Category Archives: Joe Stack
-H. L. Mencken
There is something in the air in America, something very big is happening. With the already lame duck Barack Obama administration having done more to delegitimize the myth that the government is there to serve the people and that the Bush years were but an aberration. Now after the Wall Street bailouts and the continuing exporting of American jobs to juice corporate profits, the undermining of serious health care reform and the escalation of both wars and the police state an extremely ominous undercurrent is rippling through the land and while still in the early stages it has the establishment terrified and circling the wagons.
The weekly column by Frank Rich of the damned librul [sic] New York Times is one of the first things that I read every Sunday morning and today’s offering is a mish-mash of conflation, myths and propaganda designed of course to protect the establishment. The piece, mockingly entitled The Axis of the Obsessed and Deranged starts off with the foreboding two paragraphs which I excerpt:
No one knows what history will make of the present — least of all journalists, who can at best write history’s sloppy first draft. But if I were to place an incautious bet on which political event will prove the most significant of February 2010, I wouldn’t choose the kabuki health care summit that generated all the ink and 24/7 cable chatter in Washington. I’d put my money instead on the murder-suicide of Andrew Joseph Stack III, the tax protester who flew a plane into an office building housing Internal Revenue Service employees in Austin, Tex., on Feb. 18. It was a flare with the dark afterlife of an omen.
What made that kamikaze mission eventful was less the deranged act itself than the curious reaction of politicians on the right who gave it a pass — or, worse, flirted with condoning it. Stack was a lone madman, and it would be both glib and inaccurate to call him a card-carrying Tea Partier or a “Tea Party terrorist.” But he did leave behind a manifesto whose frothing anti-government, anti-tax rage overlaps with some of those marching under the Tea Party banner. That rant inspired like-minded Americans to create instant Facebook shrines to his martyrdom. Soon enough, some cowed politicians, including the newly minted Tea Party hero Scott Brown, were publicly empathizing with Stack’s credo — rather than risk crossing the most unforgiving brigade in their base.
First off, I don’t really think that you can fairly lump all of the teabaggers into one group quite so easily, for example Glenn Beck, Ron Paul and Sarah Palin. Ron Paul is a consistently principled man who has done more to stand against the imperialist gangster state in the last several years than anyone elso other than maybe Dennis Kucinich who is much easier marginalized than Paul. Glenn Beck is a half batshit crazy multimillionaire former shock jock turned FOX propagandist and the faction of the Tea Party that he represents are largely igoramuses, racists and useful idiots who lack the principles of Ron Paul. Mega-star Sarah Palin is largely a creation of the Weekly Standard/Commentary crowd and has already come out to herd the teabaggers to the GOP and has the allure to reinvigorate the ‘Christian’ fascists of the Religous Right whose militant shocktroops served the Bush administration and the Republican party so well until the disastrous overreach of the Terry Schaivo debacle followed by the exposure of Ted Haggard’s secret life and the death of Jerry Falwell.
Hell, I guess you can count me in with the anti-government types now that the government no longer exists as an entity to maintain infrastructure, act in the common good and maintain a level playing field but instead has been hijacked and weaponized against the people as we can see in the police state that is being built. Any government that has become that poisoned really has to go in my opinion, the path that was taken after JFK’s execution has led us here and we can thank the internet for allowing those of use who are awake to rage against the machine. But the internet is soon going bye-bye, at least in its current incarnation and it will as usual be under the guise of protecting the sheeple from those big bad terrorists that are in actuality running our own government and have been doing so for a good long time now. I know of many liberals and progressives who are slowly starting to lose their idea of a big benevolent government and coming to the belated realization that in 2010 the government IS the enemy.
Per Rich’s column I also see the John Birch Society being dragged out again. The JBS has quite often been mentioned these days as a painted up fake devil. MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann, when not doing his moronic falsetto imitations of his opposite numbers on FOX and horseface Rachel Maddow have both been going after the JBS for months. I would not be understating it in saying the Birchers have been getting more free publicity from the comedians and corporate hacks on what passes for the liberal media than they have in decades, I would not be surprised if their membership numbers are up as well. Now as I have mentioned before, I have worked at times with the JBS in fighting intrusions on civil liberties which seem to scantly bother either the teabaggers who were nowhere to be found during the worst years of the Bushreich or the bleeding heart types whose great crusade in these times of tyranny, endless war and economic devastation seems to be forcing gay marriage initatives down the throats of a populace that just isn’t quite evolved enough to swallow it therefore only feeding the freaks on the extreme right more bloody red meat. But really, the JBS, while there are many things where I disagree with them are actually far more liberal than the Obama administration on civil liberties issues so perhaps therein lies the need to demonize them. God knows that we can’t have what was stripped away in the aftermath of the American Reichstag Fire by Bush and Cheney restored.
