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    • CommentTimeFeb 18th 2010
    I passed the building on my way to work. I saw footage of it on the news this morning but it impacts you a different way when you see it first-hand.


    Man angry at IRS crashes plane into building

    By JIM VERTUNO, Associated Press Writer

    AUSTIN, Texas – A software engineer furious with the Internal Revenue Service launched a suicide attack on the agency Thursday by crashing his small plane into an office building containing nearly 200 IRS employees, setting off a raging fire that sent workers fleeing for their lives. At least one person in the building was missing.

    A federal law official identified the pilot as Joseph Stack and said investigators were looking at a long anti-government screed and farewell note that he apparently posted on the Web earlier in the day as an explanation for what he was about to do.


    Austin plane crash: Full text of Joe Stack online suicide note

    "If you’re reading this, you’re no doubt asking yourself, “Why did this have to happen?” The simple truth is that it is complicated and has been coming for a long time. The writing process, started many months ago, was intended to be therapy in the face of the looming realization that there isn’t enough therapy in the world that can fix what is really broken. Needless to say, this rant could fill volumes with example after example if I would let it. I find the process of writing it frustrating, tedious, and probably pointless… especially given my gross inability to gracefully articulate my thoughts in light of the storm raging in my head. Exactly what is therapeutic about that I’m not sure, but desperate times call for desperate measures."

    • CommentAuthorRenThing
    • CommentTimeFeb 18th 2010
    Anyone want to bet me that he'll not be called a terrorist, despite flying his plane into a building for political reasons? Anyone...anyone?
    • CommentTimeFeb 18th 2010
    Of course he'll be called a terrorist.

    Because Obama made America unsafe, and now we have a terrorist attack just one year after he took office, on American soil.
  1.  (7759.4)
    ... And there were no terrorist attacks on America during the Bush administration.
    • CommentAuthoricelandbob
    • CommentTimeFeb 18th 2010
    christ here we go....
  2.  (7759.6)
    Especially terrorist attacks committed by right wing middle-class Americans.
    • CommentAuthorRenThing
    • CommentTimeFeb 18th 2010
    But guys! Fox and MSNBC are both calling him a "furious pilot"!

    Totes not a terrorist attack!
    • CommentAuthorKelind
    • CommentTimeFeb 18th 2010
    It's sorta interesting that the building is named Echelon 2. Also, it appears that the guy either bombed or set his own house on fire this morning.
  3.  (7759.9)
    Just read Full Note. Yikes. My concern is that, despite being a reasonably articulate 'suicide' note, he was a little heavy-handed on the "cronies" dialogue and other personal attacks, giving his targets room to dismiss this as the manifesto of a complete nutter.
    Just read Full Article. Unlikely the collective media will go into any of the validity of his claim. My money is on a heap of articles about the 'senseless tragedy' with little in-depth research into 'why' or 'what drives a person to commit such an act.'
    I mean, what he did was horrible, but people are horrible to each other all the time when they think there's no other option - but few people want to spend the energy figuring out why we're horrible and what the other options are.
    Also, I just woke up, so my head's a little swimmy. Christ. What next?
    (Apologies to those affected by this personally if I'm being an insensitive asshat.)
    • CommentTimeFeb 18th 2010
    This was the 1st thing I saw when I woke up this morning and immediately woke up my fiance. I pass the building every day on my way to work. Today, it was surreal. His house that he burned down is literally around the corner from my work. After reading his note I sympathize with him to a degree but nothing that is happening in this country or happened to him personally justifies the action he took. I think he could have a had a more positive, productive impact on society had he committed himself to being a voice for his cause and try to bring certain injustices to light. Now, people just think he was total nut bag and will immediately disregard any truth in his note. A shame.
    • CommentTimeFeb 18th 2010 edited
    I'm not saying anything major out of fear of an eeling.

    Suffice to say I think this guy wasn't a nutter. Just really, really stupid and self-centered, with a side of paranoia.

    ETA: The guy made some very good points. Flying a plane into a building wasn't going to solve any of the problems he mentioned.
    • CommentTimeFeb 19th 2010
    Angry white dipshit. Guy hit a couple of bad financial patches and got into tax trouble. Fell in with a tax victim support group into amateur interpretations of the Internal Revenue Code, doubling and tripling down on the tax FAIL. The IRS were probably going to seize his house, so he pre-emptively went all D-FENS on them.

