvements, but it looks like you have to own your home to qualify. Also: the I.R.S. Oversight Board releases the results of its survey on U.S. taxpayer opinions about tax evasion.
  • 21 February 2006: California Libertarian Party vice chair Lawrence Samuels asks taxpayers to stop being accessories to murder. And: Robert McGee surveys university students on several continents about their attitudes concerning the ethics of tax evasion.
  • 20 February 2006: Vermont tax resisters Linda Leehman, Lori Barg, and Lea Wood get some good press. Also: an anti-tax pamphlet from the Movement of the Libertarian Left. And: the cost of the Dubya Squad’s wars continues to rise.
  • 19 February 2006: Ammon Hennacy explains how he got away with paying no income tax for so many years. Fred Ecks reports another good year of living large and paying no income tax. Jeff Knaebel celebrates the anniversary of Gandhi’s birth. And I try to figure out if it’s possible to get more back from the government using the Earned Income Tax Credit than you pay through the payroll tax (FICA).
  • 18 February 2006: If Dubya gets his wish for more tax incentives for Health Savings Accounts, it will be a great day for tax resisters like me. Also: how much money does the government “spend” by giving tax breaks? And: updates on the “tax gap” and the future of tax reform. Also: Irwin Schiff’s lawyers plead insanity on his behalf. And: Dead-Eye Dick Cheney brags that the government is bringing in more tax money than ever.
  • 17 February 2006: While I was away: Julia Butterfly Hill interviewed about her war tax resistance, Kathy Kelly says taxpayers can’t shift all the responsibility to the politicians, a profile of suffragette and tax resister Sophia Duleep Singh, tax resistance to protest for equal rights for married gay couples, a group in San Francisco vows to buy no new products (except food and a few other exceptions) in 2006, an update on international tax resistance and peace tax news, and Beit Sahour tax resister Ghassan Andoni is nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.
  • 16 February 2006: I review Ammon Hennacy’s autobiography — The Book of Ammon.
  • 26 January 2006: Some libertarian-minded folks scoff at “socially responsible” business practices — “the social responsibility of business is to increase its profits,” Milton Friedman wrote — but what will they think about a business that takes a libertarian view of social responsibility that goes beyond the profit motive?
  • 25 January 2006: “Congratulations, you have defeated the ice dragon. You open the large wooden chest and find one million gold pieces, of which 35% will be withheld and given to the I.R.S.” Could this be the future of on-line gaming?
  • 20 January 2006: Phone tax resistance goes mainstream, with an article in today’s Smartmoney.com advocating it. Also: Just how big is the defense budget? It isn’t easy to tell, but one intrepid budget-watcher crunches the numbers for us and tells us what he found.
  • 19 January 2006: They used to say that a conservative is a liberal who got mugged. What happens when the conservative gets mugged and reports it to a yawning cop who can’t be bothered? Also: Bill Ramsey remembers when the Vietnam war left the ground for the skies, and how this changed the moral calculus for conscientious objectors.
  • 18 January 2006: Have peace activists ever stopped a war? Probably so, but they have to get off of their butts and stop singing Kumbayah first. And: Americans spent six billion hours trying to comply with the federal income tax laws last year. Also: signs that the U.S. military is getting nervous about deserters. And: how the whole world became Injun country.
  • 17 January 2006: America I’ve given you all and now I’m nothing. / America two dollars and twentyseven cents January 17, 1956. / I can’t stand my own mind. / America when will we end the human war? / Go fuck yourself with your atom bomb.…
  • 16 January 2006: The bad news is that Loompanics is going out of business (the good news is they’re having a sale). Also: again the news is full of “precision”, “targeted” U.S. airstrikes on civilian homes in which the innocent suffer most — and this awful result is more the rule than the exception.
  • 12 January 2006: 2006 may be very kind to tax resisters like me, thanks to changes in tax law like the great new set of “green” tax credits for energy-efficient and solar home improvements.
  • 11 January 2006: When the troops finally do come home, replaced by smart bombs, will the peace movement declare “mission accomplished”? Also: the “St. Patrick’s Four” discuss war tax resistance.
  • 10 January 2006: The latest annual National Taxpayer Advocate report, released today, includes some interesting tidbits about the underground economy, sources of the tax gap, and I.R.S. enforcement follies.
  • 9 January 2006: Some surprising results from surveys about the ethics of tax evasion. Also: American prisoners are scamming the I.R.S. for millions, and getting away with it. And: The “Solidarity Economy” flourishes invisibly all around us (untaxedly, of course) — let’s encourage it!
  • 4 January 2006: Ingmar Lee of the Alternative Press Review lists a remarkable number of recent incidents of effective freelance decommissioning of military machinery.
  • 3 January 2006: Between income taxes (corporate and individual), excise taxes, payroll taxes, and all the rest — just how much of your income are you paying to the feds? Also: Wilhelm Reich says it’s a cop-out to blame our rulers for our wars.

