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Anti-Tax Pilot crashes into IRS building in Austin

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An engineer who has been on the wrong side of the tax man too many times to count, and had his savings repeatedly wiped out in the process, decided to end his life by flying a small plane into the Austin IRS building. Check out his short manifesto here, where he rants against statism, communism, corporatism (which he calls "capitalism"), etc:

http://www.disinfo.com/2010/02/the-manifes...h-andrew-stack/

End bit:

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.

Cherryl Taggart, anyone? (minus the initiation of force against others, of course)

Edited by brian0918

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An engineer who has been on the wrong side of the tax man too many times to count, and had his savings repeatedly wiped out in the process, decided to end his life by flying a small plane into the Austin IRS building. Check out his short manifesto here, where he rants against statism, communism, corporatism (which he calls "capitalism"), etc:

http://www.disinfo.com/2010/02/the-manifes...h-andrew-stack/

End bit:

Cherryl Taggart, anyone? (minus the initiation of force against others, of course)

I'm not getting that, it seemed semi-pro-communist to me, but maybe I am misunderstanding what he meant by that.

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People seem to default into subjectivism when confronted with contradictions in the world. I have to think this is in large part due to pre-programming by schooling and society. So, it is ironic that people end up embracing the same thing that is the ultimate cause of their problems. Just goes to show how important philosophy is.

I read the guy's manifesto - obviously the guy is just sort of generally disturbed. I was happy that he wasn't overtly racist or antagonistic to any sort of group in particular - just because I hate events that reinforce narratives.

One thing about the IRS though: while most people can grapple with the idea that petty crime, trespassing, traffic violations or whatever will lead to a reckoning with authority where their freedom is basically taken away from them - it's much harder to reconcile the absolute and unforgiving call to obedience over unclear, often contradictory principles that is tax law. So you mess up on complex and confusing paperwork, your accountant messes up, and so what, a mere mistake, a failure to pay into a large and ambiguous public fund used and justified for and by spurrious reasons at best equals a devestating punishment? How can people take their lives into their own hands? Plan? When it's easy to mess up.

Oh, then there are the bailouts. Then there's Tim Geithner, the man in charge of your money, who cheated on his own taxes.

I don't buy the guy's manifesto, certainly not his call to violence, and definitely not his decision to suicide and cause so much harm and damage. But I sympathize immensely with his frustration.

I speak as a student with almost no income. I can't even get a job at McDonald's because nobody's hiring. I'm tired of having to prove I'm 'cool' with a company/store's 'culture'. I just want to do a job that produces value, and if I do well I can keep it, and if not, then no. I'm from the DC area, by the way, and the culture here is disgusting. I know some people from the Bay Area (SF) who talk about how at none of their jobs do promotions reflect merit (Kiss-A$$, looks, etc.), and reject capitalism.

The problem is cultural. When Yaron Brook says we need to reject altruism to survive, people hiss, but in their spite they are left with only one alternative to the morass - the same used by this fellow - suicide.

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I'm not getting that, it seemed semi-pro-communist to me, but maybe I am misunderstanding what he meant by that.

See, I don't get where you read semi-pro-communist in that. :P

Sure, he riles against corporations, but that does not automatically make him a statist. He continually traces back to the govt as the source of his problems, and that is ultimately what he attacked.

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It is obviously wrong to harm innocent people, but excluding that factor. I have a hard time really caring that the IRS building was attacked. Either I am a terrible person, or I understand how evil taxation is. :P

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Why is this not being considered terrorism?

Probably because he is not a member of any group with a political agenda. Nor did he intend to cause maximum damage to personnel, had he loaded the plane with explosives, and ball bearings it probably would be called an act of terror. As it is he is just some poor sick deranged shmuck, who having had enough decided to end his life by flying into a building.

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It's clearly an act of terrorism. It was meant to scare people and to send a message. It's the same reason the 9/11 hijackers took over those planes. They didn't necessarily think everyone deserved to die. They wanted to spread awareness about their cause by striking against the evil empire. This guy's political views are screwed to say the least. Any defense or apologetic speech is utterly shameful.

