Some bits and pieces from here and there:
- Remember that Litopia After Dark podcast I was on a few days back? Co-host Peter Cox tried to spark some controversy by calling war tax resistance an “elitist” stand. I wasn’t quite sure what he was going on about, but I think he was implying that it’s elitist to prioritize your own ethical limits on how you want your money spent over the government’s determination of where it thinks people’s money should be spent (particularly, perhaps, when the government has some degree of democratic legitimacy). Erica Weiland responds at War Tax Talk to the question: “Is War Tax Resistance Elitist?” …and wonders if some people are afraid of becoming better people because they don’t want others to think of them as “holier than thou.”
- Have you got any protest plans ? If so, NWTRCC wants to know about it. They compile a list of such actions for their annual Tax Day press release, which can help you get a little more buzz.
- In a fairly repulsive bit of political theater, Congress is raking the IRS over the coals for its use of civil forfeiture to seize money from people without convicting them — or even charging them — with a crime. What makes this repulsive is that it’s Congress that designed the civil forfeiture authorization, fully intending that it be abused in this way. It’s entirely in their power to pass a less-unjust law, but they chose to pass a more-unjust one instead… and now they pretend to be champions of civil liberties, pontificating about how unfair the IRS is being by using the law as it was designed.
- When I was in Colombia I learned a bundle about the struggles of conscientious objectors to military service there. I was happy to hear recently that the Constitutional Court there has made a decisive ruling meant to protect the rights of conscientious objectors. The Colombian military is almost an independent branch of government in Colombia, and hasn’t shown much respect for the law in the past, and so it may drag its heels over submitting to the court’s ruling. But activists there are hailing this as an important step, and it was certainly the product of a lot of hard and patient work on their part.
- Scott London, Sheriff of Eddy County, New Mexico, intervened to stop the IRS and federal marshals from seizing property of county resident Kent Carter. Carter has refused to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars the IRS says he owes; Carter, apparently under the influence of the “show me the law” school of tax protesters, denies he owes anything.
- I’ve never been a fan of Al Sharpton, but I may have to change my mind. According to a report at National Review Online, “Every Sharpton business known has been dissolved for failure to comply with tax rules” and Sharpton “also personally owes New York State nearly $596,000, according to active tax warrants.”
- Sure enough, a record number of Americans renounced their citizenship or dropped their residency status.