2005

  • 31 December 2005: A Quaker posits an alternative future challenge about a hypothetical gasoline war tax. Also: a barter loophole that you can use to put off capital gains taxes. And: what happens when liberals first start thinking about war tax resistance?
  • 29 December 2005: More on the I.R.S.’s new W-4 strategy, debates about the size of the tax gap (and some ideas on how to increase it), and the I.R.S. loses in court yet again while trying to close the flat-rate long distance loophole.
  • 26 December 2005: People are reporting a lot less of their income to the I.R.S., but are they being evasive or just crafty? Also: is the “starve the beast” theory fundamentally flawed?
  • 21 December 2005: Robert Randall says it’s too early to panic about the new I.R.S. policy on people who use their W-4 forms to keep taxes from being withheld from their paychecks.
  • 20 December 2005: A new I.R.S. policy may make things difficult for tax resisters who try to use their W-4 forms to keep taxes from being withheld from their paychecks. Also: Fred Ecks notes that spending money in alignment with your values requires actually knowing how you’re spending your money.
  • 16 December 2005: 250 years ago today, a group of Pennsylvania Quakers came together and composed a letter to their fellow Friends outlining the reasons that had led them to stop paying taxes for war, and the war tax resistance movement in America was born.
  • 15 December 2005: Is Christianity true, in which case I ought to believe it, or if not true, is it beneficial, in which case I ought to practice or profess it anyway? Is Christianity just whatever a Christian wants to believe with an “amen” tacked on to the end for emphasis? What of the Christian Peacemaker Teams who stand up courageously in faith against evil; but what of the Christians who give evil their blessing and support? Can a secular movement for peace and justice have the passion and enthusiasm of Christianity without also importing the balderdash?
  • 14 December 2005: A group of modern day disciples of Christ try to figure out where tax paying and tax resistance fit in to discipleship.
  • 13 December 2005: The Army steeply lowered its recruitment targets, twice, until it managed to reach them; now the hawk-wing press flies their triumphant press releases up the flag pole. Managing expectations is so much easier than succeeding.
  • 12 December 2005: How to keep your Flexible Savings Account money from vanishing at the end of the year. Also: another reason to hate import tariffs — they are a highly regressive tax.
  • 8 December 2005: More news from the NWTRCC strategy conference, and a Peace Tax Form for the I.R.S. Also: some papers on the ethics of tax evasion from Robert McGee. And: there are some new tax credits for people who install certain types of energy-efficient and solar equipment at home or buy certain types of fuel-efficient vehicles next year.
  • 5 December 2005: The government will train you, free of charge, in how to take money from them and give it back to poor people. What are you waiting for? Also: please tell me you’re not playing the lottery.
  • 4 December 2005: Cindy Sheehan responds to the internet hawk on-line petition begging the I.R.S. to audit her: “I am thinking of signing it myself.”
  • 30 November 2005: Impersonating the voice of authority and making it say absurd things may be the best way of discrediting it. Also: more details on how the I.R.S. will be using private collection agencies.
  • 27 November 2005: One hundred years ago today, a coalition of anti-government groups in Petrograd decided to call for tax resistance and other forms of economic rebellion against Russia’s czarist government. Here is their manifesto.
  • 26 November 2005: A profile of Kate Harvey, a tax resister from Britain’s women’s suffrage movement. Also: an I.R.S. audit forecast for the coming year. And: the right-wing media discover the wacky world of freegans.
  • 21 November 2005: I half expect Dubya himself to announce the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq before the bulk of the anti-war movement thinks it quite prudent. Also: Normon Solomon observes, “the war has not gone wrong. It was always wrong.”
  • 18 November 2005: The House of Representatives overwhelmingly rejects withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq. Also: an I.R.S. lawyer takes an interest in The Picket Line.
  • 17 November 2005: A call from someone on the anti-war left for the anti-war left to reach out to the anti-war right and to anti-war libertarians. That and a change of tactics might really make a difference. Also: meeting minutes from the NWTRCC Strategy Conference.
  • 15 November 2005: The Pitstop Ploughshares activists in Ireland took an axe to a U.S. Navy C40 and disabled it for three months. And their goverment is having a hell of a time prosecuting them for it. Also: what happens when a church has to decide whether to remain tax-exempt or to speak out against politicians from the pulpit?
  • 12 November 2005: Speak truth to power? What do the powerful care? And: there are very good reasons, even in a time of war, not to melt the skin off of children. Also: making the concept of “evil” respectable in liberal intellectual circles. And: lowering your electricity bills so we can save up enough money to pay the Chinese back for this war they loaned us.
  • 10 November 2005: “The Nation” suddenly makes a solemn non-election-year pledge to only endorse anti-war candidates for national office. Last year was an election year and they endorsed Kerry. Next year is an election year too — and another low tide for liberal principles is forecast.
  • 9 November 2005: The people, united, will pass a non-binding resolution disapproving of their defeat!
  • 7 November 2005: Patriotic women in colonial America were making homespun cloth to spite the British Empire over a century before Gandhi adopted the practice. But what should today’s rebels do? Maybe, suggested Karl Hess, learn to rely more on barter.
  • 4 November 2005: The “Siege of Montefiore” was tax resistance and guerrilla theater combined in the service of Britain’s women’s suffrage movement.
  • 3 November 2005: The I.R.S. keeps losing in court thanks to a single “and” in the tax code, and this may cost the government billions of dollars. Also: a mention of a hundred-person tax resister community in New Hampshire in the early 1970s, from a back-issue of The Catholic Worker.
  • 2 November 2005: Poet and tax resister Brenda Hillman considers six practical steps for the overwhelmed activist. Also: Stop the presses! Congress is considering budget cuts! But wait until you see the punchline.
  • 1 November 2005: Another report back from the NWTRCC strategy conference last month. Also: the report from Dubya’s tax reform panel has been released and is now available on-line.
  • 30 October 2005: The complete “Best of The Voluntaryist” is released on-line. Here’s a sample chapter: “‘Voluntary’ Contributions to the National Treasury: Where Does One Draw the Line?” by Carl Watner.
  • 29 October 2005: Where’s the outrage? Well, maybe it’s being channeled into productive action instead of noisy lather.
  • 28 October 2005: The I.R.S. tells Congress how it plans to address the “tax gap”. Also: charitable giving may be one way that well-off folks can escape the income tax this year.
  • 27 October 2005: Anthony Gregory delivers a finely-crafted clue-by-four to the technicalitarian tax protesters.
  • 26 October 2005: Susan van Haitsma advocates tax resistance in Dissident Voice. Also: the U.S. constitution on religious vs. secular conscientious tax objection, new frugality links, and Iraq is not Vietnam, but…
  • 24 October 2005: More and more lucky duckies have been escaping the individual federal income tax over the past several years. A reader asks: What’s the story about the corporate income tax?
  • 23 October 2005: Connie Mack of Dubya’s tax panel is pretty casual about billions and trillions. And Cindy Sheehan calls for massive non-violent civil disobedience.
  • 20 October 2005: Can you stand even more about Dubya’s tax panel proposals? Also: that sound you hear is the heads of small-government conservatives exploding.
  • 19 October 2005: Yet more insight into Dubya’s tax panel proposals, as if it really mattered. And the revolution will not be authorized, apparently.
  • 18 October 2005: More proposals from Dubya’s tax panel, and some are worth keeping an eye on. And the Tax Foundation continues to get all Chicken Little about Lucky Ducky.
  • 16 October 2005: War Resisters International chair Joanne Sheehan gave the keynote speech at the New England War Tax Resistance Conference last month on Gandhi’s Three Elements of Nonviolent Social Transformation
  • 13 October 2005: Robert Randall reports from the NWTRCC strategy conference last weekend. Also: wasn’t there a big peace parade just last month? I ain’t a-marchin’ anymore!
  • 12 October 2005: Dubya’s tax reform panel is starting to hint at what their recommendations will be. Will they abolish the I.R.S.? Will they push for a flat tax or a national sales tax? And will they make life harder for tax resisters? That’d be no, no, and no. Also: the president of the Ukraine fires all 23,000 of that country’s traffic cops, and nobody misses them.
  • 11 October 2005: Some encouraging signs of an emerging progressive/libertarian anti-war alliance from Lew Rockwell and Cindy Sheehan. Meanwhile, conservative libertarians are abandoning the Republicans — even such reliable GOP-leaning think-tanks as the Cato Institute and Heritage Foundation. Also: in China, the tax collectors have their own glorious motivational theme song.
  • 10 October 2005: Still no word from the NWTRCC strategy conference, alas. But: those of you in L.A. now have access to on-line maps of fruit trees growing on or overhanging public property. Which reminds me — it’s olive picking season!
  • 5 October 2005: A round-up of tax resistance news, including a new academic paper on the ethics of tax evasion, an effort by NWTRCC to get some attention for the war tax resistance cause, and a brief overview of the war tax resistance movement in the Utne Reader.
  • 4 October 2005: How is a disaster like a carnival? Rebecca Solnit finds that disaster can bring out the best in people and can create community where before there was only government.
  • 3 October 2005: A new think-tank advocates secessionism as the new new thing in progressive politics. What would Thoreau say?
  • 26 September 2005: When U.S. troops torture prisoners, is it a “leadership failure” or a “followership failure”? Also, is the anti-war movement finally giving up on the Democrats?
  • 25 September 2005: I try to put my finger on why I’ve never been crazy about Noam Chomsky, who was a tax resister for ten years starting during the Vietnam War and who has another new book out.
  • 22 September 2005: The National War Tax Resistance Coordinating Committee is holding its National Strategy Conference in Brooklyn next month. Also: the Tax Foundation says only 40% of income in the U.S. is being taxed, Democrats notice the anti-pork high road is unoccupied, and “Americus” sees his colors starting to run.
  • 20 September 2005: Veteran peace activist Gordon Clark tells the peace movement that it’s time to stop the ineffective protest-as-usual methods and move on to nonviolent resistance. Also: War tax resister Jessica Ramer hopes we can learn from her mistakes. And Sunni Maravillosa has a compilation of ideas on how individuals can advance the cause of freedom.
  • 19 September 2005: Claire Wolfe attempts to rescue us from the disaster for freedom that is the Job Culture. Also: Dave Barry counsels tax resistance, and 30,000 tax payments are dumped off the San Mateo bridge into San Francisco Bay.
  • 17 September 2005: Happy Constitution Day, from Lysander Spooner. “Every man who puts money into the hands of a ‘government’ (so called), puts into its hands a sword which will be used against him, to extort more money from him, and also to keep him in subjection to its arbitrary will.”
  • 14 September 2005: The Republicans in Congress have finally eliminated all of the fat from the federal budget, says House Majority Leader Tom DeLay.
  • 10 September 2005: Julia “Butterfly” Hill talks about how she became a “war tax redirector” and how the I.R.S. has responded.
  • 9 September 2005: Leo Tolstoy, on patriotism and war, and his solution to those problems.
  • 8 September 2005: Tax resister and renunciate Jeff Knaebel echoes a position previously held by Alexander Solzhenitsyn and Leo Tolstoy — the first commandment of fighting tyranny: thou shalt not give false witness. Is this true, or is there a place for the sniggler and the framing spinmeister?
  • 7 September 2005: If anything good comes out of Katrina, it will be to remind us that in times of crisis, we are better off looking to each other than foolishly waiting for our rulers to help us. Also: Hugh Sawyer goes Thoreauvian in London.
  • 3 September 2005: John Woolman tells the story of how he introduced war tax resistance to American Quakers in the 1750s.
  • 2 September 2005: A new tax credit for adding solar power to your home goes into effect next year. Also: help other people evade their taxes by leaving a cash tip when you pay your bill with plastic.
  • 1 September 2005: Last month I kept track of every cent I spent. I’ve done this one-month-accounting for three years now. It confirms that my tax resistance strategy is sustainable and it also keeps my finger on the pulse of my economic well-being. And: Ammon Hennacy and Henry David Thoreau also took care to carefuly account for their expenses at times. It’s a shame that we’re so averse to paying attention to how we spend money.
  • 30 August 2005: Last year I predicted that one day we would start hearing the hawks telling us that Osama did a good thing by launching the 9/11 attacks because this encouraged America to go to war. I was kidding — making a “modest proposal” — but now Christopher Hitchens proves me right. Also: if we can bend spoons with our minds, why can’t our prayers bring peace?
  • 29 August 2005: L. Neil Smith: “Taxation is the fuel of war. Warfare of the kind witnessed for the first time only in the 19th and 20th centuries, warfare that kills tens of millions in the space of only a few years, warfare that snuffs out whole cities in the blink of an eye, is possible only when governments can seize and spend a significant fraction of the economic output of their host populations.”
  • 28 August 2005: An interesting mix of nonviolent satyagraha with the libertarian non-aggression principle and revolutionary anarchism from Gandhi’s deputy Vinoba Bhave.
  • 27 August 2005: When I go to an activist meeting, seminar, or rally here in San Francisco, I almost always come away feeling newly pumped-up and enthused about the possibility of feeding hippies to crocodiles. If only I had listened to William S. Burroughs when he tried to give me some good advice.
  • 25 August 2005: Milton Mayer writes about how he came to stop paying what he once rendered unto Caesar: “I was paying others to do what I would never do myself or, indeed, countenance in others in any other circumstances. This couldn’t go on.”
  • 24 August 2005: Tax resister Richard Groff also wrote an essay on Thoreau’s place in the prophetic tradition. (Includes links to and excerpts from the essay.) Also: living your way to freedom.
  • 23 August 2005: Richard Groff refuses to pay a tithe to the devil in 1959: “Today our citizens are being presented with a fatal chain of cause and effect… I for one mean to hold a chisel to that first link.”
  • 19 August 2005: Another peacenik wonders how the rest of us can support Cindy Sheehan, but the possibility of war tax resistance escapes his attention. I try to correct that omission.
  • 18 August 2005: The peacenik press in its excitement over Cindy Sheehan’s protest is almost entirely ignoring her tax resistance — why do you suppose that is?
  • 16 August 2005: Daydreaming about living South of The Border, and of extraterritorial income exclusion rules.
  • 15 August 2005: Is the Iraq war a problem, a quagmire, or a crime? You’ll get different answers from Dubya, Howard Dean and Cindy Sheehan. Also: High school reporter David McSwane pulls a daring undercover sting that leaves the Pentagon reeling. And: Fully half of Iraq’s own billion-dollar defense budget has been squandered on corruption, kickbacks and outright theft.
  • 10 August 2005: Cindy Sheehan, who is camped out in front of Dubya’s vacation home trying to get him to talk with her about the war that killed her son, has announced that she isn’t going to be paying her taxes any more either.
  • 9 August 2005: Could it be that plain solutions to our national problems are already in sight, but we are turning a blind eye to them because they implicate us and sabotage our heroic ambivalence?
  • 8 August 2005: J. Tony Serra — an unsung hero of the war tax resistance movement. Also: Can you really get half a million dollars just from packing your own lunch? And: a decentralized peer-to-peer payment system may make a believer out of this alternative currency skeptic.
  • 6 August 2005: Sixty years after the bombing of Hiroshima, the nuclear giants are more numerous and more fearsome, but the ethical infants have yet to grow up. Many people are behaving as though the cold war’s sword of Damocles has been transformed into solar panels and parakeet swings, but even those of us who acknowledge the danger are left with the unanswered question of what we are to do.
  • 4 August 2005: Greg Swann reconstructs A.J. Muste’s objection to my tax resistance method from an egoist/objectivist foundation and urges libertarians to give up on the vain gesture of tax resistance.
  • 3 August 2005: Enough about nonviolent tax resistance — let’s hear a story about the violent kind. Also: is it illegal to hope that Dubya dies of natural causes? And: left-wing war tax resisters love to resist the phone tax, but it may be the prince of the right-wing lobbyists who finally kills it off.
  • 2 August 2005: Have you heard the one about the anti-bureaucracy agency? Also: is the Iraq war a fiasco or a moral failure? And: If the U.S. has captured or killed 50,000 insurgents recently, how big is this insurgency anyway? And: putting a price tag on your moral autonomy (sounds crass, but it beats giving it away for free). Also: legalizing alcohol reduces drunk driving (I wonder if this logic might apply elsewhere).
  • 1 August 2005: A 1948 edition of the journal MANAS gives a peek at the birth of the modern American war tax resistance movement. Also: Wendy McElroy on Thoreau’s “Civil Disobedience.” And: Democrats like Lieberman and Clinton think what this country needs is a bigger military.
  • 28 July 2005: There’s a new conscientious tax resister blog on the internets — Jessica Ramer’s “War Tax Resistance” blog.
  • 27 July 2005: Today’s theme is pork. It’s made of people.
  • 25 July 2005: You know that Barry Goldwater’s speechwriter believed that extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice, but did you know he also wrote that paying your taxes is no virtue?
  • 20 July 2005: Herbert Spencer on supporting the troops: “When men hire themselves out to shoot other men to order, asking nothing about the justice of their cause, I don’t care if they are shot themselves.” Also: shooting the constitutionalist fish in the tax protester barrel.
  • 19 July 2005: If the U.S. starts to withdraw its troops but leaves its money and its mercenaries behind to continue the occupation, what then for the anti-war anti-recruitment strategy?
  • 14 July 2005: San Franciscans “hesitate, and they regret, and sometimes they petition; but they do nothing in earnest and with effect. They will wait, well disposed, for others to remedy the evil, that they may no longer have it to regret. At most, they give up only a cheap vote, and a feeble countenance and Godspeed, to the right, as it goes by them.”
  • 9 July 2005: Two questions about social security reform that most of blogland won’t ask but The Picket Line will. Also: Noooobody expects the Tax Collectors’ Chair!
  • 8 July 2005: Visualizing U.S. war fatalities, buttons of death in the Twilight Zone, a dumpster diving information clearing-house, the President vows to stay the course, Samuel Adams calls for a campaign of swadeshi, and a look at the anarchist colony of Pennsylvania. Y tambien, El Piquete en español.
  • 6 July 2005: A Picket Line grab-bag with plenty of news of government waste and advice on how you can save your skin by ignoring the reasonable voice of authority.
  • 5 July 2005: The war tax resisters from the Restored Israel of YAHWEH are sentenced, and hopes that the judge would come up with a creative sentence that respected their conscientious tax resistance were dashed.
  • 1 July 2005: The Army lowers its recruitment target by 1,000 so they can announce that they beat it by 500. Also: a shout-out to the nontaxpaying affluent.
  • 30 June 2005: Prisoners are taking their revenge by ripping off the I.R.S. for millions. And Congress won’t give the I.R.S. enough money to go after them. Also: the U.S. anti-war movement continues to look for someone else to solve their problem.
  • 27 June 2005: The I.R.S. bungles another legal case against a prominent tax protester, which will add plenty of fuel to that smoldering mountain of old tires. Also: Zeynep Toufe defends America at the World Tribunal on Iraq.
  • 24 June 2005: A curious case of somebody becoming a tax resister out of a misinterpretation of taxes as some sort of contract with the government to conduct business honestly and ethically, where unethical and dishonest conduct on the part of the politicians in charge constitutes breach of contract and entitles the taxpayer to withhold payment.
  • 23 June 2005: A strange apocalyptic New Jersey sect may sneak a conscientious objection exception to military taxation in through a judicial back-door.
  • 21 June 2005: A group of high school students get more than 80% of their peers on the do-not-recruit list. Also: the media gets all gushy around expensive military hardware, the Florida Democratic Party gets way behind on their taxes, and a film crew gets great shots of students tunneling under the Berlin Wall.
  • 18 June 2005: Self-restraint as consent, pre-dawn protests at military processing centers, how to get a conscientious vegetarian to fund your meat habit by keeping empty promises, and how to spend thousands of dollars on coffee without really trying.
  • 17 June 2005: The feds have a record-setting tax intake day — no thanks to many federal employees and contractors. Also: what happened when the libertarians and the leftists got together to fight against the Vietnam war?
  • 16 June 2005: “Taxpatriates” renounce their citizenship and leave the country to stop paying taxes. And: fragging returns to our national flashback.
  • 14 June 2005: Is there any point in resisting if your resistance is not itself going to make much of a difference?
  • 8 June 2005: The Army’s recruiting numbers leak, and they’ve missed their targets again (even after moving the targets). The wide and shallow support for the war with Iraq is getting narrower and shallower.
