Friday, February 19, 2010

Killer Pilot's Message Resonates Among the Lunatic Fringe

I noticed this yesterday as I had to delete several messages that considered the pilot in a deadly plane crash into the IRS offices in Austin, Texas, a hero. The lunatic fringe - both on the right and left think that Joe Stack is someone to be admired.
Walters was one of at least two dozen people who founded Facebook fan groups to hail the homicidal pilot.

Most had only a tiny handful of members, but hers attracted more than 200 before Facebook removed it.

"His sacrifice was for all of us," wrote Texan Tyler Britten.

Crackpots were also praising the dead pilot on Twitter.

"Joe Stack, you are a true American Hero and we need more of you to make a stand," tweeted Greg Lenihan, an engineer in San Diego.

Stack's manifesto railed against Wall Street, the Catholic Church, the IRS and the failure to reform health care - a little something for everyone.

The right called him a socialist, and the left branded him a right-wing tea partyer.

The only pol Stack name-checked in his final rant was "recent presidential puppet" George W. Bush, though he called all politicians useless.

There are always members of a small lunatic fringe ready to embrace a domestic terrorist targeting the feds. Tim McVeigh, who blew up the Oklahoma City federal building in 1995, killing 168 people, many of them children, remains a hero in some disgruntled circles 10 years after his execution.

Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-Austin) said it was outrageous that some Americans were praising Stack.

This was a cowardly act of domestic terrorism," he said, and Stack's rant "reflects the steadily increasing flow of 'the government is out to get me' paranoia."

On the other end of the crazy scale, Internet conspiracy theorists - including Austin radio host Alex Jones - were quick yesterday to declare that the plane crash was staged by the government "to demonize the tea party movement."
Are you kidding me? The guy burned down his own home before taking his plane and crashing it into the IRS offices because of longstanding tax issues he had with the IRS (among other sundry issues that he raised in his rambling manifesto).

The manifesto is a cipher, allowing pretty much anyone to read whatever they want into Stack's motives, depending on what they choose to highlight. Ignore the ending, and you can suggest the guy was an adherent to the Tea Party movement. Or, you could ignore that he railed against President Bush, the IRS, FAA, and other agencies and politicians, the medical profession, his current home in Austin, and many others.

He was an angry disturbed individual who had motive and intent to kill and directed his ire against the agency he deemed did the most damage to his life; the IRS.
Here's a near complete list of all those he railed again, including President Bush, IRS, FAA, GM, banks, Christians, etc. He destroyed his family in the process of crashing his plane into the IRS offices with the intent to murder as many people as he could. In fact, we're lucky that apparently there was only one other person killed besides Stack, and there were about a dozen injuries (several serious). It could have been so much worse.

Then we have Alex Jones latching on to this attack as a means to discredit the Tea Party movement. Alex Jones has never met a conspiracy theory he didn't promulgate, spread, or metastasize into something far more sinister. What's so troubling about Jones is that far too many people on the right appeal to this guy, go on his show, or include him in their writings as a legitimate source. He's a loon with a big microphone.

Stack is the latest perpetrator in a long line of anti-IRS/anti-tax violence and the hatred crosses party lines. In Stack's case, he appears to have had multiple run-ins with IRS and tax officials, blaming them for business failures, loss of income, and having to relocate to Texas from California. He takes no personal responsibility for these situations or that he may have failed to properly report income or know the totality of his financial situation.

No comments: