April 16, 2003

Pineapples for Peace

Yesterday was the big tax day, as we Americans all know. I paid mine, throughout the year and a bit here before this deadline. Since my husband and I both work full time, we donate quite a bit of money to various charities to fund and support what we believe to be important.

Everyone has a cause or a belief or an embittered passion. Some have all three of these. Today the AP headline read: "Some Peace Activists Won't Pay Fed Taxes." And I just couldn't leave it alone.

You see, I'm a big fan of peace. Peace means a lot of things. Peace, to me, means no murders. It means no wars; it means no threat of wars, and it means no terrorism. It means no domestic violence, and it, at the core, also requires that man be something other than inherently evil. I'll talk more about that later but not today.

If you jump on my example's front porch, you'll see and probably agree that, even in a civilized country on a civilized continent, true peace is but an illusion.

America is a large country of 50 United States. We Americans live here by choice, for we have the free will to pick up our belongings (or not) and move our place of residence to any other country that will have us. America asks little of us as citizens. We elect our officials, and to have the most say in what these people whom we elect will represent,we have obligation to vote. If your state or federal courts request your service on jury, be honored, for our court system, though it contains many flaws and loopholes, often requires input from common civilians to deliver results.

Now, consider these things in somber tone. There are many ways to advocate peace. Some are obviously more constructive than others. Peace begins in the home. It travels then to groups of people, typically with a common objective. I am happy to agree that war is not peace. If you believe a nation not actively at war is at peace, think again, for these are not mutually exclusive.

I am disheartened by this article. I am often disappointed with this country's citizens en masse. At the core, whom do you hurt by not paying your taxes? You taint your reputation with this lovely label of "war tax resister." Oh, and what about those lovely social programs - fewer federal dollars means less money channeled into your state for your cause.

Hmm, I'm not too fond of the couple of thousand extra I had to fork out three years ago because the marriage penalty hit me. I'm pretty sure that money went to fund boll weevil researchers in Atlanta on some hefty government grant. Booyah. Perhaps I should write to the IRS and respectfully decline my bill this year and register myself as a "boll weevil resister." If I sell it well, I bet I could write a book about persuasion and bandwagons and perhaps raise enough money to get me out of tax hock. And have the last laugh.

But that's not what this is really about. This is, for the remainder of this evening's words, in effect, an open letter (rant) to the "war tax resisters" and an invitation to join my new campaign - because peace goes with anything, right? It's kinda like salt. And black.

And so today at lunch, I thought about Pinneaples for Peace. It's illiterative. It's got a nice ring to it. And I bet Dole would fork over some of those big spiky beauties, and we could make large posters of pineapples and draw big red circles around them with lines across the middle (I believe that's called a diameter). Pineapples could be the anti hand grenade! They do bear a small resemblance! Also, pineapple is yellow on the inside. If you cut it like Dole does, you have pineapple rings. Pineapple rings will fit around small bushes, and so your pineapple could stand as a sign that we need to bring our troops home. Pineapple is also, obviously, a food. So we could send our pineapples, after we are finished demonstrating with them, to Iraq and to Afghanistan. We could save the world.

Now, if this doesn't excite you, well, you could always leave the country. I hear France is pretty anti-war. Oh, wait. They're not very friendly. There's always Canada. You could live in the safety of America's shadow (because it's not like America's gonna let anyone mess with Canada). If Canada seems a good option, I've taken the liberty of providing some tax information for you here. Personally, if it ever got that bad here, that's where I would go. Oh, but be sure to save some extra moolah for your heating bill...and boots. You'll need 'em. Learn the rules of hockey, too; there's a good pacifier of a sport.

And there's Mexico! The good news? That country's tax regs were so vague and hard to find online I'm sure there's enough gray area in there to satisfy any diehard liberal. I'd recommend England, but that would only have been a viable option BEFORE the war. It seems public opinion has shifted toward the "winning team."

And, finally, if none of this excites you, perhaps you could find a new home country whose first letter is P. P is for Peace, right? I offer you these exotic locales: Paraguay, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Poland, and Peru!

Happy trails. Pay your taxes. Protest at will. Pray.



Posted by hln at April 16, 2003 07:08 PM | RANT