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patriotism
singapore sunset
amw
The other day Joe Biden said something about paying taxes being patriotic. That's a voting-for-the-$87 billion-before-voting-against-it-sized gaffe in a presidential campaign, but man do i admire the bluntness. I sort of agree with him. To me patriotism means directly serving the nation - outside of working for the federal government or in the military, taxes is the only way to do it. Indirectly everyone is patriotic because everyone contributes in some way to making the nation what it is, but there is something different about making the deliberate effort.

What makes taxes a gray area is the obligation. Much like it's not patriotic to get drafted, it's not patriotic to "just" pay taxes. I turn my taxes into a patriotic duty by explicitly not claiming any deductions. I know i could claim my computer, my clothes, my travel - pretty much any bullshit thing i wanted - just by saying i needed it for work. I could claim charitable donations and a ton of other things. I don't. I don't because i believe that's taking advantage of less-fortunate taxpayers who can't afford an accountant or don't understand the tax law. I don't because i believe in contributing in my small way to the nation. Some would argue i might as well claim deductions and give the difference to charity (that's what some Republican bloggers were saying about Biden's statement), but charities are private entities - you can't make a donation to the federal budget, the one fund that benefits everyone in the country.

The funny thing is that i don't really feel Australian. I'm not a citizen here because i take citizenship very seriously and i don't want to pledge my loyalty to a country i don't plan on living the rest of my life in. I'll pay more taxes than i should because they've given me a good place to live the last 10+ years, but i'm not going to defend the country.

Not that they'd take me anyway. I've sorta wondered on and off about joining the military over the years - at least the reserves. My mom would kill me and i don't think my dad would be far behind. Not to mention pretty much all my friends. But you know, the concept is something i feel really strongly about. I really respect the guys who do that job. Back on point - i'd never get in. Not just because i'm not a citizen of any country but because i'm still taking medication for bipolar disorder. Fair enough, you don't really want to give a gun to a crazy person, but you gotta wonder how many 17 year old recruits are a flight to Kabul off going completely nuts and they just don't know it yet. What did Donald Rumsfeld say about known unknowns and unknown unknowns? Heh. I'm sure there are a lot of batshit soldiers out there.

So, in other news, immigration sucks. I've been researching while J wanders the outback and it ain't pretty. We need a lawyer. I should email her family and see if they can exercise The Network. Actually i should just email People In General. I really suck at emailing, Facebooking, Myspacing, whatever. I just read everything and then rant on here. I'm really good at text messaging, though. Hmm.

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