Saturday, February 20, 2010

On Stack

Burn baby burn.

The other day, a very disturbed middle aged man flew his private plane into the IRS offices in Austin, Texas, in what appears to have been a fairly spectacular Propertarian protest at his incessant pilferage by the taxing authorities and the professional classes he turned to for help against the depredations.

They were all trying to take his stuff, so what he did was get up off his chair, turn off his teevee and computers, put a match to his big suburban house, get in his airplane and fly it into the IRS offices -- killing one and injuring some dozen others -- and leave a hearty "Fuck you all!" note to anyone who would question his actions.

OK then. Joe Stack is the latest Patriot Hero.

And the Bourgeoisie Arises.

All they needed was permission and a spark. Now it's on.

Save us all from this sort of crap.

While I point out that this man was a Propertarian who was apparently radicalized to violence in Texas, many have run around claiming "Oh no! He was a Marxist! He mentioned Communism and quoted Marx and denounced Capitalism and everything! See?"

Yes. Well. Apparently the term "Irony" has lost all meaning, and nobody has any idea how you can mention Communism and quote Marx and denounce Capitalism and be a Propertarian.

Is there a public educational system at all in this country any more? If so, what is its function? Can we dispose of it and get another? Please?

I read this man's screed -- hardly the Manifesto it's made out to be -- every single word, and it is plain as day that Joe Stack was a Propertarian pushed to the wall beset by all the demons of hell who were trying to take his stuff. His outrage at what the IRS was doing in trying to assess taxes on his income and property and what he had been through in trying to get help from professionals and at what had happened to his various piles of savings squirreled away for a rainy day and his retirement, and on and on and on was the standard Propertarian litany of woe at trying one's damnedest to be independent of all the fetters of the communal society, only to be subject to the constant theft of one's property the government and the elites. It's never ending. They won't let up.

Well, if you don't want them to get your stuff, what do you do? Of course, you put it in a pile and burn it all to ashes, then you get in your plane and you crash it into the offices of those who have made you so miserable for so long.

Anybody knows that. Arise! You have nothing to lose but your chains!

See how it works?


  1. Good post.

    I haven't looked enough into the details of that particular piece of tax code, but isn't it logical to assume he could have found some way around it? I mean, businesses have been finding ways to avoid taxation for centuries, and it's an especial passion in America.

    If the issue were his "consultancy" status, couldn't he have just formed a software company, period, without that formal consultant designation, and found a way to do consultancy work along with the creation of software?

    I do tech support for the Internet, and have seen thousands of software startups emerge in the last few years. Many do very well, and the owners make huge amounts of money. Was Stack truly boxed in and left with no other options in this case?

    Seems to me the 1986 law needs to be repealed (because it seems to target one kind of work in just one industry), as Kennedy and others tried to do in the past. But the idea that someone would attempt to kill hundreds in a government building over taxes, and that this is seen by some as an act of heroic defiance . . . . I truly don't get this world we live in now.

    As you mention, he had a nice house and his own plane. Not many Americans can say that. Was he truly oppressed in any meaningful sense of that word?

  2. The change in the independent contractor provision was pretty nasty for some people when it happened. It was supposed to prevent employer exploitation of workers, but it didn't really.

    And for people like Stack, the point was to make it harder for him to cheat on his taxes.

    A lot of workers are kept in a 1099 contractor status so their employers won't have to pay social security or benefits. It's very exploitative at the lower end of the scale, and employers have done everything they can to keep people on "contract" -- which usually isn't a contract at all -- rather than hire them as employees.

    At the upper end of the scale, where Stack was, the situation was different. There, the idea was to get them into regular employee status so they would pay social security and income taxes, which they'd been avoiding like mad for years.

    It looks like Stack incorporated himself a couple of times in California to get around the rules, but he still wouldn't pay taxes or even file returns, so his corporate self got suspended, he moved to Texas to be Free of all the bother, couldn't find work for a year, so he lived off his IRA savings, and refused to pay taxes on that.

    Ultimately the IRS apparently demanded he cough up something for all the years he hadn't been paying taxes (I read somewhere it was $40,000) and so he burned his house down -- with his wife and daughter in it. Apparently they had to be rescued by neighbors.

    Then he got in his plane and flew it into the IRS office in Austin, killing himself and an elderly IRS worker drone.

    I understand what he was trying to do all those years; I can well imagine how frustrated he must have been.

    If he'd kept up his incorporations in California, he probably would have been fine, but apparently he was so pissed off at having to pay any taxes at all that he just blew them off (one corp was suspended over $1,500! The other was suspended for failure to file returns) and he flew off in a huff to Texas. Where things weren't any better, but where he decided on radical action.

    It's hard to figure how any of it is heroic.

  3. That clarifies a lot for me. Good point about the different effects from high to low regarding the law.

    It does make a lot of difference knowing that he successfully avoided taxes for all that time.

    But the bottom line is no one can excuse his attempted murder of hundreds, and his successful murder of one, etc.

    Like you, I see this as just the start of much more of this kind of thing. Anti-government obsession moving into violence. Taxation equals oppression to all too many, and that's nutz.

    Hope all is well --