If only he had hung himself in his basement like a normal psychotic loser.

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He also set his home ablaze with his family inside. Is it safe to assume he tried to murder his wife and step daughter? Maybe they were in cahoots with the government.

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I haven't turned on the news yet, but I'm going to go ahead and assume that in the next week everyone with an opinion on anything is going to use this man as a way of blaming everyone they disagree with for all the problems they've ever had.

That's how it's been for years now. It's sickening.

This entire ordeal is just a clear and present sign of the times. Sobering.

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See, I don't get where you read semi-pro-communist in that. :P

Sure, he riles against corporations, but that does not automatically make him a statist. He continually traces back to the govt as the source of his problems, and that is ultimately what he attacked.

Yeah I know, it just seemed like he had an egaliarian streak, he mentioned anarchism, and the comment at the end was kind of vague and open to interpretation, but I guess there wasn't anything explicitly promoting statism now that I've re-read it. I just don't get why the logical conclusion is to try to kill your family and commit mass murder on a bunch of strangers.

Of course all the comments on the news sites are loving this "anti-tax = terrorism" and anyone who opposes the regime is now officially "on the side" of the pilot.

————————————-

“This is a right-wing domestic terror act. TAKE RESPONSIBILITY – THIS SHOULD CONCERN YOU!”

————————————-

“Looks like one of the Teabaggers woke up on the wrong side of the bed. LOL. You nuts better not start doing this regularly.”

————————————-

“Not a single one of you is concerned that one of your own just committed an act of domestic terror. You are already attacking the messenger and they have not even brought the message in yet.”

————————————-

“YOU need to take an ounce of responsibility. All you repubbers are complaining about Bush but still putting all the blame for Bush’s errors on Obama or “The Government”. This plane guy decided to attack the Government. Pilot-guy sounds like a thousand posts I have read on thee boards.”

————————————-

“His “manifesto” is rank and file conservative/tea party/ repub rhetoric. I’ve read the same thing on these since before Obama was inaugurated. That dude would fit right in here, and maybe he did.”

————————————-

“These “anti-government” right wing hate machines really need to realize that violence will be done by their followers. People like Beck think about ratings, but when you tell enough people that the “government is out to get them” , sooner or later some of these people will decide to strike first.

We will see more domestic terrorism. People like the posters here need to accept responsibility to police themselves. You preach hate and destroying your enemies “foreign or domestic” and people will start blowing up innocent people because of the message you preach.

YOU did this, and I;ve no doubt more blood will be spilled because of you. Right wingers have a terrible (actually worse the dems) record of fiscal responsibility, small government, and unobtrusive gov: yet you are yelling that America is being attacked by democrats in this area.

STOP IT!

————————————-

There is no point in “dialogue” with you right wingers, you guys are the taliban of america.”

“Accept responsibility. One of YOU committed a domestic terror act. You should be thinking about that rather than insulting democrats as usual.”

“Another terrorist attack by the GOP/FOXZI/Aryan Nation, and there Teabagger storm troopers.”

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He also set his home ablaze with his family inside. Is it safe to assume he tried to murder his wife and step daughter? Maybe they were in cahoots with the government.

From what I've heard, that was not true, although it was reported early on. Later on, it was reported that his wife and step-child had left their home to spend the night in a hotel, apparently afraid of him, but they were not in the home when he set fire to it.

Edited by Trebor

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The guy's message is anti-establishment. So, he's "anti-". There is a long history of libertarian-anarchist types sounding like commie types. They are just pissed at "The Man", whether he's from Congress or from Wall Street.

He sounds like someone who has not thought quite straight in his life, but just knows that he does not like what he sees. I can more readily understand the frustrations of those who have been trapped by the current state we're in: particularly young folk who are coming into a terrible job market right now, old folk who relied on CD incomes and are seeing rates drop, and some others. However, this guy has been a software engineer for a while, including through the boom years of Dot.Com He appears to have made some mistakes -- like getting mixed up with the "tax law says what we think it says" crowd. Reading between the lines, it sounds like he might have got overly carried away by the dot.com boom, and lost in the subsequent bust-up. I reckon the housing bust up was another big blow.