    Why did he have to be an engineer? It's bad enough being associated with rightwing science fiction and movies like "Falling Down" and now this.

    Selfish bastard too. The wife and kid would still have had a place to live before the IRS swooped in.
  4.  (7759.13)
    So the guy who owned his own private airplane had money problems... ermm..
      CommentAuthorJeff Owens
    • CommentTimeFeb 19th 2010 edited
    Please don't eat me for posting this. I haven't dug too deep into my thoughts on the subject yet, and this is really the first sort of discussion I have opened up to about it, so my opinions/attitudes are subject to change.

    Now that that's out of the way...

    "Highlights" from the "suicide note".

    I can say with a great degree of certainty that there has never been a politician cast a vote on any matter with the likes of me or my interests in mind. Nor, for that matter, are they the least bit interested in me or anything I have to say.

    And justice? You’ve got to be kidding!

    the justice department is all on the take and doesn’t give a fuck about serving anyone or anything but themselves and their rich buddies.

    Bend over for another $10,000 helping of justice.

    In a government full of hypocrites from top to bottom, life is as cheap as their lies and their self-serving laws.

    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.

    Honestly, I don't think the guy was much of a nut. He laid it out pretty plainly why he felt it was logical for him to kill himself, and I'm hard-pressed to disagree with him (despite the fact that there is much joy in my life and I want to live).

    But I also know that by not adding my body to the count, I insure nothing will change. I choose to not keep looking over my shoulder at “big brother” while he strips my carcass, I choose not to ignore what is going on all around me, I choose not to pretend that business as usual won’t continue; I have just had enough.

    Sure, maybe he could have done other things to help, but honestly, didn't reading his note get anyone else pissed off about how fucked up everything is? Doesn't anyone else feel that one step closer to sticking up two fingers (and I'm not talking about a peace sign) to the Fat Cats In Charge?

    I understand there was someone missing? Did someone else die? Okay, fine, yes, that's when it becomes a bit of a bad way to go, for me. But his reasoning was sound, the way I see it.

    I'm probably a bit of a nut, too, though.
    • CommentAuthorFan
    • CommentTimeFeb 19th 2010
    > But his reasoning was sound, the way I see it. I'm probably a bit of a nut, too, though.

    As a bit of a nut too, I used to feel indignant about other people being carnivorous; but over the years that's been replaced by a more easy-going live-and-let-die attitude.

    Sound reasoning can get you anywhere, reasoning is nothing: what matters is what your premises are, your axioms; and apparently he was missing out on axioms like "primum non nocere".
      CommentAuthorJeff Owens
    • CommentTimeFeb 19th 2010 edited
    @Fan - True. But, to be fair, the man was not a doctor, and this is war.

    Edited to add that I am in no way happy that either of these people died.
    • CommentAuthorkmcleod
    • CommentTimeFeb 19th 2010
    "Because Obama made America unsafe, and now we have a terrorist attack just one year after he took office, on American soil. "

    No, I think the conservative take on this will be that he was a tragic American driven mad by Obama's policies.
    He won't be called a terrorist because he's a white male who dislikes taxes and big government.

    @Jeff Owens--No, you're not a nut; you don't care more about making a point than endangering innocent people. You're not even an egomaniac.
    • CommentAuthoratavistian
    • CommentTimeFeb 19th 2010
    Guy took zero responsibility for his tax fuckups, at least the first of which he knew was wrong. Hundreds of millions of people have navigated the system with no problem. He decided to try and buck the system and got spanked, and suddenly he's the victim?

    Spare me.
    • CommentAuthorMDickey
    • CommentTimeFeb 19th 2010
    I'm not posing this as an argument, but as a hypothetical situation:

    Would it have any impact (aside from media circus) if instead of just one person doing something rash, thousands of people ended their lives (without harming anyone else; a sort've peaceful suicide protest) citing some sort of governmental impedance as the reason; be it taxes, national security, corporate corruption, etc?
    • CommentAuthoratavistian
    • CommentTimeFeb 19th 2010
    Thousands would necessarily have an impact. Even one person's suicide can have an impact, if it's the right person (see: Thich Quang Duc).