As for quoting off of anything from the Southern Poverty Law Center I would take that very warily. It is only natural for skeptics to question the agenda of the institution (just as that of the ADL) as any sort of a really legitimate source of information. They too are masters at conflation and depend on the presence of demons to exist, the more demons the better. The piece by Frank Rich in a prominent paper that builds on a previous New York Times Tea Party story by David Barstow entitled Tea Party Lights Fuse for Rebellion on Right that conjures up the specter of Timothy McVeigh shows that they are going to be conducting a witch hunt across the internet and chances are a good deal of the people who come to this site and many, many others are going to be the prey.
As I recall, the Tea Party actually began with the 9/11 Truth movement and then also the Ron Paul people, it was only after Obama’s election that the establishment hacks like Rick Santelli, Wall Street pimp and the insipid multi-millionaire Beck hijacked it with Republican backing. Now I would also suspect a certain level of hard-line Zionist infiltration like the laughably transparent Birthers (leader Orly Taitz is yet another Israeli right-wing shill) to discredit Obama for not nuking Tehran, you could see that when Sarah Palin appeared in Nashville for the high-roller version of the National Tea Party Convention wearing that Israeli flag pin and later said that Obama could be reelected were he to attack Iran. I know the way the Israelis operate and there is no way that they are not stirring the pot with at least the Beckers and Palinazis with lot of assistance from the American neocon propagandists but those useful idiots aren’t the ones that scare the bejesus out of the greedy swine who run this place.
Rich and the rest of the elite establishment seem to be extremely scared of the actions of Joe Stack who flew his plane into an IRS office. Now I am neither a right winger nor a teabagger but I did read the Stack ‘manifesto’ and it had a contempt for the entire rotten system as a whole and could not be easily stuffed into any pre configured cartoon character. I even wrote a piece called In Defense of Joe Stack where I condemned the use of violence but agreed with the anti establishment message. There is undeniably a growing sense of anger in America and with the left being pretty much a non-factor in directing the rage towards serious and constructive change it creates a vacuum which unfortunately has filled up with some of the worst type of miscreant that this country has to offer….along with a lot of others who just have nowhere else to go and are being used as human shields.
The fear of a Joe Stack whose grievances transcend the traditional left vs right paradigm by not only calling out the IRS but the the rancid piece of crap that is the national health care system, the crony capitalist government and closes with a line out of the Communist Manifesto sends shivers up the spines the real rulers of this country. The one thing about what Rich refers to as an inchoate movement is that it could very easily evolve into something that is a serious threat to the looters and blood barters and their tax the hell out of the rest of us to build their police state, fund their illegal wars and enrich their criminal buddies on Wall Street.
The thing about the guy killed in the IRS office, Vernon Hunter is also something that has been making the rounds a good deal lately, kind of reminds me the sort of raw cynicism when during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions was trolling the wreckage looking for a corpse that could bolster the case for the estate tax to protect multimillionaire chiselers. I had more than a few of the corpse humpers and ambulance chasers attack my piece on Stack over what was in essence collateral damage.
Maybe it makes me a bad person because I could give a rat’s ass about the guy who got killed in the building, just like the people who got blown up in 9/11 (I pretty much share Ward Churchill’s sentiment about the Little Eichmanns) whose deaths at the hand of the shadow government justified a new century of raw tyranny because in a way we are all guilty of participation in this monstrous system. Hell, I could get killed in my damned car on the way to or from work every day, I always had this problem with the big contradiction of the average American life being worth more than the brown and non-Christian women and children who have our tax dollar funded bombs dropped on them. Americans have a peculiar reverence for life, the trainer that got killed by the whale at Sea World is practically causing a national outpouring of mourning but how many people were eradicated by U.S. drone strikes, bombs gone off target or people who are dying right here in the good ole US of A due to poverty, starvation and lack of health care?
So basically the IRS is a representative form of a larger tyranny and Joe Stack happened to strike a blow against it , we can argue all day about ideology but when it all comes down to it there are only two life forms in America post 9/11, vampires and cattle. I do find it more than a bit cynical that the ‘left’ is canonizing poor Vernon as some kind of national victim in order to try to affix the ‘terrorist’ label that is used so often as a bludgeon against them by the fascist elements of the right. Failed crusades have a way of wearing people down especially when the pigs who run the system only care about who is yoking the slaves and delivering them to the man.