I can see how one could empathize with such a guy, but personally I don't. Many would consider his being born American, and having the background education that got him started in software to be "luck" they wish they'd had. It's a pity he could not spot values and instead chose to focus exclusively on evil.

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It's clearly an act of terrorism. It was meant to scare people and to send a message. It's the same reason the 9/11 hijackers took over those planes. They didn't necessarily think everyone deserved to die. They wanted to spread awareness about their cause by striking against the evil empire. This guy's political views are screwed to say the least. Any defense or apologetic speech is utterly shameful.

If only he had hung himself in his basement like a normal psychotic loser.

Not terrorism - no more than a school shooting is terrorism. In this case and that the goal is mere attention, not to a cause, but to one's personal suffering.

While that might be part of a terrorist's motives, terror itself is a tactic designed to inflict disproportionate damage on an enemy by inspiring the fear of possible uncertain future attacks.

I lived in DC during the DC sniper days. Your chances of being killed, my chances, were something like 1 in 100,000 (15 people over suburban population of a million - broad approximation). Yet, the nearest gas station to my house was a target. A group of high school football players went many miles out of town to practice to get away from the area of the shootings - the shooters chose the same tactic. Coincedentally, the team was eating at the same diner the shooters chose as a target. None of the team were killed, but the message couldn't be more explicit: nowhere is safe. 15 homicides is a big deal, but not proportionate to the disruptions those killings caused (soccer moms would duck and cover at the gas stations - in fact, most people avoided even buying gas or going shopping, or going out. Traffic was stopped for hours, roadblocks for miles.) A student was shot, to prove that no one was innocent. In fact, I cannot conceive of a better example of terror as a tactic used in the modern world. Al Qaeda doesn't come close.

Now, these shooters probably were after mere attention too. While Al Qaeda's motive is some sort of intangible political goal, supposedly. But terror is a tactic.

The guy's manifesto said he though we should all rise up, so if he intended to be an example for others to follow, you could categorize it as terror - because implicit is the threat of future attack.

Speaking of terror - if we war with China - expect them to use cyberterror to disrupt our communications and productivity, expect them to engage in random and target-less killings all over, from what I've read some of their military leadership is well-studied in this. The goal is to provoke a popular capitulation without any sort of military advantage. Terror.

Edited by ZSorenson

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If you don't read the links the guy gives in his manifesto and understand the specific law that he was talking about, it is much more difficult to understand and empathize with his plight.

Please, read this if you haven't already. Then re-read the manifesto if you've just now read this other link.

http://www.synergistech.com/ic-taxlaw.shtml

I completely and fully empathize with this man. He attacks business and rich men, but with the ordeal he's been through, it's easy to understand his position. His vehemence for rich people was misguided, but his vehemence for the government was not.

Look past his attacks on big business (our government was his main target anyway), and consider the implications of the story he told in his manifesto.

Do you remember, from Atlas Shrugged, the period of time where the laws kept getting worse and worse, and society kept decaying and decaying while certain individuals at the top gained their wealth from their connections with other people who had pull at the expense of those who had no connections? That's exactly what this man's story has demonstrated. Don't take it as an attack on big business, take it as a blaring example of how broken our system has become. (The 'fat cats' he's attacking are of course taking full advantage of the brokenness of our system.) The shady deals behind closed doors that, yes, some big businesses with buddies at the top, are making, doesn't implicate anything we stand for. It implicates everything we stand against.

We're seeing more and more disturbing examples, and they all point to one thing: Atlas Shrugged is coming more and more true as time passes. Will we be able to stop this before the end of the book comes true too?

The man used less-than-ideal methods to get his message out... but I fully support him!

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If you don't read the links the guy gives in his manifesto and understand the specific law that he was talking about, it is much more difficult to understand and empathize with his plight.

