The Pacifist (2018) Movie Script

- When I stood up at my
mom's memorial service,
I said, "My mother, the criminal,"
and everybody laughed
because they knew.
I don't think of myself as a criminal.
I know that what I'm
doing is against the law.
That's what civil disobedience
is, it's breaking the law,
and part of civil disobedience
is accepting the consequences.
I do accept the consequences.
- I am sending congress one
of the largest increases
in national defense spending
in American history.
- Donald Trump today called
for more and more military spending.
More troops, more ships,
more submarines, more planes.
If you compare it based
on military spending
to the top 10 nations in the world,
add the US, and look at this.
Almost 600 billion in spending there
almost as much as all the other nine
of the top ten combined.
- An empire costs a lot of money.
- The United States already has by far
the largest military budget in the world.
- The US has spent 189
of its 235 years at war.
In 2010, the US spent more on its military
than the next 10 highest
countries combined.
- President Trump's
morally bankrupt budget
will funnel more money to the Pentagon
at the expense of the poor.
This is an awful idea.
- We must learn from the
mistakes of the past.
We have seen the war and the destruction.
This history should give us all faith
in the possibilities for a better world.
- Taxpayers are estimated to spend
122 billion dollars,
the same amount that
count cover an estimated
25 million Americans with
low income healthcare.
- President Trump tweeted
that his budget proposal
puts America first.
Must make safety its number one priority.
It represents the biggest military buildup
since the 1980s,
and the most sweeping
reductions in other spending
since World War II.
- Federal income taxes
are the taxes that pay for
the expenses that are under
the control of Congress.
Federal income taxes don't
pay for Social Security,
don't pay for Medicare.
they pay for war,
for the military.
Some people don't like to say war,
they like to say defense.
Federal income taxes pay for defense,
for nuclear weapons,
for all the military hardware,
for all the services.
And I am a conscientious objector.
I am pacifist.
I don't believe in violence.
I cannot in good conscience pay,
what is almost
always about 50%
of the amount of the federal income tax
goes to the military.
And I can't do it.
- I am willing to pay taxes
to provide national
defense for my country,
to see that we have an
army, a navy and airplanes
strong enough to protect
us against any invaders.
- Every American agrees
that our country's
defenses must be so strong
that no nation would dare attack us.
Everything thinking patriotic American
favors this country building up
its national defenses at once.
No one today disputes the
need for a powerful army,
navy and air force for
our national defense,
for these taxes are willingly paid.
The government has no money of its own
except what it takes
directly and indirectly
in levies and taxes
from every pay envelope.
Every time my lady dresses,
she dons as many taxes
as she does clothes.
When we relax and seek
pleasure and entertainment,
Mr. Taxes always joins us,
and we must pay for him, too.
But liberty survives only for those
who are wise enough and
strong enough to preserve it.
It is in our self-interest
to preserve the heritage
handed down to us by our
fearless forefathers,
and speedily become so strong
no foe would dare attack us.
- Most people who are war tax resisters
pay into the social security system,
pay into the medicare
system, pay other taxes,
they just don't pay the federal income tax
because that is the tax that goes
to fund the military.
I don't pay any of my federal income taxes
because 50% of anything I
pay will go to the military.
That's my rationale for that.
I had inherited a million
dollars from my dad
when he died last June 11th,
and I've been resisting taxes
because of the amount of
money that goes to war
for quite a long time,
not continuously, but quite a long time,
and had last year.
So I put all the figures
for my income tax,
I file,
and then when it comes down
to the amount that I owe,
I just say no thank you,
not going to do that part of it.
And then I send it off and
I usually send a letter,
then I send it to my congress
people, and senators,
and a few other people.
April 18th, 2017,
Internal Revenue Service, Washington, DC.
Copies to US Senator Mark Warner,
US Senator Tim Kaine,
US Representative Robert Goodlatte.
I have happily just
passed the 10 month mark
of my first year of massive resistance.
