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Joe Stack, Austin Plane Crasher: Terrorist or Nut?

Joseph Stack Austin Plane Crash PhotoAs everyone’s heard by now, a man named Joe Stack crashes his small airplane into a building in Austin this morning, thankfully killing only himself.

Fox News reports:

A pilot furious with the Internal Revenue Service crashed his small plane Thursday into an office building in Austin, Texas, that houses federal tax employees, setting off a raging fire.

Officials are investigating whether the pilot, identified by authorities as Joseph Andrew Stack, a 53-year-old software engineer who lived in Texas, crashed the plane intentionally. Stack was confirmed dead.

The crash was almost certainly intentional, we now know.  Indeed, he left an online “manifesto” explaining why he was doing what he did.

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.

We are all taught as children that without laws there would be no society, only anarchy. 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 principals represented by its founding fathers. Remember? One of these was “no taxation without representation”. I have spent the total years of my adulthood unlearning that crap from only a few years of my childhood. These days anyone who really stands up for that principal is promptly labeled a “crackpot”, traitor and worse.

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.

Why is it that a handful of thugs and plunderers can commit unthinkable atrocities (and in the case of the GM executives, for scores of years) and when it’s time for their gravy train to crash under the weight of their gluttony and overwhelming stupidity, the force of the full federal government has no difficulty coming to their aid within days if not hours? Yet at the same time, the joke we call the American medical system, including the drug and insurance companies, are murdering tens of thousands of people a year and stealing from the corpses and victims they cripple, and this country’s leaders don’t see this as important as bailing out a few of their vile, rich cronies. Yet, the political “representatives” (thieves, liars, and self-serving scumbags is far more accurate) have endless time to sit around for year after year and debate the state of the “terrible health care problem”. It’s clear they see no crisis as long as the dead people don’t get in the way of their corporate profits rolling in.

It goes on like that for a piece but you get the idea.

While some are dubbing Stack a rightwing nut, Michael Tomasky correctly notes that Stack was “neither right nor left.”  He explains, “Stack was in fact angry at everyone. Angry at the IRS. Angry at the government generally. Angry at unions. But also angry at corporate greed and at rich people and at ‘thugs and plunderers’ of various stripe.”  It sounds like he was just at wit’s end and looking for someone to blame — and finding plenty of likely suspects.

A related question is whether Stack was a terrorist.

The safe answer is Tomasky’s:  “Does that make him a terrorist? It’s an interesting question. Was he trying to create terror among the citizenry? We don’t know yet.”

Many left-of-center folks I follow on Twitter think so.  Matt Yglesias captures the sentiment best, quipping, “Politically motivated violence undertaken by non-Muslims isn’t terrorism, everyone knows that!

But calling anyone who both has a political beef and goes off violently a “terrorist” seems to render it a word with no special meaning.  Most accepted definitions of the term include some sort of action-oriented objective. Specifically, the instilling of fear in the general public in hopes that it leads to political change.

What is it that Stack thought he was going to achieve?  Presumably, the news that an airplane was crashing into a building inspired some short-lived terror.   But unlike, say, the 9/11 attacks, there’s not much reason to think that there will be follow-on attacks since this appears to be a “cell” of one and the supply would seem exhausted.

This just seems like some poor nut who got frustrated and wanted his suicide to generate some notice.

(Oh: And I would advise against searching for images of “Joe Stack” at this time.  Trust me.)

UPDATE: C&L’s David Neiwert notes that the Department of Homeland Security has pronounced that “there’s no nexus with terrorist activity” and argues,

Well, this is true only if the conventional understanding of the word “terrorism” has now been narrowed down to mean only international terrorism and to preclude domestic terrorism altogether.

Since when, after all, is attempting to blow up a federal office as a protest against federal policies NOT an act of domestic terrorism?

You know, Timothy McVeigh used a “dangerous instrument” to kill 168 people in Oklahoma City. He too was angry at the federal government, and was converted to the belief that acts of violence was the only means possible to prevent the government from overwhelming our freedom and replacing it with tyranny. He also believed that his act of exemplary violence would inspire others to take up similar acts to stave off the threat of tyranny.

[...]

There are different kinds terrorism, to be certain. There’s international terrorism. Then there’s domestic terrorism, sometimes conducted by a larger conspiracy, and sometimes conducted by small cells like McVeigh and Terry Nichols, and lone wolves like Eric Rudolph, Scott Roeder and James Von Brunn.