  • 7 June 2005: Gandhian civil disobedience is starting to catch on in the libertarian movement. Also: a report from the recent NWTRCC national conference.
  • 5 June 2005: Who are these “lucky duckies” the Wall Street Journal tells us have manipulated the U.S. tax code to their advantage?
  • 2 June 2005: More good news, or, in this case, bad news, which is to say bad news for them which is good news for us: The Pentagon is starting to play the Friday game with its recruiting numbers.
  • 1 June 2005: Pro-life conservatives upset at the government for funding stem cell research might want to consider tax resistance, ha ha. Wait, that wasn’t a joke.
  • 27 May 2005: William Rivers Pitt asks if maybe a draft would finally get people to take the Iraq war personally. I reply that we’ve already got a draft, and we should take it very personally indeed.
  • 26 May 2005: How can we make the war tax resistance movement less culturally monotone and more successful? Thanks for asking! I happen to have provocative suggestions on just those very topics.
  • 25 May 2005: That emergency $82 billion supplemental funding for the war wasn’t supplemental enough to keep the war going for the next few months, so another $50 billion emergency is on the way. Also: The “White Rose” leaflets have been translated into English and put on-line. And: Fortune magazine notices that the times are kind to the do-it-yourself businessman.
  • 24 May 2005: War tax resisters aren’t the only ones attacking the phone tax — legislators are trying to repeal it, technological change threatens it, and someone found a nice little legal loophole in part of it. Still, this Spanish-American War Tax keeps marching on.
  • 20 May 2005: Wouldn’t it be an eye opener if each American taxpayer’s dollars got matched up one-for-one with line-items in the U.S. budget, and each taxpayer got an annual report of exactly where those dollars got spent? Congratulations Mr. Doe, you spent all those extra hours on the job last year so that you could help Senator Stevens bring a $1.5 million bus stop to his state.
  • 19 May 2005: Sure the estate tax repeal would be a big gift to the Paris Hilton set, but so what: it would mean less money being taken from taxpayers by the government, right? Maybe not…
  • 14 May 2005: If America is so gung-ho about this war, why is it that military recruiters are pulling out the whole used car salesman shuck-and-jive and they still can’t get a full house? Also: Navy sailor Pablo Parades gets his day in court and makes his case for conscientious objection to the Iraq debacle.
  • 13 May 2005: A conservative student journalist files a report on a Northern California War Tax Resistance workshop. Also: there are a lot of “people power” movements making change in the world today, so why does the mainstream media only seem to report on the ones whose goals coincide with U.S. foreign policy ambitions?
  • 11 May 2005: Tax resisters and protesters may be hit with greatly increased penalties, thanks to “revenue enhancements” in the upcoming Highway Bill. Also: Army recruiters nationwide must take a day off for remedial values education after one tries to bring in a new victim by threatening him with arrest! Also: another Democrat talks a good talk, but can’t walk the walk.
  • 10 May 2005: At the Church of the Brethren Christian Citizenship Seminar, speakers remind people that conscientious objection is for everyone.
  • 9 May 2005: Things have been thin at The Picket Line lately because I've been busy moving back across the bay to my scenic new digs in San Francisco.
  • 8 May 2005: Will the last libertarian who thinks the Democratic Party at least stands for peace and the defense of civil liberties please buy a beer for the last libertarian who thinks the Republican Party at least stands for smaller government?
  • 6 May 2005: It’s nice to imagine what might happen if an epidemic of questioning authority suddenly broke out in the military, but until then there are a few things we can do to make the war machine slip a gear.
  • 5 May 2005: Health Savings Accounts might become an even better tool for the low-income tax resister, as Congress considers new deductions and credits for us to sink our teeth into.
  • 2 May 2005: It is going to take a lot of work to convince people that you don’t have to live under the poverty line to live under the tax line — even people in the war tax resistance movement who should know better.
  • 29 April 2005: A free MP3-lecture about war tax resistance, some I.R.S. monkeywrenching, the results of a survey about taxpayer attitudes, and Time Management for Anarchists: The Movie.
  • 27 April 2005: If the Peace Tax Fund became reality in the United States, how many people would have to declare themselves conscientious objectors to military taxation before the military budget would be affected?
  • 26 April 2005: Weighing the case for a “Peace Tax Fund” — you may be able to take advantage of such a scheme already!
  • 25 April 2005: I hope you will be happy to know that I don’t have anything to say about Ratzinger, Gannon, DeLay or Bolton. Just more tax day protest and tax resistance news.
  • 20 April 2005: The I.R.S. claims it can’t give out statistics about how its enforcement measures are coming along because it might endanger homeland security. Boy those terrorists are helpful. Also: if marijuana were legal, the government could rake in another $6.2 billion in taxes — that is if the stoner set is willing to let bygones be bygones and pay up rather than keep on homegrowing.
  • 18 April 2005: Hawkish types who love war as long as someone else is taking the risks are called “chickenhawks” — what shall we call peaceniks who applaud deserters and conscientious objectors but who keep shoveling money into the treasury?
  • 17 April 2005: More tax day news, including “Burma Shave”-style protest signs in Oregon, an interview with NWTRCC coordinator Ruth Benn, and Ashby Crowder reminding taxpayers that conscientious objection isn’t just for those in uniform.
  • 15 April 2005: Happy tax day! Here’s an audio interview with Ed Hedemann, and info on tax resisters Karl Meyer, Timothy Godshall, Carol Rose, Joanna Karl, and Jeff Knaebel.
  • 14 April 2005: The I.R.S. is changing its policy — employers no longer have to snitch on employees who claim lots of allowances on their W-4 forms. In addition: more seasonal articles about tax resistance. Also: can you get a reward for denouncing a tax evader to the I.R.S.? Is the estate tax about to die? Will the I.R.S. be able to use bounty hunters or won’t they? And how do folks who make over $200,000 a year manage to avoid taxes?
  • 13 April 2005: Tax Day protests are breaking out all over, and NWTRCC has the list. Also: another news article on tax resistance looks at the strategies and goals of a number of resisters.
  • 12 April 2005: Tax Freedom Day, when the average American will have earned enough to pay his or her tax bill, comes on April 17th this year. Also: a reader writes that though he’s a war booster himself, he has a lot of respect for a protest like mine that isn’t all chants and sign-waving.
  • 11 April 2005: The U.S. Libertarian Party has prepared their popular “million dollar bill” currency look-alike handouts for tax day this year, to highlight how the government spends a million dollars every five seconds. Also: hazy reports suggest that war tax resisters in Italy have won some significant legal victories — Nick Wright tries to sort out what’s going on.
  • 10 April 2005: Members of Colorado’s Bijou community live under the tax line so as not to pay for war. The Fellowship of Reconciliation signs on to A Call to Resist. War tax resister Susan van Haitsma looks at the military recruiter in each of us. And conservative anti-pork reports are full of good reasons to resent taxation.
  • 7 April 2005: A war tax resistance article in the press repeats the tall tale about how tax resistance through income reduction is only for cave-dwelling martyrs.
  • 6 April 2005: Today is the 75th anniversary of the successful conclusion of Gandhi’s Salt March, which he used to popularize his drive to end the British monopoly on salt in India.
  • 5 April 2005: Seems to me that the I.R.S. could use some Picket Line readers on its “Taxpayer Advocacy Panel” — care to volunteer? Also: care to help write the definitive Wikipedia entry on tax resistance?
  • 1 April 2005: Jealous at all of the “People Power” uprisings going on in far-off lands? While you wait for your chance to storm the castle, here are some useful ways to spend your time and energy, including a new computer wargame simulation designed to help you think about strategic nonviolent conflict.
  • 31 March 2005: Barry Loberfeld challenges war tax resisters not to be such pro-government pushovers. Also: the National War Tax Resistance Coordinating Committee puts out a list of April 15th “Tax Day” protest actions in the United States. And: the National Priorities Project puts out its annual analysis of where your tax dollar goes.
  • 29 March 2005: How big is individual tax evasion? According to the I.R.S., more than $300 billion big, or more than 15% of what it thinks people owe. And that’s after it finishes up with its audits and enforcement techniques.
  • 28 March 2005: Cost-conscious cooking for the epicure — the quality of appetite you bring to the table does more to make for a successful meal than the ingredients in the dish.
  • 27 March 2005: I’m quoted in an article about war tax resistance from the Columbia Chronicle: “After 9/11, I had the terrible realization that even in the wake of such a shocking and successfully brutal terrorist attack on my country’s soil, I feared my government’s reaction to the attack more than I feared the terrorists.”
  • 24 March 2005: Mr. Cranky-Pants answers your tax questions. Today: the Internal Revenue Code doesn’t define “income” or say who is “liable for” income tax. Does that mean I’m off the hook, Mr. Cranky-Pants?
  • 22 March 2005: Military veteran Mike Ferner calls for tax resistance to stop the war: “The times call upon us to do more than we’ve already done; more than we think we can do.” Also: some new hints on how tax policy may change in Dubya’s second term.
  • 21 March 2005: Technology gives us a new tactic when avoiding the phone tax. Also: the Dubya Squad and the Pentagon play some manipulative games to squeeze more war money out of Congress.
  • 19 March 2005: My annual report summarizes my second year of tax resistance and forecasts the year ahead.
  • 16 March 2005: I give up — there’s just too much U.S. torture for me to document without turning The Picket Line into an all-torture blog; I’m going to stick closer to my core topic of tax resistance. Also: a new survey of Americans shows that their budget priorities are awfully similar to those promoted by liberal war tax resisters — why doesn’t this matter to the politicians?
  • 15 March 2005: Dubya has the tools at his disposal to stop or slow gluttonous Congressional spending, but he just whistles. Also: Ward Churchill, meet Colonel Harry F. Cunningham. And: more tax wonkery than you can shake a pencil at.
  • 14 March 2005: The book “On Strategic Nonviolent Conflict” is now available as a free-for-download PDF. Also: updates on the “Peace Tax Seven” case, and an official notice from the I.R.S. about war tax resistance.
  • 13 March 2005: I’m back from the land of the megatoritos and I’m starting to clear out the email inbox and RSS backlog as the invasion anniversary and Tax Day approach. I’ve got a link to some war tax resistance PSAs for your favorite radio station, and an update on the United for Peace and Justice war tax resistance publicity proposal. Also: Henry David Thoreau has a blog.
  • 4 March 2005: Before I run off to Mexico, I leave you with a half-baked fantasy I have about some sort of boy-scout-like peacenik paramilitary order and their tax resisting ways.
  • 3 March 2005: Just what the World Wide Web needed — a new web page version of Thoreau’s “Civil Disobedience.” Prepared with love and attention at The Picket Line’s hypertext kitchen.
  • 2 March 2005: “People Power” is catching on from the Ukraine to Belarus to Moldova to… Lebanon? Iraq? The Dubya Squad’s democratizers love it in Eastern Europe, but if it caught on in, say, Egypt or Saudi Arabia I doubt they’d be so happy. But the folks at Gene Sharp’s think tank are a bit more inclusive, as their collection of nonviolent revolution pamphlet translations shows.
  • 1 March 2005: How did the Amish manage to get themselves exempted from the U.S. Social Security system? Also: Crispin Sartwell gives a conference of young Democrats a good talking to, and that’s not all he’s got to say.
  • 28 February 2005: The Pledge of Resistance gets more specific, and more personal, and I approve. Also: more on the bizarre, regal, sedan-throne bubble-life of our god-emperor.
  • 27 February 2005: Shirley Smith and Andy McKenna of Austin Conscientious Objectors to Military Taxation appear on the libertarian cable-tv talk show Live & Let Live (includes a link to an on-line video feed of the show). Plus: Many links for the tax policy geek and budget wonk in all of us.
  • 25 February 2005: Amazing, isn’t it? All the flag-waving, macho, no-nonsense, hard-working, values-loving, pop-beer-cans-with-their-teeth, Christian, red state, middle-America types tripping over themselves to pledge allegiance to a pompous, Ivy League cheerleader and his enormous taxpayer-funded retinue.
  • 24 February 2005: Claire Wolfe says in her new book that there are “179 Things to Do Until the Revolution” — and for Things #29 and #132 she tells her readers to check out The Picket Line and sniggle.net for the low-down.
  • 23 February 2005: The National War Tax Resistance Coordinating Committee has a somewhat timid proposal before the national assembly of United for Peace and Justice.
  • 21 February 2005: Warning — rampant government spending miscellany ahead! Everything you wanted to know about the budget and more.
  • 19 February 2005: If you take the best ideas from the various anti-war Calls, Appeals, and Resolutions that are floating around, and throw out all of the fluff, you might just come up with something useful.
  • 17 February 2005: It was a C.I.A. interrogator at Abu Ghraib, and not a handful of poorly-trained, unsupervised, sadistic yahoos, who tortured to death the man-on-ice seen in those “thumbs-up” pictures of Charles Graner and Lynndie England.
  • 16 February 2005: Sigh… It’s time for another U.S. Torture Policy Update.
  • 15 February 2005: Adding insult to the biggest military budget America has ever seen, the Dubya Squad request another $82 billion in supplemental war funding. Oh, if only Kerry had won in November! (Well, you try saying it with a straight face.)
  • 14 February 2005: Yet more newsprint devoted to war tax resistance. Also: the War Resisters League issues their annual pie chart showing “Where Your Income Tax Money Really Goes.”
  • 13 February 2005: What is a man from the 17th Century doing on a banner from the Women’s Tax Resistance League of 1910?
  • 12 February 2005: We’re a long way from April 15th, the war tax resistance movement’s traditional fifteen minutes of fame, and yet the news is full of war tax resisters doing their thing.
  • 11 February 2005: A round-up of news on the torture policy, stupid budget tricks, and adventures in activism.
  • 8 February 2005: The war tax resistance media blitz continues, with an article in The Raw Story.
  • 7 February 2005: The gargantuan U.S. military, the one that costs as much money as the combined militaries of the rest of the world, is too small and needs more funding, say 21 U.S. senators, including John Kerry, Ted Kennedy, Hilary Clinton, and Joe Lieberman.
  • 5 February 2005: Sigh… I’m afraid it’s time to wade into the muck of Social Security reform. Don’t get distracted by the hoopla about “private accounts” — the real story is that the government is trying to take more of your money.
  • 4 February 2005: John Yoo, who helped write the Dubya Squad’s torture guidelines, says he feels vindicated now that Bush has been reelected and Gonzales has been confirmed. Also: Dubya proposes a new health insurance tax credit for people with low incomes.
  • 3 February 2005: Dubya has put a big boost in funding for the I.R.S. in his upcoming budget. And the C.I.A. may have to cough up the documents about its torture practices after all.
  • 1 February 2005: I start a new contract today, so it’s time to run the numbers and to estimate how much I can safely earn this year without hitting the federal income tax line.
  • 31 January 2005: The recent elections in Iraq came about despite the opposition from the occupying forces and from elements of the armed resistance — a rare victory for non-violent “people power” in a conflict otherwise notorious for multilateral violence. Also: “casual carpooling” is a good example of people coming together to work for their mutual benefit in the absence of top-down organization and regulation.
  • 30 January 2005: The House Joint Committee on Taxation floats a trial balloon about extending the federal excise phone tax to things like voice-over-IP and internet use in general.
  • 28 January 2005: How even well-meaning people can become paralyzed by plausible deniability and helplessness. Also: here’s a cost-benefit analysis for you — for a third of what Bush wants to spend on his war this year, we could prevent a number of AIDS cases larger than the entire population of Iraq. And: Congress tries to come up with ways to take more money from us without actually “raising taxes.”
  • 27 January 2005: The Austin Conscientious Objectors to Military Taxation continue their impressive media sweep. Also: in 2002, a hundred million taxpayers gave interest-free loans to the federal government — do you think maybe they could be convinced that this is a bad idea?
  • 26 January 2005: It takes a mighty fine lawyer to claim that waterboarding is “humane” — Alberto Gonzales fits the bill, and the Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee say “enough is enough.” Also: the G.A.O. says that the I.R.S. is losing its war against tax evaders.
  • 25 January 2005: The I.R.S. is told it must challenge a “social norm” that tax evasion is okay if it wants to close the “tax gap.” Also: another billion dollar tax evasion technique. And: the tip of the torture iceberg keeps getting bigger, and U.S. troops are caught acting like drunk Gestapo University undergrads on spring break.
  • 24 January 2005: Finally — a call to action that’s actually a call to action: A review of “A Call to Resist the War in Iraq” in view of my recent criticisms of the “Appeal to Global Conscience” when contrasted with the resolution that launched the Montgomery Bus Boycott.
  • 20 January 2005: Another convert to tax resistance thinks it’s time to tell the world. Also: Torture is bad, uh, why exactly? And now that there’s no way for a U.S. senator to plausibly claim not to know about the torture policy, the Gonzales confirmation vote takes on new significance as a roll call of part of the criminal conspiracy to commit torture.
  • 19 January 2005: Here’s a protest form you can send in along with your 1040 this year. Also: Gonzales finally admits to the Dubya Squad’s torture policy. What was obvious is now explicit — and will soon be ratified, if Congress confirms Gonzales as the next attorney general.
  • 17 January 2005: On MLK Day, what say you we compare the resolution that launched the Montgomery Bus Boycott with the toothless anti-war appeal I discussed on Saturday. Also: the wonks gaze into their crystal balls and try to predict what will come of Dubya’s vague tax reform dreams — if nothing else, it’s a great excuse to shake down lobbyists.
  • 15 January 2005: A group of prominent peaceniks issue an appeal for people to urge somebody else to please do something to stop this darn war. Also: are you due a complete refund of your long-distance telephone excise tax? One New York company got a $400,000 refund, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
  • 14 January 2005: Shifting money from a tax-deferred retirement account to a Roth IRA can be a good move, for tax resisters and for taxers alike. And: the Dubya Squad are trying awfully hard not to admit that they’ve got a policy of torturing people.
  • 13 January 2005: A must-read modest proposal for expanding the use of torture, an interview with Adam “Bury the Chains” Hochschild, a surprisingly sensible article from Iraq War hawk Andrew Sullivan, and a war tax resister from Austin tells about living with the crackdown and hoping for a peace tax.
  • 12 January 2005: Tolstoy writes a Letter to the Liberals. An Evangelical Christian wonders why his peers are still sinning like there’s no Judgment Day. Alexander Cockburn suggests that President Bush should be killed. Fabulously rich people worry about having enough money. And politicians pad their districts with prisoners to collect votes and loot.
  • 11 January 2005: I review Adam Hochschild’s book “Bury the Chains” and look for similarities between the abolitionist sugar boycott and tax resistance tactics. Also: when the Dubya Squad says they want to “simplify” the tax code, hold on to your wallet.
  • 10 January 2005: FICA is a sneaky beast, hard to shake once it’s on your trail. Also: more civilian casualties, torture, terrorism, oppression, the usual. Love Americans but hate their government? Still?!?
  • 8 January 2005: A thing or two more about the confirmation hearing for U.S. attorney general nominee Alberto Gonzales.
  • 7 January 2005: A lengthy round-up of news and views concerning yesterday’s confirmation hearing for U.S. attorney general nominee Alberto Gonzales.
  • 6 January 2005: How did slavery go from commonplace to condemned? How much is that war costing again? War tax resistance finds more friends in the blogosphere. Three cheers for the ACLU! Two cheers for organized religion! The Democrats still have to earn their first cheer.
  • 5 January 2005: A formerly pro-war libertarian wonders why he didn’t find the liberal anti-war movement to be very persuasive. Also: the social security reform debate for dummies. And: Alberto Gonzales tries to wipe the torture memos off of his hands.
  • 4 January 2005: It isn’t easy to come to grips with your country engaging in torture, but don’t make the mistake of getting used to it and considering it normal. Also: the anti-war group United for Peace and Justice gets half-way along the road to noticing the connection between the taxes they pay and the war they hate. And: more about the new tax definition of “qualifying child;” new frugal diets for the local/organic food set; and the cunning nonviolent martial art of Jesus.
  • 3 January 2005: Where your tax dollars go, displayed in an easy-to-vistualize diagram. Also: a handful of interesting links from around the web.
  • 1 January 2005: More revelations about the sick U.S. torture policy and attempts to cover it up are leaked to the New York Times by military intelligence officials and interrogators.