I marked this new beginning of my life
on June 11th, 2016,
with the death of my father,
and with my commitment to redirect
as much of my inheritance
to make a better world.
I cannot in good conscience pay for war.
I have donated more than that amount
to meet human needs internationally,
and nationally, and locally.
To honor my father and mother,
I am trying to do as they
did many times in their lives
in trying to directly
help the less fortunate.
I do not know what the
justice system will do
when I refuse to pay my
federal taxes in April.
I am a little bit scared
of what they might do,
just as I was scared in 1985
when they took me to court.
But sometimes, as my parents knew,
and as they taught me by their example,
you have to do what you have to do
because it is clearly and conscientiously
the right thing to do.
I take this action of war tax resistance
as I have over the years,
with a combination of fear and pride.
I take this action of resisting
and redirecting federal income taxes
because my conscience will
not allow me to do otherwise.
Sincerely, Larry Bassett.
Sometimes, you feel pretty isolated
because you say to a group of people,
"I'm a war tax resister,
"and I don't pay my federal income taxes."
And they say back to you,
"Aren't you afraid of going to jail?"
And you don't wanna have that conversation
over and over again, particularly.
Or worse than that,
they say nothing, or
they kind of turn away
and walk off to walk to somebody else.
Because it's not an easy topic
for most people to talk about.
I never feel particularly brave.
think about the reason
that I'm doing this,
which is because I can't imagine,
like, pulling a trigger
and having a bullet go
into another person,
or dropping a bomb and knowing
that it might tear another
person into pieces,
that scares me.
What war does to people, that scares me.
People are trained to kill other people.
That doesn't seem like
that's a natural way
for a person to be,
but that's what the military
trains people to do,
is to kill other people.
To me, that's pretty scary.
So I think what I'm doing,
it requires a certain
amount of determination.
I do tell myself pretty often
all they really want is the money,
they really want to injure me,
they don't want to put me in jail.
But am I willing to go to jail?
Well, yeah, I'd be willing to do that.
My goal is to say to the government,
"What you're doing with my tax money,
"with our tax money is not
what I want to be happening."
So here I am,
quivering a little bit,
because it is scary,
and feeling proud,
because it is the right thing to do,
being glad I don't have to be
in the position of killing another person,
either with my money or with my body.
In the family, there's some conversation
about who led who down this path,
and it was a little bit of both.
Where I started
was probably before I knew
about kind of where my
parents were politically.
I mean, they were Republicans
when I was growing up and living at home.
And my dad was a business manager,
but when I was in college,
it was the time of Vietnam,
the American war in Vietnam,
and I was about to be drafted possibly.
A lot of things were happening
with the draft around then,
but there was a period
of time where I was 1A,
which meant top of the list,
and they picked numbers
out of a hat, kind of.
So there was a period of time
where I was possibly gonna be drafted,
and that's when I decided I wasn't gonna
go off and kill somebody.
Wasn't gonna happen.
And where did that come from?
I don't think I know the
answer to that exactly.
It apparently was just a part of me.
My dad was in World War II.
He wasn't a gung-ho soldier.
He was kind of in the
administrative corps.
He was one day behind all the battles,
doing the paperwork.
And my mom was a housewife.
Like I say, eventually,
kind of where I was at
in terms of my politics
and where they were at kind of merged,
and we kind of helped each other.
In 1985, they took me to court
to make me tell them where my assets were.
They were trying to collect
and they couldn't find any assets.
I didn't tell 'em I didn't have any.
But they took me to court
to force me to tell them
where my assets were.
And the court decided that
I didn't have to tell them
where my assets were,
and that was a pretty major breakthrough,
and still stands today that
the IRS cannot force people
to divulge their assets.
Back then, I didn't have assets.
Now, I'm 70, and I have some assets.
Sometimes, people find it hard to get
grips on war tax resistance.
What's the point?
I think it's pretty simple.
What if somebody came up
to your door of your house
with a cup and said,
"I'm collecting money to kill people
"on the other side of the world?"
