Friday, February 19, 2010

Austin's IRS Ablaze, Joe Stack & Americans' Anger

February 19, 2010, 12:15 p.m.

"It's a hard rain's a-gonna fall"
"I heard ten thousand whisperin' and nobody listenin'"

--From Bob Dylan's "A Hard Rain's Gonna Fall"
(brought to you by*)

What are we to make of Joe Stack's deliberately flying his plane at high speed into the Austin, Texas, offices of the IRS? (Photo credit: Alberto Martinez/Associated Press).

I think it was a predictable and inevitable act, and that there are more to come.

Because that sentence, and all that follow, will be emotionally laden for many, I want to make very clear at the outset what I am not saying.

(1) I am not advocating violence; I keep a picture of Dr. Martin Luther King on my office wall to remind me of his, and my, conviction that the non-violent path to social and political reform is not only more moral, it is also more effective.

(2) It is not my belief that Joe Stack was in any way "justified" in reacting as he did.

(3) I am not trivializing "terrorism." I recognize that (a) there is a difference between violent acts by Americans against Americans and (b) violent acts against Americans, here or abroad, by those of other countries. I believe what we tend to label as "terrorism" when it involves those from elsewhere is a real and serious threat that should be neither minimized nor trivialized.

So, with at least a few of the necessary qualifiers out of the way, here are some of my reactions to yesterday's events.

Predictable, inevitable, and replicable

The reason I think what Stack did was predictable is because I predicted it.

I have been writing about "terrorism" and "war" for sometime now. A couple years ago I took a somewhat different tack in the eight-part blog entry series, Nicholas Johnson, "Golden Rules and Revolutions: A Series," April 12-19, 2008 (with links from Part VIII to the prior seven). It later became a chapter in Nicholas Johnson, "Are We There Yet? Reflections on Politics in America," Part IX: Gold, pp. 178-208, especially "Income Disparity and Revolution" (2008).

The reference to the "Golden Rule" was, of course, to the line that "she who has the gold makes the rules," leading into a discussion of the growing income disparity and its potential consequences.

I am not a conspiratorial theorist, nor am I charging that anyone truly desires to turn the United States into a third world country, in which the top 1% of super rich rule over a 90% in abject poverty. All I would observe is that what is happening -- as a result of what will be spelled out in this series -- is not that different from what would be happening if that were the goal of government officials and the ruling elite. . . .

I recall reading many years ago -- where it was I would have no way of recalling now -- that there is a rough mathematical formula for predicting the point at which a growing income disparity will ultimately produce a revolution.

No, I don't think we're yet there in the United States.

But I am one of those who thinks Senator Obama was right when he said, " . . . there are a whole bunch of folks in small towns in [America] who are bitter. . . . They are angry. They feel like they have been left behind. They feel like nobody is paying attention to what they're going through." Perry Bacon Jr. and Shailagh Murray,"'Bitter' Is a Hard Pill For Obama to Swallow; He Stands by Sentiment as Clinton Pounces," Washington Post, April 13, 2008, p. A6.
Some say that to think and speak this way is to foment "class warfare." Indeed, even Warren Buffett, of all people, has been questioned and criticized for pointing out that his secretary pays a larger percentage of her income to the IRS than Buffett does. But as I went on in that piece to quote Warren Buffett,

“There’s class warfare, all right,” Mr. [Warren] Buffett said, “but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning.” Ben Stein, "In Class Warfare, Guess Which Class Is Winning," New York Times, November 26, 2006.

Those who refuse to acknowledge what's happening in America can charge those who do with being "elitist," or fomenting "class warfare." But that does little to assuage the anger of those on the losing side of this warfare.

And when that anger is permitted to seethe long enough the news from elsewhere can serve as a reminder of the limits that ultimately come to constrain the greed of oppressive governments and the super rich elite.
Nicholas Johnson, "Golden Rules & Revolutions: A Series - I," April 12, 2008 -- which was followed in the blog entry with three current examples of revolutions in other countries prompted in large part by such income disparities.

Now I'll ask you, who wrote this:

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.
A quote from an earlier blog entry of mine? No. Give up? It's a quote from Joe Stack's letter/article of explanation for his acts that he headed, "American Zombies Wake Up and Revolt." Neil Katz, "Joe Stack Suicide Note Full Text: 'American Zombies Wake Up and Revolt,'" CBS News, Crimesider Blog, February 18, 2010.

You will recall that 234 years ago this year another American, indeed 56 signers, expressed if not identical, at least analogous anger:

[W]hen a long train of abuses and usurpations . . . evinces a design to reduce [the colonists] under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.--Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

[Over two dozen examples are set forth.]

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.
Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776.

And for a commentary about today's "oppressions" of democracy, aired tonight on PBS, see "Justice for Sale," Bill Moyers' Journal, PBS, February 19, 2010.

