February 19, 2010

Was that Austin IRS suicide plane-crasher a lefty or a righty?

And should we even be talking about that? Are we talking about that? And who started it? He started it!

I'm trying to sort out the bickering between Allahpundit and WaPo's Michael Berston True/Slant's Michael Roston.

And then there's the old it's terrorism and they won't call it terrorism rant.

I think some people want to bounce political arguments off the incident, but they don't want to look unseemly doing that, so they need to say that somebody on the other side said something first. It's quite farcical.

ADDED: To the extent that what Stack did is terrorism, it's completely ineffective terrorism. When a single act of violence kills a terrorist who is acting alone, what are we supposed to feel terror about? There's no threat of something else happening. Al Qaeda is effective because there's a whole organization, with more individuals ready to go on suicide missions. The Unabomber was an effective solo terrorist because he mailed his bombs and, uncaught, represented a continuing threat. Solo + suicide ≠ terrorism.

120 comments:

Chris said...

Seems easy- if you're on the right, he's a lefty, if you're on the left, he's a righty. Why quibble?

AllenS said...

His main complaint was that he couldn't catch a break. That, and the fact he had a lot of issues. I'd say he's an independent/middle of the roader.

lucid said...

I think that virtually all domestic terrorists are going to have a major quotient of mental illness in their make-up. But some are primarily crazy and simply using the political-terorist zeitgeist to fuel their insanity. This guy is one of the very-crazies. His political "philosophy" is not really compatible with any broader movement, with big chunks of his paranoid thinking coming from both left and right in an incoherent mixture. This is unlike Hassan, who functioned at a high level and who established real contacts with Muslim terrorist leaders.

I think he is just a crazy.

spongeworthy said...

Sounds simple enough, Chris. And I'm happy describing Stack as a lunatic period.

But I don't think that gives the media a pass on trying themselves to spin the guy as a right-wing crank. Rick Sanchez on CNN yesterday claimed Stack's webpage rant ended with the IRS taunt. It flat didn't.

Sanchez is is purposefully omitting the approving reference to Marx. You tell me what his purpose was for leaving that out.

Big Mike said...

Go see what I wrote last night. He's like Dr. Amy Bishop -- things don't go just the way he wants them to go so his response is to go kill somebody. That has its origins in crappy parenting, not from political bent. Unfortunately this guy seems to have succeeded in killing somebody besides himself.

Scott M said...

I think he is just a crazy.

It's quite possible that there is a measure, maybe even a large one, of mental illness at play here. Regardless, isn't the hip-pocket definition of terrorism the use or threat of violence for political ends? Isn't that exactly what happened yesterday? His "pound of flesh" comment seems to fit right into the textbook definition.

MadisonMan said...

I agree with Big Mike. He's Dr. Amy Bishop without the Harvard diploma.

Is it Terrorism with a Capital T? Terrorism to me connotes some sort of organization, which this person lacked. But then I ask myself: if this one person had done something more spectacular, would that be a terrorist attack? Maybe.

Original Mike said...

He was a nutty. 'Nuff said.

Joaquin said...

I won't dodge your question.
In opinion, he's way more lefty than righty.

Fred4Pres said...

There was obviously something motivating him that involved the IRS.

Lunatic works for me. For that matter, lunatic works for Amy Bishop too.

Jim said...

Actually there's a very easy "political category" that this guy fits in: anarcho-communist.

As several commenters pointed out, there was a long-checklist of things he hated which precludes him from being classifed on the "right": capitalism, organized religion, etc. But he also hated unions and Big Brother, which doesn't put him squarely on what we commonly think of as the Left.

But his approving citation of communism at the end puts a twist on that. Combined with his obvious though not specifically stated desire (and subsequent action) to
"tear the system down," it's hard to avoid the conclusion that this is the best "political" classification for him.

I think we've talked here before about how the political extremes are more like a the hands of a clock than points on a straight line from Left to Right. In this case, I think he was somewhere around 6:30-7 o'clock.
As someone pointed out the other day, his suicide rant wasn't terribly dissimilar from the Unabomber and his ultimate act of violence only differed in degree from the Molotov-cocktail throwing vandals who show up at G-8 meetings.

As Bill Maher would put it: the only difference between him and them is that he wasn't a coward.

I think that once you get beyond the 5 o'clock position on one side or the 7 o'clock position on the other, that you can't really hold any "side" responsible for their actions or blame the ideology involved. I think that it's pretty safe to say that anyone residing between 5 and 7 are just loons - and as some recent incidents show, very likely dangerous ones at that.

Maguro said...

Seems easy- if you're on the right, he's a lefty, if you're on the left, he's a righty. Why quibble?

Exactly. Which is why the media is describing him as a righty tea party type.

Brian said...

I forget now where I read it, but in an online article I read, the author made the point that sometimes there's extremism in the middle. An extreme centrist may seem an oxymoron, but the point was that in the middle, you can be just as paranoid; more so because you're afraid of both left & right. You're afraid of losing your rights to a nanny government, and rhetoric from the right that makes you think of militia groups or whatnot. Being a centrist, though, you deem yourself more sensible and nuanced. However, you wind up backing policies that are born of your paranoia, that are counterproductive or simply don't work.

It's also been said here that if you go left, or right, far enough, you go full circle. Or around the bend.

Skyler said...