Would you make a donation?
Of course, the person coming to your door,
to my door,
is the government,
represented by the IRS,
and they're asking you to give money
to kill somebody on the
other side of the world.
People pay and people get killed.
- Let's start
with you and what you want.
What does anybody want?
Do you think you're
different from other people?
Let's get this straight.
All around the world,
men want the same things,
food, shelter and comforts,
and naturally, selfishly
want all they can get.
You do, I do.
Everybody has this in common.
There's a good reason why
we have the best workers,
why we're about eight to one better off
than the rest of the whole world.
How do you think this came to be?
What makes us tick?
Let's talk about how we got
what we have in these United States.
- My feeling right now
is that I really want
the IRS to do something
because I don't want them to
kind of keep this low key,
because the idea with
war tax resistance for me
is that you don't pay the government,
but you don't keep the money,
you try to do good things with the money.
I have given away
about $150,000
to do good work
from my point of view.
And I know that has a made a difference.
I know it has made a difference
for the few people in other countries
who I've given money directly to.
I know it made a difference.
In each of those situations,
there've been complications.
Because dealing with people who are living
in extreme poverty is complicated.
And I can say, well, I
tried not to make them
dependent on me,
because I knew I would not be able
to continue to provide assistance,
but of course, when
you get to know people,
things can get complicated.
And it's been hard because being poor,
being extraordinarily poor,
and being surrounded by, in
the case of the orphanage,
with little kids who have a hard life...
Can sometimes create desperate situations.
And you don't know how,
I didn't know how to deal
with that all of the time.
Because I would have people saying,
"If you don't send me money,
these kids are gonna die."
When you're actually dealing with people
who are living in those circumstances,
for me, it was a life-changing situation.
When I can be sending checks
off to places for $1000,
it's felt fairly significant,
and I knew that would
end, I knew that would end
with these half a dozen
people in other countries
and I tried to let them know that,
that there was an end time.
And right now, I am at that end time,
so I have had to say to people,
"I don't have the money to send anymore."
I've had to draw that line.
And of course, I can feel
pretty guilty about that
because, of course, I still,
I don't have the million dollars anymore,
that is all gone,
but I have a lot more money
than most people in the world.
Will it ever make a difference?
Well, we always have to hope
that it'll make a difference.
We always have to hope that
it'll make a difference.
- Taxes are due today,
and if you owe money and
skip out on your payment,
you could face some serious consequences.
- Not for war and occupation!
- Money
for jobs and education!
- Not for war and occupation!
- We are
here in the anti-war movement!
- About 150 Tax Day marches are planned
in cities across the country today.
- 54 cents of every
dollar Americans pay in taxes
goes to funding past and future wars,
yet 51% of Americans polled would rather
cut military spending than
sacrifice social programs.
Defense spending in the US
has increased 81% since 2001.
- Donald Trump's budget proposal
calls for deep cuts in domestic programs
to fund a major increase
in defense spending.
- And there
were about 150 Tax Day protests
demanding to see the
president's tax returns.
- Trump said
repeatedly during the campaign
that he couldn't release his taxes.
- You never give a tax return
when you're being audited.
Do you know I get audited
every single year?
- 68% of Americans
want President Trump to
release his tax returns.
- I'm under a routine audit,
and it'll be released,
and as soon as the audit's
finished, it'll be released.
- He's not going to
release his tax returns.
We litigated this all
through the election.
People didn't care, they voted for him.
- We do care, we are here,
we demand to see his taxes.
- 54
billion dollars of spending
on new planes, new ships,
and new equipment for the military.
Where's that money coming from?
The White House says there'll be cuts
to other parts of government.
- Now one thing is for
sure, the money though,
it keeps rolling in, and those
profits for defense companies
keep piling higher and higher.
- While the government
takes our taxpayer money
and uses it toward this type of waste,
they distract us with
the wall, and Mexicans,
and Muslims, and black people.