2004

  • 31 December 2004: The Dubya Squad have released a new torture memo. Although the news media will probably report it as a climb-down from the controversial memos of years past, it is another ugly exercise of lawyers asking “how much torture can we get away with?”
  • 30 December 2004: In a world where a hundred thousand lives can be swept away in a tsunami, do I lack a sense of proportion when I blog about a small pack of tortured detainees? Why am I so concerned about American abuses when the world is full of torturing despots and even Nature is cruel?
  • 28 December 2004: It’s an open secret: the U.S. shuttling its prisoners of war from country to country, shopping around for the most effectively brutal interrogation techniques. The brazenness of the U.S. torture policies and the shameless explicitness of pro-torture apologists shocks me — I thought that like slavery, torture had long since been made indefensible by the consensus of the civilized world.
  • 27 December 2004: The C.I.A. pulls out the “we don’t gotta if we don’t wanna” defense to the Freedom of Information Act. Also: the San Francisco Chronicle wonders how the I.R.S. will use private debt collection agencies.
  • 24 December 2004: Even the Washington Post is starting to think this torture thing is serious. But Dubya has put another torture memo alumnus up for nomination so he doesn’t seem to think Congress much cares. But there are more torture memos on the way so if there is anyone left who is capable of outrage but just hasn’t heard enough yet, there’s still time. Also: some data on U.S. arms sales in recent years.
  • 23 December 2004: The beast may not be starving, but it may be starting to diet. Also: all this torture and abuse seems, in addition to being repulsive and cruel, useless and counterproductive — what’s the motivation? And: the anti-war movement in Scotland is actually gumming up the war machine. Also: The Picket Line scoops Newsweek by about six months.
  • 22 December 2004: More U.S. torture revelations from Gitmo and Iraq. Also: Hannah Arendt on the difference between temptation and compulsion, and the dictum of Socrates that it is better to suffer injustice than to commit it.
  • 18 December 2004: How much can you deduct for the sales taxes you’ve paid this year? Also: The U.S. tries to tsk-tsk Cuba about human rights; Cuba responds: “Look who’s talking!” And: The meter is still running on that war we started. And Tolstoy weighs in on the well-meant gesture of political assassination.
  • 17 December 2004: Michael Neumann recounts how terrorism kept from going out of style. Also: Some opposition to Alberto “Obsolete & Quaint” Gonzales emerges (no, not among the Senate Democrats, silly). And: Tolstoy says we should stop listening to the endless liberal blah-blah and instead strike at the root of government power (with tax resistance!)
  • 16 December 2004: A big thank you goes out to the people of San Francisco for their above-the-call-of-duty help in supporting the President’s war on Iraq. Also: some more words of wisdom from Leo Tolstoy.
  • 15 December 2004: Tolstoy writes about patriotism and the path to peace. Also: the U.S. press starts to falter in its practice of calling torture “abuse” when it is perpetrated by Americans.
  • 14 December 2004: The militant women’s suffrage movement in Great Britain found tax resistance to be one of their most popular, widely-adopted, and sustained tactics.
  • 13 December 2004: So remember how when those torture memos came to light the Dubya Squad promised to ditch them pronto and come up with a new set of interrogation guidelines? Don’t hold your breath.
  • 10 December 2004: Have I lost the plot? Or is there something that connects freeganism, torture, homebrew, health insurance, consumerism, I.R.S. bounty hunters, satyagraha, home-based business, car-free living, civilian war casualties, virtue ethics, Thomas Jefferson’s slaves, C.S. Lewis, doublespeak, pork spending, Hiroshima and Medicare reform?
  • 9 December 2004: Everything you needed to know about HSAs, and more. Plus: a new report on global wages makes living under the U.S. tax line look like a luxury holiday. And: the I.R.S. still isn’t getting the funding it thinks it needs, and is “leaving billions of dollars on the table” as a result.
  • 8 December 2004: Combine what has come to light about atrocities and prisoner abuse & torture with this week’s new evidence about the vigor of cover-up attempts, then add in the Dubya Squad’s penchant for secrecy and foot-dragging about FOIA disclosures, and then estimate the size of the iceberg we’re seeing the tip of.
  • 7 December 2004: The I.R.S. is cracking down on war tax resisters in Austin, Texas, but it isn’t yet clear whether this is coincidence or the signal of a larger policy change. Also: U.S. deserters, refuseniks, and “stop-loss” protesters are making the news. And: Arundhati Roy tells us that spectacle will only get us so far in the fight between people and empire.
  • 6 December 2004: Tribal dominance brings freedom to Iraq via aerial bombardments, retinal scans, DNA testing and pass cards. Also: the gap between taxpayers’ adjusted gross incomes and what they are reporting on their tax forms is larger than at any time since this statistic was introduced in 1959, which suggests that people are getting better at hiding their money from the I.R.S.. And: new torture disclosures from Gitmo.
  • 5 December 2004: Tax resistance is one of the techniques being used in the power struggle in the Ukraine. Also: the I.R.S. is going to start using bounty hunters from outside the agency to collect unpaid taxes.
  • 3 December 2004: My speculative journalism about a born-again Gandhian Bush bombarding the Taliban with flower petals finds a real-life enactment in Thailand — with origami cranes replacing the flowers.
  • 30 November 2004: The Red Cross says that the U.S. is torturing prisoners at Guantanamo Bay by deliberate policy. Also: A “DIY festival” is a way people can help each other get off the tax treadmill; An anti-war Iraq War vet tells the peace movement that it is far too comfortable; Health Savings Accounts are having a turbulent liftoff; and maybe you couldn’t shoot an unarmed, wounded Iraqi at point-blank, but you can buy the T-shirt.
  • 27 November 2004: Kathy Kelly reminds us that while some things are out of our control, we ought to be sure before we complain that we exercise the control we do have.
  • 24 November 2004: The White House may borrow a ton of money to enact Social Security reform and then pretend that it hasn’t borrowed any money at all when it calculates the deficit. Don’t you wish you could use such creative accounting techniques? Also: foes of a new nuclear arms race manage to win a rare victory — the new nuclear weapons projects requested by the White House were dropped from the budget bill. And: 40%–50% of the food America produces is thrown away uneaten — go Freegans go!
  • 23 November 2004: What would it look like if the U.S. opposition were organized, energized and relevant? What have you got to lose (and where does that place you in the rankings)? How does the value of something depend on who’s paying for it? Where can you get coffee grounds to compost in your garden? How can you help free the slaves? Where did the idea that torture can be legal come from? Are people still trying to discredit the Lancet study? The answers to these questions and more, at today’s Picket Line.
  • 22 November 2004: Some new numbers from the I.R.S. give us an idea of what our tax returns will look like when we file in 2006. Also: more appropriations bill madness from the National Pork Council.
  • 21 November 2004: Just how solid were those numbers on the effects of pre-war sanctions on infant mortality in Iraq? Also: Michael Kinsley wonders when the peace movement will come out against the war. And: Details begin to emerge about the omnibus appropriations bill.
  • 19 November 2004: Is the U.S. war tax resistance movement serious about wanting to succeed, or resigned to noble failure? Also: a round-up of the news, and good riddance to Colin Powell.
  • 17 November 2004: Operation Bankrupt Washington continues. Also: Could homebrewing beer be the American equivalent to Gandhi’s campaign of homespun cloth?
  • 16 November 2004: What possible motivation could a rational fool like myself have for wanting to do the right thing? Also: more advice for “Overpaid in Peoria.” And: What will they try to sneak in to the next “national security” legislation?
  • 15 November 2004: The Picket Line gets a new frequently-asked-question: Is it possible to get under the tax line by giving away a whole lot of money to charity? And if so: just how much do you have to give away?
  • 12 November 2004: Do people believe that there is a truth, for instance about how many people have died recently in Iraq, or whether Saddam had his opponents fed through wood chippers? Or, as Orwell feared, has truth become something that is no longer evaded or hidden so much as it is dismissed as a myth or a irreconcilable subjectivity? Also: is the U.S. losing the Vietnam War again?
  • 11 November 2004: Was Stanley Milgram’s obedience experiment just the reality television of the paperback psychology era? Also: a year ago, the “Hang Up On War” phone tax resistance campaign was launched — it has fizzled, leaving little to show for itself aside from a cautionary tale about under-resourced and over-timid campaigns.
  • 10 November 2004: Goodbye John Ashcroft… but who is that on the horizon but Alberto “obsolete and quaint” Gonzalez! All is atwitter with suspense as we wait to find out if the Democrats’ will remember how to pronounce “Abu Ghraib” by the time the Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearings begin.
  • 8 November 2004: The Milgram Experiment — coming to a theater near you. Also: “values” — what makes them different from opinions, and why that matters.
  • 7 November 2004: I’ve added some more banners to the site, with quotes from a number of tax resisters past and present. Also: the Picket Line is featured on Carnival of the Capitalists.
  • 6 November 2004: Senator Charles Grassley, chairman of the Senate Committee on Finance, gives us a preview of what tax legislation to look out for in Dubya II. Also: a confession from an Israeli taxpayer. And: with any luck (and a little positive thinking), your tax dollars went to pay for a military study of psychic teleportation.
  • 5 November 2004: I’m in no mood to join another protest march with the same old “People! United!” marching under the banner of “Our Opinions Sure Are Right!” Next time there’s a march, I want to be marching upstream, with a sign reading “When You’re Serious About It, Get Back To Us!”
  • 4 November 2004: Let’s look into the crystal ball: Dubya’s tax policy has been good to tax resisters so far… what does the future hold and will it make it easier or harder to keep our money from being spent by Republican politicians?
  • 3 November 2004: So maybe you decided to give the lesser-of-two-evils strategy one last try and you spent the last months putting all of your eggs in the Kerry basket… well, here’s an “A” for effort. Now if you want to get serious, I’d like to suggest something a little more intense than making a donation, hammering in a yard sign or pulling a lever.
  • 2 November 2004: Mary Kelly cast her vote early — on January 29th, 2003 she took an axe to a U.S. Navy 737 that was stopped in Ireland on the way to the war in Iraq, doing 1.5 million dollars in damage. Also: The I.R.S. is falling way behind on corporate audits. And the Chicago Tribune profiles war tax resister Kathy Kelly.
  • 1 November 2004: The U.S. has chosen less-risky, more expensive, more cowardly, and more indiscriminately lethal forms of warfare to meet its objectives. That is what precision, guided bombs and helicopter gunships are for. The U.S. is inflicting effectively indiscriminate destruction on civilian areas with massive aerial firepower. And a new assault on Falluja is expected any day now.
  • 30 October 2004: Thrifty diet plans for you, and ridiculously expensive fighter jets for the Air Force, thanks to your tax dollars.
  • 29 October 2004: A play about tax resistance? Also: the civilian death counts you’ve been hearing from Iraq may be understated by a factor of six, according to a report in The Lancet. The Department of Homeland Security goes after bootleg Rubik’s Cubes. And the I.R.S. — say what you want about ’em, they’ve got a good web site. Also: there’s an urban public transit solution made of thousands of individually-owned vehicles — it’s called “slugging.”
  • 28 October 2004: Another $70 billion for this war and that, and let’s not forget the drug war (now with more marijuana possession arrests in the U.S. than ever before). Also: Dubya didn’t say “shove glo-sticks in their rectums” but he’s still responsible.
  • 24 October 2004: Aboard the U.S.S. State of Denial, more about the I.R.S.’s new bounty hunters, and sixteen times in the last century the U.S. has invaded another country to overthrow its government — how many democracies have resulted?
  • 22 October 2004: Dubya’s tax policy is trying to do on a large scale what my tax policy is trying to do on a small scale — defund and shrink government. Are we fooling ourselves?
  • 21 October 2004: From Israel to Vietnam to Iraq to Git’mo: the news in brief.
  • 17 October 2004: How to avoid work (part two), and how to avoid paying retail (for good measure).
  • 16 October 2004: The occupation troops are increasingly cynical and unmotivated (a whole platoon was recently placed under arrest for refusing orders). Their enemies are motivated by revenge, patriotism and religious fervor. How much training, organization and expensive equipment does it take to compensate for that gap? Also: Did the anti-war movement really think it was going to be as easy as marching in the streets with banners?
  • 15 October 2004: Craig Murray, the British ambassador to Uzbekistan, pays the price for being too outspoken about torture there.
  • 14 October 2004: You know things have gotten desperate when Utah Phillips registers to vote. To vote, or not to be: that is the question.
  • 13 October 2004: More on the sales tax deduction — A deficit-watcher’s plea to cut the military budget — The U.S. keeps getting those banana republic headlines it’s aiming for — A quadriplegic first-time offender dies serving a prison sentence for marijuana possession — And some people wouldn’t be caught dead helping to build more prisons.
  • 11 October 2004: Craig Murray, Britain’s ambassador to Uzbekistan, calls a thumbscrew a thumbscrew in a refreshingly straightforward report on how Britain and the U.S. are winking at torture in exchange for intelligence.
  • 8 October 2004: A couple of tax law updates: that tax bill I mentioned a couple of days back is going to cost the government some money; also: someone who knows what he’s talking about weighs in on the new definition of “a qualifying child” in the tax code.
  • 7 October 2004: Who knew? A pro-torture stance might be a political liability after all. I was beginning to lose hope. Also: there’s a new web-based tool you can use to determine whether or not you qualify for the earned income tax credit, and if so how much you’ll get.
  • 6 October 2004: The next big tax bill coming down the rails in Congress may restore the federal income tax deduction for state and local sales taxes and may authorize the I.R.S. to contract out some of its collection efforts to private bounty hunters.
  • 4 October 2004: James Maule evaluates the Bush tax cuts and deficit spending and concludes that instead of taxing the rich, the government has shifted to borrowing from them (and from foreign governments) at attractive rates of interest. Somebody’s got to pay, though, and instead of paying the government now, taxpayers will be paying these wealthy debt-holders later.
  • 2 October 2004: If you think “there ain’t no such thing as a free lunch” you might want to try telling that to Adam Weissman, who’s been eating free lunches for nine years and counting.
  • 1 October 2004: The New York Times wonders how the military budget has climbed to dizzying heights while the troops in the field can’t afford what they need to keep fighting. Turns out it makes more sense for Congresscritters to spend taxpayer money in their Congressional districts than in Afghanistan or Iraq. Also: Claire Wolfe wants to show us how to stop working for a living.
  • 30 September 2004: Claire Wolfe and Aaron Zelman give us their 5.2 cents on the “Fair Tax” National Sales Tax proposal.
  • 27 September 2004: Jettison your misgivings by putting your money in the Conscientious Envelope.
  • 26 September 2004: Nick Wright reports back from the 10th International Conference on War Tax Resistance and Peace Tax Campaigns in Brussels.
  • 25 September 2004: Will tax cuts paradoxically make the government bigger, or can they “starve the beast” after all? Also: more families turn to flea markets and other income streams in the “informal economy.”
  • 24 September 2004: Congress is changing the tax laws, and redefining what it means to be a child. Also: Can the government take in less money and still grow bigger? And that constitutional democracy in Iraq is worth about as much as the paper it was printed on. Furthermore, Social Security / Medicare start tapping the general fund this year.
  • 22 September 2004: Another day of things other people wrote and said, including James Carroll, Arundhati Roy, and Donald Rumsfeld.
  • 21 September 2004: Last weekend the winds shifted and now the politicians are all trying to hint that they’re not all that crazy about war and that they’re going to bring our troops home in a hurry. Also: if a terrorist kills a bunch of innocent people by dropping a really expensive bomb from a really expensive plane, is it still terrorism? And: Some of those really expensive bombs are being purchased by Israel, but not by Israel’s taxpayers but by U.S. taxpayers.
  • 19 September 2004: Did you know that the I.R.S. is not allowed to call people “illegal tax protesters” or “any similar designation?” That’s one of the curious facts I learned by reading an interesting deconstruction of the legal travails of tax protester Robert Mueller.
  • 17 September 2004: More data on the VITA program: You don’t have to be a tax expert to spend your days giving thousands of dollars of government loot back to the people it was stolen from — and with the I.R.S.’s blessing! Also: is the I.R.S. going to start hiring bounty hunters to track people down?
  • 16 September 2004: Bob Harris thinks the war is the less important thing the U.S. is losing. Milton Mayer wonders what you can do if tyranny sneaks up on you gradually. Chalmers Johnson suggests that “only bankruptcy will stop the American imperialist juggernaut.” And McCaffrey & Cohen suggest that Congress conspires to assemble citizens into “special-interest groups” and dangle frightening or lucrative legislation in front of their noses in order to shake them down for campaign contributions.
  • 15 September 2004: Tom DeLay wants to demolish the I.R.S.. Unlike me, he can put a little political power behind his whims. What does this amount to? Well, in the short term, just a sluggish I.R.S. budget.
  • 13 September 2004: Thanks to some places where The Picket Line is getting attention on-line, including the Carnival of the Capitalists and the Philosopher’s Carnival.
  • 9 September 2004: It is so much easier to avoid convicting soldiers caught red-handed beating captives to death when all of the evidence goes missing. Also: yet more banners on-site featuring quotes from tax resisters.
  • 8 September 2004: Simon Heywood of Peace Tax Seven responds to my critique of the “peace tax” campaign. Also: You remember the U.S., right: the Starbucks of world arms merchants? Now it’s going through bullets so fast in Iraq that it has to go shopping in Canada to keep up with the demand. And: what would happen if capital goods depreciation were reduced to one year: A tax resister paradise or just a privatized Keynesian boondoggle?
  • 7 September 2004: Dubya continues to flirt with “flat tax” supporters. Also: are libertarians and progressives talking about the same thing when they talk about “capitalism?” B.K. Marcus thinks not, and says this is the key to getting the two groups on the same page. And Zeynep Toufe remarks on the one-thousandth death of a U.S. soldier in Iraq.
  • 5 September 2004: I’ve run my budget numbers again, and I compare them to my numbers from last year. I’m in great shape this year, mostly because I’ll be able to deduct my health insurance premiums this time, but I think there’s room for trimming still. Also: I’ve added an RSS 1.0 feed that has complete articles, not just descriptions, so you can read The Picket Line in an RSS reader. And: The more I learn CSS, the more I like plain old HTML.
  • 4 September 2004: Some Picket Line site tweaks include a site search engine, a new color scheme, and a series of banners featuring pictures and quotes from people on the picket line.
  • 3 September 2004: So the party of war and big government finishes up their political convention… woah… deja vu. Also: Another wrist-slap meted out by military court martial.
  • 2 September 2004: Paul Loeb tells activists not to get discouraged, because the impossible may take a little while. Also: how you can take billions of dollars out of the U.S. treasury and give it back to the poor people it was stolen from — and how you can get the government to show you how it’s done! And Sean Corrigan shows how the military budget tracks the trade deficit, and shows the correlations with the budget deficit, the mental deficit and the moral deficit.
  • 1 September 2004: Nonviolent resistance — is it as successful as its proponents claim, or is it only good up to a point? Two essays in today’s Alternative Press Review argue against dogmatic nonviolence.
  • 31 August 2004: Some follow-up on the prospects for nonviolent resistance in the Middle East. Also: War tax resister John Kefalas is declared the winner of the recount, and will be the Democratic Party candidate for Colorado House District 52. And the New York Times style guide shows how to conjugate the verb “to torture” — they torture, he tortures, we abuse.
  • 30 August 2004: A profile of Karl Meyer turns into a plea for libertarian/progressive cooperation. Also: The U.S. is the Wal-Mart of the world when it comes to arms deals. If you called up the I.R.S. to ask a tax question early this year, there’s a 62% chance you got the right answer. And if a “peace tax fund” wouldn’t fool me into funding the government… what would?
  • 29 August 2004: Rumor has it that the Republicans are going to try to eliminate the I.R.S. and replace income and payroll taxes with a national sales tax. Is there a snowball’s chance in hell of this ever happening? How will tax resisters be able to adjust to such a scheme? Also: the nonviolent march to Najaf defeated both the violent insurgents who had taken over the shrine and the violent occupation troops who were fighting them. Maybe there’s something to this nonviolent resistance stuff after all.
  • 28 August 2004: Some links for your Saturday: World military spending hits the trillion-dollar mark (and the U.S. is responsible for half of that). Another essay promotes war tax resistance. The U.S. plans to start an international network of “friendly militias” to fight its battles for it. And after reading John Kerry’s 1971 testimony about Vietnam I wish I could vote for that John Kerry in November.
  • 27 August 2004: Two of the Peace Tax Seven defend the “Peace Tax” movement. Also: how we got into Iraq is a lot like how we got into Vietnam; the Palestinian resistance starts a nonviolent resistance campaign; more tales of torture from Abu Ghraib; and Najaf — not quite a Hiroshima or Dresden, but probably a Stalingrad, Sarajevo or Beirut, say U.S. troops.
  • 26 August 2004: The war tax resistance movement now has its own funk anthem. Also: is there any hope for nonviolent resistance to occupation and to repressive governments in the Middle East?