Why on Earth would anyone go out of their way to make themselves empathize with a murderer? Personally, I'm quite happy with my current feelings of disgust for the guy.

Please, read this if you haven't already. Then re-read the manifesto if you've just now read this other link.

http://www.synergistech.com/ic-taxlaw.shtml

No. If he had something to say, he should've shown up here and said it, instead of flying a plane into a building. But, since he didn't believe in words, he believed in murder (that much I read in his letter), I'll let his actions tell his story, and read the words of people I respect.

By the way, are you aware of reports that he lit his house on fire with his kid and wife in it, before he left?

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His wife and kids were not in the house when he lit it on fire, as far as I know. They'd gone to stay at a hotel or something.

Like I said, he used the wrong method to get his message out, but I empathize with him nonetheless. I'm focusing on the man and the ordeal he went through, not on the fact that he crashed his plane. Similar to how Rand focused on William Hickman, the man himself and how society probably damaged him, rather than on the brutal crime he committed.

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He also set his home ablaze with his family inside.

Well that's just plain crazy. I hadn't read that in any of the news pieces. They said his home was set on fire, but didn't mention a family.

Edit: OK, it seems that was not true. He did, however, attack a building full of people, which is obviously inexcusable. But as Rand did with that child killer, so we can do with this guy - e.g. examine his manifesto apart from his final action.

Edited by brian0918

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No, just a murderer.

Didn't Rand praise that child killer in some respects? Or do you think it was wrong of her to even consider talking about him - ie, should she have just said, "he's just a murderer" and call it a day?

Is it improper to examine a person's life and opinions apart from an obviously immoral action they committed, as Rand had done with the child murderer?

Edited by brian0918

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Didn't Rand praise that child killer in some respects? Or do you think it was wrong of her to even consider talking about him - ie, should she have just said, "he's just a murderer" and call it a day?

Is it improper to examine a person's life and opinions apart from an obviously immoral action they committed, as Rand had done with the child murderer?

Unless you're suggesting Rand found Hickman's crime or criminality worthy of interest and praise, I don't see the connection. It sounds like you're making an argument by association: Hickman was interesting, and he was a criminal, therefor other criminals are also interesting. But Rand did not find Hickman interesting because he killed some kid, so there's no logical connection to other criminals.

Don't get me wrong, if Einstein flew a plane into a building, I'd still be very interested in him, his final act wouldn't change that. But Einstein didn't, some guy with a blog did. If you would've asked me to read some blog by a guy who seems to rant against big government and business, but can't quite articulate any political principles to replace them with, I would've dismissed it with a "What for?". The murder he committed doesn't change that. It changes my reaction to the suggestion though, since yesterday I wouldn't have bothered to respond in such a thread. But people going out of their way to defend a murderer, on an Objectivist website, warrants attention and a response.

Rand's interest in Hickman is not a valid argument for looking into this guy's manifesto and life story. Nor is the fact that he murdered someone, neither is his suicide, plenty of people do both. So what's next, does anyone have any reasons why this guy's special?

Similar to how Rand focused on William Hickman, the man himself and how society probably damaged him, rather than on the brutal crime he committed.

I doubt Rand ever blamed Hickman's crimes on society's damage. Why don't you back that up with a quote?

Edited by Jake_Ellison

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But Rand did not find Hickman interesting because he killed some kid, so there's no logical connection to other criminals.

Hickman made the news because of his murder, Rand found out about him through the news, then read up on his background, and praised him in some regards, but not in regard to the murder itself, nor did she try to find an excuse for the murder. The same could occur here, point for point, no?

Edited by brian0918

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Hickman made the news because of his murder, Rand found out about him through the news, then read up on his background, and praised him in some regards, but not in regard to the murder. The same could occur here, point for point, no?

There is nothing to suggest that, no.

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There is nothing to suggest that, no.

It seems to me you're making an exception for Rand, but then demanding that you be able to reject anyone's attempt to examine a murderer's past to find positive aspects, as Rand clearly did. Where does Rand's situation differ from ours?

Edited by brian0918

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