I thought his citing of the communist slogan alongside the mocking comparison of capitalism indicated that he thought both ideologies were screwy.

lyssalovelyredhead said...

I'm more than happy to just consider him a nut, like pretty much anyone else who attempts to hurt people for "ideological" reasons. His writings prove that he was in no way ideologically aligned with either of the 2 major political parties, even at their extremes.

BUT,

If we don't get behind this and show the leftist elements, he will become a righty. As spongeworthy (BTW, that's gross name to type out, and yes, I get the reference) said, the media is not above leaving out important parts to make him look conservative. Look to Timothy McVeigh, constantly derailed as a righty and christian, when he was neither.

Therefore, I'm gonna go with it. He was a communist sympathizing, business-hating, Bush Derangement Syndrome suffering left-wing terrorist. Remember what he actually wrote, because you're gonna have to use it to defend yourself from the alternative.

Salamandyr said...

I think the more interesting question is whether he is or is not a terrorist.

My thinking...not. His death wasn't really in service to a larger political purpose. Terrorism is an attempt to foment change, to threaten "do what I want you to do, or this will keep happening". The man who did this is dead, we have no indication there are more waiting in the wings; thus there is no fear.

William said...

On MSNBC last night I heard him described as a lone nut. This proves conclusively that he was a left wing extremist....All the societies on earth from Yak tribesman in the Urals to non-tenured professors in Alabama have their aggrieved nuts who spend their lives contemplating how unfair it all is. I don't think you can draw political significance from these nuts, but I do think that Islam gives the resentment of these nuts the added dimension of religious ferver. Think what would happen if every alienated high school kid sincerely believed he could gain paradise and 72 SI swimsuit models for the price of shooting up his home room.

Scott M said...

I don't mean to sound simplistic visa vi a straight line vs a clock or circle when describing the extremes of political left and right, but it doesn't seem to need the complexity of anything more than a line. Help me out here.

On the one side, you have people that are fine with more government involvement and control (left) and on the right you have people that want less of the same (right).

Taken to the extremes of both positions, you get Orwellian tyranny on the one end and complete anarchy on the other.

How are those two things like a circle?

Tibore said...

It doesn't matter whether he's a man of the right or the left. When a person resorts to inflicting harm and death to innocents, his psychological pathologies are far more important to analyzing his motivations than his political predispositions.

There's a saying that the Devil can quote scripture to his purpose. A man who's lost his sense of right can quote and corrupt political bent to his purpose, regardless of which end of the spectrum he quotes from. That's why it's important to denounce the loonies, regardless of political stance.

Peter V. Bella said...

He was neither. He was a lost soul in search of some elusive dream or nightmare.

In political incorrect terms, he was a nut job, a lunatic, a retard. The real problem- how many more like him are out here?

Jim said...

Salamandyr -

"The man who did this is dead, we have no indication there are more waiting in the wings; thus there is no fear."

I think that is where we err: if we believe that there are no more like him. Because there most certainly are.

He obviously wasn't part of any organized group, but that isn't to say that there aren't other disaffected individuals out there who don't share similar sentiments.

Was his an act of terrorism? It certainly was. It was an act of violence meant to send a political message to a entire group of people. It wasn't directed at individuals, but at a system that he abhorred.

And that's where Napolitano's politicization of the potential dangers of domestic terrorism actually made us less safe rather than safer. If she had stuck to facts rather than politics, she would have been absolutely correct in pointing out that there are both individuals and some organizations (ELF, I'm looking at you) which mean to do harm to our system and to Americans writ large.

But by politicizing her report, it became a worthless document which and a political football which instead only highlighted just how far Left this administration is on the political spectrum. Maybe if they focused more on potential physical threats to Americans rather than just existential threats to their political viewpoints we could be farther along than we are toward addressing a real security threat within our borders.

Jim said...

Scott M -

The applicability of the circle versus the straight line analogy is more about the greater willingness to use violence to achieve their desired ends than the goal they ultimately seek to achieve.

In that sense, the two extremes of the ideological spectrum wind up meeting and is thus more similar to the clock analogy than the straight line

Henry said...

In that sense, the two extremes of the ideological spectrum wind up meeting and is thus more similar to the clock analogy than the straight line.

A cuckoo clock.

George said...

By federal statute, this was an act of terror. All you have to do is read some message boards to find some people agreeing with the political content of his manifesto.

garage mahal said...

Scott Brown said "No one likes paying taxes obviously." And added "I don't know if it's related but I can just sense not only in my election, but since being here in Washington, people are frustrated. They want transparency. They want their elected officials to be accountable and open and talk about the things affecting their daily lives. So I am not sure if there is a connection, I certainly hope not, but we need to do things better."

So people are frustrated out there to the point that they'll fly planes into buildings and vote for people like me!

TMink said...

Just

Plain

Nuts.

Trey

rhhardin said...

The speculative bet is that his house was underwater, mortgage-wise, so that part was an attack on the bank.

KFI news says he'd owned two companies in California, both shut down by the state business franchise tax board.

At least the episode proves that light aircraft are not very effective missles.

Hoosier Daddy said...

This whole thing could have been avoided if he just called Taxmasters.

Florida said...

"And should we even be talking about that?"

Of course we should. The guy committed a political act in attacking the government. That's classic terrorism - and terrorism is politics by extreme means.