  • 25 August 2004: What are the arguments for a “peace tax fund” and do they make any sense?
  • 24 August 2004: Seven war tax resisters in the UK bring a legal challenge to try to force the government to accomodate conscientious objectors to military spending. Also: the U.S. electorate — dumb as rocks, or simply spiteful? And: War tax resister John Kefalas widens his lead in the Colorado House primary to a whole seven votes.
  • 23 August 2004: The C.I.A. denies that it plans to issue a report speculating on an alternate history in which Saddam was allowed to build up weapons of mass destruction for the next four years. Also: the Democrats rehabilitate the Vietnam War; there is no peace candidate in this election and that’s a good thing (says Kerry’s military affairs advisor); don’t torture or kill prisoners of war if you’re a U.S. soldier or you might get a terrible slap right on the wrist; where is all that money going in Iraq?; and has a second superpower grown up to challenge the imperial United States right under its nose?
  • 22 August 2004: Links-a-plenty: A new torture memo says “the gloves are coming off… we want these individuals broken.” A pork-hungry Congress loads the defense budget with billions of dollars of worthless crap. Jon Else revisits a nuclear weapons test site and checks on our priorities. A town in Vermont wants to join the gulchers from the Free State Project and move to New Hampshire. And if a mountain of debt is keeping you from getting below the tax line, here’s some news you can use.
  • 20 August 2004: A three-part consensus is emerging: Saddam Hussein’s Iraq did not have weapons of mass destruction and wasn’t a threat to the United States, the war against Iraq was a rotten idea that caused more problems than it fixed, and anyone who was right about either of those two points too early is a kook and a crackpot who can’t be taken seriously.
  • 19 August 2004: Some investment advice from The Picket Line. Also: are you wasting your time looking for the lesser evil on the campaign trail when there might be a greater good somewhere else entirely?
  • 16 August 2004: Bernadette Darby on how her friends and neighbors reacted when they found out her husband ratted out the Abu Ghraib abusers: “I received a reality check from the people in my community where Joe and I lived. I mean, I was an EMT, I was a firefighter… I helped these people every day and then this happened and it was like everybody turned, you know, and I was very surprised.”
  • 15 August 2004: Mennonites, atom bombs, Borgen values, unconventional thinking, and gasoline taxes (oh my!)
  • 14 August 2004: Kefalas, schmefalas… what about the tax resistance of Libertarian Party presidential candidate Michael Badnarik? Also: What is the economic value of a little nookie or a little free time (and can we tax it)?
  • 13 August 2004: John Kefalas, holding on to a two-vote lead in his campaign to be the Democrat nominee for his House district, explains his war tax resistance. Also: will the undead phone tax come to feast on the internet?
  • 12 August 2004: John Kefalas, the war tax resister running for the Colorado House of Representatives, won the Democrat primary by two whole votes (though a recount may shift this).
  • 9 August 2004: Hannah Arendt on the “lesser of two evils” strategy: “Its weakness has always been that those who choose the lesser evil forget quickly that they chose evil.”
  • 8 August 2004: The tax resistance and shrugging of Rose Wilder Lane and of David King. Also: thanks to two bloggers who are pointing their readers at The Picket Line, and some Colorado Democrats have a chance to vote for a war tax resister on Tuesday.
  • 7 August 2004: “we can foresee a time when… the only people at liberty will be prison guards who will then have to lock up one another. When only one remains, he will be called the ‘supreme guard,’ and that will be the ideal society in which problems of opposition, the headache of all twentieth-century governments, will be settled once and for all.” — Albert Camus
  • 6 August 2004: Paul Tibbets on using nukes in the War on Terror: “You’re gonna kill innocent people at the same time, but we’ve never fought a damn war anywhere in the world where they didn’t kill innocent people. If the newspapers would just cut out the shit: ‘You’ve killed so many civilians.’ That’s their tough luck for being there.” Happy Hiroshima Day.
  • 1 August 2004: Anyone remember Abu Ghraib? Not John Kerry or the donkey he rode in on.
  • 30 July 2004: Some additional guidance from the I.R.S. about the new tax-free Health Savings Accounts.
  • 28 July 2004: It looks like I’ve found a home. Also: updates on the imprisonment epidemic in the United States and on the I.R.S.’s troubles in updating its computer systems.
  • 27 July 2004: In discussion with a reader, I try to find the magic “off” switch for atrocity, and I introduce “The Gospel According to The Picket Line.”
  • 25 July 2004: An interview with the spirit of Mahatma Gandhi, as channeled through a clairvoyant tapeworm that is communicating telepathically with an imaginary friend of mine.
  • 23 July 2004: Satyagraha includes a refined, carefully-selected subset of nonviolent resistance. It seems to be designed to be a means that guarantees a particular quality of ends, and that avoids certain disadvantages of violent, coercive, or humiliating methods of resistance. Is it a pipe dream, or the discovery of a powerful universal law?
  • 21 July 2004: So what of this legendary Gandhian non-violent revolution? How does it work, or DOES it work, and why did anybody think you could meet British guns and steel batons with unresisting bodies and get anywhere with such a tactic? Don’t tell me they were tax resisters too!
  • 20 July 2004: The home hunt continues, and I ramble on about the art of losing, the appeal of violent protest (and how to make nonviolent protest appealing), what happens when an existentialist meets his maker, and how I get embarrassed by how easy “tax avoision” is turning out to be.
  • 14 July 2004: My housing instability and coincident internet access difficulties continue, and The Picket Line suffers. But today, in addition to this apology, some demographic information about the “zero-tax filers” and non-filers from The Tax Foundation
  • 3 July 2004: I move in to a new home and get evicted along with my housemates — all in less than 24 hours. That counts as a good excuse for not updating the Picket Line for a while, doesn’t it?
  • 23 June 2004: Can you stand yet another update on the torture policy debate? The White House is finally starting to open up and give straight(er) answers. And I’ve got ’em in a compact summary, with useful commentary. No, really.
  • 22 June 2004: An update in the legal battle between the I.R.S. and the Philadelphia Yearly Meeting (Quakers). Also: The Dubya Squad are starting to back off just a bit from their “torture is okay when we do it” stand, and they’ve released more White House documents to try to make the case that it’s not as bad as it seems.
  • 17 June 2004: With each new bloody memo that leaks from the White House, depravity is defined further downward — who will work to turn this around?
  • 11 June 2004: The U.S. spends as much on its arsenal as the rest of the world combined on theirs — and next year, its military budget is expected to rise by another 10%. Also: C.S. Lewis on the path to scoundrelism.
  • 10 June 2004: I know this is a blog about tax resistance, not about current events, but I also cover issues of personal ethics and of individual responses to government-sponsored atrocity here — and so I think it’s worthwhile to write about the American torture policy.
  • 9 June 2004: The Bush Administration had every opportunity to repudiate the notorious “torture is legal when the president says so” memo yesterday when Attorney General John Ashcroft appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Instead, Ashcroft was very careful to do everything but repudiate the memo or its message. Also: Much of the memo has now been released on the web — and it is every bit as ugly as the news reports suggested.
  • 8 June 2004: Julia “Butterfly” Hill, commenting on her war tax resistance and on the state of the world: “There are too many ways we all accidentally or knowingly participate in this injustice that supports its existence, including in our inactions. It is too easy a trap to fall into, to separate our selves from people like Bush, the media, and this current administration, and claim a moral stand merely by means of verbal disassociation.”
  • 7 June 2004: In Backwards Land, the Nuremberg Principles say that “I was only following orders” is a perfectly valid defense. In other news: The Bush Administration hired its lawyers from Backwards Land.
  • 3 June 2004: If you’re still interested in reading about Abu Ghraib, I can point you in the direction of a good set of words on the subject.
  • 26 May 2004: A correction (mine, not the New York Times’s). Also: you know you’re “fully sovereign” when…
  • 25 May 2004: I spread my tax resistance propaganda to the letters column at Salon magazine.
  • 23 May 2004: Great Moments in Passive Verbs. Also: the quest for loopholes and immunity continues; and: any guess as to what sort of institutional structure encouraged the abuses at Abu Ghraib?
  • 20 May 2004: Does the “Camp Redemption” scandal continue to get worse? Yes indeed. A U.S. military intelligence analyst says that a 16 year old boy was captured by U.S. troops, was then abused and brought naked and covered in mud to Abu Ghraib in order to convince the boy’s father, who was already held captive there, to start talking. And it doesn’t stop there.
  • 19 May 2004: Is it possible to point out the laughable fraud that is the “bad apples” theory of what happened at Abu Ghraib without losing sight of the fact that those apples were indeed bad?
  • 17 May 2004: I found the loopholes in the International Convention Against Torture — turns out they were written by the United States in anticipation of just such opportunities as we face today.
  • 16 May 2004: Looking for loopholes — you can read the Geneva Conventions with the same glee as the lawyers who discovered they banned torture only against those prisoners we don’t suspect of being on the other team.
  • 15 May 2004: Seymour Hersh gets the goods on how the abuse at Abu Ghraib was a direct result of decisions made by the Secretary of Defense. Also: The I.R.S. thanks me, with a colorful badge and certificates of appreciation, for my invaluable contribution to the American tax system.
  • 13 May 2004: For a picture uglier than leering military prison guards turning loose their dogs on a naked cowering prisoner or masked jihadists sawing off the neck of a civilian contractor try picturing a bunch of lawyers sitting around trying to find the loopholes in the torture prohibitions of the Geneva Conventions.
  • 12 May 2004: If America were a person being accused of a crime, and the public conversation about Abu Ghraib were that person’s conscience, what could that tell us about America?
  • 11 May 2004: I was worried that Abu Ghraib would fall off the radar like so many other stories have — I’m pleasantly surprised to see so many people taking it so seriously. But I’m also still working on synthisizing a tightly-focused and useful integration of what we know about the abuse and about the American response to it.
  • 3 May 2004: The future of the draft, and how reprimands and admonishments can be used when denial is no longer an option.
  • 1 May 2004: More details come out about the abuse of prisoners at Abu Ghraib, and the our-shit-don’t-stink American patriots find it easy to spin the story into further proof of their virtue.
  • 30 April 2004: Rape Rooms, Schmape Rooms, isn’t there a professional athlete on trial somewhere we could talk about instead?
  • 27 April 2004: I hope I don’t get in the habit of writing about the U.S. presidential election on this blog, but here I go again. If you think Kerry is the answer, maybe it’s time to ask a better question.
  • 24 April 2004: The cold war is over, so why is the U.S. spending record amounts of our money on nuclear weapons production? Also, why are we debating the when of Iraqi “sovereignty” when we should be debating those quotation marks? And another group finds fault with the I.R.S. enforcement bluster.
  • 22 April 2004: Why don’t I write more about the U.S. presidential election? After all, despite what Kerry says or does, if we can get him in office he’s bound to undo all of Dubya’s evil plans and usher in a new era of peace and goodwill, right?
  • 21 April 2004: If only the richest 59% of Americans are paying federal income tax, the U.S. tax system must be absurdly unbalanced and unfair to the rich, right? Not. Also: A Republican senator looks at the mess in Iraq, does a quick 180 turn, and says maybe it IS time for a military draft after all.
  • 20 April 2004: I impersonate an I.R.S. agent at a tax day rally, and other adventures in tax resistance.
  • 16 April 2004: Some profiles of, and quotes from, tax resisters in the press recently.
  • 15 April 2004: Happy Tax Day! Happy, at least, to the 41% of taxpayers who aren’t going to owe any federal income tax at all this year.
  • 14 April 2004: Libertarians, environmentalists, let’s all join hands and sing a round of “I ain’t gonna pay for war no more.” (Some good articles about war tax resistance in the environmentalist and libertarian press this week)
  • 12 April 2004: If you want to join a Tax Day protest this Thursday, here’s a list of coast-to-coast protests. Also: all that bluster about increased enforcement and audits from the I.R.S.? If you look at the numbers, you see it’s only talk.
  • 9 April 2004: How would you balance the government’s budget? We’ve got the numbers for you and the web’s got an interactive application — give it a shot and see if you can succeed where Congress fails. Also: the first of this tax-season’s war tax resistance articles start to hit the press.
  • 8 April 2004: As the April 15th income tax deadline approaches, the news media are full of stories about how the government takes and spends our money.
  • 7 April 2004: CIO Magazine on the I.R.S. software modernization project, which began with a bugle call of empowering buzzwords, private-sector know-how, and can-do bureaucratic leaders fresh from the business world — and then began quickly to sink into a morass of bureaucratic infighting and overconfident software engineering shortcuts as increasingly desperate measures were taken to try to bring things under control. See also: schadenfreude
  • 6 April 2004: The trend in U.S. tax policy over the past several years is to turn the “income tax” into a “salary tax” — a tax on people who earn their income the hard way rather than getting it through inheritance or investments. And corporate income taxes have fallen off to the point where most corporations don’t pay anything at all. Also: The Tax Foundation announces this year’s Tax Freedom Day.
  • 5 April 2004: America’s Knowledge Gathering Bureaus are combining and sifting through databases in new ways to try to make sure you can’t escape taxes. Also: Most of the advertisements are advertising the same thing, and we seem to be buying it; Someone suggests to Michael Moore that a taxpayer general strike might be worth considering.
  • 2 April 2004: On the abolition of work, and other utopian fantasies. Also: is there any chance Iraq will get its “sovereignty” without the quotation marks around it?
  • 1 April 2004: I.R.S. statistics show that the number of corporate audits has tumbled since 1995, more so than their overall audit rate.
  • 31 March 2004: Yesterday the Treasury Department released some additional guidance about the new Health Savings Accounts (this year’s hot new tax shelter for the little guy).
  • 30 March 2004: Every year around this time, the I.R.S. puffs up its chest and says that this year it’s really going to crack down on tax cheats. A citizen oversight board says that this year, they’re talking smack again. Also: The Picket Line has comments enabled now!
  • 26 March 2004: Can the “progressive movement” be saved from its unapologetic Stalinists, paranoid schizophrenics, ersatz intifadists, tin-eared rhetorical broken-records, insatiable identity-politics police, new-age gurus, publicity hounds, and careerist Democrats?
  • 25 March 2004: I’ve finished filling out my tax forms, so here’s the damage report for 2003.
  • 19 March 2004: One year ago today the invasion of Iraq began and I quit my job to become a tax resister — today, I recap how the year has gone and what I’ve learned along the way.
  • 18 March 2004: “I have made sedition my dharma.” — Mahatma Gandhi, 18 March 1930; Also — more information about the Palestinian tax resistance in Beit Sahour.
  • 17 March 2004: It’s been a year since Dubya announced, “Intelligence gathered by this and other governments leaves no doubt that the Iraq regime continues to possess and conceal some of the most lethal weapons ever devised.”
  • 15 March 2004: A grab-bag of news today: What happens when a war tax resister gets called on the carpet by the I.R.S.; Reading the fine print on those Health Savings Accounts; The I.R.S. can’t collect from tax evaders even when it wins judgements against them; Britain wants to charge prisoners for their room and board if their convictions are overturned; and more hints of an upcoming draft.
  • 12 March 2004: The I.R.S. just released some statistics on how it’s targeting its audits these days.
  • 11 March 2004: Jesse Walker suggests that you shouldn’t have to take political power in order to ameliorate it — a better approach is to flow around it like water until it erodes away.
  • 7 March 2004: All this discussion of direct action made me remember a great essay Gina Lunori wrote on the subject after the WTO protests in Seattle.
  • 5 March 2004: Sorry for the long break between blog entries, but I’ve been busy planning mayhem and trying to get hippies and Randoids to march arm-in-arm.
  • 26 February 2004: Do you have to be a selfish greed-head to be a libertarian?
  • 25 February 2004: Mediachest responds to my on-line privacy concerns. Also: a link to a free on-line tax prep guide, and a blog that gleefully chronicles the downfall of fringe tax protest legal theories.
  • 24 February 2004: Grab bag: The Catholic Church of England and Wales says taxedness is next to godliness, three cheers for substandard housing, escaping the job trap, and The Passive Resistance That Came From Planet X.
  • 23 February 2004: The Claire Files Board discussion reaches a new level of ethics geekdom as issues of victimization, complicity and culpability are given a good workout, and scenarios of restitution are speculated upon.
  • 22 February 2004: Some notes on LILOs, VITA, and the difficulties of constructing the rhetoric of motivation.
  • 20 February 2004: The discussion on the Claire Files Board continues, with a fable about a troll bridge.
  • 19 February 2004: When I say my goal is to stop paying taxes to the government, what do I really mean by “no taxes?”
  • 17 February 2004: Today’s Moment of Orwellian Dread comes from Massachusetts Revenue Department Commissioner Alan LeBovidge.
  • 15 February 2004: Claire Wolfe gave me a big thumbs-up for dropping my financial support of the government, but reminds us that you can also do good work by staying in the system and trying to subvert it from within.
  • 13 February 2004: Nibbles of news and follow-up today concerning the red-tape Republican highway appropriations bill, tax dodging defense contractors, the I.R.S.’s continuing software modernization farce, and the likelihood of new credits or deductions related to health insurance premiums.
  • 12 February 2004: I went to hear a witch named Starhawk address a panel at a college with an interdimensional and uberplanetary curriculum about the wisdom of armed insurrection against the U.S. government… so how come I ended up feeling like the crazy one?
  • 11 February 2004: One day, when Ishmael Gradsdovic was startled out of a daydream, he found himself transformed into a horrible zombie.
  • 10 February 2004: The War Resisters League has revised their pie chart and analysis of federal spending based on the 2005 budget. Also: a conversation about government and other forms of organized crime.
  • 9 February 2004: Saturday was my first day as a VITA volunteer, and Sunday I was part of a war tax resistance introductory workshop.
  • 5 February 2004: Every time we go to war it’s to the accompaniment of patriotic music and falsehoods. But almost never do those falsehoods come back to bite the liars who told them. We may get lucky this time.
  • 3 February 2004: So the Superbowl half time show gets me thinking about liberty and baseball and parables and virtue ethics and before long I’m disappearing up my own metaphor.
  • 31 January 2004: It isn’t only Washington that can’t seem to get its accounting straight: I just got my W2 in the mail, and it’s about $5,000 weightier than I thought it would be. How did I foul up so badly, and is there anything I can do to adjust for it?
  • 29 January 2004: Less than a week has gone by since that $477 billion budget deficit projection came out of the Congressional Budget Office. Now the White House has its own estimate: $520 billion.
  • 28 January 2004: Today’s Picket Line contest: Name my philosophy! If you put existentialism, “rational anarchism,” disumbrationism, and virtue ethics in a blender, what do you call the smoothie?
  • 26 January 2004: Remember that $472 billion in this year’s budget for defense, nuke research, and war mop-up? What a coincidence — we’re going to be running a $477 billion deficit this year. Also: How to defeat the U.S. Army in your underpants; The White House transcripts of “Iraq: Denial and Deception”; and really — you don’t have to live in a cave to live under the tax line.
  • 24 January 2004: More of what you’ll be paying for next year if you pay U.S. taxes: a 7% increase in defense spending. Must be more of that fiscal conservativism I’ve heard about. Oh, and that doesn’t count $50 billion more that Dubya wants for Iraq and Afghanistan.
  • 23 January 2004: I’ve completed my initial Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program training, but I note that in a recent audit I.R.S. employees in a similar program filled out only 17% of their returns correctly. Also: San Francisco Municipal Railway tries to cash in on a sneaky tax dodge, but may end up holding the bag.
  • 21 January 2004: I’ve started training to be a Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program volunteer — I’m up to my ears in bureaucratic formage but I like the idea of taking from the government and giving to the poor.
  • 16 January 2004: Politicians use a wealth of techniques to avoid answering questions that try to get them to reveal their stands on controversial issues — what would Jesus do?
  • 15 January 2004: The history of radical pacifism and direct action in the United States pulls from Thoreau and Gandhi, filters it through Quakers and conscientious objectors, and fertilizes Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Congress for Racial Equality, and does some tax resistance along the way. Also: The I.R.S. hopes to use private collection agencies to help it go after tax evaders.
  • 10 January 2004: The Moon is an expensive mistress. Also: Help take money from the government and give it to the poor by volunteering as an EITC counsellor this tax season. Also: U.S. Government spending is being propped up by the regressive payroll tax.
  • 9 January 2004: Nazis Creep Me Out III: The Road to Auschwitz is Paved with Good Telemarketers
  • 8 January 2004: Reflections on how I came to fear “administrative massacre” and my impressions of Hannah Arendt’s “Eichmann in Jerusalem.”
  • 7 January 2004: How did the Holocaust give a case of post-traumatic stress syndrome to a gentile born in California in 1968?
  • 2 January 2004: Thanks to a couple of places where The Picket Line is getting some press on-line.

