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I am a “Symbolic Resister”

Picture of Shirley Whiteside.

Back in December 2021, I wrote a letter to my 2 U.S. Senators—with no expectation—just a need to vent.  I had written to both about U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar and Sen. Rand Paul’s joint resolution that would have stopped the arms sale to Saudi Arabia for use in its war on Yemen. I never expect… Continue reading

Keep it Simple – Stop Killing

In the tragicomedy Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, the question emerges of when one first learned of death. The two attempt to recall when they first learned of their mortality; how one could hold such a heavy concept. It is difficult to contemplate and understand one’s own death but then to attempt to comprehend what… Continue reading


Endless War Skull

I was going to write about something else, but here the world is today facing a dangerous time with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. I am beyond being able to know how it feels for the people in the region, but I know I share a feeling with millions of others of just being sick of… Continue reading

Symbolic War Tax Resistance

Picture of the Yoders

Carolyn and I have been war tax resisters since we were married in 1975. Although we were both raised as Mennonites and continue to be members of the Mennonite Church, one of the three historic peace churches in the U.S., we both had experiences after college while doing volunteer work overseas (before getting married) that… Continue reading

Can We Turn Back the Doomsday Clock?

black and white image of nuclear warning (three partial triangles in a circle formation) with circular lit bomb in the middle

Over several weeks, the drumbeat of war has been pounding louder; a new Cold War has been heating up and expanding beyond the U.S. and Russia to include NATO and Ukraine.  There have been interesting webinars on the subject and the few corporations who own the news outlets have been sure to keep the story… Continue reading

Tax Season 2022 Sign-On Campaign

When we hosted our youth focus groups in 2019 and 2020, it became obvious that the more young activists learned about war tax resistance, the more positive they viewed it as a viable tactic. One question that came out of those sessions was how to initially communicate war tax resistance information with young activists? Already… Continue reading

IRS Annoyances vs. Your Money or Your Life

Some months ago I wrote a blog about how the IRS had improperly applied my estimated tax payments for 2020 to the earliest tax years for which I had an open balance. In that way they wiped out the balance from 2011 and part of it from 2012, thus circumventing the 10 year statute of… Continue reading

In Flight

[Editor’s Note: This work of creative non-fiction was previously published in Meat for Tea.] You were deafened. The sound was intolerable; it violated your sense of decency, your love of quiet, and your yearning for solitude. Why, on the top of this rather small green hill in southeast Vermont, was there this unholy din? It… Continue reading

Knowing is Half the Battle

There is a lot of confusion around taxes in the US, especially around federal income taxes. Many taxpayers are unaware that every year around 50% of taxes goes towards warfare and increased militarism worldwide. And in the wars since 9/11 about half of those tax monies go towards private contractors.  Then there is the fear… Continue reading

Someday at Christmas…Dreams Can Come True

seasons greetings in lights above a street with Ferguson police officers in background

For the past 17 years there has been a local tradition of singing holiday songs with a distinctively antiwar theme. Celia’s Yuletide Express makes stops throughout the St. Louis area to bring merriment and joy to union halls, neighborhood associations, bars, and public transit stops. While the past two seasons have been adapted to the… Continue reading

Roger Franklin: Inspiring Noncooperation

Roger Franklin 2008

Refusing to pay taxes to avoid complicity in state preparations to commit genocide with nuclear weapons, long time British war tax resister Roger Franklin was sentenced to 28 days in Gloucester Prison (and a further 21 days in 1996). His run-ins with the tax collectors also led to bankruptcy proceedings against him. (From NWTRCC’s History… Continue reading