~Meniscus Archives~

Premier Issue No. 1
August 14, 2003 - November 14, 2004

Link to Issue #1 Home


The Star Said...
Emlyn Lewis

Dear Mr. Tax Man

Invigorating Shake
Photo Essay on Peace
Bicentennial Aries
Jon Heinrich
Stranger in Alaska
Ryan Collins

The End of Main Street
Wesley Ratko

The Fur Trapper
Evan Bynum
Travels with Dad
Sarah Edrich
Long's Peak Winter Solo
Aron Ralston
Las Vegas
Jon Heinrich
Film Review: Secretary
Josh Seifert
Your Basic Mindf***: A Review of Wayne Krantz' Latest, Your Basic Live
Brian Gagne
Interview with Silent Treatment
Chrystie Hopkins
Independence of Common Humanity
Daniel Stevens
September in Chicago
Derek Meier
Father Time was a Bastard
Dan Boudreau
Wispers of the Mind
Dan Boudreau
2 Haikus
Laura R. Prince
Sarah Edrich
Pete Pidgeon
Meniscus Premier Launch Party
Zeitgeist Gallery
Cambridge, Massachusetts
August 14, 2003
Metro Saturdays hosts
Meniscus Portland Launch
Sky Bar @ The Roxy
Portland, Maine
August 30, 2003
State of the Art
Lounge Ten
Boston, Massachussets
October 23, 2003


Dear Mr. Tax Man

Ten Forty
Published 8/01/03

Dear United States Treasury:

As a proud citizen of the United States I understand the importance of maintaining a strong military, and of ensuring that our people remain safe from threats. However, I object to the present direction of military use on the following grounds:

  • I believe that belligerence directed toward Muslim countries will be perceived as a war on Islam, and will strengthen the hand of those recruiting terrorists to act against us. I believe that our homeland will be far more secure in the long run if we act preventatively by taking measures to bolster their countries economically and socially rather than impose ourselves militarily—fueling the humiliation and outrage that leads to anti-Americanism.
  • I believe that democracy has a better chance of taking root in the Middle East if it happens in response to growing local pressures, rather than if it is imposed from outside. This directs justified local mal-content from the corrupt and repressive regimes onto the U.S.. In this case, even if we are able to impose a lasting democracy, there is every reason to believe that we would not like the resulting democratically-elected fundamentalist governments. Since I doubt that we are willing to let this happen, I question the U.S. rhetoric that we are using our military to promote democracy in the Middle East. Rather it could only be democracy on our terms, which is not the ideal that the American patriots I celebrate have died for throughout history.
  • I do not agree with the renewed nuclear weapons research, nor our coerced bi-lateral withdrawal from the Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty with Russia.
  • I believe that the “case for war” leading to Congressional authorization for the President to use force was deliberately misleading, and was based, in part, on obvious forgeries such as the Nigerian documents pertaining to the proliferation of nuclear components. As such, I feel that democracy in the US has been, to some tangible extent, undermined.
  • I am not in moral alignment with the vision for the Middle East and the world that I see being pursued militarily and which I believe the administration intends to continue. Central to my objection is the idea that the United States has the right to shape the world to our liking at the point of gun—regarding local conditions and sentiments as irrelevant. We have a right to defend ourselves, and to uphold our interests as long as excising these rights does not infringe on others. I believe that the calculation of imposing our will around the world by force—even with the consequence of replacing repressive governments—actually harms more people around the world then if we supported modernization (and regime changes by a strictly localized evolutionary processes) through peaceful means.

I willingly support actions of my government which I regard as upholding our great national values. I decline to contribute to actions which press against my heart as immoral. Instead I am contributing the balance of my taxes withheld in good conscious to non-profit organizations that respect the American values that I treasure.


Tax Refund due: $210

Below are the calculations that I used to figure the tax that I could contribute in good conscious.
I estimated the amount of my taxes to be dedicated to non-military uses including veterans benefits.
I request a refund for the portion of my taxes that would be devoted to military purposes. * Data from FY2002

Total Tax (1040 line 61): $999
** 38% of Total Tax: -$429

*** Total Tax whose use I support:
Total Payments (1040 line 69): -$780
Amount owed to Federal Government: -$210
(-) indicates refund from IRS  

* The estimates are based on FY2000 Federal budgetary spending. Since the % of the budget devoted to military spending has grown since 2000 and is expected to continue growing through the near term, the following represent conservative estimates. The data was taken from the web site of the FCNL (www.fcnl.org) to which I have no afiliation.

** 38% was estimated to be the amount of tax devoted to non-veteran military spending by the following data:

$1.323trillion- FY2000 Total Budget

$4.99billion-FY2000 Budget for Departments of Defense and Energy and related agencies, payment to military retirement, foreign military aid, sales and training, and interest on public debt due to past military spending.
Note: My objections do not include payments to our war veterans.

*** This is the amount of the tax whose use I support and which I am willing to pay. I support the US government when there is reason to believe in good faith that they are acting in the interest of Americans and people around the world.

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