So, it only stands to reason we'd need to discuss his politics. First ... was he one of Barack Obama's terrorist friends? It seems not. Although Barack Obama does have friends who are domestic terrorists, this person was not among them (as far as we know thusfar).

And so we turn to the question of what his politics were ... and it seems patently clear: In his dying breath, the very last phrase he wrote, he repeated the Communist Creed: "From Each According to his Ability; To Each According to his Need."

The fact that the mainstream media is deliberately removing all traces of any mention of this fact is really all we need to know to assess whether this person was a leftist terrorist or a rightist terrorist.

The press is covering up the facts; ergo, he was a lefty terrorist in the same vane as an Amy Bishop or a Bill Ayers.

He was a liberal domestic terrorist and anyone who claims otherwise is an arse.

The Drill SGT said...

I think is was just bat-shit crazy, but I really dislike the press creating fiction and spin from the tragedy. For example, my letter to the WaPo:

Dear editors,

Seldom does the WaPo, my local paper, make its agenda so blatantly clear as it does in this article by Jonathan Capehart. In the article entitled: Alienated in Austin, Jonathan writes a slanted story that attempts to connect the suicide in Austin with extreme elements of the Tea Party movement. He purports to quote the last testament from the fellow that killed himself but in doing so, he purposely alters the post to remove the following phrases:

The communist creed: From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.
The capitalist creed: From each according to his gullibility, to each according to his greed.

This was an attempt to smear Tea Party attendees with a violent act. In fact, Mr Stack’s favorable comments about Communists combined with his rant about President Bush would far more likely make him an Obama supporter than they would a Tea Partier. Either Jonathan is incompetent in his job or he planned this smear, either way, he shouldn’t be writing for your paper.

EDH said...

His argument really is a libertarian synthesis of anti-private exploitation (liberal) and anti-government (conservative) sentiments about the practical operation of the tax law.

Check out the links to the Tax Reform act of 1986.

It's about the degree to which the tax law forces forces freelance engineers and programmers into so-called "contract houses."

Evidently in practice government tax policy results in a substantial portion of the fruit of these freelancers' labor to be diverted to private "contract house" intermediaries, simply because the tax policy (that takes more of their earnings) engenders uncertainty in the private master-servant relationship.

Kind of like the entire Obama economic policy.

Comrade X said...

The communist creed: From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.

The capitalist creed: From each according to his gullibility, to each according to his greed.


Skyler, if he thought communism was screwy he would have written something like:

The communist creed: From each according to his state assigned ability involuntarily, to each according to his need including the gulag & famine.

Florida said...

"This whole thing could have been avoided if he just called Taxmasters."

This whole thing could have been avoided if he would have just quit his job and stopped paying taxes.

There are two main ways that the government yokes people - by taxing your income and your possessions.

So, the easy way out is to stop working and not own anything. It's remarkably easy to do.

Our government penalize you if you attempt to employ someone - so the best way to avoid that is to not hire people.

Don't work (above the table). Don't hire (above the table). Don't own (lease instead).

It's that simple, folks.

MadisonMan said...

I think althouse made a great point in the radio call-in show. Terrorism "works" in part because of the promise of more terror in the future. This self-destructed terrorist can't promise more.

Comrade X said...

and really, fuck this guy and anyone who doesn't realize social security tax is actually 15.3%

traditionalguy said...

This reminds me of an old aphorism that one lawyer in town starves, until a second lawyer moves in and then they both get rich...translated into Bloggin traffic.

Triangle Man said...

Drill,

I bet your nicely written letter would have a greater chance of being published if you avoided the temptation of tit for tat smearing of Obama supporters.

ricpic said...

Big square jawed All-American boychick. The type that always cracks. On the other hand weak chinned Oswald types also crack. You can't win!

Hoosier Daddy said...

Well being 'anti-government' isn't a left or right position but one held by both. The right generally is anti-government when it comes to them taking ever increasing portions of our income whereas the left is anti-government when it comes to stupid things like national security.

Hazy Dave said...

His rant sounds to me like one of those "the IRS is unconstitutional, so we don't have to pay any taxes if we don't want to" nuts. The fact that that line of reasoning doesn't end well should be self-evident.

I don't have a problem with someone calling him a right wing crazy as long as we keep the emphasis on the "crazy" bit. On the other hand, he railed about "corporate greed" as well as government bureaucrats, so anyone trying to score political points by claiming he "belongs to" (or worse, is "typical of") the other side, is an idiot.

Florida said...

"At least the episode proves that light aircraft are not very effective missles."

The building is ruined; four people are dead and a lot of angry taxpayers just got a lesson in how to get back at the IRS.

Is that your definition of ineffective?

NB: Note to the IRS. Perhaps you don't want to locate your troops in a building named "Echelon."

Opus One Media said...

anyone who crashes his plane into an IRS building with the expectation that they (the IRS) will go away has got to be from another planet...so I'll vote that he was right wing.

makes sense to me. ya'betcha.

The Drill SGT said...

Triangle Man said...

Thanks.

It won't get published anyway. The article was online and didnt make it to print. Likely because of the 100 comments. They don't publish letters about online articles and my screed was too long as well.

I felt better anyway :)

what a hack. They don't make journalists like they used to. In the old days, journalists didn't make the slant sooo obvious by editing documents, or maybe they did, but we didn't have the Internetz to catch them at it.

garage mahal said...