2003

  • 31 December 2003: An interesting fact recounted in “Humanity”: one of the rare dissenters in the electric shock experiment designed by Stanley Milgram to test the strength of conscience in the face of authority went on to be the whistleblower who brought the My Lai massacre to light.
  • 30 December 2003: Apologies for the infrequent updates here during the holidays, but I’ve been off-line, spending time with friends and family, and reading “Humanity: A Moral History of the Twentieth Century” — an interesting book and a good project.
  • 19 December 2003: The I.R.S. is having trouble keeping up with the mass of known tax evaders, the roll-out of the new $20 bill may have given a big boost to the economy (go fig), and some new tax-advantaged savings accounts may be debated in Congress next year.
  • 15 December 2003: My home-based business has its first customer, and I reflect on the blessing of doing something professionally that I care about and enjoy, and being my own boss.
  • 12 December 2003: Since the 1960s, the I.R.S. has tried three times to upgrade the software they use to process everything having to do with taxes and taxpayers. Twice they completely failed. Five years in to the third attempt, it’s 40% over budget, three years behind schedule, and less than 20% done. Under the current system, database searches that would take seconds in a modern system can take a week to complete. And the only employees who still understand how the old software is put together are retiring.
  • 11 December 2003: Understanding the Iraqi mind turns out to be a lot like understanding the Vietnamese mind. Also: another followup about bunker busters and civilian casualties, thanks to Human Rights Watch and U.S.A. Today.
  • 10 December 2003: More of what you’re paying for: U.S. halts Iraq count of civilian casualties, goes to Israel for advice on how to conduct an occupation, kills bunches of children but only by mistake and with regrets.
  • 9 December 2003: More on Health Savings Accounts (and who is offering them), a way some tax protesters are harassing and obstructing I.R.S. agents, and a debate about whether phone tax resistance is worth the bother.
  • 5 December 2003: Details emerge about the new Medicare bill’s tax-free Health Savings Accounts. Also: How to be a permanent tourist, what does the I.R.S. think of Julia Butterfly Hill’s record tax resistance, and why did Thoreau go to jail when the law said he should have had his property seized instead?
  • 1 December 2003: Robert Dole lashes out at Howard Dean for being an appeaser — but when George Bush I needed someone to tell Saddam we were on his side, he called on Senator Dole to do the appeasing. Also: The I.R.S. has released this year’s comprehensive tax guide for individual filers.
  • 25 November 2003: Congress just passed a Medicare bill that introduces tax-free Health Savings Accounts — these will be helpful to those of us trying to shield our earnings from the I.R.S..
  • 24 November 2003: I found a few more ways you can “opt out” of the payroll tax, but I’m not sure any of them will work for me, and I’m wondering how I’ll go about earning my keep next year.
  • 23 November 2003: Revisiting the payroll tax: clearly it is being used to fund the war and other government projects besides social security and medicare — but how can a tax resister get out of it?
  • 22 November 2003: The originator of the “black tax credit” legend explains that “the law of unintended consequences” caused her tongue-in-cheek advice to black taxpayers to transform into a thriving tax fraud industry.
  • 21 November 2003: The I.R.S. confirms the personal and standard deduction amounts for next year, The Picket Line gets a plug from Wendy McElroy, and press reports about the Enola Gay exhibit may have been exaggerated. Also: a British tax protest takes one step forward, then one step back.
  • 18 November 2003: Does anyone feel a draft?
  • 14 November 2003: President Bush will be pushing a new tax plan that will allow individuals to shelter $15,000 each year tax-free, half in a retirement account and half in a savings account from which money can be withdrawn before retirement without taxes or penalties.
  • 12 November 2003: Today’s budgetary restraint news — the borrow-and-spend crowd in Washington has increased the size of government by over 25% in the last two years, and the Pentagon is looking at even more money to spend next year.
  • 11 November 2003: Today, the Iraq Pledge of Resistance organization launched its next project: a phone tax resistance campaign called “Hang Up on War.” Also: in 1996, 30 people in Wales turned themselves in to the police and confessed to paying taxes that helped to buy nuclear weapons in violation of international law.
  • 5 November 2003: Congress has approved Bush’s $1,000-per-U.S.-taxpayer supplemental war because we said so fund. Your mileage may vary. Also: taxation without representation in Iraq, Allen Ginsberg on democratizing mass communication, the Political Compass, and Lysander Spooner on government as an ethical hallucinogen.
  • 2 November 2003: “My life’s principle, which I was taught very early on, was to desire and to strive to achieve ethical values. From a particular moment on, however, I was prevented by the State from living according to this principle.” — Adolf Eichmann
  • 31 October 2003: Remember all that talk about minimizing civilian casualties? The most comprehensive report on Iraqi deaths during the recent war was just released — it shows that almost 30% of those killed by coalition forces were unarmed civilians.
  • 30 October 2003: Lawrence Rosenwald has written a fantastic study of the historical, political, biographical and philosophical context of Thoreau’s “Civil Disobedience” and how it came to influence an unlikely array of activists. Also: The I.R.S. is issuing its annual bluff about catching tax cheats.
  • 26 October 2003: The numbers are in: 37% of U.S. “taxpayers” don’t pay federal income taxes. Also: if you don’t bother to file a return, or you file a bogus return, and the I.R.S. catches you… there’s still only a 20–25% chance you’ll end up having to pay anything.
  • 24 October 2003: In 2001, Crystal Foster got a half-million dollar refund from the I.R.S. after applying for a “slavery tax credit” due to African-Americans. Yesterday she got a three year federal prison sentence. But the I.R.S. has paid out more than $30 million to people (including some I.R.S. employees) who claimed this phony tax credit.
  • 23 October 2003: It’s about time I talk about the payroll, “FICA,” or trust-fund tax — you probably pay more of this than you do federal income tax, and it’s much harder to get out of… or is it? Also: how much of what you pay for a loaf of bread is for the cost of taxes?
  • 21 October 2003: Yesterday I wrote about individual tax denier schemes — today: How do huge, profitable corporations get away with paying nothing or getting refunds? Also: I follow up on earlier stories about Julia “Butterfly” Hill, Thomas Jefferson and about military refuseniks and conscientious objectors.
  • 20 October 2003: I’ve found a great FAQ about fringe tax denier legal theories and why they don’t make for good legal arguments
  • 17 October 2003: A big thanks to nonviolence.org for selecting The Picket Line as its Site of the Week
  • 15 October 2003: The war tax resistance movement got a big boost today when legendary environmental activist Julia Butterfly Hill announced what is being called “the single largest war tax resistance in U.S. history.”
  • 14 October 2003: You can claim a $3,000 IRA deduction when you file your 1040 in February even if you don’t put the $3,000 into your IRA until April after you get your refund. Cool.
  • 10 October 2003: I’m working on a “howto” guide for people who want to get rid of their tax burden by reducing their taxable income and by qualifying for tax credits — can you help me?
  • 7 October 2003: Opinions about the recall election are like candidates for the recall election — everybody’s got one, and none of them are very interesting. Here’s mine.
  • 6 October 2003: A friend asks: “How can you break bread with taxpayers in the evening after spending the morning posting a rant that says that taxpayers are willingly complicit in the government’s evil deeds?”
  • 4 October 2003: I heard someone praise a conscientious objector who refused to fight in Iraq, so I asked if he was still paying taxes. He told me the government hadn’t created a “conscientious objector” category for taxpayers, so he wasn’t able to stop paying. As if you only have a conscience when the government issues you a permit for one!
  • 3 October 2003: “See, free nations are peaceful nations. Free nations don’t attack each other. Free nations don’t develop weapons of mass destruction.” — Dubya
  • 2 October 2003: The prognosticators have come out with their predictions for what the standard deduction and personal exemption amounts will be on your next 1040.
  • 1 October 2003: All through September I kept track of every penny I spent and what I spent it on just to make sure I was living within my budget. Here are my results.
  • 30 September 2003: 27 air force pilots in Israel have put conscientious objection on the public agenda there — what would it take for that to happen in the United States? Also: was tax resistance ever used as a tactic in the Israel-Palestine conflict?
  • 28 September 2003: Here’s a good one — a stealth item in this year’s tax cut legislation was a 100% deduction for vehicles weighing over 6,000 pounds purchased by small business owners and the self-employed. That means I could buy a Hummer and deduct the total cost from my income. If you still think you’ve earned too much this year to get under the tax line — read this!
  • 26 September 2003: Tom Cooley writes in about his tax resistance, and I summarize the tax implications of various retirement accounts and how they can be used to shrink your tax liability to zero.
  • 25 September 2003: Fred X writes in to talk about his own experiences in tax resistance through living below the tax line. Also: the old “5th Amendment” tax protester argument could get a new hearing if the I.R.S. goes through with its plan to allow the justice department access to its records.
  • 24 September 2003: Even the war tax resistance movement, which should know better, vastly exaggerates the difficulty of tax resistance. Also: the I.R.S.’s response to people worried that paying taxes may put them at risk of prosecution under the Nuremberg Principles.
  • 22 September 2003: A letter to The Picket Line from William Kone, who’s been called up to serve at the Aberdeen Proving Grounds in Maryland.
  • 21 September 2003: If getting more people to resist taxes is a good way to oppose the government, what’s the best way to go about recruiting? Hmmmm… I wonder if a long-winded rant might help.
  • 20 September 2003: One guy lives off the fruit of trees growing along the streets of Isla Vista; another woman does freelance table-bussing and scavenges for leftovers in San Francisco; a household in Berkeley supplements their meals by dumpster diving. Myself, I just buy food and eat it, but I can’t help but admire creative American hunter-gatherer living.
  • 19 September 2003: It’s been six months since I started my experiment — it’s time for a recap. How is the experiment going so far?
  • 18 September 2003: A letter of support: “Your Devil’s Advocate is just plain whacked.” Also: a sobering reminder of where our country is going.
  • 17 September 2003: Strange but true: About 25% of U.S. “taxpayers” don’t pay any taxes. In this pond full of “lucky duckies” how can tax resisters be any more than a bunch of odd quacks?
  • 16 September 2003: A reader asks what we can do to help more people realize how dangerous Ashcroft and his crew have become. I suggest that it would be more helpful if those of us who do realize the threat acted as though we meant it.
  • 15 September 2003: Is this blog just the equivalent of a man buying a sportscar during his midlife crisis, or a teenager waxing poetic about love in pencil on his Pee Chee folder?
  • 14 September 2003: In an excerpt from Juanita Nelson’s account of her arrest, I find sentiments about personal responsibility that are remarkably similar to those I expressed at the start of my experiment.
  • 13 September 2003: The War Resisters League says that 47% of the federal budget is military spending. The government says that only 16% of its budget goes to national defense. Who’s right?
  • 12 September 2003: A profile of Juanita and Wally Nelson, two founders of the modern tax resistance movement, and tax resisters for half a century.
  • 11 September 2003: For the typical American, there have been 74 days this year where every cent earned went directly to Congress. Compare this to the 30 days it takes to earn enough to buy food for the year. Also: A reform-minded Mexican mayor abolishes traffic and parking fines to fight police corruption.
  • 10 September 2003: I’ve set up an RSS feed for The Picket Line. Here are the details about how to get it, and a link to more information about what the heck RSS feeds are.
  • 9 September 2003: If you want to learn about how nonviolent activism works, what its strengths and weaknesses are, and what we can learn of its effectiveness from an unsentimental look at the historical record, Gene Sharp’s series on The Politics of Nonviolent Action is what you’re after. Also: Could you gold plate the entire U.S. interstate highway system for the cost of Desert Storm II?
  • 6 September 2003: Dr. A.J. Muste thinks that lowering income to evade taxes is not a legitimate form of tax protest; I disagree. Also: Thanks, Dad, for the childhood lessons in the virtue of frugality that I’m just now learning to appreciate.
  • 5 September 2003: A review of Edmund Wilson’s 1963 book “The Cold War and the Income Tax: A Protest.” Also: I.R.S. employees at tax help centers gave correct answers only 57% of the time when investigators posing as taxpayers called.
  • 4 September 2003: How to get the government to change? You could try appealing to conscience — it does sometimes work, and it sure makes it easier to get out of bed in the morning if you think moral persuasion still makes a difference. But what are you going to say?
  • 3 September 2003: I’m back from Burning Man with some comments and confessions about the underground economy. Also: What are “Time Dollars” and why doesn’t the I.R.S. tax this form of alternative currency like it does other forms of mediated barter?
  • 21 August 2003: I’m off to Burning Man, so no more updates until September.
  • 19 August 2003: I do not propose to write an ode to dejection, but to brag as lustily as chanticleer in the morning, standing on his roost, if only to wake my neighbors up.
  • 8 August 2003: I’m back from Guatemala and I’ve seen some interesting things… including the future.
  • 13 July 2003: I’m off to Guatemala, so no more updates until August.
  • 11 July 2003: I answer a rash of emails that I got after Claire Wolfe plugged The Picket Line on her blog. Also: did Gandhi use tax resistance?
  • 9 July 2003: A reader asks me more about my decision. I say that I didn’t have to take a vow or pursue sainthood or anything like that, I just had to honestly come to grips about what I was doing with my life.
  • 7 July 2003: The director’s cut of the Declaration of Independence showcases Jefferson’s strong abolitionist rhetoric. But Thomas Jefferson owned 187 people, most of whom were auctioned off to pay off his debts when he died. What gives?
  • 3 July 2003: If I’m going to live under the tax line sustainably, I’m going to need to develop the virtue of frugality.
  • 1 July 2003: Thought experiments in ethics: is health insurance a moral necessity? If so, should you buy it for everyone you care about?
  • 30 June 2003: I cut my finger in a nasty kitchen accident. Ten stitches later I remember that I’ve been procrastinating about getting health insurance.
  • 19 June 2003: Don’t buy in to the fantasy that “once the American People realize that they’ve been had they’ll be furious.” It just isn’t so.
  • 9 June 2003: It’s almost as if people took Bush’s allegations about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq seriously.
  • 7 June 2003: If the American people don’t want to believe that they were duped and don’t want to believe that maybe the evil Hans Blix and his henchmen and frenchmen in the UN were right, they never have to believe this no matter what the facts turn out to be.
  • 2 June 2003: Whatever heuristic you use to determine how “free” a country is, the percentage of citizens behind bars has got to be a big factor.
  • 29 May 2003: When I talk to people about their government I feel like I’m talking to someone in an abusive relationship. “Yes, the government steals my money and lies to me and threatens to throw me in jail and it’s always going off on these destructive binges, but there’s an election coming up and I think maybe it’ll change this time for real and I don’t want to just give up on it after putting in all this time and emotional investment.”
  • 28 May 2003: Three criticisms of my tax resistance strategy. Also: how big corporations evade their taxes.
  • 20 May 2003: Everything you wanted to know about the “phone tax” and how and why it is resisted.
  • 18 May 2003: With remarkable speed and clarity, the cynical predictions of the peace movement have come to pass. The joker in the hemp sandals and the “no blood for oil” placard had things pegged a lot more truly than the suit-and-tie from the State Department on MSNBC.
  • 17 May 2003: Some notes from the National War Tax Resistance Coordinating Committee conference.
  • 16 May 2003: I learn some useful tidbits at a small business fair in Oakland and then go to the National War Tax Resistance Coordinating Committee conference.
  • 13 May 2003: My education about the world of small business continues as I apply for a seller’s permit.
  • 10 May 2003: It turns out that I realized that I needed to stop paying taxes while I was pulling a prank on a newspaper reporter.
  • 8 May 2003: I’m trying to learn about the differences between a “sole proprietorship” and a “limited liability corporation” and between “cash-based” and “accrual-based” accounting, and so forth. Which is to say, I’m learning about business and accounting for the complete idiot.
  • 30 April 2003: A pointer to the Bureaucrash tax protest group. Also: a profile of a San Francisco tax evader.
  • 21 April 2003: My time is filling up with interesting projects, my budget is holding steady — so far the side effects of my experiment are pleasant.
  • 17 April 2003: Some entries for the FAQ-in-progress.
  • 15 April 2003: The Picket Line Tax Day Special, featuring a digest of tax day news.
  • 14 April 2003: A letter to the I.R.S. from a tax protester: “In Auschwitz I was tattoo #B-7815. In the United States I am an American citizen, taxpayer #370-32-6858. Unlike my father, I know what I am being asked to pay for.”
  • 12 April 2003: Hey, I guess it was a “cakewalk” after all — but what happened to all those weapons of mass destruction?
  • 9 April 2003: I got my last paycheck today… time for a first run at the numbers. Also: pointers to some info on-line about tax resistance and about the underground economy.
  • 8 April 2003: A bunker buster was dropped on a neighborhood in Iraq in the hopes that Saddam was hiding in a bunker underneath. What’s the moral calculus involved in a decision like this?
  • 7 April 2003: Until I stopped supporting the government, my “opposition” to it was a matter of opinion and had pretty much as much weight as any other opinion does; you can’t hide from the burden of free will.
  • 6 April 2003: A petition is circulating, signed by a number of names in the lefty pantheon, to support tax resisters. Two cheers for that!
  • 3 April 2003: If you want to help make up for the money I’m not giving to the government this year, you can smoke a cigarette, drink a beer, fill your tank, go shooting or even get a booster shot. Excise taxes…
  • 1 April 2003: The April Fool speaks: “The people of the United States and our friends and allies will not live at the mercy of an outlaw regime that threatens the peace with weapons of mass murder.”
  • 31 March 2003: Are alternative currencies or barter systems a way to beat the I.R.S.? Also: If the U.S. can unilaterally invade in order to make the U.N. relevant, I wonder if other countries could too.
  • 27 March 2003: I think if George Bush had to personally burn, dismember, and crush the victims of his war, he would lose the heart for it. He would beg for excuses to try some other way with even more desperation than he in fact searched for reasons to go to war. The gruesome technology that allows him and people like him to rain death on people from a distance shields them from seeing the consequences of their actions.
  • 26 March 2003: I think I’m going to go get completely tanked. Then I’m gonna borrow my friends Hummer and drive down to the Farmer’s Market, honking my horn the whole way and screaming obscenities out the window. I think I’ll ignore some stop signs, and of course the speed limit is only for people who care. It sounds dangerous, I know, but I promise to do this in a way that minimizes civilian casualties…
  • 24 March 2003: In today’s news, some of the brass at my old company try to justify its military contracts.
  • 23 March 2003: I made my first real stab at running the numbers today to see if I can reduce this year’s taxes to zero.
  • 22 March 2003: If I hate the government so much, why don’t I leave its country?
  • 21 March 2003: I wonder at the effectiveness of the tactics of the anti-war protesters, and decide I’m not a Gandhian pacifist.
  • 20 March 2003: The U.S. is bragging about the size of its coalition, but how much help is Eritrea offering anyway?
  • 19 March 2003: The experiment begins: I’ve quit my job so the I.R.S. won’t be able to take any more income tax from me.

Miscellaneous

H.D. Thoreau

Leo Tolstoy

Pennsylvania Constitutional Convention of 1837

  • Dramatis Personæ: Introducing the people engaged in the debate
  • 11 July 1837: Meet Colonel Pluck; also: Thomas Cope makes the case of the Society of Friends
  • 20 October 1837 (part ⅰ): James Biddle and John Porter take the Quaker side, William Smyth disagrees
  • 20 October 1837 (part ⅱ): John Cummin attacks the scriptural basis for Quaker pacifism
  • 20 October 1837 (part ⅲ): Joseph Chandler, Benjamin Martin, and William Darlington defend the Friends, John Fuller disagrees, and Charles Brown tries to bring things down to earth
  • 21 October 1837: John Cummin says William Penn did not found a pacifist state, Ephraim Banks makes a curious Shakespeare allusion, John M’Cahen and Emanuel Reigart stand up for government prerogatives, James Porter puts in his two cents, and Benjamin Martin tries to calm them down
  • 23 October 1837: Benjamin Martin and John M’Cahen continue to disagree about the proposed amendment
  • 24 October 1837 (part ⅰ): James Dunlop wonders where the Mennonites fit in, and expresses doubts about conscience as an excuse for legal exemptions
  • 24 October 1837 (part ⅱ): Thomas Bell proposes a compromise, which George Woodward attacks; also: is it a fine or a tax?
  • 24 October 1837 (part ⅲ): William Darlington and James Biddle stand up for Quaker consciences and cite precedent, John Fuller notes that the proposed compromise makes no sense on conscientious grounds, James Porter says that it does however jibe better with the U.S. Constitution, John Cummin expresses contempt for the Quaker peace testimony, Ebenezer Sturdevant lands a blow or two himself, Thomas Bell modifies his amendment, and Walter Forward defends the right of conscience
  • 24 October 1837 (part ⅳ): Walter Forward resumes his remarks, Ephraim Banks says conscience has been pushed too far, Emanuel Reigart says Quakers should not enjoy an exclusive state-granted privilege, James Merrill stands up for respecting conscience in the law
  • 25 October 1837: Thomas Bell says maybe they should just leave it up to the legislature, but John Cummin isn’t buying that for a minute
  • 26 October 1837: James Porter thinks Bell’s proposal is just fine, and Joseph Chandler agrees, but the amendment is rejected
  • 2 February 1838: John Cummin can’t resist trying to get in the last word against the dastardly Quakers (and against his exasperated colleagues)

My commentary on The Nicomachean Ethics

  • Bibliography: the reference material I relied on during my reading
  • Introduction: What if life came with an instruction manual. What would it say?
  • Book Ⅰ.1: Aristotle asks what we mean by “good,” and wonders if there’s some ultimate Good the other goods are subordinate to.
  • Book Ⅰ.2: Aristotle wonders what the ultimate end of human action and aspiration is (or ought to be). Might it be politics, he wonders?
  • Book Ⅰ.3: Aristotle warns us not to expect mathematical precision in an accurate and useful description of human values and motives.
  • Book Ⅰ.4: Aristotle begins to refine his concept of “εὐδαιμονία” (eudaimonia), possibly the ultimate good worth striving for (but why don’t we have a word for it?).
  • Book Ⅰ.5: Aristotle explains why he believes neither pleasure and enjoyment nor honor and virtue are sufficient to be the ultimate good.
  • Book Ⅰ.6: Aristotle is skeptical that there is such a thing as a Platonic Good.
  • Book Ⅰ.7: Aristotle wonders whether humans have a function (perhaps we were put on this planet to cook).
  • Book Ⅰ.8: Aristotle comes to the conclusion that “eudaimonia” is the ultimate goal of human striving.
  • Book Ⅰ.9: If “eudaimonia” is so vulnerable to arbitrary changes of fortune, is it really a proper foundation for ethics?
  • Book Ⅰ.10–11: Is virtue its own reward? Aristotle says yes, with reservations, but Job came to disagree.
  • Book Ⅰ.12: Is “eudaimonia” to be praised, or to be prized?
  • Book Ⅰ.13: Summing up book one of Aristotle’s “Nicomachean Ethics” and preparing for an in-depth look at the virtues.
  • Book Ⅱ.1: Aristotle’s game plan for becoming more virtuous (and how it compares to mine).
  • Book Ⅱ.2: Aristotle uses the Goldilocks Principle to sample virtues and find them all “just right.”
  • Book Ⅱ.3: Being virtuous doesn’t mean doing the right thing even though you’d rather do something else; it means you’d rather do the right thing. At least that’s what Aristotle thought.
  • Book Ⅱ.4: Can you become virtuous through practicing virtuous actions, or do you already have to be virtuous to behave virtuously?
  • Book Ⅱ.5: There are three things in the soul, and virtue is one of them (did you guess which one?)
  • Book Ⅱ.6–8: Aristotle refines his Goldilocksian theory of virtue (but I’m still not convinced).
  • Book Ⅱ.9: Wrapping up book two of the Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle gives some rules of thumb that can help you find the narrow golden mean of virtue between the broad twin vices of excess and deficiency.
  • Book Ⅲ.1: Is taxpaying voluntary, involuntary, or non-voluntary? Who knew there were three options? (Aristotle, for one.) It makes all the difference in deciding whether paying taxes makes you complicit in what the government does with the money, and therefore blameworthy.
  • Book Ⅲ.2: Aristotle refines his definition of voluntary acts (some of these are chosen, others are not).
  • Book Ⅲ.3: Deliberation is an algorithmic process by which we take our desired end and break it down into the means that would accomplish it, then, treating these means as ends, we decompose them into their constituent means in turn until we find one we can accomplish, whereupon we choose it and act it out. Thusly, Aristotle reverse-engineers human decisionmaking.
  • Book Ⅲ.4: If we use choice to pick the means, how do we pick the ends? Aristotle says “wish” fits the bill.
  • Book Ⅲ.5: Aristotle, Hannah Arendt, Maggie Gyllenhaal? Is being an ethical person like having a private sadomasochistic domination & submission game going on in your own head?
  • Book Ⅲ.6: Aristotle starts to examine the virtue of Courage.
  • Book Ⅲ.7: “τέλος δὲ πάσης ἐνεργείας ἐστὶ τὸ κατὰ τὴν ἕξιν.” What the hell does that mean? A dozen translations later, I’m still not sure. It’s all Greek to me.
  • Book Ⅲ.8: Aristotle describes five varieties of counterfeit courage.
  • Book Ⅲ.9: Aristotle says courage is especially challenging because the more courageous you are, the more valuable your life becomes, and so the more you have to lose by confronting danger.
  • Book Ⅲ.10–12: With all of the gluttony and unrelenting shallow commercial sexual titillation in America today, you’d think that there would be something in Aristotle’s discussion of temperance that would jump out as insightful and valuable and applicable to our place and time.
  • Book Ⅳ.1: Aristotle’s virtues concerning money obviously have potental relevance to the issue of tax paying and tax resistance. If this section can’t tell you whether or not tax resistance is a virtuous activity, it may be able to tell you that there’s a virtuous and non-virtuous way to go about it.
  • Book Ⅳ.2: “The magnificent man is like an artist,” says Aristotle, “for he can see what is fitting and spend large sums tastefully.” To be magnificent requires a very public-spirited generosity, good sense and fine aesthetic taste, and lots and lots of money.
  • Book Ⅳ.3: The crown of the virtues is great-souledness. The great-souled man has all of the other virtues, and boy does he know it. It makes him kind of a jerk, actually.
  • Book Ⅳ.4: Aristotle on ambition.
  • Book Ⅳ.5: Aristotle on the virtue that governs our response to anger. Contra Aristotle, I think these days people don’t get angry nearly enough.
  • Book Ⅳ.6: The virtue of amiability looks at first like a sort of kindergarten virtue, but finding the right balance is a hard skill for grown-ups too.
  • Book Ⅳ.7: Aristotle looks at the golden mean between being all hat and no cattle on the one hand and failing to toot your own horn on the other — the virtue of a straight shooter who knows his or her own worth.
  • Book Ⅳ.8: The virtuous person is “a law unto himself,” at least when there’s no other law around to rely on (says Aristotle, and the apostle Paul too). Which reminds me of several things Thoreau had to say about the tension between law and conscience, law and freedom, and even conscience and freedom.
  • Book Ⅳ.9: Aristotle discusses the “quasi-virtue” of shame. It’s a vice not to have any, or to have too much, but even having just the right amount of shame can’t really be a virtue since it signifies that you’ve done something wrong.
  • Book Ⅴ.1: When people talk ethical philosophy today, they’re mostly talking about Justice in the abstract. To Aristotle, Justice was only one part of the subject of ethics, and it wasn’t a matter of abstract knowledge but of concrete action and character.
  • Book Ⅴ.2: Aristotle looks at the “fairness” component of justice.
  • Book Ⅴ.3: How do you divvy up goods that are the property of or the invention of the polis as a whole? This is the subject of “distributive justice” as Aristotle described it (and it’s also the specialty of this week’s Nobel Economics Prize recipient Elinor Ostrom).
  • Book Ⅴ.4: Rectifactory justice tries to fix the balance when two people have some sort of transaction and one of them ends up with a suspiciously small slice of the pie. What would Aristotle say about free trade?
  • Book Ⅴ.5: Aristotle gives his theory of just exchange, introduces his understanding of the purpose of money, and (maybe) anticipates the classical economic theory of supply-and-demand.
  • Book Ⅴ.6: Aristotle covers a lot of territory in a few dense paragraphs, in his discussion of political/legal justice in the sixth section of the fifth book of the Nicomachean Ethics. Let’s try to unravel the tangle.
  • Book Ⅴ.7: Is justice invented, or discovered? Do we attempt to codify an approximation of a preexisting ideal justice, or are these codes all there is and justice is conventional only? Aristotle says there’s something to be said for both points of view.
  • Book Ⅴ.8: Is something unjust or just? was it done justly or unjustly? was it done voluntarily or involuntarily? was it done knowingly, or from ignorance, or in ignorance? was it done deliberately or from sudden passionate impulse? There are a lot of things to consider before you know whether an act was an accident, a mistake, an injustice, or the result of someone acting unjustly, and whether or not it is forgivable.
  • Book Ⅴ.9: Aristotle kicks the wheels of his model of justice: Can you be unjust to yourself? Who is unjust: the person who does the dirty deed, or the one who profits from it? If you suffer unjustice, does that necessarily mean you have been treated unjustly? Can you willingly be treated unjustly?
  • Book Ⅴ.10: Explicit codes of justice are all well and good, but what happens when their black-and-white certainty meets the gray muddle of real life? This is where “equity” comes in — a correction to justice (or its culminating excellence, depending on how you look at it). You know, like the rules of Wikipedia editing for instance.
  • Book Ⅴ.11: “What the law does not command, it forbids.” How’s that again, Aristotle? “If you kill yourself, you’re being unjust… to the state!” You don’t say. A close look at the weird concluding section of book five of the Nicomachean Ethics.
  • Book Ⅴ: Summing up Aristotle’s book on Justice, book five of The Nicomachean Ethics.
  • Book Ⅵ.1: Aristotle begins to discuss the intellectual virtues, which might help him next time he goes out for breakfast.
  • Book Ⅵ.2: How do people make choices? Aristotle says these originate when desire and reason combine.
  • Book Ⅵ.3: There are five ways people can come upon the truth: art, science, wisdom, philosophy, and intuition. Or so says Aristotle. First, let’s take a look at science.
  • Book Ⅵ.4: Aristotle discusses Art as a method for discerning a variety of truth via creation.
  • Book Ⅵ.5: Wisdom is the ability to deliberate well about what to do in order to live an excellent life, which ought to come in handy just about any time.
  • Book Ⅵ.6: Science proceeds by applying logical rules to known facts in order to generate new conclusions. But where do the first facts come from that bootstrap this process? Aristotle says that’s where Intuition comes in.
  • Book Ⅵ.7: Aristotle looks at the most noble (and yet least useful) of the capacities for discerning truth: Philosophy.
  • Book Ⅵ.8: Taking a closer look at practical wisdom, or prudence, with Aristotle.
  • Book Ⅵ.9: Good deliberation is the characteristic quality of the person with practical wisdom. Here are nine things good deliberation isn’t.
  • Book Ⅵ.10: Like good deliberation, Understanding is an important component of practical wisdom, and allows us to draw conclusions about matters in the domain of practical wisdom even if they do not concern us directly.
  • Book Ⅵ.11: There’s no good word in English for γνώμη, nor for νοῦς. So it’s going to take several, and a few words of advice from William S. Burroughs to boot.
  • Book Ⅵ.12–13: Aristotle addresses some objections to his scheme of intellectual virtues: what good are philosophy and practical wisdom anyway?
  • Book Ⅵ: We’ve reached the end of book six of The Nicomachean Ethics and its examination of the intellectual virtues. Today I’ll try to sum up what we learned in this book.
  • Book Ⅶ.1: How do people come to behave badly even when they know better? Aristotle addresses the problem of self-control.
  • Book Ⅶ.2: Aristotle continues to try to understand self-control and its absence, and contrasts his view with that of Socrates. Does this have anything to do with hypocrisy?
  • Book Ⅶ.3: Aristotle tries to figure out what happens when self-control fails. Do facts get lost when universal premises collide and the promise of sensual pleasure takes advantage of the confusion?
  • Book Ⅶ.4: Aristotle distinguishes general and specific lack of self-control, and compares it to intemperance, which has much the same subject matter.
  • Book Ⅶ.5: Aristotle looks at lack of self-control among the crazy, diseased, or traumatized. How do psychopaths, people with uncontrollable phobias and obsessions, pedophiles, and the like fit into his ethical scheme?
  • Book Ⅶ.6: Aristotle looks at the loss of self-control that is prompted by anger and finds it less-blameworthy than that prompted by the temptation of desire or by aversion to pain.
  • Book Ⅶ.7: The person who loves sex, and the sex-starved person: each is susceptible to losing self-control for the sake of lust, but one to gratify it and the other to quench the thirst that comes from it. These are subtly different. Aristotle continues to refine his model of continence and temperance.
  • Book Ⅶ.8: The Nicomachean Ethics shows the seams from where it has been stitched together from older sources.
  • Book Ⅶ.9: Self-control is a sort of sticktoitiveness, but then again, so is stubbornness. Aristotle says the difference is that the person with self-control makes a deliberate choice of behavior with a good aim in mind, and sticks to that good aim; the stubborn person just makes a decision and sticks to it, caring only for appearing decisive, not for having made a good choice.
  • Book Ⅶ.10: Aristotle wraps up his investigation of self-control and hearkens back to his earlier discussions of practical wisdom.
  • Book Ⅶ, so far: I’m going to try to sum up what Aristotle had to say about self-control.
  • “pleasure”: Aristotle launches the first of two in-depth looks at pleasure and pain (but first let’s review what he’s said on the subject so far).
  • Book Ⅶ.11: Aristotle presents three arguments “some people” make in opposition to the idea that pleasure is a, or the, Good.
  • Book Ⅶ.12: Aristotle begins to addresss the arguments against the idea that pleasure is a, or the, Good.
  • Book Ⅶ.13: Was Aristotle a hedonist? And would you plug into a machine that thoroughly simulates reality for you in such a convincing way that you cannot help but believe that it is reality, and that you can program ahead of time to maximize your pleasure beyond anything possible in real life?
  • Book Ⅶ.14: In the conclusion to book seven of The Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle imagines the sort of single divine pleasure that might be pursued by God, and explains why such simple pleasures are not available to us.
  • Book Ⅷ: If it seems like Aristotle has developed an ethics best suited for isolated individuals, that’s only because we haven’t looked at either of his two books on Friendship yet. Here’s the first.
  • Book Ⅸ: I summarize the second of Aristotle’s two books on friendship.
  • Book Ⅹ.1: Aristotle takes a fresh look at pleasure, and explains why the study of pleasure and pain is important to the ethicist, as he opens book ten of The Nicomachean Ethics.
  • Book Ⅹ.2: To what extent do we need to respect common sense popular views about things in order to conduct good philosophy? Are pleasure and pain like opposing vices, with a virtuous state somewhere between? Or are the hedonists right after all?
  • Book Ⅹ.3: Aristotle criticizes several arguments against the idea that pleasure is good, then puts forth a few of his own arguing that pleasure must not be the ultimate good.
  • Book Ⅹ.4: Having criticized some ideas about pleasure, Aristotle settles in and tries to define what it is.
  • Book Ⅹ.5: Aristotle concludes his examination of pleasure.
  • Book Ⅹ.6: Aristotle begins to sum up The Nichomachean Ethics by bringing us back to the question of the ultimate end of human activity.
  • Book Ⅹ.7: Aristotle says that the life of philosophical contemplation is the best possible life for people, which probably explains his career choice.
  • Book Ⅹ.8: Aristotle begins to wrap up his argument about ethics, concluding that he has discovered what life is for (so now all we have to do is start arranging things so we can live that way).
  • Book Ⅹ.9: In the final section of the final book of The Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle says that if philosophy were sufficient, he would have found the key to happiness for all mankind. But philosophy is not sufficient. Aristotle says we also need a system of education and one of punishment, which means we need politics and good legislation, which means you need to read my sequel.