Who cares about affordable housing
and making sure that people
aren't living on the streets?
We gotta fund the military
because these private
contractors gotta make money.
- I said, "Why can you
force me to do that?"
What if I raise my hand and say,
"No, I don't want to
fund your wars anymore?"
- Once again, middle class people,
working families are gonna be hurt.
- This budget is not a statement
of values of anyone.
President Trump has shown
that he does not value
the future of our children
and working families.
This budget is really a slap
in the face of the future.
- You know, I still have this kind of
wish that I had five more
minutes with my dad to say,
"Dad, you know where this is headed."
But I think he knew exactly
where this was headed.
My mom, she had stopped going to school
because she had kids, me and my sister,
and she was sort of the
traditional say at home mom.
Both of my parents were very
moved by my experience in 1985
with the federal court.
My mom came to the court
hearings from Michigan
to New York City.
My dad wrote a letter to the judge.
But they were significantly
motivated by that,
what they thought was a pretty
incredible action on
the part of their son.
They became activists in their own right,
and they were peace activists,
and my mother,
with the support of my dad,
was actually arrested twice
for civil disobedience.
She did what is a fairly typical
civil disobedience action of
crossing some imaginary line
at some military establishment,
and she was actually sentenced
to jail twice in Michigan,
once for 30 days and once for 60 days,
and was just fearless,
and had all of the
experiences of being in jail.
In fact, she missed the wedding
of my second son, her grandson,
because she was in jail.
And she and my dad
worked on poverty issues,
and totally supported the things
that I did in my life
about peace activism.
And I think we kind of
supported each other.
We sort of, people say, well,
so you kind of followed in
the path of your parents.
And I would have to say
I'm not really quite sure
who followed who.
Both my parents were there
for me whenever I needed them
in terms of they were a big
part of my support system.
How would I feel if they did collect?
I'm prepared for them to collect.
I know
that I
am collectible if they can find it.
I hope they won't be able to find it.
I've tried to do some things
about the obvious places they might look,
which is not to have very much money
in obvious places where
they might find it,
but I understand
that they might collect.
The local art of Larry Bassett,
May, 2017.
I decided early in my life
to try to match my life with my values.
My values have led me to
refuse to pay for war,
redirecting my federal income taxes
to work for peace and justice
and to meet many human needs.
My values have led me
to support local arts
in the best way that I know how.
I value artistic expression
and have chosen to support
many local artists.
I love being surrounded by local art
that I have selected piece
by piece over the years.
- Please join us not only to view
this sophisticated collection
in our main gallery,
but also help us celebrate art
collectors like Larry Bassett
who support thriving art communities.
We appreciate him.
- Hi.
I'm going to talk briefly about values.
My values.
My parents taught me
to value other people.
That value came strongly into play
when I was faced with the
potential of being drafted
to go to war in Vietnam to kill people.
I thought that rather than do that,
I would go to Canada or to prison.
And later in life I decided
I would not pay federal income taxes
so that other people would
not have to go to war.
One of the ways we show what we value
is how we spend our money.
I refuse to spend my money on war
and preparation for war,
something my government
regrettably excels in.
I value helping to meet human needs
and have donated considerable money
in an effort to help people.
I have directly supported
many local artists
by buying their work.
I am delighted to be here tonight
surrounded by many wonderful works of art
that I have purchased one at a time.
I would be hard pressed
to pick a favorite.
I have many favorites
and have valued knowing the artists
who created each piece of art
that you see here tonight.
I love this place and I love this art,
and I really love the fact
that people have come out to see it,
so thank you all so much.
My goal has always been
to make it possible for more people
to see my local art collection,
and this exhibit is an incredible
realization of that goal.
I hope the fact that you
have come to this exhibit
will help you to decide to buy
that next piece of local art,
because that is exactly what I have done.
I never really did anything to earn
the gift of being a millionaire,
and I don't really feel like,
I don't know what a
millionaire feels like,
but I don't feel like a millionaire.