Every time I read a Florida post I hear the sounds of black helicopter blades whooshing, and see large amounts of fertilizer and a rental truck.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Every time I read a Florida post I hear the sounds of black helicopter blades whooshing

You must have some really good ears garage. I didn't know black helicopter blades made distinctive sounds from your caucasion helicopters. Must be the accent eh?

Hoosier Daddy said...

From what I hear though, an IRS audit would even turn garage mahal into a frothing member of the VRWC.

Andrew said...

"This whole thing could have been avoided if he just called Taxmasters."

Perhaps the whole thing could have been avoided if the tax code were not so complicated.

Florida said...

" ... fuck this guy and anyone who doesn't realize social security tax is actually 15.3%."

It's high, but it's not that high.

Social Security tax is 12.4% on earnings up to $106,800.

Medicare Tax is not Social Security. It is (currently) 2.9% of all earnings.

You pay all of this (your employer withholds half from your paycheck, and pays you less so he can cover your other half). This allows the the government you elected to hide half the costs from you.

The two combined equal 15.3% on income up to $106,800 annually (a little over $16,000).

http://www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs/10003.html

Comrade X said...

you're right florida

Florida said...

"Every time I read a Florida post I hear the sounds of black helicopter blades whooshing, and see large amounts of fertilizer and a rental truck."

Good.

Because if the government doesn't fear the citizenry then we're all well and truly fucked aren't we?

Isn't this why we have a 2nd Amendment?

So we can do what the Declaration of Independence tells us is our duty:

Declaration of Independence: "All experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security.

Michael Roston said...

Sheesh, Ann, you really are trying to sort out the 'bickering', which my friend Allah and I refer to as some friendly repartee. My name is Michael Roston, not Berston, and I'm the Senior Producer of True/Slant, a burgeoning original content news network with 300 contributors and 1 million-plus monthly unique visitors. I do not, nor have I ever worked for the Washington Post.

rdkraus said...

Florida

Welcome to the .0000001% of us who know that the Second Amendment wasn't about hunting.

Florida said...

Echelon (from Wikipedia):

"ECHELON is a name used in global media and in popular culture to describe a signals intelligence (SIGINT) collection and analysis network operated on behalf of the five signatory states to the UK-USA Security Agreement (Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States, known as AUSCANZUKUS).[1][2] It has also been described as the only software system which controls the download and dissemination of the intercept of commercial satellite trunk communications."

It's actually fairly difficult, Garage, to be so paranoid that you think they're doing something that they aren't actually doing.

For example, the Obama Administration is currently seeking court permission to monitor all cell phone communications in the United States. So that they can track you without a warrant.

http://news.cnet.com/8301-13578_3-10451518-38.html

Is it paranoia if they're actually doing it?

I mean who needs black helicopters when you have a global surveillance network at your disposal.

victoria said...

This kind of stuff really brings out the crazies, Florida as part of the crazy crew. I think the guy was nutzo, like Amy Bishop. It is too bad that the pundits on both the right or the left are pointing fingers.

It's annoying and pointless and makes no one feel any better.


Vicki from Pasadena

Leland said...

If anti-Big Government is the sure sign of a Right Wing Conservative; then why do Liberals call themselves liberal?

wv: cubic A square peg, and those don't always fit in round holes.

Florida said...

"Welcome to the .0000001% of us who know that the Second Amendment wasn't about hunting."

People are dense sometimes. They don't remember that George Washington and Thomas Jefferson were patriots who killed members of their own government.

They weren't Americans when they did that. They were British. They started a civil war and murdered their fellow countrymen in order to secure their freedom from tyrannical rule by their own government.

I'm not suggesting that this is necessary today ... merely reminding people of their own historic beginnings (since our schools deliberately don't teach this any longer).

We have a 2nd Amendment because the founding fathers understood that it might one day be necessary to do it again.

The government had better fear the people.

That's a good thing.

Florida said...

"... Florida as part of the crazy crew ..."

What exactly have I written and linked to that is "crazy?"

Scott M said...

@Florida

Point of order...

They started a civil war and murdered their fellow countrymen

Murdered? During a war? Semantics, possibly, but that urked my Army.

ricpic said...

Of course Vicky's not crazy. No, she's just one of those oh so reasonable lefties intent on annihilating Amerika.

Florida said...

"In political incorrect terms, he was a nut job, a lunatic, a retard."

Come now, Rahm. Haven't you learned your lesson about using the R-word?

Henry said...

anyone who crashes his plane into an IRS building with the expectation that they (the IRS) will go away has got to be from another planet

He was flying a Piper Cherokee, not a rocket ship.

a lot of angry taxpayers just got a lesson in how to get back at the IRS.

Step 1. Take flight lessons.
Step 2. Commit suicide.
Just a little complicated for most angry taxpayers, I would think.

The Drill SGT said...

Only 2 sure things are death and tazes?

Florida said...

"Point of Order: Murdered? During a war? Semantics, possibly, but that urked my Army."

Point taken.

You're correct ... during a war killing is not "murder" in the strict sense of that word.

I should have said "kill" and not "murder."

My larger point, though, I hope, still stands: Paul Revere shot at and killed his fellow citizens (at the time) in order to stop being British and to become an American.

So, our founding fathers all were the type of people who were OK with killing the people who made up their own government; in order to escape its tyranny.