That’s all true.  But that still doesn’t make every act of violence committed by someone angry at the government “terrorism.”  Who, exactly, was Stack trying to terrorize? What did he think he was going to accomplish?

McVeigh was a terrorist, without question, even though his act of mass murder had no significant chance of achieving his political aims.  Ditto, for that matter, the 9/11 attacks; just because al Qaeda’s goals are absurd doesn’t mean they’re not systematically trying to achieve them with violence.   But both plots created significant public terror and were at least highly organized toward achieving aims.   As best we call tell from early evidence, Stack was just mad as hell and hoping to draw attention to his “manifesto.”

UPDATE 2:   Glenn Greenwald and Mark Safranski have longish, perfectly reasonable, essays arguing that of course Stack is a terrorist.  I commend them to you.  We agree on the facts; it’s basically a semantic discussion at this point.

Greenwald, Yglesias, and others are contending that the reluctance to call Stack a terrorist stems mostly from the fact that he’s not a Muslim.  As for myself, longtime readers will note that I’ve quite frequently argued that individual Muslims who go on killing or mayhem sprees are mostly nuts rather than bonafide terrorists.  I tend to use the word sparingly, reserving it for those who can plausibly do real damage, actually inspire terror, and have some plausible hope that their actions will result in desired policy changes.  But I concede that drawing the line can be arbitrary.

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About James Joyner
James Joyner is the publisher of Outside the Beltway, an associate professor of security studies at the Marine Corps Command and Staff College, and a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. He has a PhD in political science from The University of Alabama. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter.

Comments

  1. Franklin says:

    But unlike, say, the 9/11 attacks, there’s not much reason to think that there will be follow-on attacks since this appears to be a “cell” of one and the supply would seem exhausted.

    There are lots of people angry with the IRS, whether they are organized or not. I haven’t read the whole manifesto yet (and probably won’t), but excerpts note that “violence is the only answer” indicate that he is trying to persuade others to do the same until something is changed. That’s terrorism, same as Timothy McVeigh.

    But I do agree that the guy is not closely aligned with either the left or right.

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  2. George says:

    I would agree that he wanted a “public suicide”.

    If he immolated himself in the parking lot, would he be branded a terrorist? Probably not. But he chose a particularly invasive method of dying, that of flying a fuel-laden plane into the building. So it’s a good bet he wanted to at least cause considerable “collateral damage”.

    The fact that no one else died would be a miracle, not a planned outcome, in my mind.

    There’s also the bitter, frustrated, and angry tone of his note – there’s no demand to ‘change’, just a long vent against a system that didn’t seem to care.

    So I’d say he IS a terrorist, if only an incidental one.

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  3. gVOR08 says:

    For law enforcement and security, the relevant question is whether there is any organization behind whatever this is that might generate more of it. The word “terrorist” lost all meaning long ago. Any argument about whether this guy is or is not a terrorist is a pointless exercise in semantics. Have fun.

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  4. sam says:

    @Franklin

    But I do agree that the guy is not closely aligned with either the left or right.

    Look,

    But I do agree that the guy is was not closely aligned.

    OK?

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  5. sam says:

    Folks, the guy wasn’t a terrorist. He was in the same category as those at-the-end-of-their-rope nutcases who commit suicide by driving up the offramp on a freeway. You wouldn’t call those folks terrorists, would you?

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  6. john personna says:

    It seems the guy had hard luck in a number of ways, and sadly came to see his own self-destruction as iconic.

    His specific concerns seem to echo the Tea Party stuff, and it will be interesting to see how those folks view him. Maybe the “terrorist” linkage will be strong enough for them to disown him.

    (As a software guy, the 1978 Treatment Of Certain Technical Personnel annoyed me too.)

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  7. Triumph says:

    I would call the guy a typical liberal which would mean he is a terror-lovin, east coast Hollywood elite.

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  8. carpeicthus says:

    “Stack was in fact angry at everyone. Angry at the IRS. Angry at the government generally. Angry at unions. But also angry at corporate greed and at rich people and at ‘thugs and plunderers’ of various stripe.” It sounds like he was just at wit’s end and looking for someone to blame — and finding plenty of likely suspects.”