I kinda say that because it sounds like
kind of an American thing to say, right?
I had a million dollars.
Well, okay, check.
Did that one.
So for me,
giving money to good organizations
is a pretty enjoyable experience.
And that had to cover
the amount that I wasn't
going to pay in taxes,
but there was still a pretty
good chunk of money left.
And one of the things I did,
which I wouldn't have
been able to do otherwise,
was that I basically made a down payment
on a life care facility
so that in 10 or 20 years
when I can't live by myself,
when I can't take care of myself,
I can go and live in this
facility which is in town,
and which is pretty highly regarded.
- No.
No, no big parties.
No, I just,
I thought taking care of my future
was a pretty...
Amazing thing to be able to do.
'Cause I had wondered how
I was gonna deal with that,
so that was a real positive thing.
I also helped
my older daughter
with some education expenses,
and I put some money aside
to help my younger daughter
with future education expenses.
- Nothing.
I didn't, you know, I'm trying to think.
I eat out more.
It means I can have a
stout and a nice salad,
and I can eat at Loretta's
practically whenever I want.
So I don't have any
financial concerns for my future.
I'm in good shape.
I've lived a lot of my life
with pretty low income,
so I don't need a lot of money.
Bank accounts are pretty
susceptible to IRS,
so I gotta work on
keeping not too much money
in my bank account.
If I had one.
Taxes to keep them flying,
taxes to keep them rolling,
taxes to keep them coming,
taxes to beat to earth the evil destroyer
of freedom and peace!
This is our fight.
The fight for freedom.
Freedom of speech,
of worship,
freedom from want and fear.
Taxes will keep democracy on the march!
- I try to value others lives
the same as me.
My 14-year-old daughter was born in China.
She had a pretty difficult
first three and a half years of her life.
It reminds me how difficult things are,
because we don't know, but
we we think her parents,
when she was born, she had a
cleft pallet and cleft lip,
so she couldn't breastfeed,
she couldn't suck.
She was abandoned when
she was a few months old,
which is, at least in that era,
when girls were abandoned,
they were usually abandoned at birth.
So her parents, or her mother at least,
tried to keep her, to keep her alive.
She was starving to death,
and her mother had to decide
what am I gonna do?
I have a starving child
and I can't fix this.
And her solution, or their solution,
was to put her in a safe place
where somebody would find her,
and now she's my daughter.
But she knows she has two parents,
at least one of whom had to
make an incredibly, we think,
difficult decision.
And how can you not want to make a world
where that wouldn't have
to happen to somebody?
It's interesting, I have, my oldest son,
actually, the one who
was born during Vietnam
who kept me out of the war,
is my most conservative child,
and he
pretty unhappy with what I've done.
He's also worked as a defense
department contractor,
and we was initially, way back when,
pretty worried that I was
gonna mess with his clearance.
I don't, I didn't.
So Shaun...
Is my problem child.
Or I'm his problem parent, I should say.
Shaun is the only one
that it's been, as far
as I know, a problem for,
and that hurts.
I, and I don't know what to do about that.
It's on my bucket list.
Work it out with Shaun.
But it's a little complicated.
My 24-year-old daughter Anna
has been a world traveler,
and I thought wanted to work
on international conflict resolution.
She may be kind of shifting her focus
a little bit at this point,
but she's lived in countries
where there has been serious problems.
Like Cambodia,
Rwanda, Sri Lanka.
Three countries where there
have been serious upheavals.
doesn't exactly follow
my line of thinking,
but she's my kid so far
who's gonna change the world.
But I like it!
- It looks nice.
- I mean, I'm thinking about bringing
some of the things up from the gallery.
- Uh-huh.
- And where they're going to fit in.
- Yeah.
- But I'm kind of acclimating myself
to it being spread out
instead of being so concentrated.
- Yeah.
What is that's so important to you
about getting a reaction
from these people?