Rich seems to be keeping alive a certain storyline that is going to be used in order to justify Cass Sunstein style infiltrations, more police state measures (maybe even naked boy scanners in shopping malls) and a demonizing of many law abiding American citizens who are inadvertently being sucked into groups of potentially violent individuals including racist white supremacists that the GOP and the neocons have used as shock troops in the Tea Party Movement.
I believe that if it were cleaned up with a lot of the scum sent packing, Glenn Beck turned off and more of an anti-establishment, anti-war, anti-Wall Street and pro-restoration of civil liberties along the lines of a Ron Paul only with an acceptance of angry progressives and liberals who don’t drink the FOX fascist Kool Aid that the Tea Party Movement could become a formidable threat to the whole corrupt system.
Which is of course why it must be seen by a populace growing madder by the minute as nothing more than through a lens of demonizing the more ostentatious and vile elements.
Just my two cents
Joe Stack did more than just go to the window and scream “I’m as mad as hell and I am not going to take it anymore”. He chose to make a statement against a tyrannical government long ago pried loose from any semblance of morality. Not that I would personally recommend flying an airplane into a government building full of people to make a statement but it takes a lot to shake the television lobotomized sheeple these days. Of course since Stack wasn’t one of those dirty Muslim devils, therefore making his ‘terrorist’ attack no asset to the Zionist coddling corporate media to fuel the frenzy for endless wars of imperialism his story was simply flushed down the memory hole in favor of the grand spectacle of Tiger Woods’ press conference the very next day.
Stack’s ‘manifesto’ was pure dynamite, the stuff that would represent a serious threat to the fascist oligarchy were it to get much play because quite frankly I agreed with a majority of it and so would millions of others who have gotten the shaft by this rotten to the core system. The authorized parrots for the establishment, Beck, Olbermann, Maddow, Limbaugh and their ilk did their jobs by spinning their gossamer webs of half-truths, obfuscations and outright balderdash to avoid addressing the real issues. They labeled him as a crank, a dangerous misfit who unbelievably hated our benevolent government and the patriotic and well-intentioned Internal Revenue Service. He was one of those foaming at the mouth rabid dog constitutionalists who dared to question those whose disdain for the Founding Fathers and their document protecting the people of the United States of America from the tyranny of a government that could too easily be subverted by the moneyed interests and used to suppress liberty. The reverence for the Constitution is evident in honorable men like George W. Bush who once referred to the document as “a goddamned piece of paper” or of former constitutional law professor Barack Obama who has failed to hold accountable the torturers, murderers, thieves and war criminals of the Bush administration.
At first some on the ‘left’ were trying to link Joe Stack to the insipid, long co-opted by neocon tea party movement, but Stack’s ‘manifesto’ didn’t fit nicely into the pre-defined cartoon stereotypes of the average Becker or Palinazi. Not to mention that the average ‘tea partier’ useful idiot only spouts talking points about small government and lower taxation, what they represent is just the reallocation of control of the massive government to serve THEIR needs, real or perceived and when outright totalitarian fascism does come to America it will be these shock troops who will be the first ones screaming for the torture and imprisonment of their enemies. Were this type of brutal, uneducated thug to ever gain control of the system then there will be no end to the stinking piles of naked, dead bodies of those that will provide the meat for their Caesar to feast upon.
Nor did the great Rush Limbaugh or the other multi-millionaire demagogues call him out as a ‘Socialist’ for daring to criticize our beautiful and blissful system of American ‘free-market’ capitalism that has eviscerated the free-enterprise system and busted the backs of small businesses. Joe Stack’s ‘manifesto’ could easily have been sold to the knuckle draggers as proof, yes my friends proof that the demon of communism was present in America. The ‘manifesto’ closed with “The capitalist creed: From each according to his gullibility, to each according to his greed” and red-baiting neo-McCarthyist scum like Limbaugh, Beck and O’Reilly would have had no problem rousing their rabble in the same manner that they did after the strange shooting incident at Fort Hood but Stack didn’t fit into their trite cookie-cutter storyline. The fiends in the corporate media and their paymasters understood that in hyping Stack’s ‘manifesto’ that they were playing with fire given the climate of fear, desperation, dread and rage that they have so merrily assisted in creating.
But what did Joe Stack really say?
