All of us are now aware of the Texas man who yesterday flew his private plane into a 7-story Austin office building. Apparently, he intentionally crashed his plane into the building to target the IRS offices that were housed inside the facility.
As I am writing this column just hours after the event took place, there has not yet been a lot of time for the major news media talking heads to spin the story. By the time this column is released on Friday, however, I`m sure we will all have been inundated with copious references to this man, Joe Stack, as being "off his rocker," or similar assertions. Perhaps our friends at DHS will label Stack a "right-wing domestic terrorist." However, Mr. Stack apparently left behind a "suicide manifesto" explaining his actions. After carefully reading Stack`s manifesto, I am quite convinced that he was not crazy, and he was not a "terrorist." However, he was angry.
A lot of us are angry—and for many of the same reasons that Mr. Stack was angry! While I would certainly take exception to some of the things Stack says in his manifesto, he said things that many of us are feeling.
Stack began his manifesto by saying, "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."
He goes on to say, "Sadly, starting at early ages we in this country have been brainwashed to believe that, in return for our dedication and service, our government stands for justice for all. We are further brainwashed to believe that there is freedom in this place, and that we should be ready to lay our lives down for the noble [principles] represented by its founding fathers. Remember? One of these was `no taxation without representation` . . . These days anyone who really stands up for that [principle] is promptly labeled a `crackpot,` traitor and worse."
For the most part, he`s right about that, of course. It has been a long time since the average hardworking American has been represented in Washington, D.C. By and large, the politicians in DC represent only Big Money interests. Just try talking with your congressman or senator and see how much personal interest he or she takes in anything you have to say. As for emails, letters, and faxes, unless they number in the tens of thousands, they are mostly used as kindling for the fireplace.
Obviously, Mr. Stack had long felt the frustration of being ignored by these pimps in Washington that we know as congressmen. He wrote, "While very few working people would say they haven`t had their fair share of taxes (as can I), in my lifetime 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."
I suppose that just about every American could say the same thing.
Then, regarding our current tax system, Stack wrote, "Here we have a [tax] system that is, by far, too complicated for the brightest of the master scholars to understand. Yet, it mercilessly `holds accountable` its victims, claiming that they`re responsible for fully complying with laws not even the experts understand. The law `requires` a signature on the bottom of a tax filing; yet no one can say truthfully that they understand what they are signing; if that`s not `duress` [then] what is. If this is not the measure of a totalitarian regime, nothing is."
He also wrote, "However, this is where I learned that there are two `interpretations` for every law; one for the very rich, and one for the rest of us."
However, I think a better way of putting his statement would have been, "There are two interpretations for every law; one for the GOVERNMENT, and one for the rest of us."
And only the most naïve among us would not understand that statement.
According to Stack`s manifesto, he earned an engineering degree with the goal of becoming an "independent engineer." He said this about working his way through college: "I was living on peanut butter and bread (or Ritz crackers when I could afford to splurge) for months at a time."
I know that feeling! My wife and I married between my sophomore and junior years of college, and for months we had a grand total of $15 a week to spend on groceries. And believe me: that did not go very far—not even in 1974.
How many politicians on Capitol Hill do you think could even remotely relate to Mr. Stack?
Stack later said, "I decided that I didn`t trust big business to take care of me, and that I would take responsibility for my own future and myself."
Wow! What a revolutionary idea: taking responsibility for yourself! Now I know that practically no one on Capitol Hill can relate to Mr. Stack!
After quoting a portion of the tax law relating to Section 1706 (Treatment of Certain Technical Personnel), Stack wrote, "The bottom line is that they may as well have put my name right in the text of section (d). Moreover, they could only have been more blunt if they would have came out and directly declared me a criminal and non-citizen slave."
His manifesto clearly reveals bitterness and resentment toward the IRS, the tax system, the banker and Big Business government bailouts, and the emergence of police-state attitudes and actions in the aftermath of 9/11.
He expressed disdain for "the monsters of organized religion." He talked about his move from California to Texas. He referred to a divorce and the way his savings and retirement had been wiped out after a career of working "100-hour workweeks."
Stack also noted, "The recent presidential puppet GW Bush and his cronies in their eight years certainly reinforced for all of us that this criticism rings equally true for all of the government." I can say "Amen" to that.
Stack`s conclusion: "I have had all I can stand."
In what was obviously a reference to what he was about to do, he wrote, "Nothing changes unless there is a body count."
Then, later he said, "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."
Stack wrapped up his manifesto by saying, "Well, Mr. Big Brother IRS man, let`s try something different; take my pound of flesh and sleep well."
See Joe Stack`s manifesto here.
My heart goes out to Joe Stack! The sentiments expressed above are shared by millions of Americans who are also fed up with Big Brother. We are fed up with our country being turned into a burgeoning police state, under the rubric of "national security." We are fed up with the harassments of the IRS. We know the "war on drugs" is merely the government`s way of cutting out the competition (this is exactly what more than one retired federal law enforcement agent—employed in the drug war—told me). We know the "war on terror" is nothing but an excuse to trample our constitutional liberties. We are fed up with the voracious vampires known as the Federal Reserve sucking the lifeblood out of the veins of America`s hardworking Middle Class. We are tired of the CFR, CIA, and America`s State Department manufacturing perpetual wars that cost trillions of dollars and thousands of American lives for the benefit of the global elite. We are fed up with an arrogant and oppressive federal government that is strangling the life and freedom out of our states. We all share Joe Stack`s pain!
I really wish Joe Stack had not killed himself, however. We need each other. By taking his life, he reduced our strength. The global elites delight in our demise. As we grow weaker, they grow stronger.
But the fight is not over; the battle is not lost! Rumblings of freedom`s revival can be felt across the length and breadth of this nation. The clanging of liberty`s resolve can be heard in hamlets and villages from Montana to South Carolina.
There are still millions of us—from virtually every walk of life—who will not surrender our liberties without a fight! And we have not yet begun to fight!
So, to the rest of us Joe Stacks out there: let`s not fly our planes into buildings. Let`s not end our lives prematurely. Instead, get mad; get organized; get educated; start equipping your heart, mind, and body for the battle ahead. Let`s fight; let`s study; let`s prepare; let`s make every would-be tyrant on Capitol Hill and Wall Street know that we are not going to sit back and let them steal our country.
Let`s send a message, in no uncertain terms, that if they want our pound of flesh, they are going to have to come and get it—and if they do, it`s going to cost them a whole lot more than a pound of theirs!
Oh, Joe! I wish you had not killed yourself.