That sounds abhorrent today because our government has worked so hard to make such actions seem wrong (naturally, since they don't wish the same fate to befall themselves). Jefferson wouldn't have agreed. Ben Franklin was the type of guy who took up arms against his own government and aided in its destruction.

These are in fact the events that led to the creation of the United States.

And it would do well for our current government to remember them.

Because it can happen again.

Florida said...

"Step 1. Take flight lessons.
Step 2. Commit suicide.
Just a little complicated for most angry taxpayers, I would think."


Didn't seem too complicated to Mohammad Atta.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Only 2 sure things are death and tazes?

Well you're only sure to gets tazes if you interrupt John F. Kerry (D) MA and Hero of the Vietnam War.

virgil xenophon said...

The aspect of all of this that I despise are those MSM news organizations that were oh so very quick to trot out the "domestic terrorism/ terrorist" label--the very selfsame organizations that couldn't bring themselves to even purse their lips to label Maj. Hasan a terrorist--in fact had to be dragged by their heels kicking and screaming to even whisper the faint possibility that such a label might apply--and that was only days--not minutes--later.

Florida said...

"Only 2 sure things are death and taxes?"

Not if you're Tim Geithner.

If you're Tim Geithner, you can cheat on your taxes for years and years and years and get away with it and only pay up if you get a fat Cabinet position in Barack Obama's Administration.

The sad fact of the matter is that our own government officials have cheated repeatedly on their taxes and gotten away with it. They still enjoy all the perks of government office.

And that's why someone angry with the IRS gets frustrated and flies their aircraft into IRS offices.

They can't understand how someone like Tim Geithner gets away with it but they cannot.

k*thy said...

It's annoying and pointless and makes no one feel any better.

I think the goal of the R/L finger pointing and scapegoating is to make us feel better, but I think it misses the mark. It's an exercise in futility. This guy was a rage against the machine, crazy, one trick pony. No one knew to fear him – he had no public history and he, now, has no future. Let's hope no other crazy's pick up his dropped baton.

(One question I have - I get the manifesto and martyrdom, but what was the point of burning down is house?)

Florida said...

"... but what was the point of burning down is house?)"

I'd be willing to bet it was in foreclosure and so he merely wanted to make sure the bank didn't profit by his death.

But the larger point to keep in mind in mind is this: It's possible to cheat on your taxes if you're someone like Tim Geithner, the Treasury Secretary, and get away with it.

That's what pissed this guy off. He wasn't able to get away with it like Geithner was.

We'll keep seeing this sort of rage acted out against the IRS as long as people like Tim Geithner are in office reminding us that there are two Americas.

And we don't live in their America.

garage mahal said...

We killed Brits 300 years ago, why can't we kill Americans today?

If I can't have America, nobody will!

/Florida

Scott M said...

Once again, garage, you missed the point entirely.

Actually, I'm starting to think that you get the point, most of the time. It's just that the points keep smacking in you dead in the center of the forehead and you're typing in a state of perpetual punch-drunkenness.

WV - "goallyad" - the Greek author Homer's epic about soccer

Scott M said...

Wow...that last post of mine = grammerfailmax

Hoosier Daddy said...

We killed Brits 300 years ago,

Actually garage, it was only 234 years ago.

Hoosier Daddy said...

and you're typing in a state of perpetual punch-drunkenness.

Understandable since garage can't see past the obviousness that Florida is at best, a parody.

garage mahal said...

Once again, garage, you missed the point entirely.

So explain. According to Florida there is absolutely nothing wrong with flying planes into buildings, if one think there are wronged by the IRS or the federal government.

Florida said...

"We killed Brits 300 years ago, why can't we kill Americans today?"

Garage you seem to be under the impression that this is an open question.

It isn't.

"We" didn't kill Brits 300 years ago. The British person known as George Washington killed British citizens. Other patriots who we call the fathers of our country did similarly.

They all established armies to kill their own government. They wrote our Constitution and and Bill of Rights giving us the power to do that again if necessary.

Which is the main reason why it hasn't been necessary.

Our government fears, rightly, that if it gets too powerful, we'll kill it.

And we would.

rhhardin said...

Death or taxes is more certain than death and taxes.

edutcher said...

Given the energy the establishment Media is pouring into portraying this guy as a Tea Partier, he's definitely a Lefty.

Given Opus' usual lame attempt at wit, he's got friends thinking like him.

BTW, in 1775, we were all Limeys. The war was about whether we were going to be subjects or citizens. There was a civil war between Americans who favored the Loyalist cause and those who favored the Continental one. There was also one with His Majesty's forces, in which regiments manned by Loyalists were engaged, but somewhat apart from the other struggle. Witness the war in the Southern Colonies and, also, Ethan Allen.

Chip Ahoy said...

Sorry, false dilemma. Joseph Stack's long-term musician buddies describe him as utterly apolitical.

Apparently, a 1986 tax reform act is at the heart of his issues. The act made it difficult for IT professionals to work as self-employed and thus suppressed their own fortune seeking.

Since you insist on discussing this in terms of politics, the law was sponsored by Patrick Moynihan (D. NY), as you know, now deceased.

The next year Moynihan sought repeal of the law upon seeing the law not bringing in desired revenue.

The ensuing years both Dems and Repub sought repeal of the law. Seventy signed a letter calling for repeal.

William Roth Jr. (R. Del) chairman Senate Finance Committee said the law should be repealed but would not take action because It would "open a Pandora's box of related independent contractor issues."