He had problems with the IRS and the government just like millions of others do but who aren’t driven to violence out of pure desperation. Americans are ripped off by the IRS on a daily basis to provide the money to cover the blown-up schemes of the treasonous financial oligarchs, to finance illegal and immoral wars, CIA terrorism, foreign aid to Israeli to carry out genocide and to metaphorically dig our own graves and pay for the shovels to do so. The IRS and the tyranical government are currently extorting our money to implement a monstrous anti-American high-tech police state that provides food for a massive for profit prison system that any of you who are reading this could one day end up in.The nation’s airports are abominable examples of just how little privacy and the presumption of innocent until proven guilty matter in the new American century. Nude body scanners are now being funded with taxpayer dollars and the same scanners will in the future be coming to shopping malls as well, all under the big lie of fighting terrorism which will soon be defined to include even people with grievances against the IRS, the wars and the government who don’t fly airplanes into buildings.
And there is also Stack’s criticism of the loathsome Catholic Church, we sure as hell can’t have any sort of idea take root questioning the legitimacy of those in the God business to use their tax exempt status to weasel out of paying Caesar. The Catholic Church has for centuries been a murderous conclave of bloodthirsty power whores intent on enforcing their narrow-mindedness on the poor dupes who need religion as a crutch for their fear and innate savagery. Name me one institution with as long a history of slaughter, rape, theft and greed as the Catholic Church. The immorality of their former Nazi Pope and their pedophile priests is only surpassed by their worship of mammon and the tax exempt status pisses on the Ten Commandments rule of ‘Thou Shalt Not Steal’ as surely as their crusades and inquisitions spat upon ‘Thou Shalt Not Kill’. Stack’s condemnation of this pox on human history could not be tolerated for it may lead to similar questioning of the filthy ‘Christian’ churches and their like theft while the goat barn megachurches from where pulpits are used as perches where finely clothed charlatans preach political purely right-wing fascist Republican messages of hatred for the fellow man, exhortations to wage war and commit genocide in the name of Zionist Israel and to bastardize the holy book by twisting the message of Jesus Christ to transform him into nothing more than a pimp for the money changers and blood barters.
The right-wing ‘Christian’ churches in America are an obscenity and the blasphemy that is belched forth during the demonic sermons and over tax-exempt propaganda networks of hundreds if not thousands of television and radio stations is an abomination. Not only are these organizations able to benefit from avoiding the I.R.S. while ordinary Americans are taken to the wall over the slightest ‘violation’ they contribute to the foul rottenness of our corrupt political system by laundering and funneling money to demagogic stooges who are then sent to the big Washington D.C. whorehouse to serve corporate interests and stick it to the poor dumb bitches and bastards whose superstition and need for sanctioning of their hate and fear that bought into that swill and send them there. Not only should religious organizations be stripped permanently of their tax-exempt status but the Justice Department should send forth an army of investigators to enforce the RICO act against those found to be unfairly benefiting by acting as de facto arms of the criminal Republican party. But that would be an action of a government that serves the interest of the common good of the many instead of the corrupt few.
Joe Stack also called out the death panels that are the territory of the American insurance parasites and their bean counters who make the call on whether to pay or deny a claim and anyone familiar with the U.S. corporate communist collective knows all too well the hive mentality of boosting the blessed profits for the benefit of CEO pharaohs. Too much money has been spent in the past year by the lobbyists for big Pharma, the health care profiteers and the foulest of all, the insurance racket to upset the applecart. Obama and the DemocRAT party’s foul smelling bailout of the insurance industry marked as some sort of actual reform instead of just another massive fleecing of the American taxpayer to grease the wheels of the finance oligarch’s perpetual scam machine was an atrocity at best from the beginning. There was no chance that any humane form of a single payer system as could be expected in a civilized society was ever going to have a chance in hell, there is too much money to be made in profiting off of the misery of the sick and doomed. Even a piss-warm, watered down bill with some sort of public option was never going to happen and with lucrative post-politics lobbying jobs on the line our cowardly and corrupt Congress people and Senators would surely not dare to go against the financial interests of those who own them. What Obamacare really amounted to at the end is the use of the full force of the state as a threat to forcibly mandate an already beggared by the corporate looting spree populace to buy overpriced, shitty insurance from the same bloodsuckers that have destroyed the system. The teabaggers came in handy during the media circus of the ludicrous town hall meetings during last summer’s recess when they descended en masse like Hitler’s own Sturmabteilung to disrupt and threaten already gutless elected officials. The media of course played this into a full blown lie of some sort of great populist revolt when the elements that receive the most attention were in actuality Astroturf fronts for pigs like the scurrilous Dick Armey and the insipid neocons of Newt Gingrich. Most recently seen uniting behind neocon darling Sarah Palin who is exhorting them to sign up for lifetime membership in the Republican cult.