    Um … isn’t that the exact platform of the Tea Party?

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  9. Davebo says:

    It seems the guy had hard luck in a number of ways, and sadly came to see his own self-destruction as iconic.

    Really? He owned a nice house and an airplane.

    Perhaps our definitions of hard luck are different.

    And what problems he had seem to be entirely of his own making.

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  10. john personna says:

    Sam, if he would have hit an IRS building (and it’s possible he was trying) would he be a terrorist?

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  11. john personna says:

    (Oh, he did hit the right building, just failed to kill anyone.)

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  12. democratsarefascists says:

    Hmm!

    From reading that screed of his, he was obviously a LEFT-wing tax protester.

    And he contributed to Ron Paul.

    Odd mix.

    That’s a new one.

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  13. john personna says:

    Davebo: “He owned a nice house and an airplane.”

    He or the bank, but of course I get what you are saying. I just just explaining to a recent immigrant how “Turkish prison” entered the vernacular (with Midnight Express, and Airplane!).

    It sucks to get audited, but it’s not a Turkish prison

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  14. Michael Reynolds says:

    Seems like a libertarian terrorist. So at least we know there was no organization behind him.

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  15. Gerry W. says:

    I sit in a small town in Ohio. It is really hilarious that Washington does not get it. Stack’s last quote shows that both parties somehow, sticks to ideology and nothing else.

    “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.

    Now, I have seen our jobs leave the country. And as they talk in Washington about supporting small business, I can only say that small business cannot survive without the big business in my town. So they don’t get it. Neighbors all around me have lost their jobs and have little to hang on to. I am sure it would be worse if we did not have the bailouts. There will be those who say we should not have bailed out anyone. Of course, the result would be higher unemployment. Where I live, it is a trap. There is nowhere to turn for a lot of people.

    Now CPAC has held a meeting today and Mitt Romney said the following. “There are three pillars upon whch we should build: economy, security and family.

    So to decipher this it means:

    Economy: tax cut and little else

    Security: Probably more neoconism

    Family: more religion in government

    And then you have the tea party people who think they will change something, however, they will go in a thousand directions.

    The democrats, who knows where they are going. The new jobs bill will be like everything else, more patchwork that does not solve a problem.

    And this. Stack complained about the big corporations control of engineering in Austin. This reminds me of Wal Mart. My town has not much left, so we go to a bigger city for the big box stores. These stores have driven out the mom and pop stores. The products are mostly Chinese. I admit we buy these products. After all, it is the only game in town. So this is where we are. Our jobs are lost and if you have one, it will pay less. And, for years, we did not invest in our country, in our people, and in the future. It is an economy with greed, bailouts, failed ideology, patchwork, and less markets.

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  16. Davebo says:

    john personna

    True story. When I was in the Navy in the 80′s and we were about to make a port call in Turkey all three on board TV stations would play Midnight Express.

    And then as always in the pre-liberty video briefing they would show us maps of areas that were off limits to us while ashore.

    For those prone to go to such areas, they could never have located them on their own but luckily they pointed them out to us on city maps.

    Gerry,

    As someone who grew up in a small town in the pre Walmart era and is certainly no fan of Walmart (won’t set foot in one) the Mom and Pop stores also realized they had a fairly captive audience and certainly took advantage of that fact.

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  17. Steve Verdon says:

    Seems like a libertarian terrorist.

    Your very first sentence refutes your claim. Libertarians are usually not of a mind to use force or violence to achieve their ends, that is usually left to non-libetarians.

    Of course, my guess is if Stack could articulate whatever ends he wanted to achieve they’d be about as coherent as this guy.

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  18. Wedn says:

    You write: “What is it that Stack thought he was going to achieve?”

    Obviously you didn’t read his letter to the end. He wants to provoke a draconian response from the government and the people of the United States to wake up. He writes:

    “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; it will take nothing less. I would only hope that by striking a nerve that stimulates the inevitable double standard, knee-jerk government reaction that results in more stupid draconian restrictions people wake up and begin to see the pompous political thugs and their mindless minions for what they are.”

    How many more like Stack will there be before they do?

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  19. John Cole says:

    I vote he was both. And I don’t think he fits into a left-right paradigm very well.

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  20. Franklin says:

    He was in the same category as those at-the-end-of-their-rope nutcases who commit suicide by driving up the offramp on a freeway.

