Sense of Deception



As Bell Predicted: IRS Plane Attack Hits Freedom

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As Bell Predicted: IRS Plane Attack Hits Freedom
Friday, February 19, 2010 – by Staff Report

The long, rambling rant posted on a website eerily reflected the angry populist sentiments that have swept the country in the past year. In it, a Joe Stack inveighed against intrusive Big Brother government, corrupt corporate giants, irrational taxes, as well as the “puppet” George Bush. “I choose not to pretend that business as usual won’t continue,” he wrote. “I have just had enough. I can only hope that the numbers quickly get too big to be white washed and ignored that the American zombies wake up and revolt.” And then Stack apparently got in a Piper Cherokee PA-28 at about 9:40 a.m. at an airport in suburban Austin, Texas, and flew the plane into a commercial building housing an IRS office, killing himself, seriously injuring two people on the ground and starting a conflagration that lasted several hours. – Time Magazine

Dominant Social Theme: Too much talk of freedom leads to terrorism.

Free-Market Analysis: That didn’t take long. The tragic incident of a man flying a plane into an IRS building in Texas almost immediately conjured up articles in the mainstream press expressing concern over the violent impacts of libertarian and free market rhetoric. Joe Stack apparently set his house on fire with his family in it (they barely escaped) and then flew a plane into a building, but the mainstream press doesn’t seem very concerned with the human dimension. It is the rhetorical arguments that fascinate. Here’s some more from the Time Magazine story that was obviously rushed into print, on the Internet anyway:

After the fireball … the black-glass windows blew out and the Venetian blinds starting flapping in the wind. The building houses regional offices of the IRS and other federal agencies. As one unidentified office worker from the building said, “If you have problems with the IRS, this is where you come in person to work them out.” According to news reports, 199 IRS employees work in the building, and all are accounted for. Toward the end of what appears to be his final note, Stack wrote, “Well, Mr. Big Brother IRS man, let’s try something different; take my pound of flesh and sleep well.” (See the making of the Tea Party movement.)

The White House was quick to say the incident was not a plot by overseas terrorists. But was it terrorism nevertheless? In his note, Stack was very clear he was unhappy with the U.S. government. He complained about onerous and merciless taxation of individuals like him as well as corruption and the special treatment the executives of big corporations allegedly received after their companies failed. And he seemed to be as emboldened as any suicide bomber. …

We note that Time inserted the parenthetical comment “See the making of the Tea Party movement” into the middle of the article. We think it’s sad from a strictly human perspective that the article – and others like it rushed into print yesterday – don’t seem to provide us with much of a human dimension for this tragic tale. There’s not much on the IRS workers in the building, some of whom were badly injured – not even an expression of concern. And certainly no tears are shed for Stack or his family. We say a little prayer for those involved.

Time Magazine, perhaps because of the deadlines involved, goes directly for the sociopolitical jugular. The article focuses predictably on the connection between Stack and, almost inevitably, the larger irresponsibility of those involved agitating peacefully in the US for a return to limited government. But what does that encompass? Are they truly radical stances? Less war, fewer taxes, an end to mercantilist central banking and generally a less crazy way of doing things. Here’s what we wrote on February 17, 2010 about the possibility of this sort of violent action occurring:

[Read the rest of the article]

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