"Throughout his [Stack's] letter he repeated his disdain for "rich, incompetent cronies the government continued to bail out with 'HIS MONEY.' In a seven-page suicide letter left on his Web site, The Smoking Gun, Stack raged against the IRS, stating “I have had all I can stand.” . . . Near the end of his letter, he wrote, “Well, Mr. Big Brother IRS man, let’s try something different; take my pound of flesh and sleep well.” Shea Yarborough, "Pilot: 'I Have Had All I Can Stand,'" [University of] North Texas Daily, February 19, 2010, p. 1.

“I knew Joe had a hang-up with the I.R.S. on account of them breaking him, taking his savings away,” said Jack Cook, the stepfather of Mr. Stack’s wife . . .. “This is a shock to me that he would do something like this,” Mr. Cook said. “But you get your anger up, you do it.” Michael Brick, "Man Crashes Plane Into Texas IRS Office," New York Times, February 19, 2010, p. A14.

When is domestic, criminal, violence and property destruction "terrorism"?

Words make a difference -- including the choice between "criminal acts" and "terrorism."

Both were used following Stack's attack on the Austin IRS offices. Lisa Garza, "Authorities: Austin plane crash identified as criminal act, not terrorism," North Texas [University] Daily, February 18, 2010 (no longer available online, so far as I know); Joshua Rhett Miller, "Austin Plane Crash: Criminal Act or Domestic Terrorism?" Fox News, February 19, 2010; Official: Austin Plane Crash Into IRS Building ‘A Criminal Act’; Pilot's Suicide Note, Austin American-Statesman, February 18, 2010 ("A Federal Aviation Administration spokesman said the crash was 'apparently a criminal act,' . . .."); Ian O'Neill, "IRS Plane Crash: Was it Terrorism?" Discovery News, February 19, 2010.

DHS officials explicitly warned against the potential emergence of terrorist groups or "lone wolf extremists" in a report issued in April. The report, "Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment," found that while no specific threat existed, there was the potential for violence from extremists concerned about illegal immigration, abortion, increased federal power and restrictions on firearms.
Joshua Rhett Miller, "Austin Plane Crash: Criminal Act or Domestic Terrorism?" Fox News, February 19, 2010.

I have formerly written about the difficulty in defining "terrorism," and distinguishing between violence and property destruction by (1) Americans on Americans, (2) citizens of other countries on Americans, and (3) Americans on citizens of other countries. Nicholas Johnson, "'War' on 'Terrorism'" in "General Semantics, Terrorism and War" (2006), Nicholas Johnson, "Rethinking Terrorism" (2002); Nicholas Johnson, "What Do You Mean and How Do You Know?" Chapter 6, "You As Citizen II: Terrorism and War," p. 61 (2009).

Joe Stack is not the only American to engage in violence which, had it been done by a member of al Qaeda, would have been characterized as "terrorism."

Timothy McVeigh

The Oklahoma City bombing occurred on April 19, 1995 when American militia movement sympathizer Timothy McVeigh, with the assistance of Terry Nichols, destroyed the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in downtown Oklahoma City. It was the most significant act of terrorism on American soil until the September 11 attacks in 2001, claiming the lives of 168 victims and injuring more than 680. The blast destroyed or damaged 324 buildings within a sixteen–block radius, destroyed or burned 86 cars, and shattered glass in 258 nearby buildings. The bomb was estimated to have caused at least $652 million worth of damage.Motivated by the federal government's handling of the Waco Siege (1993) and the Ruby Ridge incident (1992), McVeigh's attack was timed to coincide with the second anniversary of the Waco Siege.
"Oklahoma City Bombing," Wikipedia.

Theodore Kaczynski

In 1971, he [Kaczynski] moved to a remote cabin without electricity or running water, in Lincoln, Montana, where he began to learn survival skills in an attempt to become self-sufficient. He decided to start a bombing campaign after watching the wilderness around his home being destroyed by development. From 1978 to 1995, Kaczynski sent 16 bombs to targets including universities and airlines, killing three people and injuring 23. Kaczynski sent a letter to The New York Times on April 24, 1995 and promised "to desist from terrorism" if the Times or The Washington Post published his manifesto. In his Industrial Society and Its Future (also called the "Unabomber Manifesto"), he argued that his bombings were extreme but necessary to attract attention to the erosion of human freedom necessitated by modern technologies requiring large-scale organization.
"Theodore Kaczynski," Wikipedia.