Joe Stack wrote of the rigged game that is American capitalism, anyone who has paid attention to the bailouts of the bankers by Federal Reserve and Goldman Sachs moles burrowed deeply into both the Bush and Obama administrations understands that the deck was stacked in favor of the pigs from the get go. You didn’t see any of the teabagger swine marching on Wall Street or reacting in outrage to the militarizing of the city of Pittsburgh to protect the global elite during last year’s G20 summit did you? The massive crimes by the speculators and banksters like AIG, Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan Chase and the rest of the looters should have been punished, there should have been prison terms and expropriations of pilfered loot to return to the victims who these criminals fleeced to finance their extravagant lifestyles. Again, that is what would have happened in any decent society with a government that wasn’t thoroughly corrupted and hijacked and we poor, fucked-over and fucked-out Americans certainly don’t have the privilege of living in one, at least not anymore. The United States of America is going bankrupt, the choice between Empire and republic has been made and when Generals McChrystal and
Petraeus were given free reign to escalate in Afghanistan the Rubicon was crossed. There cannot be guns and butter and the ploughshares are worth nothing in comparison to the swords that can be sold by the Military Industrial Complex to all sides of any conflict, our top exportable commodity is death and our emperors fiddle while Der Heimat crumbles. Crumbling infrastructure, millions of sick, homeless and jobless, the sad and hollow-eyed diaspora of the zero sum game of ‘fuck you, I got mine’ capitalism and they are pissed off but so many are so easily given illogical scapegoats for their all too logical rage. Where were the teabagger swine when all of this went down, an even bigger question is where were the teabagger swine when Bush and Cheney had the national credit card and the keys to the war machine? The same place where the bleeding heart types were when the Obamessiah escalated the carnage in Afghanistan and were given cover by Medea Benjamin of Code Pink who was down with it all because it was now a war to liberate oppressed women, the myth of liberal pacifism is just another big lie when they are the ones who can bask in the glory of the latest and greatest imperialist war.
The government and the system it serves know all too well how much legitimate anger is currently out there, I can hear it daily whether it be in grocery store checkout lines, gas stations or restaurants, a growing realization that the system itself is the enemy. Joe Stack struck a blow against that system in the way that he hoped would shake it and awaken the zombies from their fitful sleep but sadly it won’t because the ever glowing televisions, the ultimate drug delivery device (the Nazis were in awe of the capabilities of TV and were experimenting with the medium when Berlin fell) for that sweet, narcotic E-crack will ensure that they will continue to shuffle one after another into the steel chute, they may or may not realize what has happened when they reach the end and the captive bolt pistol comes to rest between their thousand yard staring eyes to bring an end to their pathetic excuse for what passes for consciousness. Hell, in a land where any serious comprehensive definition of democracy has come to be exemplified by American Idol and Jack Bauer has become a national icon maybe the coming damnation is deserved. The Founding Fathers knew all too well the dangers of a willfully ignorant and easily duped populace and a perfect example of eugenics American style would be in a call that I heard Friday morning on the Bill Press Show during the morning commute in which some clueless ass proposed eliminating the First Amendment as a remedy to more Joe Stacks deciding that they are as mad as hell and not going to take it anymore.
Now in wrapping up this rant I want to unequivocally state that I do not agree with stack when he stated that violence is the “only” answer for that is NOT the solution. Firstly the government has bigger guns, armies of militarized police goons and a crackerjack high-tech police state that has been put into place using the phony ‘terrorist’ attacks of 9/11 as justification. If those who choose violence are numerous enough then it would be a simple matter of the president picking up the phone and invoking his powers to declare martial law, the power that the dumb bastard Republicans gave to George W. Bush and his NSPD51 that Barack Obama has not rescinded. If you choose violence you will be crushed, never, ever should you underestimate the ability of a tyrannical state to reciprocate with extreme prejudice and maximum brutality against those that threaten it with violence. The REAL answer is to delegitimize the state, withhold your willing consent, protest against the war machine and debunk the ultimate lie that is faith in this monstrous system. The political system is nothing more than two dueling and largely interlocking criminal parties that will grind your bones to make their bread in order to serve the oligarchs.
