Joseph Stack’s straw broke today. He burned down his house, apparently with wife and daughter in it. They escaped. He then stole a small airplane and flew it into the IRS offices in Austin, TX. He died. Nobody in the building died.
His “manifesto”/suicide note can be read here. Some call it “insane”, and parts certainly are rambling and incoherent, but other parts cut right to the bone:
How can any rational individual explain that white elephant conundrum in the middle of our tax system and, indeed, our entire legal system? Here we have a 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” than what is. If this is not the measure of a totalitarian regime, nothing is.
Given how many “We can help you fight the IRS” ads I see on TV, and given my personal experiences with the IRS and their erroneous, evil, ways, I’m surprised we don’t have more Joseph Stacks.
I’m not condoning what he did, he does seem to have “snapped”, but I can sympathize, and empathize, with the stress and futility he felt.
You see, I too, believe that all this will end in violence. I’ve stated that fear many times on this blog, while at the same time stressing my personal situation didn’t warrant it yet.
So you can call Mr. Stack insane, or whatever your political sentiments rationalize, but you can’t hide that millions of people feel the same futility he did – and when situations become futile, violence is next.
So don’t condone it. Don’t support it. But also don’t be surprised by it.