Sheehan stood her ground, but
I haven’t heard her
mention her tax resistance or recommend the tactic. I worried that maybe she’d
changed her mind or decided it was too controversial to mention, both inside
the anti-war movement and out.
Turns out I had nothing to worry about.
She’s back — and
more tax resistery than ever:
This supplemental funding bill
will pass, and I believe that giving George Bush a
blank check for more killing is reprehensible and I refuse to support these
crimes against humanity with my own funds.
I urge every American with a heart, compassion, and a sense for justice and
a return to moral based leadership to join me in withholding our money from
this murderous and callous government.
Give your money to peace or justice groups instead. Give your money to
homeless shelters; grass-roots Katrina recovery efforts; create a “Peace
Scholarship” at your local college to reward a young person who doesn’t want
to join the military to pay for college; give to Veteran’s groups who are
advocating for better care for our veterans or a group like
IVAW which is a group of returning vets who are actively
trying to stop the war; give to War Resisters to support legal aid for our
active duty soldiers who refuse to go to war; give to Camp Casey; give to
your local peace group.
I am sure there are thousands of places to put our money besides the pockets
of the Military Industrial Complex. So many people and groups have been
damaged because of our war economy. A lot of good could be done with our tax
dollars instead of funding continued killing.
Our elected officials have failed us miserably. We elected them to oppose
George and his war, not support him. We are not being represented properly
and I, for one, refuse to be taxed by them.
Man oh man, we have been on a free spree around the house lately!
Over the past several weeks, we’ve scored a handsome ceiling-mounted hanging
pot rack, a large-sized Foreman Grill, and a spare back door (so I could
install a cat door and keep the landlord happy) all for free thanks to members
of a local “Freecycle” mailing list.
If you haven’t looked into “Freecycle” yet, you might want to
take a peek.
Freecycling is a pretty moderate step on the freegan living plan. Some people
push things a little further. Reporter Becca Tucker decided to give “dumpster
diving” a try for the sake of journalism, and filed
a fascinating report for a
Manhattan weekly newspaper. Excerpts:
According to Madeline Nelson, who looks like your favorite librarian and
dumpster dives for most of her food, dumpstering once a week can fulfill
about 85 percent of your grocery needs. Twice-weekly dives can cover 90 to
95 percent. She didn’t need to come out to the trash tour, because a friend
recently stayed at her apartment, and as a thank-you gift he dumpster dove
her fridge stock-full.
For self-identifying freegans, embarrassment is not an issue. “I’m not so
much bound by the illusions of our culture,” says Adam Weissman, 29, who does
activist work twelve to sixteen hours a day for no pay and lives on $20 a
“Being bound by the cultural norm of whether someone’s going to think it’s
icky or weird for me to be going through the trash is far less compelling
than my sense of embarrassment or horror that I would feel for being part of
the problem, by basically pumping more fuel into the economy in the form of
capital, in the form of money.
“So it’s not that I’m in any way not cognizant of the fact that what we’re
doing is socially deviant. It’s quite deliberate.”
When I started this experiment I had little interest in the politics of
waste. I simply wanted to see whether a person could actually eat for free
in a city where a sandwich costs $7. How freeing that would be, in a way.
How strange an inversion of everything that drives us to go to work every
day. We have to earn, we think, because we have to eat.
But after awhile, my exuberance at opening a bag to find it full of
still-warm chocolate munchkins, or a hundred fat New York-quality bagels, or
fifty plastic containers of organic lettuce from Mexico, or ten wrapped and
ready-to-eat sandwiches, or two dozen firm, colorful peppers, was nudged out
…now that I’ve had to throw away good food I’ve foraged from the trash to
make room in the fridge for even better food, now that I’ve passed up wrapped
cinnamon buns not because they’re stale, but because there are fifty of them,
it’s started to sink in.
This happens every night all over the city, and to varying degrees, in every
city across the country. All the energy that went into growing, producing,
packaging, shipping, refrigerating, and dumping all this food is worth less
than what it would cost a store to run out of something and fail to make a
sale. So they deliberately overstock. And while the food and packaging gets
dumped in landfills, people are going hungry just blocks away.
I was alerted by a former colleague from the Senate staff that page 238 of
the committee report… contains the following statement:
“EARMARKS: Pursuant to clause 9 of rule ⅩⅪ of the Rules of the House of
Representatives, this bill, as reported, contains no congressional
earmarks, limited tax benefits, or limited tariff benefits as defined in
clause 9(d), 9(e), or 9(f) of rule ⅩⅪ.” (Emphasis added.)
Wow! $21.3 billion in add-ons and not a single earmark! Now, that’s reform!
Not exactly, check out page 291 for the $25 million added for spinach
producers. And, page 216 for $60 million for salmon fisheries. And, page 214
for $5 million for aquaculture. Other tables in the report appear to contain
many more. (I’ll get back to you on that. It looks like a “target rich
Not earmarks? You could have fooled me. Having worked the congressional pork
system for most of I was on
Capitol Hill, they sure smell, wallow, and oink like earmarks to me.