The day before Stack crashed his plane (his plane, mind you, he's complaining about freedom) Obama administration proposed crackdown on all types of independent contractors in an effort to raise $7 B in tax revenue over 10 yrs. [David Johnson writing for NYT here.]

The reader notices the administration ignores the lesson Moynihan himself learned.

Incidentally, Ace was hilarious yesterday framing all his items in terms of tea-bagger malfiesence.

Florida said...

"According to Florida there is absolutely nothing wrong with flying planes into buildings ..."

Bullshit. I never said such a thing and you know it. There are plenty of reasons why it is wrong. (It's a poor strategy, firstly.)

There are also plenty of reasons why it occurs. People are clearly pissed off at their government and are lashing out at it.

If this makes them "crazy," then Jefferson and Washington and Revere were also crazy because they did the same thing, on a much larger scale.

This person clearly believed he was being persecuted by his governments tax collectors, who themselves admittedly cheat on their taxes with impunity.

Just like George Washington was angry at government regulation and taxation.

George Washington was a commissioned British lieutenant who took up arms against his own countrymen. He went on to command the army that crushed his former government and became our first President.

Was he crazy?

http://www.whitehouse.gov/about/presidents/georgewashington/

MadisonMan said...

Is there any evidence that Paul Revere actually shot anyone during the Revolutionary War? Or that George Washington did?

My vague recollection is that they were the leaders of the shooters, not necessarily shooting themselves. Did Officers in the 1700s actually get their hands dirty?

Florida said...

"Joseph Stack's long-term musician buddies describe him as utterly apolitical."

That's why he quoted the Communist Creed with his dying breath?

Utterly apolitical?

That's horrible spin, dude. We don't need to take third party word for this guy's politics. He did us a favor by leaving a written account in his own words.

Opus One Media said...

Florida said...
"People are dense sometimes. They don't remember that George Washington and Thomas Jefferson were patriots who killed members of their own government."

Jefferson? really? cite pls.

Florida said...

"Is there any evidence that Paul Revere actually shot anyone during the Revolutionary War? Or that George Washington did?

For obvious reasons (they were committing treason, after all) I doubt our forefathers were were in a hurry to get their pictures taken doing the actual killings.

It is almost certain that he fired muskets in anger at his fellow British countrymen fond of the red coat. Whether he actually hit any of them is, of course, left to the historians imagination.

Revere had a rather undistinguished military career and actually faced a court martial (though he was cleared of disobeying orders). He was better at silversmithing.

See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Penobscot_Expedition

Henry said...

Didn't seem too complicated to Mohammad Atta.

He wasn't an angry taxpayer.

Discussions about the motives of terrorists are like this old S. Harris cartoon.

In the cartoon, step 2 between two parts of a complicated formula is "then a miracle occurs."

In discussing the motives of suicidal terrorists, the step 2 between "motives" and "action" is "then he/she turns crazy."

Once you establish "crazy" (or "miracle") as an essential part of the process, motives are just a transparent skin. For all the motives you peel away, the snake is still the thing.

Al Qaeda and other organized terrorist groups recruit suicide bombers with a process that starts with "1. Find a crazy person."

Chip Ahoy said...

We don't need to take third party word for this guy's politics. He did us a favor by leaving a written account in his own words.

Nonsense. What I have is the statement of a long-term friends describing Stack's observable behavior over a period of years and comparing that with an on-line note known to be revised upwards to twenty-seven times during the hours preceding the man's suicide. Whatever seems to us solidly political upon reading it after the desperate act were frantically cobbled under emotional stress. It's unreasonable to pigeon hole the man based on that.

If you want to, then go ahead. I don't care.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Did Officers in the 1700s actually get their hands dirty?

Not in the sense that they were actually blazing away with the ranks but they did stand in the frontlines and were just as susceptible to injury and death as the grunt. So they didn't get dirty as much as bloody.

The American Civil War is a very good example of what happens to a trained officer corps that 'leads from the front'. You tend to lose a lot of good leadership (Kearny, Reynolds, Jackson, Pettigrew, etc.)

MadisonMan said...

I'm not criticizing them, mind, I'm just curious. I think their greatness was in leading men and organizing rebellion. And in Washington's case, knowing when to bow out.

Florida, you sound like Joe Biden: I doubt our forefathers were in a hurry to get their pictures taken doing the actual killings. LOL.

The Drill SGT said...

Florida said...The sad fact of the matter is that our own government officials have cheated repeatedly on their taxes and gotten away with it. They still enjoy all the perks of government office.

For the record (I am married to an ex-IRS employee):

- IRS employee's sign statements agreeing to audits as a condition of employment

- on April 16th, they run a file compare between returns filed and the IRS payroll. woe be it if you aren't on the list.

My wife files our returns. She put her name first on the return, but the check when it came reversed the polarity and listed my name and part of hers (truncated because they never expected joint returns to have different last names :)

anyway, on April 16th, sure enough, her boss calls her in for a chat because there wasn't a record of her filing.

we got it fixed :)

Hoosier Daddy said...

I think their greatness was in leading men and organizing rebellion. And in Washington's case, knowing when to bow out.

Washington's greatness can be summed up in the fact that he never lost his army. Few people other than historians can really appreciate the odds stacked against the Colonial Army and Washington's ability to keep the CA intact against what was THE military power of the age speaks nothing short of being remarkable.