The politically connected scum like for example Goldman Sachs and GM get bailouts while regular Americans who have played by the rules get their jobs offshored to India, China or some lousy third world shithole where there are no labor unions nor laws to protect the slave populations. How many jobs have been lost since NAFTA started the ball rolling and the criminal Bush administration cloaked itself in the flag under the phony war on terror and escalated the strip-mining of the American economy in the name of greed? President Obama lied when he campaigned for the presidency by indicating that these rotten trade pacts that screw hard working, decent and honest Americans into lives of privation and strip away their dignity would be re-examined. Globalization has been a disaster for all but the wealthiest Americans and the pigs that run the corporations that are given more human rights by our putrid and corrupted to the core legal system that was long ago bought and paid for and now has sold out those that it was theoretically supposed to protect for pennies on the dollar. The change that Obama promised is chump change and those jobs are NEVER coming back just as the vile moneychangers on Wall Street will NEVER be held accountable for crashing the economy but rather bailed out with the pound of flesh from every American that is extracted by the Big Brother IRS man. That Obama is a liar should be a shock to nobody who is awake, a poison tree produces only poison fruit and in America in 2010 the entire fucking orchard is infected. Obama, like his predecessors is by every definition a war criminal and a tyrant, this is the system, the Empire and it is all wrapped in the flag and sent out carrying a cross to give it legitimacy when it has none. As George Santayana once famously warned “those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it” and anyone who knows anything at all about history understands that power ALWAYS corrupts and tyranny is the norm.
No, I do not agree with Joe Stack about violence, ideas are much more powerful than bullets and bombs or airplanes flown into buildings. To spread the truth, the idea that there is no legitimacy to be found in this monstrous system of greed, murder and a prison industrial complex that rivals that of Joseph Stalin’s gulags and that in America there are really only two life forms – vampires and cattle – is far more dangerous to the system. This is why Joe Stack’s words were washed away immediately by the truly relevant and all-important news of the holy words of Tiger Woods, the Jesus Christ of the American church of wonder-working celebrity crucified and arisen anew while the fires at the Echelon Building were still smoldering. The truth is what the political prostitutes, professional con-artists, schemers, butchers and bankers fear the most for it is the only thing that will end the reign of tyranny and allow the people to regain control over their own destinies, their own government and the future of their children.
Expose the bastards, the time is ripe for a non-violent revolution but it is running out…
Joe Stack’s ‘Manifesto’ fished out of the memory hole.
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.
And justice? You’ve got to be kidding!
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.
How did I get here?
My introduction to the real American nightmare starts back in the early ’80s. Unfortunately after more than 16 years of school, somewhere along the line I picked up the absurd, pompous notion that I could read and understand plain English. Some friends introduced me to a group of people who were having ‘tax code’ readings and discussions. In particular, zeroed in on a section relating to the wonderful “exemptions” that make institutions like the vulgar, corrupt Catholic Church so incredibly wealthy. We carefully studied the law (with the help of some of the “best”, high-paid, experienced tax lawyers in the business), and then began to do exactly what the “big boys” were doing (except that we weren’t steeling from our congregation or lying to the government about our massive profits in the name of God). We took a great deal of care to make it all visible, following all of the rules, exactly the way the law said it was to be done.
The intent of this exercise and our efforts was to bring about a much-needed re-evaluation of the laws that allow the monsters of organized religion to make such a mockery of people who earn an honest living. However, this is where I learned that there are two “interpretations” for every law; one for the very rich, and one for the rest of us… Oh, and the monsters are the very ones making and enforcing the laws; the inquisition is still alive and well today in this country.
That little lesson in patriotism cost me $40,000+, 10 years of my life, and set my retirement plans back to 0. It made me realize for the first time that I live in a country with an ideology that is based on a total and complete lie. It also made me realize, not only how naive I had been, but also the incredible stupidity of the American public; that they buy, hook, line, and sinker, the crap about their “freedom”… and that they continue to do so with eyes closed in the face of overwhelming evidence and all that keeps happening in front of them.
Before even having to make a shaky recovery from the sting of the first lesson on what justice really means in this country (around 1984 after making my way through engineering school and still another five years of “paying my dues”), I felt I finally had to take a chance of launching my dream of becoming an independent engineer.
On the subjects of engineers and dreams of independence, I should digress somewhat to say that I’m sure that I inherited the fascination for creative problem solving from my father. I realized this at a very young age.
