A friend of mine, who has just turned 60, is quitting her job, retiring so that she can live on a $734 a month retirement income, thus, living below the federal poverty line, so that she'll no longer be paying taxes that go to support war. She is an utterly amazing woman. When the U.S. military was blaming a lack of yellow "caution" tape" for its failure to protect Iraqi children from abandoned munitions, my friend bought reams of tape and mailed it to them. She has also visited Iraq as a member of a christian Peacemaker team, and in the article she wrote about the experience, she points out that among its many "downsides," war contributes to environmental degradation and global warming. Hoping to minimize her impact on the planet, my friend uses almost no electricity, has no car, avoids recreational travel, and buys locally produced food. In a local newspaper article about her decision to be poor, she says, "It's wrong for people to keep looking for someone to lead us. We all have to take personal responsibility. I want people to know this is an alternative." I would add that to take responsibility is to empower yourself, an invigorating and peaceful act. I only hope I can do so much.