So yeah MM, you're spot on in that regard.

Hairy said...

Hairybuddha wonders if Ann would discount suicide bombers as being terrorists...

former law student said...

I agree with Salamandyr that terrorism must serve a cause beyond the terrorist's personal need for revenge against those who he believed wronged him.

No one's made the obvious connection that Bishop and Stack were both nerds, a scientist and an engineer, with notoriously limited social skills.

I say we start shipping INTJs to camps now, before they act on their grievances and kill more.

The Drill SGT said...

The American Civil War is a very good example of what happens to a trained officer corps that 'leads from the front'.

the difference between muskets and rifles.

In the Revolutionary war, getting hit at 50 yards was random chance.

In the Civil war, you could target leaders at 100 yards.

Reynolds. There was a Mensch.

His decision (along with Buford) to defend the hills about Gettysburg, outnumbered, was the single most important tactical/operational decision of the Civil War

Lee's decision, not to listen to Longstreet, and march around the Union forces, get between Washington and the Union Army and "find us a nice hill and make those dumb bastards come at us" was the single worst decision.

Florida said...

"It's unreasonable to pigeon hole the man based on that."

What is unreasonable is taking a third party word for the man's politics when we have it in his own hand.

A court would never accept that sort of hearsay ... and with good reason.

You're spinning.

I'm quoting.

Scott M said...

@Drill SGT

Lee's decision, not to listen to Longstreet, and march around the Union forces, get between Washington and the Union Army and "find us a nice hill and make those dumb bastards come at us" was the single worst decision.

Equally, if not bigger, was the decision to fire on Ft Sumter without some sort of emancipation of their own. If they would have done so enough to placate the Brits or the French, enough to get just their navies involved, this would be a very different country.

victoria said...

Former law student, now I know that was a joke. Why don't we lock up all Arabs or Arab-Americans like we did the Japanese in WWII? That accomplished a lot...nothing at all.

Violence doesn't solve anything, especially in this day and age.

Just makes you a wing nut. I also highly doubt that Washington or Jefferson fired 1 shot during the Revolutionary War.


Vicki from Pasadena

Florida said...

"RS employee's sign statements agreeing to audits as a condition of employment "

@ DrillSgt:

Not to take anything away from your points, but all Americans agree to audits as a condition of our employment. The IRS can audit any American.

And all Americans have records compared to their returns (just try to not claim 1099 money, for example, and see how far you get).

My point is that the head of the IRS is a known, admitted tax cheater. He paid his back taxes only after his theft was discovered.

And yet, he is, today, the Treasury Secretary.

He got away with it.

He's now the head of the IRS.

John Edwards was right: We live in two Americas. In yours, people pay taxes. In Geithner's, they don't.

Trooper York said...

In fact in the early days of the war, General Washington personally led a charge. Although he did not fire a shot he did indeed use his sword vigoursly and for good effect.

Thomas Jefferson on the other hand was a coward who ran like a bitch when he served as governor of Virginia and had to be spirited off to France to protect his politcal viability in the face of the ridicule of Patrick Henry and other of his political foes.

Hoosier Daddy said...

In the Civil war, you could target leaders at 100 yards.

Actually longer than that. Ask John Sedgewick ;-) whose last words were immortalized with 'They couldn't hit an elephant from that distance!'

Reynolds. There was a Mensch.

Yep. He was actually preferred by Lincoln over Meade but Reynolds didn't want the leash that Lincoln insisted on for the Commander of the Army of the Potomoc.

His decision (along with Buford) to defend the hills about Gettysburg, outnumbered, was the single most important tactical/operational decision of the Civil War

Without a doubt. Had Buford not held likely the AoP would have been wiped out. Reynolds was probably the best strategist on the Union side.

Lee's decision, not to listen to Longstreet, and march around the Union forces, get between Washington and the Union Army and "find us a nice hill and make those dumb bastards come at us" was the single worst decision.

It begs the question what Lee was thinking then but accounts show he was under the weather and with the heat probably not thinking as clearly as he should have been. That and Stuart running all over Hell's creation kept Lee blind up and to the point where he was pretty much committed to battle.

Florida said...

"Violence doesn't solve anything, especially in this day and age."

Then Vicki, please explain to me why is Barack Obama killing Taliban in Pakistan with drone aircraft?

Apparently, President Barack Obama believes that violence solves something.

Or he wouldn't be killing people with aircraft.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Violence doesn't solve anything, especially in this day and age.

Funny my mom told me the same thing when I was growing up. I realized she was wrong when after the school bully who kept punching me during recess he stopped when I broke his nose.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Just for the record, that was a true childhood story. As a kid I had to get allergy shots every two weeks and they hurt like hell days afterward. When I was in sixth grade there was the seventh grader who was the stereotypical bully and every day at lunch he’d walk by and slug people in the upper arm. Well he always managed to nail me right where I just got my allergy shot and it would hurt so bad I’d cry like a baby. Then the one day came where I had my Falling Down moment and after being punched in the arm I hauled back and pasted him right in the nose. I can still see the blood spurting and him hitting his knees screaming like Ned Beatty in Deliverance. Needless to say he didn’t pick on me ever again or anyone else for that matter. Yeah I got in trouble for it but small price to pay for not being picked on for the rest of my middle school years.

Trooper York said...