- Mostly, I think that if
you don't get a reaction,
they haven't heard ya.
And what is the point of my doing this
if the people who could make
it be different don't hear ya?
- Mm-hmm.
- I'm pretty sure they must have heard me.
I mean, I've sent them all letters.
I mean, it's like the old thing
about bein' the fly on the wall.
You don't know.
And I remember at least
those couple of experiences
that I had back during the 1985 thing,
and you've probably heard
me talk about these.
It's like having the experience
with the auditor at the IRS saying,
"I'm with ya."
- Hm!
- Or going to a group
and giving a presentation
about war tax resistance,
and having a woman come up
to you afterwards and saying,
"You know, my husband works for the IRS
"and is a collection agent,
"and he was assigned your case,
"and he asked to have somebody else do it
"because he didn't feel like he could
"in good conscience--"
- Wow.
- "Pursue you."
So in those kinds of cases,
you know somebody has heard you.
But what you really want,
even though you kind of
know you're not gonna change
the government of the United States,
war tax resistance is kind
of one of those things
where you say, well, if just I do it,
so what?
But if 10,000 people did it,
you know, it's the Arlo Guthrie.
And if 50 people a day came in
and sang a bar of Alice's Restaurant,
they might think it's a movement.
And that's,
I want them,
I want the change to happen.
And you never know!
We always say to people who are worried
about becoming war tax resisters,
we always say what the IRS
really wants is the money.
- Yeah.
- And for me,
I'm prepared for them to get the money.
You know, it's a lot of money,
but if they get the
money, they get the money.
it kinda depends on how they get it.
- Yeah, I would say I'm
afraid, too, for you,
and for what might happen,
and not knowing what might happen.
And it's definitely hard as
someone in social work school
learning about how horrible prison is,
and working for prison abolition,
to think about my dad going
through that experience and--
- Remember, I'm
going to jail, not to prison.
- That's true, jail.
- It is a big difference.
- That is a big difference.
- It is a big difference.
I'm really not eager to go to jail.
I know my mom, she went
to jail once for 30 days
and once for 60 days,
and 60 days was a long time,
and she had a pretty hard time with that.
She wasn't much different
in age than I am now,
so it was hard.
So I'm kind of being brave.
It's still scary.
- Yeah.
- But I sort of don't
know what else to do about it.
Because I am sort of on this path.
I mean, this is the path
that I've started down,
and I don't know what else to do.
- Are you
a patriotic American?
Then there's something
important you can do!
You won't get a medal for doing it,
it may mean a sacrifice on your part.
Shall I tell you what it is?
Your income tax!
Yes, and it's your privilege,
not just your duty, but your privilege
to help your government by paying your tax
and paying it promptly.
Your country is at war!
Your country needs taxes for guns,
taxes for ships, taxes for democracy!
Now how about your income tax?
- I been thinkin' about, like, the moment
at which I thought I was something.
I didn't know the term pacifist,
but I've been thinkin' about it,
and as I've been talkin' about it,
I always have said it was
when I was like about 20
and I was maybe gonna be drafted.
But there's another story
about my younger life
that I think is a key
part of that awareness
of my total aversion to killing,
which is really what it is.
I mean, I can't imagine a
pointing a gun at somebody,
and pulling the trigger, and
having what happens happen.
But when I was 13 or 14,
I raised guinea pigs.
And I put the boy guinea pigs
with the girl guinea pigs,
and we had baby guinea pigs.
And people might not know it,
but guinea pigs are pretty cute,
and when they're born, they
got little guinea pigs.
They got fur, and they got
their little black eyes,
and they're like miniature guinea pigs.
And they were adorable, and I loved them,
but one day, I came out
and there was a guinea pig that had
one bloody missing limb.
So I went into the house
and got a cotton ball,
and got some chloroform or
whatever the equivalent was,
and I held this cute living pig,
and I put this stuff over
his face until he was dead.
And I'm telling this in kind
of a lighthearted humorous way,
but it was terrifying to me,
and I have really never
gotten over that moment.
