Monday, January 7, 2008

Religious Freedom Peace Tax Fund (H.R. 1921)

Recently the gentleman, who queried me on an earlier question, has given me another: whether I have an opinion on the following matter John Lewis has reintroduced the Religious Freedom Peace Tax Fund Bill (H.R. 1921) in the 110th Congress. To quote from a press release:
This legislation establishes a governmental trust fund into which designated conscientious objectors will pay their full federal income taxes.


(b) Military Purpose- For purposes of this Act, the term `military purpose' means any activity or program which any agency of the Government conducts, administers, or sponsors and which effects an augmentation of military forces or of defensive and offensive intelligence activities, or enhances the capability of any person or nation to wage war, including the appropriation of funds by the United States for--


(b) Use of Religious Freedom Peace Tax Fund- Monies deposited in the Religious Freedom Peace Tax Fund shall be allocated annually to any appropriation not for a military purpose.
At first, I saw under 4b that money would NOT be used; then I reread slowly and saw his point under 3b. So, it comes down to grammatical interpretation of one word, at first glance ― augmentation, but no! and. Mathematical logic suggests, that 'and' means: satisfies BOTH conditions. Language is logical, but mathematical logic is not its programme. The appropriate principle would be of congruent agreement. Here 'and' means: ALSO.

I could see someone, especially of the weaselly and malicious sort, that we have now to try to play trickster. The sponsors of the said bill are against this war, such was not their intent.

Being lazy, instead of cracking a good dictionary, I used a search engine for the word 'augmentation' and got a page of references for breast surgery. Computer algorithms do not use language logic either. So I cracked the book, put it under the lamp, found a pair of spectacles and augment(ation) does only suggest increase.

But, even though Quentin Quaker's denarii won't enrich the merchants of death, it will be for something else in addition to death and violence, so that others will outfit and armour the red steed that carries War, none-the-less. In this regard, it is a sham. The dogs of war will not be chained and Mars will not atrophy. There will be more money in the coffers to spend. It will function as an additional publican to gather tribute from the conscientious tax resister.

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