“A Call to [Somebody Else’s] Conscience”

Salon prints a few paragraphs of my tax resistance propaganda in their Letters column:

In Salon’s readership are, at most, a small handful of U.S. diplomats. A Call to Conscience, then, can best be read as yet another hope that “somebody else” can be called upon to change their behavior or disrupt their lifestyle in order to assuage the Salon reader’s conscience over what is happening in Iraq and Gitmo.

How about this, Salon reader: Change your own behavior and lifestyle!

When Henry David Thoreau was called to Framingham, Mass., to denounce slavery in the American South, he turned down the invitation to denounce those evildoers far away and instead turned on the self-satisfied audience, delivering the speech Slavery in Massachusetts.

Elsewhere, Thoreau ridiculed those who said proudly, “I should like to have them order me out to help put down an insurrection of the slaves, or to march to Mexico; — see if I would go.” He knew that these same people did not need to be drafted into battle because they “directly by their allegiance, and so indirectly, at least, by their money, furnished a substitute.”

So how about a “Call to Conscience” to a larger set of Salon’s readers: the taxpayers. Now you’ve seen the pictures and you know what your taxes are paying for. It’s time you learn how to stop.