    First off, who does this? Never heard of it.

    Second, whoever does, doesn’t sound like they are targeting (let’s say terrorizing) a particular person or group.

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  21. [...] BTW, James has a decent post on the subject here. [...]

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  22. floyd says:

    Manifesto?? Hardly! Indeed if that was a “manifesto” then there are many “manifestos” every week called “letters to the editor”.
    In fact I think there may then be a “manifesto” or two in the above commentary![lol]
    I do think that he meant “principles” instead of “principals” however, Although we do find ourselves more often subject to the latter rather than the former with very few of them noble. Eh?
    This was neither the ranting of a crazy man, nor a “manifesto”. It was merely the pitiable reaction of a man no longer able to cope with a world gone awry.
    May he rest in peace.

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  23. An Interested Party says:

    It was merely the pitiable reaction of a man no longer able to cope with a world gone awry.
    May he rest in peace.

    Such a sentiment might also be argued by some in the Muslim world about suicide bombers…

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  24. Herb says:

    Such a sentiment might also be argued by some in the Muslim world about suicide bombers…

    Maybe, but such a sentiment does not justify flying planes into buildings.

    For anyone.

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  25. Dodd says:

    I haven’t read the whole manifesto yet (and probably won’t), but excerpts note that “violence is the only answer” indicate that he is trying to persuade others to do the same until something is changed.

    I don’t know. I read through the manifesto and didn’t see it as a call to action so much as outgassing by a complete nutbar. One could call this “terrorism” under a hypertechnical definition (politically motivated violence) but it would be a totally empty designation.

    McVeigh had at least one accomplice and some notion he was striking a blow for a cause. Calling his actions terrorism has meaning. Stack was a lunatic tax cheat with a pilot’s license and no ability to accept responsibility for his own mistakes. Other than some sort of weird secondary payoff in the minds of insipid fools fighting right-wing strawmen that think terrorism is exclusively in the bailiwick of swarthy Middle Easterners, in what way is our understanding of this incident improved by labelling it terrorism?

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  26. D. Cunningham says:

    This man was not a terrorist–just seems to have been someone that was teetering and was ultimately pushed clean over the edge.Who knows what the final straw was or what it will be for the millions more who continue to be the victims of those wall street robber-barons and their noble enablers on both sides of the aisle in D.C. A 21st century tragedy of epic proportion is being played out here and abroad but you won’t find any in-depth coverage of it in the mainstream media.The news of the mutilation and destruction of the lives of millions of honest and hard-working citizens does not serve the bottom line. And what is to be done? Absolutely nothing!! UNLESS–we, the peasant-slaves decide to break the shackles of our usury. Is the time not yet ripe enough for revolt? How can we reclaim our honour or self-respect when our liberty is sold to the highest bidder? When the true severity of our plight is supressed or denied by those who are willing to exchange false idols for peace; false assurances and platitudes for Truth; Is it not time to reflect upon the true prophets and patriots like Nathan Hale or Patrick Henry; Martin Luther King Jr. or the young Mario Savio and pray that they did not struggle or die in vain…can you hear their words echoing now throughout this hollow land? Is it not time to rise up with one voice and unity of purpose–to halt the insatiable mill that is grinding our lives into the dirt–to smash the tyrannical levers of power that are smashing our dreams to bits–deferring our dearest wishes and hopes. How much longer can we be deferred? As long as we are serving a useful purpose in the pursuit of their ultimate aim–as long as are serving their special interests of which they will be the sole beneficiary–as long as we continue to believe their lies and misrepresentations in the name of Truth–as long as we are willing sheep in the slaughter of innocence.
    Is it not time to let this new-found voice of eternal freedom ring– far beyond the shores of America–to wherever there are wretched, miserable beings yearning to cast off their chains and soar upon the breeze that is beckoning each and every one of us toward this goal–this dream that is worth living and even dying for,if necessary–this pure and unshattered light that is pointing us toward an unimaginably great Age of Freedom and Truth—the Soul of Conscience and Re-birth.