The significance of independence, however, came much later during my early years of college; at the age of 18 or 19 when I was living on my own as student in an apartment in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. My neighbor was an elderly retired woman (80+ seemed ancient to me at that age) who was the widowed wife of a retired steel worker. Her husband had worked all his life in the steel mills of central Pennsylvania with promises from big business and the union that, for his 30 years of service, he would have a pension and medical care to look forward to in his retirement. Instead he was one of the thousands who got nothing because the incompetent mill management and corrupt union (not to mention the government) raided their pension funds and stole their retirement. All she had was social security to live on.
In retrospect, the situation was laughable because here I was living on peanut butter and bread (or Ritz crackers when I could afford to splurge) for months at a time. When I got to know this poor figure and heard her story I felt worse for her plight than for my own (I, after all, I thought I had everything to in front of me). I was genuinely appalled at one point, as we exchanged stories and commiserated with each other over our situations, when she in her grandmotherly fashion tried to convince me that I would be “healthier” eating cat food (like her) rather than trying to get all my substance from peanut butter and bread. I couldn’t quite go there, but the impression was made. I decided that I didn’t trust big business to take care of me, and that I would take responsibility for my own future and myself.
Return to the early ’80s, and here I was off to a terrifying start as a ‘wet-behind-the-ears’ contract software engineer… and two years later, thanks to the fine backroom, midnight effort by the sleazy executives of Arthur Andersen (the very same folks who later brought us Enron and other such calamities) and an equally sleazy New York Senator (Patrick Moynihan), we saw the passage of 1986 tax reform act with its section 1706.
For you who are unfamiliar, here is the core text of the IRS Section 1706, defining the treatment of workers (such as contract engineers) for tax purposes. Visit this link for a conference committee report (http://www.synergistech.com/1706.shtml#ConferenceCommitteeReport) regarding the intended interpretation of Section 1706 and the relevant parts of Section 530, as amended. For information on how these laws affect technical services workers and their clients, read our discussion here (http://www.synergistech.com/ic-taxlaw.shtml).
SEC. 1706. TREATMENT OF CERTAIN TECHNICAL PERSONNEL.
(a) IN GENERAL – Section 530 of the Revenue Act of 1978 is amended by adding at the end thereof the following new subsection:
(d) EXCEPTION. – This section shall not apply in the case of an individual who pursuant to an arrangement between the taxpayer and another person, provides services for such other person as an engineer, designer, drafter, computer programmer, systems analyst, or other similarly skilled worker engaged in a similar line of work.
(b) EFFECTIVE DATE. – The amendment made by this section shall apply to remuneration paid and services rendered after December 31, 1986.
· “another person” is the client in the traditional job-shop relationship.
· “taxpayer” is the recruiter, broker, agency, or job shop.
· “individual”, “employee”, or “worker” is you.
Admittedly, you need to read the treatment to understand what it is saying but it’s not very complicated. The bottom line is that they may as well have put my name right in the text of section (d). Moreover, they could only have been more blunt if they would have came out and directly declared me a criminal and non-citizen slave. Twenty years later, I still can’t believe my eyes.
During 1987, I spent close to $5000 of my ‘pocket change’, and at least 1000 hours of my time writing, printing, and mailing to any senator, congressman, governor, or slug that might listen; none did, and they universally treated me as if I was wasting their time. I spent countless hours on the L.A. freeways driving to meetings and any and all of the disorganized professional groups who were attempting to mount a campaign against this atrocity. This, only to discover that our efforts were being easily derailed by a few moles from the brokers who were just beginning to enjoy the windfall from the new declaration of their “freedom”. Oh, and don’t forget, for all of the time I was spending on this, I was loosing income that I couldn’t bill clients.
After months of struggling it had clearly gotten to be a futile exercise. The best we could get for all of our trouble is a pronouncement from an IRS mouthpiece that they weren’t going to enforce that provision (read harass engineers and scientists). This immediately proved to be a lie, and the mere existence of the regulation began to have its impact on my bottom line; this, of course, was the intended effect.
Again, rewind my retirement plans back to 0 and shift them into idle. If I had any sense, I clearly should have left abandoned engineering and never looked back.
Instead I got busy working 100-hour workweeks. Then came the L.A. depression of the early 1990s. Our leaders decided that they didn’t need the all of those extra Air Force bases they had in Southern California, so they were closed; just like that. The result was economic devastation in the region that rivaled the widely publicized Texas S&L fiasco. However, because the government caused it, no one gave a shit about all of the young families who lost their homes or street after street of boarded up houses abandoned to the wealthy loan companies who received government funds to “shore up” their windfall. Again, I lost my retirement.