Violence doesn't solve anything, especially in this day and age

Please be sure to tell that to Elin Woods.

Just make sure she is not holding a golf club at the time.

Paul Zrimsek said...

Odd that Victoria should be referring to World War II in the past tense. If violence doesn't solve anything, I'd expect it to still be going on.

kentuckyliz said...

He was mad at the IRS for taking too much.

With the Obama tax hikes and new levies, expect more of this.

Have you noticed that if you push the words "the IRS" together, it spells "theirs"?!

Hoosier Daddy said...

Odd that Victoria should be referring to World War II in the past tense. If violence doesn't solve anything, I'd expect it to still be going on.

It's not odd at all when you consider the source. I'm not convinced someone like who who believes in bumper sticker catch phrases is rooted in intelligence.

Ann Althouse said...

"Sheesh, Ann, you really are trying to sort out the 'bickering', which my friend Allah and I refer to as some friendly repartee. My name is Michael Roston, not Berston, and I'm the Senior Producer of True/Slant, a burgeoning original content news network with 300 contributors and 1 million-plus monthly unique visitors. I do not, nor have I ever worked for the Washington Post."

Oops! I don't know where I got that. Sorry, my radio show was beginning as I was trying to get the post done.

The Drill SGT said...

It begs the question what Lee was thinking then but accounts show he was under the weather and with the heat probably not thinking as clearly as he should have been.

Lee thought it would be bad for morale to leave the field, and he was told that "just one more charge up the hill would surely break'em"

and he was sick, etc....

The Drill SGT said...

Scott M said..Equally, if not bigger, was the decision to fire on Ft Sumter without some sort of emancipation of their own.

That was a long term strategic or a politcal mistake.

I was speaking of tactical/operation "one day" decisions.

former law student said...

My point is that the head of the IRS is a known, admitted tax cheater. He paid his back taxes only after his theft was discovered.


Please take note that "Florida" is asserting that FICA deductions are taxes, because those are the taxes Geithner neglected to pay. (Being an employee of the IMF, he was required to pay Social Security taxes as if he were self-employed.)

Therefore Florida is forever estopped from claiming that low-income Americans "pay no (Federal) taxes," so long as they are employed.

Odd that Victoria should be referring to World War II in the past tense.

You mean "Operation Frenchy Freedom"? (Operation Filipino Freedom if you prefer.)

Hoosier Daddy said...

Lee thought it would be bad for morale to leave the field, and he was told that "just one more charge up the hill would surely break'em"

Years ago with some buddies, I was at Gettysburg and we walked the field where Pickett's charge started and ended. I remember as we walked toward the Union line thinking how horrific it had to be facing not just the Union artillery in front but the enfilade fire coming from the Round Tops.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Therefore Florida is forever estopped from claiming that low-income Americans "pay no (Federal) taxes," so long as they are employed.

Low income Americans pay no Federal income tax.

Florida said...

"Please take note that "Florida" is asserting that FICA deductions are taxes, because those are the taxes Geithner neglected to pay."

Geithner also failed to pay income taxes on his "FICA money gain."

Let me explain: The IMF paid Geithner money that he was then supposed to pay to Social Security.

But Geithner didn't pay the Social Security tax. Instead ...

He converted the FICA withholding then, into ordinary income - which he did not declare (because that would alert the IRS to his illegal conversion of the FICA contribution).

So, not only did Geithner cheat Social Security, he cheated the IRS on that converted income that he did not declare. A felony, by the way.

However, his smart move was being a friend of Barack Obama. In that case, see, he can commit all the felony tax crimes he wants and still get a job paying $250,000 a year.

No repercussions, really, since he lives in that other America.

It probably doesn't even occur to Tim Geithner that his tax cheating probably led to the death of three IRS agents at the hands of a taxpayer pissed off at the unfairness of it all.

And if it did occur to him he probably wouldn't give a fuck.

former law student said...

Florida, I can find nothing that says Geithner did not pay taxes on all money received from the IMF. The worst I can find is from the National Review, stating that he accepted money to pay for his FICA contributions which he did not in fact use for that purpose.">Link text

Michael Roston said...

Thank you for the correction, Ann, I appreciate it.

garage mahal said...

Florida
By your own logic Stack just as easily could have flown his plane into a IRS building because Sarah Palin failed to pay taxes on $60,000 in travel reimbursements she billed the state.

Mark said...

On the subject of unseemly political posturing in the face of violent tragedy:

http://www.theonion.com/content/video/gunman_kills_15_potential_voters

c3 said...

People are dense sometimes. They don't remember that George Washington and Thomas Jefferson were patriots who killed members of their own government.

And that comment should strike fear in us.

Scott M said...

People are dense sometimes. They don't remember that George Washington and Thomas Jefferson were patriots who killed members of their own government.

And that comment should strike fear in us.


Actually, what it should do is put fear of the people back into government, something our leaders have lacked for a good, long time. This is one of the best reasons for term limits, in fact, because instead of being afraid of not being re-elected, the rep or senator must return to the populace they once represented. The Founders called rotation of office, but the principle was the same.

Dudley Do-right said...

My response?

Oh, Crap. I'm a flight instructor. Homeland Security and the FAA will descend on us like a flock of starlings. Already they want us to be airport snoops and stoolies. Now they'll want to add psychoanalyst to the list.

Not gonna be easy. General Aviation attracts nuts. Most are harmless.