    But first, we must come togetherto achieve that ultimate goal — the attainment of our liberty–at whatever cost. We must take the advice of Mr. Savio back on the Sproule steps at Berkeley in 1964 when he so eloquently stated that when we, the people have lost all control or influence over the political process or the powers-that-be, the only way that we can change anything at all is to place our bodies upon the levers and the gears of the monster machine and shut it down for good.Or do we still wish to wait… until the cogs that continue to spin the wheels have ground us all into the dust? We are now at the cross-roads, friends, and must answer to the dictates of our own conscience — soon.We can take the hard road to freedom that lies ahead or render meaningless all of the sacrifices of those who fought and died for those precious democratic principles and rights that we have so dearly cherished.Would the great majority of people now prefer to abandon it all on the altar of Mammon?
    “I fear for my country when I reflect that God is just”. – Thomas Jefferson
    “The strength and power of despotism consists wholly in the fear of resistance.” – Thomas Paine

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  27. john personna says:

    NPR used the words “suicide attack” which is pretty hard to deny, in factual terms. So when then is a suicide attack on civilians not a terrorist act?

    I think James must be sitting back and enjoying this thread. As expected, some did pop up to contort themselves.

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  28. tom p says:

    But calling anyone who both has a political beef and goes off violently a “terrorist” seems to render it a word with no special meaning.

    It lost all meaning a long time ago.

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  29. Marty says:

    I also find it illuminating that when certain cabinet appointments (Geithner, Solis, Daschle, et al) have IRS problems, they’re labled ‘criminals’ & ‘tax cheats’, but this guy doesn’t even file returns, and his issues are somehow understandable because of the ‘big bad IRS’.

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  30. Franklin says:

    Marty- Show us one place where his behavior has been excused.

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  31. Marty says:

    Scott Brown on Neil Cavuto:

    “BROWN: Yeah of course its extreme, you don’t know anything the individual he could have had other issues. No one likes paying taxes obviously. But the way we are trying to deal with things in the past, at least until I got here, is there is such a log jam in Washington and people want us to do better…”

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  32. Glen Bradley says:

    Joseph ROBERT Stack who is a CPA, did donate $500 to RP’s campaign on 12/12/07. Joseph ANDREW Stack who despised CPA’s and crashed an airplane into the IRS because of his irrational hatred for CPA’s, did not. These are two different people with two completely different backgrounds.

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  33. democratsarefascists says:

    MSNBC reported that he contributed to Ron Paul, but they also kept calling him Andrew Joseph Stack.

    That’s what you get for listening to MSNBC.

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  34. Dodd says:

    this guy doesn’t even file returns, and his issues are somehow understandable because of the ‘big bad IRS’.

    Understandable to whom?

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  35. Steve Verdon says:

    Interesting is Stack’s quoting of Marx,apparently approvingly, and his statement about capitalism which is disapproving, but yet he is a libertarian.

    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.

    I’m thinking some people didn’t read the whole statement by Stack. Sarcasm on. Clearly this man is a liberal progressive. Its obvious. Sarcasm off.

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  36. Aithlyn says:

    LET US NOT RESORT TO HATEFUL ACTS.

    It is a tragedy the events that happen did. It always is! I do not agree with the method Joseph Andrew Stack took, AT ALL. However, I have had read his note to us as American’s. There are a lot of things that go on in society that I do not agree with, but I do nothing. I just figured that someone else will take care of it. I do not commend what he did and hope that the people injured make a full recovery. However, this is my wake up call. I need to become more involved in my countries decision making process (Not only during elections, but always!) I am tired of hearing about Senators and Politicians “changing their minds” later on after countless promise campaigns. We need to start holding people that represent “US,” We the American People, accountable for their actions. I have heard taxes that have come into play such as luxury and Sin tax. Mort that are coming such as RADIO and SUGAR Taxes. Yes, they are going to charge us more for a soda pop. These are all things we enjoy in life. An a example, ot this, I learned in our school system was THE BOSTON TEA PARTY. The British were going to put a tax on TEA not different from the items listed above. Why, because that is what people used for leisure and enjoyment. The Colonist raided the ships and threw all the imported tea over the side in to the sea. However, there was one man who tried to steal the tea. He was literally kicked the whole way off the boat. The irony is the same thing is happening today, and were just taking it. We need to stand… raise our hands and unite for justice and what are fore fathers came here to get away from. Unlike the man on the ship who was thinking of his own leisure and not the bigger picture. I would like to think we still carry the will to oppose heartless acts and countless taxes. This day and age is not brutal like it once was. We can together be heard. I refuse to be the one who brushes events and acts that effect me anymore or that don’t but affect my neighbors.
    I would like to think that there are other people out there like me. Not thinking our society is completely crashed but headed there. I think that Joe just gave up. However, I will not look at people who raise their hands and write tons of letters to our Congressmen and others in power as nutty anymore(as long as they do not commit violent acts). They are the people that I have been passing the buck to hoping they will take care of problems I had ignored. I hope that no more death or injury happens in the name of American Rights. Instead, I hope that more people stand up and see the problems that people petition as just what it is…a problem. Even though it is not happening to you it might. To me if American’s registered or not registered to vote all came together and showed distaste -more would be accomplished. I do not look at what he has done a lost or soon to be forgoten attempt. I look at as what it should be looked at…