Years later, after weathering a divorce and the constant struggle trying to build some momentum with my business, I find myself once again beginning to finally pick up some speed. Then came the .COM bust and the 911 nightmare. Our leaders decided that all aircraft were grounded for what seemed like an eternity; and long after that, ‘special’ facilities like San Francisco were on security alert for months. This made access to my customers prohibitively expensive. Ironically, after what they had done the Government came to the aid of the airlines with billions of our tax dollars … as usual they left me to rot and die while they bailed out their rich, incompetent cronies WITH MY MONEY! After these events, there went my business but not quite yet all of my retirement and savings.
By this time, I’m thinking that it might be good for a change. Bye to California, I’ll try Austin for a while. So I moved, only to find out that this is a place with a highly inflated sense of self-importance and where damn little real engineering work is done. I’ve never experienced such a hard time finding work. The rates are 1/3 of what I was earning before the crash, because pay rates here are fixed by the three or four large companies in the area who are in collusion to drive down prices and wages… and this happens because the justice department is all on the take and doesn’t give a fuck about serving anyone or anything but themselves and their rich buddies.
To survive, I was forced to cannibalize my savings and retirement, the last of which was a small IRA. This came in a year with mammoth expenses and not a single dollar of income. I filed no return that year thinking that because I didn’t have any income there was no need. The sleazy government decided that they disagreed. But they didn’t notify me in time for me to launch a legal objection so when I attempted to get a protest filed with the court I was told I was no longer entitled to due process because the time to file ran out. Bend over for another $10,000 helping of justice.
So now we come to the present. After my experience with the CPA world, following the business crash I swore that I’d never enter another accountant’s office again. But here I am with a new marriage and a boatload of undocumented income, not to mention an expensive new business asset, a piano, which I had no idea how to handle. After considerable thought I decided that it would be irresponsible NOT to get professional help; a very big mistake.
When we received the forms back I was very optimistic that they were in order. I had taken all of the years information to Bill Ross, and he came back with results very similar to what I was expecting. Except that he had neglected to include the contents of Sheryl’s unreported income; $12,700 worth of it. To make matters worse, Ross knew all along this was missing and I didn’t have a clue until he pointed it out in the middle of the audit. By that time it had become brutally evident that he was representing himself and not me.
This left me stuck in the middle of this disaster trying to defend transactions that have no relationship to anything tax-related (at least the tax-related transactions were poorly documented). Things I never knew anything about and things my wife had no clue would ever matter to anyone. The end result is… well, just look around.
I remember reading about the stock market crash before the “great” depression and how there were wealthy bankers and businessmen jumping out of windows when they realized they screwed up and lost everything. Isn’t it ironic how far we’ve come in 60 years in this country that they now know how to fix that little economic problem; they just steal from the middle class (who doesn’t have any say in it, elections are a joke) to cover their asses and it’s “business-as-usual”. Now when the wealthy fuck up, the poor get to die for the mistakes… isn’t that a clever, tidy solution.
As government agencies go, the FAA is often justifiably referred to as a tombstone agency, though they are hardly alone. The recent presidential puppet GW Bush and his cronies in their eight years certainly reinforced for all of us that this criticism rings equally true for all of the government. Nothing changes unless there is a body count (unless it is in the interest of the wealthy sows at the government trough). In a government full of hypocrites from top to bottom, life is as cheap as their lies and their self-serving laws.
I know I’m hardly the first one to decide I have had all I can stand. It has always been a myth that people have stopped dying for their freedom in this country, and it isn’t limited to the blacks, and poor immigrants. I know there have been countless before me and there are sure to be as many after. But I also know that by not adding my body to the count, I insure nothing will change. I choose to not keep looking over my shoulder at “big brother” while he strips my carcass, I choose not to ignore what is going on all around me, I choose not to pretend that business as usual won’t continue; I have just had enough.
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. Sadly, though I spent my entire life trying to believe it wasn’t so, but violence not only is the answer, it is the only answer. The cruel joke is that the really big chunks of shit at the top have known this all along and have been laughing, at and using this awareness against, fools like me all along.
I saw it written once that the definition of insanity is repeating the same process over and over and expecting the outcome to suddenly be different. I am finally ready to stop this insanity. Well, Mr. Big Brother IRS man, let’s try something different; take my pound of flesh and sleep well.
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.
Joe Stack (1956-2010)