Tax Resistance in The Vote

  • : “No Vote, No Tax” — auction of Marie Lawson’s goods, protest
  • : “Why Pay Taxes?” — Margaret Kineton Parkes addresses an “At Home”; Dora Montefiore, Muriel Matters, Charlotte Despard
  • : “The Super-Tax on the Super-Man” — George Bernard Shaw writes that he may inadvertantly become a tax resister
  • : “Tax Resistance” — unnamed “Clapton member” expects seizure/auction, protest planned
  • : “Some silver belonging to Dr. Patch…” — auction, protest; Winifred Patch, Mrs. Manson, Miss Benett, Miss Lightman, Charlotte Despard
  • : “Tax-Resistance Meeting at Highbury” — protest meeting, remarks of Charlotte Despard & Laurence Housman; Winifred Patch, Miss Guttridge
  • : “Women and Taxation” — Teresa Billington-Greig on the new Land Tax; “Tax Resistance” — Mark Wilks on his and Elizabeth Wilks’s resistance
  • : “Trafalgar Square Mass Meeting” — remarks of Anne Cobden Sanderson, Ayres Purdie, Mrs. Nevinson; “No Vote, No Taxes” — attempts to get other suffrage groups to adopt tax resistance
  • : “Why Pay Taxes?” — Teresa Billington-Grieg’s exhortation; early resisters: Charlotte Babb, Henrietta Müller, Anna Maria & Mary Priestman, Dora Montefiore; “Outdoor Meetings” — Margaret Kineton Parkes, mention in the Manchester Evening Chronicle
  • : “Why Pay Taxes?” — Ethel Ayres Purdie helps married women resist taxes; “Welsh Campaign” — Mary McLeod Cleeves in court for resisting carriage tax, note in Cambria Daily Leader; Marguerite A. Sidley, Mr. Hyde; “Women’s Tax Resistance League” — Anne Cobden Sanderson and Charlotte Despard address a meeting, Margaret Kineton Parkes addresses two meetings
  • : “Welsh Campaign” — Mary McLeod Cleeves’s dogcart auctioned, protest; Marguerite A. Sidley, Mr. Hyde, Mrs. Ross
  • : “Married Women and Tax Resistance” — text of a Women’s Tax Resistance League pamphlet
  • : “Women and Tax Resistance” — Margaret Kineton Parkes addresses a meeting; Anna Munro
  • : “Tax and Census Resistance” — Mrs. Jones-Williams resists; Mrs Francis resists; Mrs. Rose Hyland, Edith How-Martyn; “Tax Resisters’ Protest” — protest at auction of Bertha Brewster’s goods; Mrs. Gatty, Leonora Tyson, Florence A. Underwood, Miss Brackenbury; “Women’s Tax Resistance League” — Edith Zangwill, Alice Abadam, and Margaret Kineton Parkes address a meeting; Adela Stanton Coit, Stanton Coit, Miss Green
  • : “Passive Resistance” — Mary McLeon Cleeves resists property seizure, Edith How Martyn writes protest letter; advice on resisting tax withholding on stock dividends; Elizabeth & Mark Wilks; “Protest at Brighton” — auction of Mrs. Jones Williams’s goods, protest; Edith How Martyn; “Women’s Tax Resistance League” — Evelina Haverfield, Margaret Kineton Parkes, and Anne Cobden Sanderson address meeting; Kate Raleigh
  • : “After the Census” — excerpts from an editorial: what if all women resisted taxes?
  • : “Tax Resisters At Woodbridge” — Constance E. Andrews on Mrs. Lane’s dog license resistance; Mrs. Stansfield, Isabel Tippett; “Women and Taxation” — Marie Dawson shares her lawyer’s letter to the Inland Revenue Department
  • : “Imprisonment of Miss Andrews at Ipswich” — Constance E. Andrews; Elizabeth Knight’s and Mrs. Lane’s waggon auctioned; Edith How Martyn, Alison Neilans, Isabel Tippett, Charlotte Despard, Marguerite A. Sidley; “Caxton Hall Meeting” — Charlotte Despard addresses meeting on her own resistance; “Sale of Mrs. Despard’s Goods” — short-notice auction of Charlotte Despard’s goods
  • : “Tax Resistance League” — Margaret Kineton Parkes, Louisa Jopling Rowe, Mrs. Louis Fagan, Laurence Housman; protest at auction of Sarah Benett’s goods; “Caxton Hall ‘At Home’” — Emma Sproson imprisoned for dog license resistance; Edith How Martyn; “Miss Andrews Released” — Constance Andrews, dog license resistance, big rallies on her release; Charlotte Despard, Isabel Tippett, Mrs. Bastian, Mrs. Hossack, Marguerite A. Sidley
  • : “Women’s Tax Resistance League” — brief notes of talks by Margaret Kineton Parkes and Anne Cobden Sanderson; upcoming auctions of goods of Lilian Hicks, Katherine Heanley, and Kate Raleigh; Mary Evans, Mrs. Osler; “To the Editor of The Vote” — Kate Harvey protests the auctioning of her goods
  • : “Caxton Hall ‘At Home’” — Emma Sproson released from prison, government goes after her husband, Margaret Nevinson remembers John Hampden; “Tax Resistance in Wolverhampton” — Emma Sproson on her dog license resistance
  • : “Tax Resistance at Wolverhampton” — Frank Sproson on Emma Sproson’s imprisonment for dog license resistance; “Mr. Churchill Questioned” — Winston Churchill queried about the Sproson case, and gives his defense of the government’s acts; Edith How Martyn; “Women’s Tax Resistance League” — Margaret Kineton Parkes addresses meetings; protest at auctioning of Mrs. Muir’s goods; Miss Merrifield, Colonel Kensington, Mr. & Mrs. Baker, Edith Kate Lelacheur, Sarah Grand, Emily Juson Kerr, Ethel Fennings; “Branch Notes: Croydon” — Edith How Martyn spoke on the Sproson case.
  • : “Tax Resistance” — Janet Legate Bunten’s goods seized; Mrs. Darent Harrison’s goods auctioned, big protest; Margaret Kineton Parkes, Anna Munro
  • : “Tax Resistance” — Gertrude Eatons’s goods auctioned, Anne Cobden Sanderson addresses crowd, protest; Marion McKenzie’s goods auctioned, protest; Margaret Kineton Parkes, Florence Hamilton, Mrs. Clarkson Swann, Muriel Matters, Violet Tillard
  • : “Tax Resistance” — Miss Nelligan’s goods auctioned, Anne Cobden Sanderson addresses crowd; Marianne Clarendon Hyde bids; Mrs. Cameron Swann, Mrs. Hyde
  • : “Tax Resistance” — Kate Raleigh’s goods auctioned, Anne Cobden Sanderson and Emily Juson Kerr address crowd, procession afterwards; Marianne Clarendon Hyde, Alison Neilans
  • : “Women and the Land Taxes” — Winifred Patch announces her Land Tax resistance
  • : “Holloway: Woman’s ‘Polling Booth’” — rainy day march to protest Clemence Housman’s imprisonment; Christabel Pankhurst, Laurence Housman, Charlotte Despard, Margaret Kineton Parkes; “Branch Notes: Mid-London” — Mrs. Clarkson Swann and Emma Sproson address a large crowd
  • : “Tax Resistance in Liverpool” — Mr. & Mrs. F.N. Hall’s goods auctioned off; Mrs. Hall gives an account
  • : “Branch Notes: South of England — Brighton and Hove” — Mrs. Louis Fagan & Margaret Kineton Parkes to address a meeting; Miss Hare; “The Women’s Tax Resistance League” — Frances Ede’s and Amy Sheppard’s goods auctioned, protest; Kate Harvey holds a meeting, Laurence Houseman, Margaret Kineton Parkes, and Anne Cobden Sanderson speak, Mrs. Louis Fagan presides
  • : “The Women’s Tax Resistance League and the Reform Bill” — resolution urging tax resistance as protest against Reform Bill
  • : “Imprisonment for Tax Resistance” — Janet Legate Bunten sentenced; Nina Boyle; “Tax-Resistance in Scotland” — Janet Legate Bunten fined, refused to pay, sentenced to jail; “The First Scotch Tax Resister” — Janet Legate Bunten’s dog license resistance, and what happened in court; Nina Boyle
  • : “Tax Resistance: Meeting at Buxton” — Charlotte Despard, Margaret Kineton Parkes address meeting; Emily Juson Kerr, Miss Ashmall-Salt
  • : “Is It Illegal Distraint?” — Mrs. Tollemache’s goods seized; Nina Boyle, Janet Legate Bunten
  • : “Tax Resistance” — auction of Mrs. Tollemache’s goods, protest at which Margaret Kineton Parks speaks; Janet Legate Bunten
  • : “Tax Resistance: Income from Investments” — Ethel Ayres Purdie’s advice on avoiding income tax on investments
  • : “Mrs. Ayres Purdie Victimised“ — other tenants offended by her “Women Tax-Payers’ Agency” sign force her to find a new office; “Political and Militant Work” — urges readers to contact the Woman’s Freedom League if they or any women they know wants to learn how to resist
  • : “Tax Resistance” — Miss Ball’s goods auctioned
  • : “A Tax-Resisting Cow” — authorities try to seize Edith Kate Lelacheur’s cow, cow has other ideas; “Tax Resistance” — auction of Mary Sargent Florence’s and Miss Hayes’s goods, protest; Elizabeth Knight charged for dog license resistance, Mrs. H. Lane charged for trap license resistance, protest; Dorinda Neligan’s and Florence Gardiner Hamilton’s silver auctioned, protests; Emily Juson Kerr, Margaret Kineton Parkes, Alison Neilans, Lila Pratt, Emma Sproson
  • : “Tax Resistance” — auctions of goods of Miss Carson, Miss Green, Elizabeth Wilks, Mrs. Gerlach, Mary Hare, Miss Symons, Kate Lelacheur, Mrs. & Miss Richards, Helen Alexander Archdale, and Winifred Patch, accompanied by meetings and protests; Kate Harvey barricades her house; Alison Neilans, Marianne Clarendon Hyde, Mrs. Merrivale Mayer, Margaret Kineton Parkes, Clemence Housman, Miss Thomas, Anne & Mr. Cobden Sanderson, Miss Gilliat, Phyllis Ayrtin, Emily Juson Kerr, Mr. Carlin, Miss Howes, Miss Pridden, J. Kirtlan, Nina Boyle, Mrs. Louis Fagan, Gertrude Eaton, Charlotte Despard, Helen Hanson, Mrs. Armstrong
  • : “Women’s Tax Resistance League” — L.E. Turquand’s silver cake basket auctioned; Kate Harvey still barracading her house
  • : “Mrs. Harvey’s Unbroken Barricade” — Kate Harvey’s barricade; “Other Resisters: The Growing Movement” — Elizabeth Knight and Mrs. Lane resist dog & trap licenses and have their waggon auctioned; Miss McGregor’s Rembrandt auctioned; goods of Mrs. Tyson, Lilian Hicks, Constance Collier, Mrs. O’Sullivan auctioned; demonstration planned at new John Hampden statue
  • : “Poster Campaign” — three tax-resistance-specific propaganda posters; “John Hampden Statue at Aylesbury” — unveiling of statue is an outreach opportunity; Kate Harvey updates on her barricade; Charlotte Despard and Isabel Tippet address meetings; auctions of goods of Edith Morley, Miss Manuelle, Mrs. Skipwith, Mrs. Douglas Hameton, Mrs. Sky; Gertrude Eaton, Clemence Housman, Myra Eleanor Sadd Brown, Mary Sergeant Florence, Kate Haslam, Ethel Ayres Purdie, Margaret Kineton Parkes, Minnie Turner, Maud Roll, Mr. Lee, Mr. Sergeant, Anne Cobden Sanderson, Mrs. Louis Fagan, C.V. Drysdale, Barbara Ayrton Gould, Mr. Warren; “Watch the Authorities!” — Clara Lee notes a error by the officials in calculating her taxes
  • : “Tax Resistance” — Kate Harvey’s barricade unbroken; auction of Maud Roll’s goods; meetings with Mrs. Alfred Nutt, Mrs. Louis Fagan, Anne Cobden Sanderson, Hugh Chapman, Maud Parry, Laurence Housman; Margaret Kineton Parkes, Honnor Morten, C.V. Drysdale
  • : “Tax Resistance” — Kate Harvey’s barricade unbroken; auction of Marion Cunningham’s goods
  • : “Tax Resistance Protest” — Mary Anderson’s goods auctioned; Mrs. & Mr. Snow, Mrs. Fisher, Anne Cobden Sanderson, Mrs. Huntsman, Charlotte Despard, Nina Boyle, Florence Underwood, Kate Harvey, Emma Fox-Bourne, Mrs. Lawrence, Miss Charrington, Mrs. Robert Barr, Mr. & Mrs. Galbraith, Colonel & Mrs. Eales, Mrs. O’Sullivan, Mrs. Croad, Miss Watson
  • : “Tax Resistance” — Kate Harvey gets some verse while under siege; “How the Government Defies the Law” — Ethel Ayres Purdie on the upcoming arrest of Mark Wilks; Elizabeth Wilks; “An Appeal to the King” — Marie Lawson petitions His Most Excellent Majesty
  • : “Somerset House and Its Ways” — The Mark & Elizabeth Wilks case; Ethel Ayres Purdie; “‘Mostly Fools’” — C. Nina Boyle on the tax law writers; Mark & Elizabeth Wilks; “Trafalgar-Square Demonstration” — protesting the Mark Wilks arrest; Mme. Mirovitch, Herbert Jacobs, Anna Munro, Isabel Tippett, Mr. Futvoye, Mrs. Merivale Mayer, Nina Boyle, Margaret Kineton Parkes, Charlotte Despard, Mrs. Pankhurst, Margaret Nevinson, Laurence Housman, Mary Leigh, Mrs. Tanner, Mr. Kennedy, A. Mitchell, Elizabeth Wilks; “The Government in a Knot” — statements by Mark and Elizabeth Wilks; petition against the arrest; public indignation meeting; John Cockburn, Henry George Chancellor, Laurence Housman, Herbert Jacobs, Fleming Williams, George Bernard Shaw; “In Hyde Park and Regent’s Park” — Marianne Hyde and Miss Bennett address a meeting
  • : “Great Protest Meeting Against the Imprisonment of Mr. Mark Wilks” — Speeches of Mansell Moullin, George Bernard Shaw, Laurence Housman, Herbert Jacobs, Henry George Chancellor, and Fleming Williams; John Cockburn, Elizabeth Wilks, Mary Leigh, Mrs. Mustard, Charlotte Despard, Margaret Kineton Parkes; “Ignominious Defeat of Law-Makers” — Charlotte Despard on the Mark Wilks case and its implications for the government; Clemence Housman; “The ‘Favouritism’ of the Law” — Ethel Ayers Purdie responds to critics who say the arrest of Mark Wilks proves the law favors women; “Forerunners” — Suffragists Nannie & Jesse Brown’s father was an Annuity Tax resister in 1859; “In Hyde Park” — Charlotte Despard speaks on the Wilks case; Mrs. Mustard, Mark & Elizabeth Wilks; “Branch Notes: Stamford-hill” — Mr. Hawkins, Mrs. Tanner
  • : “The Men Who Govern Us” — Nina Boyle on the release of Mark Wilks; Clemence Housman, Mary Leigh, Miss Evans; “Tax Resistance” — release of Mark Wilks, Ethel Ayres Purdie’s efforts; Mrs. Fyffe’s goods seized; Mrs. Louis Fagan taken to court, goods seized; Elizabeth Wilks, Fleming Williams, George Lansbury address meeting on Wilks case; Grace Cadell and Janet Bunten refuse to pay inhabited house duty; Lillian Hicks, Mrs. Williamson-Forrestier, Anne Cobden Sanderson, Margaret Kineton Parkes; “The ‘Favouritism’ of the Law” — Ethel Ayres Purdie on the irrational tax law that goes after the husband for taxes due on the wife’s property; Mark Wilks
  • : “Tax Resistance” — auction of goods of Mrs. Louis Fagan, Grace Cadell, and Mrs. Fyffe, protests; Men’s League supports Mark Wilks; Gertrude Eaton, Margaret Kineton Parkes, M. Burn Murdock, Anne Cobden Sanderson, Charles Baumgarten, Laurence Housman, Dr. Drysdale, J.M. Mitchell
  • : “Political News” — Wilks case comes up in Parliament; “Tax Resistance” — Elizabeth Knight prosecuted for dog license resistance; report of protest at the Fyffe auction; Constance Andrews, Anne Cobden Sanderson, Constance Andrews, Mrs. Louis Fagan, Charles Baumgarten; “Women Writers’ Suffrage League” — that League considers resisting taxes on their secretary’s salary; “Branch Notes: Stamford Hill” — they appreciate the protest of Mark & Elizabeth Wilks
  • : “Tax Resistance” — reception for Elizabeth & Mark Wilks; Elizabeth Knight summoned for dog license refusal; three Glasgow suffragists have their goods auctioned; Janet Bunten, Nina Boyle, Constance Andrews, Miss Hunt, Mrs. Spiller, Lillian Hicks, Mrs. Garrod, Charlotte Despard, George Lansbury, F. Pethick Lawrence, Laurence Housman
  • : “Victims of Justice!” — Elizabeth Knight and Charlotte Despard still at large; Kate Harvey’s barricade goes on; “The Organiser: An Impression” — a look at the Kate Harvey barricade at Bromley; “Suffragists will rally in force…” — to greet Mark & Elizabeth Wilks; “Women’s Tax Resistance League: A Reception” — Mark Wilks, Elizabeth Wilks; R. Cholmeley, George Lansbury, Charlotte Despard, Pethick Lawrence; “Tax Resistance” — J.A. Hall’s goods auctioned; Ethel Ayers Purdie, Mrs. Hall
  • : “A Red-Tape Comedy [Part 1]” — Ethel Ayers Purdie tells of defending Alice Burn in court; Elizabeth & Mark Wilks; “Tax Resistance” — the government goes after Elizabeth Knight; Janet Bunten’s goods auctioned; meetings, marches, and more; Margaret Kineton Parkes, Mrs. Fagan, Myra Eleanor Sadd Brown, Mark Wilks, Alixe Burn, Ethel Ayers Purdie; “Enthusiastic Reception to Mr. Mark Wilks” — Mark Wilks, Elizabeth Wilks, Captain Gonne, Robert Cholmely, Pethick Lawrence, Charlotte Despard, Anne Cobden Sanderson, Miss Bensusan, Decima Moore
  • : “A Red-Tape Comedy [Part 2]” — Ethel Ayers Purdie tells of defending Alice Burn in court
  • : “A Red-Tape Comedy [Part 3]” — Ethel Ayers Purdie tells of defending Alice Burn in court
  • : “Rally in Force!” — the government breaks through Kate Harvey’s barricade; Isabel Tippett; “Tax Resistance” — Kate Harvey’s barricade broken; Isabel Tippett in court; Anna Munro, Lila Pratt, Mrs. Foster; “Women’s Tax Resistance League” — upcoming auction of Adeline Cecil Chapman’s goods, protest; Mrs. Cecil Chapman, Anne Cobden Sanderson, Myra Eleanor Sadd Brown, J. Malcolm Mitchell
  • : “Mrs. Harvey’s Sale” — auction of Kate Harvey’s goods; Anna Munro, Mrs. Huntsman, Charlotte Despard, Margaret Kineton Parkes, Nina Boyle, Amy Hicks, Mrs. Clarkson Swann, Mrs. Snow, Mrs. Fisher, Elizabeth Knight, Anne Cobden Sanderson, Mrs. Kux, Mrs. Macpherson, Mrs. Smith, Florence A. Underwood, Miss Howard, Miss Rowell, Mrs. Thomas, Emily Juson Kerr, Miss Barrow, Miss Taylor; “Tax Resistance” — Women’s Freedom League decides to resist the Insurance Act
  • : “Government Rests Upon the Consent of the Governed” — A parable by Margaret Wynne Nevinson; “Success at Letchworth” — Clara Lee, Charlotte Despard, Margaret Nevinson, Mrs. Tudor
  • : “Women’s Tax Resistance League” — meetings, new pamphlets; Margaret Kineton Parkes, Mrs. Arthur Sykes, Edith Hulme
  • : “A ‘Person’ Only in Finance” — Janie Allan taken to court; “A Distinguished Tax Resister” — Mary Russell, the Duchess of Bedford, begins resisting taxes
  • : “Women’s Tax Resistance League” — Mrs. Tollemache’s silver auctioned, protest; Margaret Kineton Parkes, Mr. Jeudwine, B.C.S. & Mrs. Everett, Mrs. Hartley Withers, Edith Zangwill, Ruth Cavendish Bentinck, C. Baumgarten
  • : “English Reform Bills [part 2]” — brief excerpt from Helena Normanton’s article concerning tax resistance of the Political Unions of the 1830s; “Women’s Tax Resistance League” — Mary Russell joins; goods of Miss Baker, Mary Sargent Florence, Miss Hayes, and Ina Moncrieff auctioned, protest; Margaret Kineton Parkes, Nina Boyle, Agnes Edith Metcalfe, Amy Hicks, Miss Watson
  • : “Tax Resistance” — reluctant auctioneer fails to sell the waggon of Elizabeth Knight and Mrs. Lane; goods of Mrs. Skipwith, Bertha Brewster, and Kate Raleigh auctioned, protests; Sarah Bennet, Myra Eleanor Sadd Brown, Constance E. Andrews, Anne Cobden Sanderson, Margaret Kineton Parkes, Ethel Ayres Purdie, Amy Hicks
  • : “The Federated Council Urges Tax Resistance” — The Federated Council of Suffrage Societies unanimously adopts tax resistance; Mary Adelaide Broadhurst, Earl Russell, Israel Zangwill
  • : “Women’s Tax Resistance League: A Public Meeting” — Earl Russell, Israel Zangwill, Mrs. Cecil Chapman; “Distraint on a Duchess” — Mary Russell’s goods seized; “Women’s Tax Resistance League” — auction of goods of Rhoda Anstey, Francis Ede & Amy Sheppard, Miss Rose, Kate Raven Holiday, Miss Corcoran, Beatrice Harraden, Mabel Hardie & Miss Gibbs, Jessie Murray, Mrs. Beaumont Thomas & Mary Sutcliffe, protests; Margeret Kineton Parkes, Dorothy Evans, Leonora Tyson, Amy Hicks, Anne Cobden Sanderson, Winifred Holiday
  • : “Tax Resistance” — new barricade at Kate Harvey’s house; Mary Anderson’s resistance; mob attacks suffrage protest of auction; Flora Annie Steel has a manuscript chapter auctioned off
  • : “Tax Resistance” — auctions against Kate Raleigh, Miss Weir, Miss Lees, Miss Koll, Honnor Morten, Misses Collier, Mrs. Hartley, Mrs. Hicks, Adeline Roberts, Dorinda Neligan, Miss James, Adeline Chapman, associated protests; Mrs. Darent Harrison protests mob attack on May 14; Margaret Kineton Parkes, Charlotte Despard, Kate Harvey, Mary Anderson, Elizabeth Knight, Anne Cobden Sanderson, Reginald Pott, Maud Roll, Myra Eleanor Sadd Brown, Louisa Thompson Price, Mrs. Nevinson, Teresa Gough, Mrs. Strickland
  • : “Tax Resistance” — Mary Anderson’s goods seized; Elizabeth Knight summoned to court; Helen Smith’s, Miss Moncrieff’s, and Mrs. Portrey’s goods auctioned; Miss Hicks, Mrs. Tanner, Mrs. Tyson, Margaret Kineton Parkes, Charlotte Despard, Laurence Housman, Teresa Gough, Constance Andrews, Miss Bobby, Lila Pratt; “Branch Notes: London and Suburbs — Harrow” — protest when Mrs. Portrey’s goods auctioned; Margaret Kineton Parkes, Laurence Houseman; “Branch Notes: Scotland — Edinburgh” — the Sheriff Officer threatens distraint
  • : “The Duty of Tax Resistance” — excerpts from Laurence Housman’s pamphlet
  • : “Tax Resistance” — supporters rally at Kate Harvey’s barricade; Harvey appears in court, is sentenced; Elizabeth Knight’s waggon auctioned; Nina Boyle resists the Land Tax; Isabel Tippett, Mrs. Lane, Marguerite Sidley, Mrs. Huntsman, Anne Cobden Sanderson, Ms. Tanner, Ms. Mustard, Ms. Catmur, Ms. Pierotti, Ms. Green, Ms. Ball, Ms. Kux, Ms. Presbury, Ms. Johnson, Ms. Sanders, Ms. Pyart, Ms. Watson, Ms. Spiller, Ms. Sutcliffe, Ms. Moser, Florence Underwood, Miss Sanders, Miss St. Clair, Miss Lawrence, Mrs. Snow, Mrs. Fox Bourne, Emma Fox Bourne, Mrs. Fisher, Anna Munro, Margaret Kineton Parkes
  • : “Tax Resistance” — Kate Harvey’s continued defiance; Nina Boyle represents her in court; Margaret Kineton Parkes; “An Unlicensed Dog” — Alice Walters resists her dog licensing fee
  • : “Tax-Resistance — More Comparisons” — an example of female tax resisters treated more harshly than male tax evaders; F. Hamblin, Kate Harvey
  • : “Tax Resistance” — Miss Cummin resisting taxes; Women’s Freedom League’s institutional resistance of the Insurance Act finally gets the authorities’ attention; another male tax evader (Joseph Lister) gets off easy while a female tax resister (Kate Harvey) gets the book thrown at her
  • : “First Imprisonment for Insurance Tax Resistance” — Kate Harvey imprisoned on a 2-month sentence; another case of male evaders getting comparatively light sentences; letter from Kate Harvey; Charlotte Despard writes the Home Secretary; press release from Women’s Freedom League; Marie Lawson inaugurates “snowball” protest in support of Harvey; Florence Underwood, Mary Anderson, Nina Boyle, Mark Wilkes; “At Headquarters” — upcoming demonstration, focus on Kate Harvey case; “‘John Hampden’” — a look at the historical tax resister, and women who resisted alongside him; “Armed Revolt” — Charlotte Despard on the Harvey case and the upcoming demonstration
  • : “At Headquarters” — details on upcoming demonstration; Kate Harvey, Charlotte Despard, Nina Boyle, Amy Hicks, Anna Munro, Margaret Nevinson, Anne Cobden Sanderson, Emma Sproson, Mrs. Tanner, Isabel Tippett, Harry de Pass, George Lansbury, H.W. Nevinson, John Scurr, Mark Wilks; “Mrs. Harvey’s Imprisonment” — rallies and meetings; demonstration speaker schedule; Henry Harbin’s letter to the Home Office; Kate Harvey, Mrs. Hyde, Charlotte Despard, Nina Boyle, Amy Hicks, George Lansbury, Anne Cobden Sanderson, Harry de Pass, John Scurr, H.W. Nevinson, Mrs. Tippett, Emma Sproson; “‘No Taxation Without Representation’” — Marie Lawson corrects the earlier piece on her “snowball” protest
  • : “Trafalgar Square Protest” — summaries of addresses from Charlotte Despard, Anne Cobden Sanderson, Amy Hicks, John Scurr, and George Lansbury; meetings at Bromley; Emma Sproson, Kate Harvey; “Tax Resistance” — Kate Harvey case; Grace Cadell taken to court; Anne Cobden Sanderson, Eliza Wilks, Laura Grover Smith; “‘False and Fraudulent Pretences’” — Nina Boyle argues at length that the government hasn’t earned Kate Harvey’s money, or anyone’s really, because of its ineptitude
  • : “Women’s Tax Resistance League” — another upcoming protest; Kate Harvey, Margaret Kineton Parkes, H.W. Nevinson; “At Headquarters” — indignation meeting on the Kate Harvey case; Charlotte Despard, Margaret Kineton Parkes, Mrs. Mustard, John Scurr, Nina Boyle; “What We Omitted To Say” — Ethel Sargant’s tax resistance; Margaret Kineton Parkes, Mary Sargant Florence; “Branch Notes: Edinburgh” — protest against Kate Harvey’s imprisonment; Grace Cadell
  • : “Mrs. Harvey’s Imprisonment” — Kate Harvey released, in bad health; letter from Harvey; struggle to get homeopathic health care behind bars; an indignation meeting; Margaret Kineton Parkes sends a letter to the Home Office; Clemence Housman, Mark Wilks, Beaumont Thomas, Charlotte Despard, H.W. Nevinson; “Branch Notes: Provinces: Burnage, Manchester” — Miss Trott attempts to get local branches to support Kate Harvey
  • : “Mrs. Harvey’s Imprisonment” — Message from Kate Harvey; mistreatment in prison; Forbes Robertson
  • : “The Worship of Athene” — Katherine Raleigh lectures as a fundraiser for the Women’s Tax Resistance League; Marie Stopes; “Women’s Tax Resistance League” — reports of meetings; Margaret Kineton Parkes, Mrs. Diplock, Eliza Wilkes, Myra Eleanor Sadd Brown
  • : “Saul Among the Prophets” — wry comment on Unionist tax resistance in Belfast; “The ‘John Bright’ Tradition: No Taxation Without Representation” — legendary English statesman John Bright’s grandson supports his wife’s tax resistance; Mrs. Clark’s goods auctioned; Margaret Kineton Parkes; “‘Primitive Savagery’: Who Are the Savages?” — more on the Unionist tax resisters in Belfast from Charlotte Despard, who says they’re treated with kid gloves by the government compared to suffragists
  • : “At It Again!” — Kate Harvey’s barricades again broken, goods seized; “Miss Lena Ashwell on Tax Resistance” — Lena Ashwell speaks on tax resistance; Miss Ashwell, Mrs. Louis Fagan; “Women’s Tax Resistance League” — meetings; Handley Read, Constance Long, Laurence Housman, Margaret Kineton Parkes, Vernon Compton, Mrs. Skipwith, Alice Abadam, Winifred Holiday
  • : “The Sale That Was Not a Sale” — seizure of Kate Harvey’s goods, attempted auction disrupted by supporters; Mark Wilkes, Mr. Bell, Mr. Webber, Mr. Steer, Mr. Jouning, Charlotte Despard; “Women’s Tax Resistance League” — meeting summary: remarks by Isabel Hampden Margesson, Laurence Housman, and Margaret Kineton Parkes; Isabelle Stewart summoned for dog license resistance; Sophia Duleep Singh, M. Lawrence, Myra Eleanor Sadd Brown, Kate Harvey, Clemence Housman
  • : “Mrs. Harvey’s Tax Resistance” — Letter from Kate Harvey; Harvey writes the tax Surveyor; Frances Wood and seventy University of London graduates sign a letter of protest over the Harvey case; “Women’s Tax Resistance League” — meeting; Mrs. Webb, K. Balfour, Margaret Kineton Parkes, Winifred Holiday
  • : “Tax Resistance” — Auction of Miss Cummins goods; Arrest of Captain Gonne (a man in a suffrage-sympathetic personal tax strike); Agnes Edith Metcalfe summoned for dog license non-payment; Nina Boyle, Jessie? Murray, Mrs. Baddeley, Mr. Powell, Mr. Roper, Margaret Kineton Parkes, Isabelle Stewart; “Women’s Tax Resistance League” — Margaret Kineton Parkes reports from her tour of Ireland on the progress of tax resistance there.
  • : “Mrs. Gonne Declines a ‘Doubtful Privilege’” — Captain Gonne imprisoned; Mrs. Gonne petitions the King; “The Political Outlook” — the League continues to resist its taxes and the government seems to be ignoring it
  • : “Government Methods Applied to Business” — a cartoon: shopkeeper wants both the money and to choose which product madam purchases; “A Ridiculous Story” — the scenario in the cartoon more fully fleshed out; “The Women’s Tax Resistance League Announces a Debate” — graphic of announcement of debate over Insurance Act; Margaret Douglas, Gertrude Eaton, Mrs. Louis Fagan, Amy Hicks, Anne Cobden Sanderson; “Just or Unjust?” — story about upcoming debate over Insurance Act; Margaret Douglas
  • : “Insurance Act Debate” — Florence Underwood summarizes the formal debate about the Insurance Act; “Women’s Tax Resistance League” — Katherine Heanley taken to court; subsequent meeting with Margaret Douglas and Amy Hicks
  • : “Tax Resistance at Ipswich” — Elizabeth Knight and Mrs. Lane have their waggon auctioned off again; Isabel Tippett, Anna Munro; “The Hon. Treasurer’s Imprisonment” — Knight asks for help defraying costs; “Women’s Freedom League Annual Conference” — W.F.L. encourages women to resist taxes, the Insurance Act, and also contributions to churches and charitable institutions; “Tax Resistance” — Elizabeth Knight still at large, waggon seized; Isabel Tippet, Anna Munro; “Women’s Tax Resistance League” — Kate Raleigh lectures on the taxpayer of ancient Athens; Ethel Sargent’s goods auctioned; Mrs. Bacon & Mrs Colquhoun to have goods auctioned; Francis Ede & Amy Sheppard to have goods sold; Adeline Chapman, Margaret Kineton Parkes, Nina Boyle, Anne Cobden Sanderson
  • : “Women’s Tax Resistance League” — Miss Wraitslaw’s silver auctioned again; Mrs. Colquhoun & Mrs. Bacon have their goods auctioned; Frances Ede & Amy Sheppard have their goods auctioned; Margaret Kineton Parkes, Nina Boyle, Anne Cobden Sanderson
  • : “Women’s Tax Resistance League” — Jessie Murray’s clock auctioned; Mrs. Beaumont Thomas & Mary Sutcliffe have goods auctioned; Miss Rose’s goods auctioned; Margaret Kineton Parkes, Mrs. Tyson, Anne Cobden Sanderson
  • : “The Government Moves Against Us” — government interviews Freedom League members about group’s Insurance Act resistance; Elizabeth Knight and Mrs. Lane also under government scrutiny; Florence Underwood gets a letter demanding taxes; “Who Will Bid?” — Florence Underwood intends to auction off the anticipated writ announcing the tax action against her as a fundraiser
  • : “Tax-Resistance” — Elizabeth Knight and Emma Sproson still at large
  • : “Our Honorary Treasurer’s Arrest” — Elizabeth Knight imprisoned, protest planned; Eunice Murray, Mrs. Tanner, Mrs. Mustard; “The Arrest of Our Hon. Treasurer” — Elizabeth Knight sentenced, arrested, imprisoned; Florence Underwood, Isabel Tippett, Madam Putz
  • : “Women’s Freedom League” — its policy on tax resistance, census resistance, and the Insurance Act
  • : “Tax Resistance” — Matilda Cubley resists dog license fee
  • : “Tax Resistance” — A tax resister urges women to maintain the fight “at this time of national crisis”
  • : “The Writ Against Our Secretary” — the writ against Florence Underwood arrives
  • : “Tax Resistance and Votes for Women” — Marie Lawson, though paying taxes since the war started, is served with a writ for unpaid taxes from before the war, notes more draconian government collection process
  • : “Foundations of Freedom” — Helena Normanton on 12th century resisters Thomas Becket and Hugh of Lincoln
  • : “Foundations of Freedom” — Helena Normanton on the early history of tax resistance in England; Reed, Bate, Darnel, John Hampden
  • : “Dr. Patch’s Tax Resistance” — Winifred Patch defies the court; “Meeting at the Women’s Freedom League Headquarters” — Winifred Patch, Elizabeth Knight, Pethick Laurence, Charlotte Despard, Kate Raleigh, Florence Underwood
  • : “No Vote No Tax” — Winifred Patch gives a statement in court; Charlotte Despard, Dr. & Mrs. Clark; Evelyn Sharp, Emily Juson Kerr, Barbara Ayrton Gould, Bertha Brewster, Smith Piggott, Agnes Edith Metcalf, Margaret Kineton Parkes, Kate Raleigh, Julia Wood, Anne Cobden Sanderson, Gertrude Eaton, Mrs. Mustard, Mrs. Tanner, Sarah Benett
  • : “No Vote, No Tax.” — Winifred Patch in court again; Dr. Clark
  • : “Taxation Without Representation” — Kate Raleigh’s goods distrained; Evelyn Sharp in bankruptcy court; Winifred Patch
  • : “Tax Resistance” — Mrs. Darent Harrison resists the tax collector; Kate Raleigh’s goods auctioned; Evelyn Sharp brought before the Registrar
  • : “No Vote! No Tax.” — Mrs. Darent Harrison’s goods auctioned
  • : “No Vote! No Tax!” — Evelyn Sharp undergoes government harassment
  • : “Women Tax Resisters” — meeting includes Margaret Kineton Parkes, Anne Cobden Sanderson
  • : “Miss Evelyn Sharp’s Bankruptcy Proceedings” — women having won the vote, Evelyn Sharp tells the court she’s dropping her tax resistance
  • : “Women’s Tax Resistance League” — Gertrude Eaton announces that the Women’s Tax Resistance League is declaring victory and disbanding; Margaret Kineton Parkes, Laurence Housman
  • : “The Tax Resistance Movement in Great Britain” — a book on the tax resistance movement by Margaret Kineton Parkes; Laurence Housman, Anna Maria & Mary Priestman, Octavia Lewin, Charlotte Despard, Mark Wilks, Clemence Housman, Mrs. Darent Harrison, Kate Harvey, Kate Raleigh, Anne Cobden Sanderson, Winifred Patch, Bertha Brewster, Elizabeth Knight, Mary Saregnt Florence, Gertrude Eaton, Evelyn Sharp
  • : “In Memoriam” — obituary of Jessie Margaret Murray
  • : “An Echo of Tax Resistance” — excerpt from the obituary of Flora Annie Steel
  • : “‘No Taxation Without Representation’” — tax resistance in Bermuda; Gladys Misick Morrell
  • : “More Tax Resistance” — tax resistance in France; Mme. Noel
  • : “Mrs. Florence Gardiner Hamilton” — excerpt from an obituary notice
  • : “Notes from the Foreign Press” — tax resistance in France; Mme. Brunschwig, Mme. Kraemer-Bach