    ….. desperate need for change.

    ….. an opportunity for change.

    You pick the ending. You decide our beginning. I want to cry as I write this, because I feel the pain of others suffering. Give me tax for our soldiers and I will understand. Give me a tax for the helpless and I will understand. However, show me the “books” on where the money is going. So that I can see that is going toward what I have been told.

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  37. The Q says:

    I read his screed and found it profoundly moving, sensible and frightening.

    Let me explain…in our family, one of our cherished possessions is from my great-great-great-great uncle who kept a diary and in it he described his reasons for reluctantly picking up a musket and leaving his farm to go KILL British soldiers in an act of blatant violence against the servants of the crown.

    He describes, “being torn asunder by my moral beliefs of killing, but being forced into a place where such action is justified because of unrelenting wrongs perpetrated by the Crown.”

    In other words, he was a terrorist.

    What makes my great uncle, who we now call a “PATRIOT” and “Minuteman” and Joe Flack any different?

    My great uncle described the burning of houses belonging to suspected Tories, sympathetic to the King.

    Surely, many were killed.

    And he was an Englishman, not a Virginian or American, who was essentially doing the exact same thing as Joe Flack – committing a crime against his own government because of his belief that he had the right to do so, “That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government

    Flack’s comments are an accurate reflection of a growing sense of unease and disillusion shared by a large swath of the body politic.

    It recalls the early 30s despair and demagoguery which luckily was short circuited by the relentless optimism of one FDR.

    “Sic semper tyranis”, “Don’t tread on me” are time honored expressions of American defiance against tyranny and oppression.

    Terrorism is in the eye of the beholder. One man’s terrorist (ANC/Mandela)is another person’s freedom fighter (OBL/Al Qaeda.

    I was expecting to read a rambling rant by a lunatic, but when I actually read Joe Flacks piece, I came to a wholly different conclusion.

    I have a pet theory about whats happening to this country.

    I remember in elementary school, all of us were in one classroom, but by junior high, we started to be separated by “intelligence”.

    I found myself in class after class with the same H/AE or MGM students, in other words the “elite”.

    This mental segregation was also true of high school and obviously college (Stanford).

    The obverse of my little closed community of “intelligent nerds” was the subtle context of the other students being labeled as “inferior” not as “gifted” as the MGM kids (mentally gifted minors). Lets face it, we referred to them as dumb shits who should take shop class since they would never go to Harvard or Yale etc.

    Well I think this elitism is alive and well and is manifested by Goldman Sachs’ Blankfein and AEG’s bailout of $180 billion.

    I would guess 90% of the readers of this blog are the “elitists” (myself included)who got the superior educations and advanced degrees then went about figuring out how to outsource jobs to China so we could make some faceless corporation rich, but couldn’t care less about those “shop” students who would bear the brunt of the economic consequences.

    Well, my friends, these people are pissed off, angry and armed, just as my uncle ten score thirty.

    Only us Tories decry his act, while secretly a whole bunch of Patriots are cheering and loading their muskets.

    It is highly ironic (I would classify myself as a New Deal Democrat) that the teabaggers used to be known as the “Roosevelt Coalition”.

    The backbone of his support was from rural/ethnic urban, white middle class alienated folks upset at the greed of Wall Street and the hapless inability of the Hoover’s administration to do anything about it.

    FDR harnessed this anger and fundamentally shifted the economic dynamic to champion the cause of the middle class in a paradigm shift that miraculously worked till the idiotic Republicans under Reagan sought to destroy these reforms. Clinton drove the final stake into the New Deal heart by signing the disastrous Republican Gramm Leach Bliley Act which essentially repealed Glass Steagall.