Army Major Nidal Malik Hasan

An Army psychiatrist facing deployment to one of America’s war zones [Iraq or Afghanistan according to Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas)] killed 13 people and wounded 30 others on Thursday in a shooting rampage with two handguns at the sprawling Fort Hood Army post in central Texas, military officials said. . . . Fox News quoted a retired Army colonel, Terry Lee, as saying that Major Hasan, with whom he worked, had voiced hope that President Obama would pull American troops out of Iraq and Afghanistan, had argued with military colleagues who supported the wars and had tried to prevent his own deployment.
Robert D. McFadden, "Army Doctor Held in Ft. Hood Rampage," New York Times, November 6, 2009, p. A1.

Now, not every angry American is going to fly a private plane into a government building. For starters, very few Americans have private planes. But as the President has observed, above, and as the Tea Party movement confirms, there are a lot of angry Americans -- Republicans, Democrats, third party members, and independents -- who are looking to do something, even if it's just to vote the incumbents out of office. See, "Tea Party Nation," and "National Tea Party Convention." It is inevitable that at least for an increasing number of them, that "something" will take the form of what Timothy McVeigh, Theodore Kaczinski and Nidal Malick Hasan did earlier, and Joe Stack did yesterday, February 18, 2010.

In one sense, it makes little difference how we define words like "criminal" and "terrorist." We can define words however we please, although effective communication will require some basic level of agreement regarding those definitions.

But in another sense we have much to learn from the definitions and their implications.

(1) Whatever we call it, we clearly have a significant risk of damage being done by Americans to Americans and their property. To the extent we wish to minimize such risks we cannot limit our concern to tracking those who come from abroad.

(2) The more Americans who feel oppressed, ignored, and abused by their government, the greater is the likelihood of such damage. This includes the transfer of taxpayers' money to some of the wealthiest Americans, the growing gap in wealth between the richest and the rest of us, and the increasing obscenity of the response of elected officials to campaign contributions, while ignoring constituents.

(3) What Kaczinski, McVeigh, Hasan and Stack have in common is that each felt it worthwhile to craft an explanation for their actions, and that each of their explanations involved complaints about the United States or other American governments and societal conditions. Those they killed were, almost exclusively, persons they did not personally know and with whom they had not interacted in any way. Their targets were symbols of the core of their complaints.

(4) Such attacks are, in this sense, distinguishable from those who kill a former lover or spouse, the member of another gang or competing drug ring, someone who gets in the way during a robbery, or one's fellow high school students or McDonald's employees. The actions of Kaczinski, McVeigh, Hasan and Stack were not actions that can be entirely explained by saying "they just snapped." There may have been some "final straw" that moved them to action, but there was clearly an anti-government anger driving them as well.

(5) What are we to make of those whose initial reaction to Joe Stack's attack was to reassure us that it was "criminal" and not "terrorism"? By contrast, questions have been raised about Hasan's attack on fellow members of the military as possibly "terrorism." Had Stack been Muslim, and had this Texan recently returned from Pakistan, would Homeland Security have been so quick to reassure us his actions were not "terrorism"? Blowing up buildings (McVeigh) or flying planes into them (Stack) have certainly qualified as "terrorism" on other occasions. Why not now? Do we have more sympathy for, do we more easily identify with, fellow Americans who engage in such violence than with those who come from abroad and do the same things?

(6) Whether football or foreign wars, the more you can understand about the thinking of your opponent the better. If it is easier for us to relate to those Americans whose anti-American government anger has prompted them to violent action, perhaps that can help us to understand how the anti-American government anger of al Qaeda and militant Taliban members abroad has motivated them to action. (As I've already said, I'm not justifying "terrorism" by either Americans or others, only that understanding what produces it may help us to fight it on both fronts.)

(7) There has recently been discussion regarding the propriety of prosecuting terrorists from abroad as "criminals" in federal courts, or "enemy combatants" in military tribunals. The identification of what Stark did as "criminal," notwithstanding the similarity of strategy to what was done on 9/11, may be relevant in this context as well.

(8) Finally, in thinking about our "war on terrorism," some have suggested that it might be more effective to conceptualize our challenge as less in the nature of traditional "war" (e.g., against a "nation," with uniformed military, and front lines) and as something more likely to be defeated if characterized as "criminal" in nature. The latter would suggest a police, diplomatic and intelligence approach -- along with development, removing the poverty and other causes, and "winning hearts and minds" -- as, indeed, many of our best generals have suggested.

Full Text of Joe Stack "Explanation"

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 ( 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 (

(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 s*** 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 f*** 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 f*** 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 s*** 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)
Neil Katz, "Joe Stack Suicide Note Full Text: 'American Zombies Wake Up and Revolt,'" CBS News, Crimesider Blog, February 18, 2010.


* Why do I put this blog ID at the top of the entry, when you know full well what blog you're reading? Because there are a number of Internet sites that, for whatever reason, simply take the blog entries of others and reproduce them as their own without crediting the source. I don't mind the flattering attention, but would appreciate acknowledgment as the source -- even if I have to embed it myself.
-- Nicholas Johnson
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