They’re muttering terms like “domestic terrorist” in the case of Andrew Joseph Stack, the software engineer and musician who flew his small aircraft into an IRS building. He’s being called “mentally unstable,” and “obviously disturbed.”
Years of aggravation with the IRS, and now facing financial ruination, he’d had enough. Rather than pay the piper, he crashed it into them.
Other than Stack, two people were injured in the incident. While it isn’t easy to feel bad for your average IRS drone, largely unsympathetic bureaucrats with enviable paychecks, benefits, and retirement benefits the rest of the country helps pay for (my father was an IRS agent for 33 years), it’s always tragic when innocent bystanders suffer from the violent antics of others. But other than these folks, I find this incident rather uplifting.
Basically, Stack struck a blow in the name of restoring reason, urging justice and fairness, and most of all, ACCOUNTABILITY. It is this last item horribly absent from every level of government, particularly the faceless and mind-numbing IRS, where its capacity to ruin individuals’ lives is passed off as “professionals just doing their jobs.”
Read this and tell me how crazy you think Stack is (was). Highlights:
In his suicide note, the computer software engineer who flew a small plane into a building with Internal Revenue Service offices in Texas on Thursday cited a 1986 tax law as a major motivation for his action
“This law has ruined many people’s lives, hurt the technology industry, and discouraged the creation of small, independent businesses critical to a thriving domestic economy,” [Harvey J.} Shulman, [a Washington attorney representing the industry] said in an interview Thursday. “That the law still exists — even after its original sponsors called for its repeal and unbiased studies proved it unfairly targeted a tax-compliant industry — shows just how dysfunctional and unresponsive Democratic and Republican Congresses and our political system have been, even on relatively simple issues.”
Accountability. This poor sap gets screwed by a misbegotten law that nobody wants and nobody does anything about despite 25 years of talk. What’s he supposed to do, bend over and smile? Whose door can he knock on for help, and why does he have to abide by such maniacal constraints?
If there’s a kernel of truth in the paws Tea Party bozos, it’s that our leaders’ accountability for their actions to their constituents is woefully unenforced. If people have to die to sacrifice themselves to make this point, those people are displaying more moral responsibility than the cowardly Congress they’re defying.
You could even think of that burning building in Austin as a burning bush (lower case be.)