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  38. democratsarefascists says:

    The Redcoats were soldiers and mercenaries.

    That’s the difference.

    If we don’t recognize that, we’re no better than William Ayers or Obama.

    But WE do recognize that.

    Stack – the left-wing, Truther Marx-quoter didn’t.

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  39. Mike says:

    What’s frightening is how much this guy was like Obama.

    He spouts the same Marxist nonsense.

    A typical Democrat, really.

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  40. The Q says:

    demsarefacists and Mike,

    Can you actually quote me an example of the
    “Marxist” nonsense which Obama spouts?

    Do you even know what a “Marxist” is?

    Or do the both of you just mindlessly mouth the brainwashing pablum relentlessly drilled into your head by the crazed right wing loons on blogs and airwaves?

    Demsarefacists, do you know how many Canadians can trace their roots to colonials who had their homes burned and property pillaged because of their “Tory” leanings who then fled to Canada?

    That war was not confined to your tidy notion of redcoats being slaughtered according to some code of war and honor.

    It was messy and ugly. And it gained us our freedom.

    In short, anyone who believe that dems are facists or Obama is a Marxist is an enemy of an informed body politic who should rise above petty, infantile generalizations and deal with truth, reality and policy discussions

    I will soon make it my life’s work to destroy the basis for such insane thinking and to stamp from the earth the foundation for your ideological musings since this convoluted, obtuse thinking is responsible for the lion’s share of our problems today.

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  41. floyd says:

    “”In short, anyone who believe that dems are facists or Obama is a Marxist is an enemy of an informed body politic who should rise above petty, infantile generalizations and deal with truth, reality and policy discussions”"
    “”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"

    Now there’s a manifesto![lol]
    Actually, It’s this convoluted, obtuse thinking that is responsible for the lion’s share of our problems today.

    The only questions that remain are…
    1]Who’s thinking do you seek to control and by what methods?
    2] Will your new “life’s work” begin on a bright, cold day in April, with the clocks striking thirteen?

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  42. Wayne says:

    He is as much of a terrorist as the liberal teacher going on a shooting spree because she was upset at the establishment.

    She had a political agenda which was hampered by authorities. She struck out violently at them in part to terrorize them.

    In the end neither one were a terrorist. Once again it is left trying to twist and warp another situation for political gains. Already they have tried to imply that the Tea party is a Terrorist group. They have no shame.

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  43. Mickey says:

    Teabaggers sure like to throw around words like “Socialist” and “Marxist” – - but they have no idea what they are talking about.

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  44. Steven says:

    How is this even a question? This guy actually told us that his motivation for attacking innocent people was to inspire political change. Isn’t that the textbook definition of terrorism?

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  45. gjfalcone says:

    The only circumstance worse than the government losing faith in their citizens is the People losing faith in their government.

    Isolated incident; that remains to be seen. The timing couldn’t be worse if I’m an elected official.

    Wanna see real change…Watch this take hold in Middle America…Fact is most working class Americans can relate to the dilemma of today’s political disaster once known as the democratic process.

    Martyrdom, hardly…closer to treason…yet, valid & lucid reasoning explaining the demise of the American Dream into the American Nightmare.

    We shall see.

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  46. Wayne says:

    The teacher attack innocent people to inspire political change. She may not have stated it but that doesn’t matter.

    Besides it is not necessary to have a political motive to be a terrorist.

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  47. democratsarefascists says:

    “I will soon make it my life’s work to destroy the basis for such insane thinking and to stamp from the earth the foundation for your ideological musings since this convoluted, obtuse thinking is responsible for the lion’s share of our problems today.”

    You need mental help.

    I guess out of all the communists and socialists, you and your buddy Obama are the “good” kind?

    Face it. If you advocate any left-wing move, you are part of the army that murdered 26 million people. There is no good. It is you who don’t understand the definitons of these terms.

    As for quoting Obama as a Marxist, there is no need if you’d been paying attention. Apparently they don’t get cable in your cave?

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  48. [...] James Joyner: That’s all true.  But that still doesn’t make every act of violence committed by someone angry at the government “terrorism.”  Who, exactly, was Stack trying to terrorize? What did he think he was going to accomplish? [...]

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