Maybe you’ve heard people threaten to leave the
U.S. rather than
continue to support and be embarrassed by its government. “Katchita,” who
blogs at sexless berlin,
made good on her threat.
I thought her story was an interesting one:
…[I]t’s been a long path, difficult at times. In
I took a leave of absence from work to go
back to school, which helped me put my name on a few less bombs earmarked for
Iraq. But that wasn’t enough, so in I
became a war tax resister, diverting the 30+ percent “current military”
expenditures to deserving non-profits, including the Center for
Constitutional Rights for its work against torture. But that was not enough,
because in the
Revenue Service began coming after me in earnest, and seized money from my
U.S. bank account
(fortunately very little was left). I decided to leave my job in California
would have proceeded to garnish money from my wages. I managed to stay one
step ahead, having earned a
U.S. grant to come
to Germany for the academic year.
So far I’ve been able to stay in Europe. I’m happy that I’ll meet goal #1 and
manage to stay “out” at least until George Bush leaves office
. My second goal, which stretches
into the unknown, but hopefully not interminable, future, is to stay out
until the war ends. Every year is a struggle for economic survival coupled
with the need to renew that all-important residency visa.
Here are some of my favorites from her recommendations:
Prepare food from raw materials, including bread. Bread makers are
inexpensive, easy and pay for themselves quickly.
Put in a vegetable garden, even if it is only container gardening.
Friends speak well of “square foot gardening.”
Can, dehydrate, freeze or otherwise preserve what you grow or what you
buy cheaply in bulk when it is in season. In summer, you can dry fruit in
the sun. For example, slice up apricots, tomatoes, pineapple, apples and
place them in a sunny spot with a wire mess with cheese cloth over top to
keep out insects. I use a dehydrater myself.
Check to see if there is a freecycle network in your city. It will be an
invaluable source of free goods. If there isn’t one, consider
Try to trade or barter for services. Many areas have barter networks;
google your area/city and the word “barter.” If you need to
pay for a service, offer cash and don’t expect a receipt.
Generally speaking, use the library instead of buying books and
Turn down the thermostat and put on a sweater.
Use your oven to make more than one thing at a time; for example, when
you cook a roast, also bake potatoes and make muffins.
Save bones in one container (e.g. a
former margarine tub) and keep vegetable peelings and scraps in another.
Keep both in the freezer. Make soup stock by just putting these together
in a pot with water; heat and walk away for a few hours.
Unplug most devices when you are not using them; turn lights off when you
leave a room. Unless they bother you, use compact florecents in place of
Wash in cold water and use the short cycle unless the clothing is really
dirty. Use a drying rack instead of a clothes dryer. In warm weather, use
a clothes line.
Declutter your house/life and sell your discards at a garage sale.
“I was particularly drawn to this out of my frustration for not being able to
do anything about this situation,” says Aptos resident Samantha Olden. “I am
too busy trying to make ends meet to march on Washington or organize rallies.
This is a way that logistically every American can protest.”
That’s a good point. The war tax resistance movement often struggles with how
to convince activists to take on the difficult task of war tax resistance — but in reality, once you eliminate all the useless things like marching around
with a sign, chanting slogans, voting, or writing to politicians, the
potentially useful things you’re left with are almost all difficult,
dangerous, time-consuming, or at best have little hope of immediate success.
That’s just how it is. If you want a quick-and-easy battle, play Parcheesi
Of the useful, practical, effective things you could be doing to fight the
good fight against war & empire, tax resistance is one of the easiest and
one of the most accessible. You can resist taxes from your living room,
sitting on the couch in your jammies watching teevee, and the government will
even send you the forms to do it with free-of-charge.
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