It was,
you know, might be as I'm fading off
into the next world at
the age of 95 or 96,
that might be the last thing
I'll be thinking about.
It's hung onto me,
the idea of actually,
physically killing something.
Gives me the shivers.
I don't consider myself a criminal.
I do know that I'm breaking the law,
and I think I'm breaking the law
because it's a bad law.
If somebody
angry with me or what I was doing,
they would certainly say I was a criminal,
and when the Justice Department, the IRS,
took me to court in 1985,
they were certainly saying
that what I was doing was against the law
and they were going to
prosecute me for doing it.
They didn't think it was such a good idea,
what I was doing.
So, you know,
the fact that the judge
ultimately ruled against them and for me
said, okay, you're not a criminal.
I don't feel brave at all,
and I always like to tell 'em, well,
when the federal marshals came to my house
in 1985 to serve me with
the subpoena to court,
I hid behind the refrigerator.
So yeah, no, I'm not real brave.
I'm just kinda doin'
what it seems like I've gotta do.
- Maybe currently being involved
in seven different
interventions around the world
is not a good idea.
Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria,
Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, Libya.
I mean, 45,000 people die every year
because they don't have access
to basic healthcare in America.
And when you do botched military raid
as Trump did with his first military raid,
and you kill 30 civilians
including an eight-year-old girl,
that's what happened
in Trump's first raid.
And Obama's no angel
on this front, either.
90% of the people under Obama
who were hit with drones
were not the intended target.
So you keep killing all
these innocent people,
guess what, it's gonna come back to ya.
- Tax year 2016, so that's last year,
for a total due to the IRS,
the US government, at this time
of $130,940.44.
Yeah, this is, I don't think
this is any new information.
But they're just saying
you stepped over the line.
So when people do civil disobedience,
sometimes the police will say,
"If you step over this line,
you're gonna get arrested."
So this is the IRS saying,
"You've stepped over the line,
"and if you don't follow
up appropriately with us,
"bad things will happen."
Kinda reminds me of my mom,
because when my mom went to jail,
what she realized is
who was in jail,
and that somethin' had to be done,
somethin' had to be done
to change that system.
Because the wrong people were in jail.
Poor people were in jail.
- I don't know.
That's a tough question.
That's not a good question
to ask a pacifist, probably.
Pacifist might say nobody
really oughta be in jail.
I'm not an intellectual pacifist.
It's kind of a gut thing for me.
You know, I always
remember, because I think
that one of the,
it's like if you were in
the presence of somebody,
what was the question?
I mean, there was a question that was
if somebody was killing your sister,
would you just stand
there and let them do it,
kind of a question.
It was sort of like
the non-violence issue,
how can you
react to violence non-violently,
especially if somebody is attacking you.
It's kind of like the
turn the other cheek.
Most people don't buy that.
- Do I love America?
I really have
liked my life.
I've done a lot of things in my life.
I have no idea what it would
be like someplace else.
I don't consider myself
patriotic in the sense that
my country, right or wrong.
I am patriotic in the sense
of my country, right.
But when my country is wrong,
I'm not happy about it.
all this stirring around in the soul
of a 20-something guy, me,
who's now a 70-year-old guy, me,
who the IRS is still trying to convince
that I ought to use that envelope
to send my money back to them,
and is still saying to them
not on my life.
Not gonna do that.
I'm not much of one for
dragging myself down
for what I didn't do.
I try to focus on what
I have been able to do.
I try to keep a positive focus
on what I have tried to do.
And at this point in my life,
I feel pretty good about it.
I don't like how the world is,
and I know, and I've known ever since
I've been doing war tax resistance
that no general has ever been short
on his paycheck because of it,
and I realize that even this year
where I didn't pay over $100,000,
that's like a 10th of a small missile.
So in terms of having any
real impact on the military,
But I know that the
$150,000 I've given away
has had an impact.
I know that,
and I feel good about that.